The Academy released the shortlists for 9 categories in total. Among them, a few key ones – Best International Feature, Best Soundtrack and Song and more.
The Academy has started its the Oscars 2020 hype train.
Earlier this week, we’ve got a pre-taste of the nominations in a bunch of categories. While no bombs were dropped, a few eyebrow-raisers and surprises were however scattered.
The most exhilarating race of the year is about to take place in Best International Feature category.
Who will fight for a nomination for Best International Feature Film in 2020?
The following films were announced on the shortlist:
- Czech Republic, “The Painted Bird”
- Estonia, “Truth and Justice”
- France, “Les Misérables”
- Hungary, “Those Who Remained”
- North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
- Poland, “Corpus Christi”
- Russia, “Beanpole”
- Senegal, “Atlantics”
- South Korea, “Parasite”
- Spain, “Pain and Glory”
While it seems that Joon-Ho Bong’s Parasite (2019) will dominate this category, the group has been depleted and it’s missing some major contenders.
France decided to opt for Les Misérables (2019) instead of Cannes-winning Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019), and the Academy cut out Monos (2019), a widely praised drama The Queen of Hearts (2019) from Denmark, an Italian drama The Traitor (2019), as well as my personal favorite A White, White Day (2019) from Iceland. Each one of these could easily claim a spot here.
Can Parasite (2019) be overthrown?
Out of the titles above, my guess is that Parasite (2019) is the safest bet, with The Painted Bird (2019), Pain and Glory (2019) and Beanpole (2019) easily scoring a nomination. However, it would be simply unfair to give the award to anyone else than Joon-Ho Bong. His mastermind movie blended a plethora of genres, and managed to both entertain and dig deep under the facade of just a highly entertaining movie.
The last spot is going to be clawed in a fierce battle.
My bet is the Polish drama Corpus Christi (2019), yet I didn’t have the chance to view most of the other shortlisted titles. Corpus Christi (2019) is a widely praised Polish film, which tells a story of a former prisoner who becomes a priest. Based on facts, this film has garnered some decent buzz, and its presence on the Oscars 2020 shortlist can signal a dark horse.
Nonetheless, let’s not forget that the Academy likes to mess with the most obvious choices. Parasite (2019) could potentially lose to The Painted Bird (2019), a screen adaptation of same-titled book. The Academy often appreciates films about the World War II, and the Czech movie was quite a sensation upon its premiere. It could follow the steps of Son of Saul (2015), which boldly marched towards an Oscar ever since its first screening at Cannes.
Best Music (Original Score) in 2020 – What will it be?
I keep fingers crossed for the all-depressing, no-smiles-allowed score of Joker (2019). The work of an Icelandic composer Hildur Guðnadóttir is dipped in solitude, alienation and sadness, and makes hell of a background for Joaquin Phoenix to blossom.
This category, however, has been dominated by a bunch of forgettable pieces. Avengers: Endgame (2019), Marriage Story (2019), Frozen II (2019) and even Pain and Glory (2019) were all average at best. Us (2019) is more of a nod towards Get Out (2018), and its presence seems like a stretch too. At the same time, I’m still waiting on Little Women (2019), 1917 (2019), Bombshell (2019), Jojo Rabbit (2019) and the new Star Wars movie to have the full picture.
It’s a pleasant surprise to see Nicholas Britell’s work on The King (2019) getting some appeal too. With its poignant, beautifully melancholic vibe, it surely enriched David Michod’s film.
Who are we missing in Music (Original Score) category?
A few names belong to this list by all means.
As I mentioned in my list of best scores of 2019, Glass (2019) might have been a failure but its score was on fire. And since Split (2019) didn’t bring West Dylan Thordson a nomination, Glass (2019) should have. I am also sad not to see A Hidden Life (2019) score on the board shortlist – its magical soundtrack was Oscar-worthy too.
Parasite (2019) had also devised a phenomenal score, and its Best Original Song mention – A Glass of Soju – doesn’t change much.
But the true shock is no praise for The Lighthouse (2019), which might be worrying and mark that the Academy will most likely diminish its role.
Oh, and did I mention Midsommar (2019)?
Bobby Krlic’s string-rich score painted the narrative’s final moments, and its fiddling with folklore and sound design made an interesting, if not risky undertaking. Still it’s been a curious piece, that should have been shortlisted as well.
Visual Effects Category in Oscars 2020
Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) might be the Suicide Squad (2016) of this year, marking the shittiest movie to close onto an Oscar in this year’s race. I’m happy that the Oscar voters forgot about Godzilla: The King Of Monsters (2019) though.
Again, the lack of The Lighthouse (2019) is mostly frustrating here. I’d also point out the fact that Ari Aster’s Midsommar (2019) didn’t make the cut here, despite its ferociously ambitious design and practical effects.
The Oscars 2020 ceremony will be held on the 10th of February, 2020.