In just a mere few hours, the 92nd Academy Awards will air worldwide, celebrating the supposed best of cinema of 2019. Those you follow my reviews and articles know already that I found 2019 to be a rather sub-par year for film. While there were a few occasional memorable gems, the end result almost felt like a Youtube Rewind-esque year, in which the majority of the movies to come out felt as though they were paying homage to the popular cinematic trends of the 2010’s. Most of this year’s more popular Awards Heavy products were directly influenced by other films from previous years, which did a similar specific trend/cliche better in comparison. So, I digress. To celebrate another annual day of madness, with a total of 53 uniquely different films, here’s my ranking of all the Oscar Nominated films, ranked from least to most favorable; all with a brief blurb, under 50 words each.
53) Breakthrough: The most egregious example of Chrstian propaganda. A bonafide circle jerk in which it’s only purpose is to please prominently privileged white people. The song in which the film is nominated for isn’t even that good! I’m reconsidering if the death of Fox 2000 was actually a blessing in disguise.
52) Maleficent – Mistress of Evil: Another example of forgettable capitalist fluff. The technical elements shine brightly, though the narrative is deeply lacking. Ultimately, another pointless Disney product.
51) The Lion King (2019): Nobody asked for this. It’s pointless, though why should we even be surprised? The VFX work is extraordinary, and the cast is relatively inspired, though the final product lacks energy and soul.
50) Bombshell: Hilariously misguided, monotonous, and hypocritical. Stop giving Fox News a platform please.
49) The Two Popes: Just like Breakthrough, this is another prime example of boomer white propaganda; though this time it’s somewhat competently directed. Though that doesn’t excuse the film of any of it’s cardinal sins. Just briefly mentioning sexual abuse isn’t enough to redeem anyone.
48) Brotherhood: Intriguing premise, though hollow and boorish in execution. Shame that this was the only Canadian Live Action short in this year’s batch of nominees.
47) The Neighbor’s Window: A terribly performed and written short, that admittedly has an interesting inciting conflict vehicle for a potential remake in the future. The resolution however, is preposterous.
46) Saria: An amazing and important story that deserves a feature film, not a short. Condensed, cramped, and bloated, the end result is too rushed for its own good.
45) Frozen 2: I’m slowly starting to notice that Disney is starting to get a little political with their genocide allgories. Too bad that all of them are underdeveloped.
44) Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl): An empowering subject, which is unfortunately told like a lifetime original movi- Wait… THIS IS A LIFETIME ORIGINAL FILM.
43) Life Overtakes Me: Jesus fuck. I honestly don’t have much to say about this one. A bit bland production wise, though the subject matter is a beast. Heartbreaking.
42) Judy: A solid biopic that is frankly all too overhyped. Elizabeth Moss for Her Smell should be in contention, instead of Zellweger.
41) The Cave: Informative, thought-provoking, though a bit too familiar to some other documentaries which have covered similar subjects in the past.
40) Daughter: Ultra-personal and gorgeously handcrafted, though there’s no reason why this couldn’t have been easily a 10 minute short.
39) Les Misérables: Canada’s Antigone did something incredibly similar to this film and succeeded in doing so, while Ladj Ly’s direction almost feels like a Blue Lives Matter fluff piece. The finale is certainly harrowing.
38) Walk Run Cha-Cha: Adorable! Beautiful! Relevant!
37) Sister: A perfect companion piece to Nanfu Wang’s One Child Nation. Quite impressive that this was actually a student film!
36) Memorable: I’ve seen this film twice in theaters, and I still feel as though this film took the most predictable method to tell this story. It’s atmospheric, though it’s never urgent nor even all that engaging. It’s this year’s Still Alice (2014).
35) Hair Love: Would not be against this film winning Best Animated Short!
34) Nefta Football Club: A literal drug mule listens to Adele in this film. It’s hilarious!
33) Kitbull: Meow, Woof!
32) Pain & Glory: Structurally redundant, though it’s heart is in the right place. Easily one of the weaker Pedro Almodóvar films I’ve seen.
31) Star Wars – The Rise of Skywalker: The worst film in the new trilogy by a large margin, though still remarkably enjoyable as a guilty pleasure. Penis light swords have never looked this majestic!
30) For Sama: Heart Wrenchingly personal and brutal. The footage featured in the film is agonizingly painful. Humanity is pretty much fucked with we continue on like this.
29) St. Louis Superman: Unlike Breakthrough, St Louis Superman actually tells a relevant and historically ripe tale of injustice about it’s titular city. As a Canadian, I’m disappointed that America can’t even step up with their gun violence laws. It’s just ridiculous at this point.
28) A Sister: The Guilty (2018) Lite
27) Harriet: Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman is perfect casting! The rest of the film is solid, though eerily formulaic and hollywoodized.
26) Corpus Christi: Nobody expected this film to be nominated for an Oscar. However, it certainly deserves it’s singular nomination. A meticulous dissection on faith and power roles, told through the lens of an ex-convict.
25) Little Women: Wasn’t the biggest fan of the film’s non-linear structure, due to how it halted a lot of the film’s emotional beats, though Gerwig’s heart and soul is always present in every scene. Florence Pugh is a god!
24) Richard Jewell: Clint Eastwood is a boomer. This film is boomer entertainment. Unlike The Two Popes however, Richard Jewell actually has something somewhat interesting to say. The lead performance from Paul Walter Hauser is also quite riveting!
23) Ford V Ferrari: A Victory Lap for the Dads!
22) Honeyland: Beautifully atmospheric and shot, though the end result feels one note. There’s simply just not enough buzz surrounding the film’s subjects! Still, Honeyland is marvelously impressive.
21) In The Absence: A brilliant documentary where the film doesn’t waste time in unnecessary details, and instead focuses on the primary tragedy at hand. Meticulously crafted from hours of footage and documented text, In The Absence is this year’s best oscar nominated short.
20) 1917: Thrillingly directed and undeniably impressive, though it never reaches the emotional heights it originally sets up.
19) The Lighthouse: WHAT?
18) Joker: An engaging analysis on the importance of universal health care and mental health services; until the eventually bloated third act, where Phillips and Co dump every pre-established idea in replacement with a muddled perspective and a glorified endorsement of an impoverished unreliable criminal.
17) Toy Story 4: Is it good? Yes. Is it necessary? HELL NO. The original trilogy was perfect as is. I’m honestly starting to forget this film’s existence.
16) Klaus: Cliche’d, though destined to be a Christmas classic one day. A pure and gentle film, with a heart of gold. Glad that traditional 2D animation is still being resurrected to this very day.
15) Avengers – Endgame: To quote Martin Scorsese, this is a theme park film. Is it still incredibly fun and enjoyable? Obviously. This is easily one of Marvel’s best.
14) The Edge of Democracy: There’s no denying that this film is obviously biased, though the craftsmanship behind the camera is a feat in editing and documentary composition. FREE LULA!
13) How To Train Your Dragon – The Hidden World: Out of all the animated features nominated this year, I honestly think that HTTYD 3 should take the cake. After nearly a decade of creating a marvelously entertaining legacy, it’s time for Dreamworks to be rewarded in creating one of the most memorable franchises of the new millenium.
12) I Lost My Body: As a fan of Jérémy Clapin’s short film filmography, I was a bit underwhelmed by I Lost My Body. The film is still brilliantly atmospheric, though it doesn’t hold a candle to Clapin’s short film and commissioned work.
11) Knives Out: Sharply written, hilarious, and razor sharp with its twists and turns, this is without a doubt Rian Johnson’s best film yet. The one liners in this film are already iconic!
10) Ad Astra: I still can’t get over the fact that Disney funded an 80 Million dollar space odyssey about Daddy Issues. This is an absolute win for James Gray fans worldwide!
9) Rocketman: This basically Bohemian Rhapsody if it wasn’t blatantly homophobic, vapid, nor horrendously directed and edited. Elton John is one of my favorite musicians, and this just proves that his legacy will live on, even when he eventually passes on. This is an Elton John eulogy to the people he’s wronged, and the careers which he has influenced in the past decades.
8) The Irishman: cinema
7) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: This is a film about radical empathy, and emotional resolution. Marielle Heller is already proving herself to be one of the greatest filmmakers of our generation. Sometimes, all we need is a little love and forgiveness.
6) Jojo Rabbit: This is my second favorite Waititi, right next to Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Shame he’s returning back to Marvel soon. Thor: Ragnarok is easily one of his weaker efforts.
5) American Factory: A hypnotic dissection of culture clash, where both working class parties are left unscathed from the powers of consumerist hell.
4) Missing Link: A familiar though pure and unfiltered take on classic mythology and folklore, told through a meticulous stop motion lens.
3) Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood: The contemplation and acknowledgment of a long lost era; a history swapping optimistic retelling of a horrendous tragedy, told from the perspective of a frightened and paranoid celebrity who seeks resolution in the legacy of Sharon Tate.
2) Marriage Story: Noah Baumbach is one of my favorite directors, and Marriage Story further proves that his filmography is perfectly justified for his universal critical acclaim. In a perfect world, Adam Driver would be the front runner for Best Actor.
1) Parasite: Without a doubt, Parasite is easily the best Oscar Nominee this year. Bong Joon-ho’s immaculate screenplay and direction is unmatched. Sometimes, all you need is ripe social commentary and a fuzzy peach to create one the greatest films of the year.
The 92nd Academy Awards Air at 8 PM EST