Can’t believe we are STILL talking about the Oscars in late March. I hope they’re moving the telecast back to late February next year and going forward. Well, I’ve talked about the Oscar nominees but I saw people were ranking the Best Picture nominees on Twitter, such as below, and I thought I’d do the same on this blog and also rank all the acting nominees.
These are the 2021 Oscar nominees for Best Picture. Rank the nominated films in order of personal preference.
And as a bonus, provide at least one snubbed film you think deserved a nomination. pic.twitter.com/0uK4hmcF92
— And the Runner-Up Is (@OscarRunnerUp) March 21, 2022
This is actually one of the rare time where I’ve seen most of the nominated films except for Licorice Pizza. I have also seen most of the nominated performances except for Penelope Cruz in Parallel Mothers. So based on the ranking, obviously the first one on the list is the one I’m rooting for to win, and if I were an Academy member, that’s what I would vote for. Plus, I’d also pick one movie that is not nominated and replace one from the list. Same with each of the acting category. So, here we go!
BEST PICTURE RANKING
- The Power of the Dog
- Drive My Car
- Nightmare Alley
- King Richard
- West Side Story
- Licorice Pizza
- Don’t Look Up
Movie I’d nominate: C’Mon C’Mon
Movie I’d remove from list: Don’t Look Up
I feel that The Power of the Dog is truly exceptional and well-crafted all around. Per Oscars Wiki, it’s the last award presented as it represents ‘the combined directing, acting, and writing efforts put forth for a film.’ The Jane Campion film ticks all the boxes for me in all those three categories, plus the cinematography AND music are top notch as well. I do love Dune, though I doubt it has a chance to win, but hey it’s just Part I so I’m hoping Dune Part II would get nominated again along with its director Denis Villeneuve! C’mon Academy, the movie doesn’t direct itself!
The one film I wish were nominated this is year is C’mon C’mon which is such a beautiful and moving character study that’s beautifully written, directed and acted. I was quite flabbergasted Don’t Look Up is even nominated, ugh, it’s not nearly as shrewd nor smart as it obviously think it is.
BEST LEAD ACTOR RANKING
- Will Smith (“King Richard”)
- Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)
- Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”)
- Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)
- Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)
Lead Actor I’d nominate: Adam Driver – Annette
Lead Actor I’d remove from list: Javier Bardem – Being The Ricardos
I was so impressed with Will Smith‘s acting in King Richard, I’d even say a career-best performance. He practically becomes the character he’s playing though there are a few moments where his exuberant persona comes out in the movie. In 2nd and 3rd place, I’m kind of torn between the two young Brits Benedict and Andrew which both gave a committed performance to their respective roles, sporting an American accent no less!
I’m so baffled by the Academy’s love for Being the Ricardos in the acting department as I wasn’t all that impressed by either Nicole Kidman nor Javier Bardem. They were good but not necessarily Oscar worthy. I wonder if many members of the Academy just simply didn’t see Annette. I mean, how could you watch Being the Ricardos AND Annette and think Bardem’s is the better, more committed performance?? Just the stand-up scenes alone are Oscar worthy, but the movie is pretty much an Adam Driver show from start to finish. His dry sense of humor, sheer rage, magnetic charisma and intensity are in full display here, at times in extreme close-ups. In a year where he did three very different performances (The Last Duel + House of Gucci), it’s a shame he wasn’t recognized for a single one.
BEST LEAD ACTRESS RANKING
- Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)
- Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”)
- Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”)
- Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)
- Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)
Lead Actress I’d nominate: Tessa Thompson (Passing)
Lead Actress I’d remove from list: Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
I’m such a huge fan of Olivia Colman and she’s proven to be such a versatile actress on top of being the most likable in the business. Her character is not the most sympathetic but Colman makes her relatable and human. Under the direction of Maggie Gyllenhaal, Leda is a juicy role that’s not wasted on someone so talented.
Now, I was surprised to see SO much love for Ruth Negga but not Tessa Thompson in Passing (though I’m glad she was nominated for a BAFTA). Honestly, I was more impressed w/ Tessa in her subtle but powerful performance in Rebeca Hall‘s directorial debut. Now, I love Kidman and no doubt she is a terrific actress, but I don’t think her performance as Lucille Ball is all that memorable.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR RANKING
- Troy Kotsur (“CODA”)
- Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”)
- Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”)
- Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”)
- J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”)
Supporting Actor I’d nominate: Jason Isaacs – MASS
Supporting Actor I’d remove from list: J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos
I’m loving all the attention for CODA this award season and it’s so deserving! Troy Kotsur gave a wonderful, funny, heartfelt performance here that I won’t soon forget. It’d be so cool to see a historic win for him on top of being the first male deaf actor to be nominated for Oscar!
Jason Isaacs delivers a career-best performance as a grieving father who, along with his wife, has to confront the parents of the kid who killed his boy at a mass shooting. I was moved to tears by his emotional performance, it’s unlike anything I’ve seen him do in his previous work. I just read this article and he sounds so utterly funny and humble, love him! Now, MASS is more of an ensemble piece but I think Isaacs could still be considered a supporting actor. Sadly that film has been so grossly overlooked, especially in the Best Original Screenplay category by first time writer/director Fran Krantz.
Again, another nominee from Being the Ricardos! I have nothing against J.K. Simmons and he’s perhaps the most memorable supporting cast in the movie, but no, it’s not Oscar worthy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS RANKING
- Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)
- Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”)
- Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)
- Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)
- Judi Dench (“Belfast”)
Supporting Actress I’d nominate: Caitriona Balfe – Belfast
Supporting Actress I’d remove from list: Judi Dench – Belfast
While Will Smith got way more attention for his starring role in King Richard, I think Aunjanue Ellis is equally memorable as his tough-talking wife. Ellis’ got such a strong screen presence and all her scenes are really memorable. I especially love the part when she confronts a nosy neighbor who unrightfully called Child Protection Services on them.
It REALLY pains me to say what I’m about to say given my undying love for Dame Judi Dench. Now, I’m not saying her performance in BELFAST wasn’t memorable, I just feel that she had such a brief screen presence here, though obviously she’s been nominated before for just an 8-minute performance in Shakespeare In Love. I always love seeing Dame Judi on screen, but the most memorable female supporting role is Ma by the lovely Caitriona Balfe. Having watched a few episodes of Outlander as well as Ford v Ferrari where she played Christian Bale’s wife, I knew she’s talented, but here she shows she’s ready to be a leading lady. Glad she nabbed a Golden Globe, BAFTA and a bunch of other critics nominations as it’s a worthy performance.
Well, how would you rank the Best Picture nominees and who would you nominate in the acting categories that weren’t on the list?