The Oscars

Carolyn McAndrews, Reviewer

“I would like to thank the academy for nominating me for this award”. It’s that time of year again… and no I’m not talking about Girl Scout cookie season nor am I talking about all the bitter lonely people out there realizing they are once again spending Valentine’s day home alone while their friends have a significant other, I’m talking about the Oscars!!

Now some of you may be asking, what are the Oscars? Well, the Oscars is the nickname for one of the golden statuettes given as an Academy Award. Then you may be saying, Carolyn everyone knew that, but who cares? Well, here’s why you should care – all of us have watched a movie at some point in our lives. We’ve laughed, cried, had our hearts broken, and have been scared out of our pants because of a movie. We have also seen people we idolize perform in these movies, and the Oscars are a way of giving our favorite celebrities credit for all their hard work.

Here’s a breakdown of the categories and the nominees for you…

The first category that’ll be talked about in this article is Best Picture. “And the winner for Best Picture is…” The winner of this award goes to the producers of the film and this is actually the only category in which every member of the Academy is eligible to submit a nomination. While this is the first category in this article, it’s actually the last award to be handed out. It is last because it is considered the most prestigious honor of the ceremony. Below are the nominees for Best Picture and a film description:

  • “Black Panther”
  • “BlacKKKlansman”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • “The Favourite”
  • “Green Book”
  • “Roma”
  • “A Star Is Born”
  • “Vice”

Black Panther”:

“After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king — and as Black Panther — gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people.”


“From visionary filmmaker Spike Lee comes the incredible true story of an American hero. It’s the early 1970s, and Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) is the first African-American detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department. Determined to make a name for himself, Stallworth bravely sets out on a dangerous mission: infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. The young detective soon recruits a more seasoned colleague, Flip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), into the undercover investigation of a lifetime. Together, they team up to take down the extremist hate group as the organization aims to sanitize its violent rhetoric to appeal to the mainstream. Produced by the team behind the Academy-Award® winning Get Out.”

Bohemian Rhapsody”:

“Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Freddie defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound. They reach unparalleled success, but in an unexpected turn Freddie, surrounded by darker influences, shuns Queen in pursuit of his solo career. Having suffered greatly without the collaboration of Queen, Freddie manages to reunite with his bandmates just in time for Live Aid. While bravely facing a recent AIDS diagnosis, Freddie leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. Queen cements a legacy that continues to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day.”

The Favourite”:

“In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead, while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.”

Green Book”:

“Dr. Don Shirley is a world-class African-American pianist, who is about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip, a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighbourhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation.” “Roma”:

“A year in the life of a middle-class family’s maid in Mexico City in the early 1970s.”

A Star Is Born”:

“Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers — and falls in love with — struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer until Jackson coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jackson fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons.”


“Governor George W Bush of Texas picks Dick Cheney, the CEO of Halliburton Co, to be his Republican running mate in the 2000 presidential election. No stranger to politics, Cheney’s impressive résumé includes stints as White House chief of staff, House Minority Whip and defence secretary. When Bush wins by a narrow margin, Cheney begins to use his newfound power to help reshape the country and the world.”

I have seen, “Black Panther”, “BlacKKKlansman”, and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Check out reviews on the Clarion… and I will definitely be surprised to see who wins this category! From what I’ve seen, it can go either way.

The next category to talk about is Lead Actor, this award is given in recognition of the important nature of this work. The nominees are:

  • Christian Bale, “Vice”
  • Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
  • Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
  • Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Lead Actress is the next category I’ll talk about in this article. This award is also given in recognition of the important nature of this work. The nominees for lead actress are:

  • Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
  • Glenn Close, “The Wife”
  • Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
  • Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
  • Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

The next categories are Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress. A supporting actor is an actor who performs a role in a play or film below that of the leading actor(s), and above that of a bit part. The nominees for Supporting Actor are:

  • Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
  • Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
  • Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
  • Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Supporting Actress nominees:

  • Amy Adams, “Vice”
  • Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
  • Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
  • Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

The next category to talk about is that of Director. The Academy Award for Best Director (officially known as the Academy Award for Best Directing) is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of a film director who has exhibited outstanding directing while working on the film. The nominees are:

  • Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
  • Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
  • Adam McKay, “Vice”

Animated Feature is the next category. An animated feature is defined by the Academy as a film with a running time of more than 40 minutes in which characters’ performances are created using a frame-by-frame technique, a significant number of the major characters are animated, and animation figures in no less than 75 percent of the running time. The nominees are:

  • “Incredibles 2”, Brad Bird
  • “Isle of Dogs”, Wes Anderson
  • “Mirai”, Mamoru Hosoda
  • “Ralph Breaks the Internet”, Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
  • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

An Animated Short is a short film that is defined as an original motion picture that has a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits. The nominees are:

  • “Animal Behaviour”, Alison Snowden, David Fine
  • “Bao”, Domee Shi
  • “Late Afternoon”, Louise Bagnall
  • “One Small Step”, Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
  • “Weekends”, Trevor Jimenez

The Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay is one of the Academy Awards, the most prominent film awards in the United States. It is awarded each year to the writer of a screenplay adapted from another source (usually a novel, play, short story, or TV series but sometimes another film). The nominees are:

  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”, Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
  • “BlacKkKlansman”, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
  • “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
  • “If Beale Street Could Talk”, Barry Jenkins
  • “A Star Is Born”, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

The Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay is the Academy Award for the best screenplay not based upon previously published material. … In 2002, the name of the award was changed from Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) to Writing (Original Screenplay). The nominees are:

  • “The Favourite”, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
  • “First Reformed”, Paul Schrader
  • “Green Book”, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
  • “Roma”, Alfonso Cuarón
  • “Vice”, Adam McKay

The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work on one particular motion picture. The cinematographer—also known as the Director of Photography, or “DP”—though one of the most obscure members of the production team, is responsible for all the visual elements of a film. The nominees are:

  • “Cold War”, Lukasz Zal
  • The Favourite”, Robbie Ryan
  • “Never Look Away”, Caleb Deschanel
  • “Roma”, Alfonso Cuarón
  • “A Star Is Born”, Matthew Libatique

A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record. The nominees for Best Documentary Feature are:

  • “Free Solo”, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
  • “Hale County This Morning, This Evening”, RaMell Ross
  • “Minding the Gap”, Bing Liu
  • “Of Fathers and Sons”, Talal Derki
  • “RBG”, Betsy West, Julie Cohen

A Short Subject Documentary is defined as a nonfiction motion picture “dealing creatively with cultural, artistic, historical, social, scientific, economic or other subjects”.[1] It may be photographed in actual occurrence, or may employ partial reenactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the emphasis is on fact, and not on fiction. The nominees are:

  • “Black Sheep”, Ed Perkins
  • “End Game”, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
  • “Lifeboat”, Skye Fitzgerald
  • “A Night at the Garden”, Marshall Curry
  • “Period. End of Sentence.”, Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short Film is the next category, this category is about short films that have action shots in them. The nominees are:

  • “Detainment”, Vincent Lambe
  • “Fauve”, Jeremy Comte
  • “Marguerite”, Marianne Farley
  • “Mother”, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
  • “Skin”, Guy Nattiv

The Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film is one of the Academy Awards handed out annually by the U.S.-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. The nominees are:

  • “Capernaum” (Lebanon)
  • “Cold War” (Poland)
  • “Never Look Away” (Germany)
  • “Roma” (Mexico)
  • “Shoplifters” (Japan)

Film editing is a technical part of the post-production process of filmmaking. … On its most fundamental level, film editing is the art, technique and practice of assembling shots into a coherent sequence. The nominees are:

  • “BlacKkKlansman”, Barry Alexander Brown
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”, John Ottman
  • “Green Book”, Patrick J. Don Vito
  • “The Favourite”, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
  • “Vice”, Hank Corwin

The Academy Award for Best Sound Editing is an Academy Award granted yearly to a film exhibiting the finest or most aesthetic sound design or sound editing. Sound editing is the creation of sound effects (such as foley). The nominees are:

  • “Black Panther”, Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”, John Warhurst
  • “First Man”, Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “A Quiet Place”, Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl
  • “Roma”, Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay

The Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing is an Academy Award that recognizes the finest or most euphonic sound mixing or recording and is generally awarded to the production sound mixers and re-recording mixers of the winning film. The nominees are:

  • “Black Panther”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • “First Man”
  • “Roma”
  • “A Star Is Born”

The Academy Award for Best Production Design recognizes achievement for art direction in film. The category’s original name was Best Art Direction, but was changed to its current name in 2012 for the 85th Academy Awards. … It is awarded to the best interior design in a film. The nominees are:

  • “Black Panther”, Hannah Beachler
  • “First Man”, Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
  • “The Favourite”, Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
  • “Mary Poppins Returns”, John Myhre, Gordon Sim
  • “Roma”, Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez

The Academy Award for Best Original Score is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to the best substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring written specifically for the film by the submitting composer. The nominees are:

  • “BlacKkKlansman”, Terence Blanchard
  • “Black Panther”, Ludwig Goransson
  • “If Beale Street Could Talk”, Nicholas Britell
  • “Isle of Dogs”, Alexandre Desplat
  • “Mary Poppins Returns”, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

The Academy Award for Best Original Song is one of the awards given annually to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is presented to the songwriters who have composed the best original song written specifically for a film. The nominees are:

  • “All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
  • “I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
  • “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
  • “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

The Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling is the Academy Award given to the best achievement in makeup and hairstyling for film. Usually, only three films are nominated each year rather than five as in most categories. The nominees are:

  • “Border”
  • “Mary Queen of Scots”
  • “Vice”

The Academy Award for Best Costume Design is one of the Academy Awards presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for achievement in film costume design. The nominees are:

  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”, Mary Zophres
  • “Black Panther”, Ruth E. Carter
  • “The Favourite”, Sandy Powell
  • “Mary Poppins Returns”, Sandy Powell
  • “Mary Queen of Scots”, Alexandra Byrne

The Academy Award for Best Visual Effects is an Academy Award given for the best achievement in visual effects. The nominees are:

  • “Avengers: Infinity War”
  • “Christopher Robin”
  • “First Man”
  • “Ready Player One”
  • “Solo: A Star Wars Story”


I would like to thank the Academy for giving me the opportunity to write about all the wonderful people and films that are nominated. I would also like to thank the OLSH community for reading my reviews.

Now that I’ve finished thanking everyone, it’s your turn to go out and watch the Oscars! Go listen to everyone give sappy speeches, and the Oscars opening are always something funny! So go and enjoy a night of laughter, happiness, and maybe some crying (from the winners, not you… unless you want to cry, I don’t judge). All definitions for the categories are from Google, and the nominations are from Oscar Nominations 2019: The Complete List.