Notes on the 95th Academy Awards Ceremony

I was holding on to these for a post-Oscars episode of A Night at the Opera where we’d go over our reaction to the ceremony at large, but we need to delay our next recording far longer than anyone will even want to hear about the last Oscar ceremony (in fact we are already past that point nearly two weeks out). As such, so that these doofy notes don’t go to waste, I present my unadulterated thoughts on the Oscar ceremony below.


  • Britt had 17 correct.
  • Erickh and I both had 16 correct.

We shall accordingly bully Britt for being a nerd.

Best Dress: Allison Williams

Also pretty fond of Angela Bassett’s dress

Most “That’s Gonna Be Annoying The Person Behind Them: Tems

Best Musical Performance: Lady Gaga singing “Hold My Hand”

Best wins of the ceremony:

  1. Ruth Carter for Best Costume Design
  2. Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson’s Pinocchio for Best Animated Feature

Worst wins of the ceremony:

  1. Navalny for Best Documentary Feature
  2. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse for Best Animated Short Film
  3. Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Supporting Actress
  4. James Friend for Best Cinematography

(None of these are really judgments on the speeches, I just thought they were collectively the worst of their category)

Best speech of the ceremony: M.M. Keeravani accepting Best Original Song for “Naatu Naatu” alongside Chandrabose by singing his thanks and hopes

Most “I hope this guy is alright” speech: Brendan Fraser hyperventilating whale metaphors, poor guy most have been so anxious when he knew this was not landing.


  • Speaking of Fraser, I’m happy if Ke Huy Quan and Brendan Fraser are happy but I hope this is the end of the internet’s very weird coddling of them two and specifically the industry’s sycophancy for them after blatantly ostracizing Ke and outright abusing Fraser. I hope they have the long careers they want from here on out and they seem legit grateful for the support, but the tone of the support has felt really condescending to me for a minute.
  • Tom Cruise’s feelings evidently was so hurt by Judd Apatow that the greatest stunt he couldn’t surmount was the possibility of being in a room where Jimmy Kimmel says such softball jokes as “L. Ron Hubba Hubba” (yes, I know his reps said he wanted to avoid Nicole Kidman. I call bullshit. It’s far more likely he just didn’t attend because he was taking over for Lady Gaga on the set of Joker 2 thereby freeing her up at the last second to perform. Looking forward to the scene where Harley Quinn sky-dives off Mount Everest.)
  • Speaking of “Naatu Naatu”, very amusing that a song whose thesis is explicitly “only Indians can dance worth shit” ended up performed at the Oscars with, I think, no Indian dancers.
  • “Malala land” is a big time lowlight, Jimmy Kimmel was so annoying in this ceremony (after being pretty great with the ceremony for 2016 film) and him asking Malala Yousafzai to vamp an answer was the worst part. Please no more hosts unless those hosts are either:
    Vince Staples
    George Wallace
    Erykah Badu
  • A hoarse-voiced Elizabeth Banks and a Cocaine Bear suit-fella (when he wasn’t annoying Malala ) discussing the Best Visual Effects nominees through pantomime was the highlight (for the record, Cocaine Bear would be a much better film with a dude in a bear suit, come on).
  • In general, a lot more respect for the craft of film and interest by the presenters in talking about what it is they are presenting the award for. Several categories in which they actually picked out something in each nominee that earned their nomination. That’s nice, the Oscars usually pretends they’re above that shit. Best instance of this was Michael B. Jordan and Jonathan Majors bring up talk about cinematography shortly after doing that Goku-Vegeta fistbump walking on-stage.
  • The internet is still being annoying like it always is a couple of weeks after the Oscars, but I will say there are three potential instances that would have absolutely caused a shitstorm, in ranking of magnitude:
  1. Women Talking going home empty-handed.
  2. Cate Blanchett pulling the Best Actress upset, ESPECIALLY with Jamie Lee Curtis winning an Oscar earlier in the ceremony.
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front taking Best Picture like it felt for a moment in the first half might have been a possibility. The internet would have gone fucking berserk.
  • Hugh Grant was a real one for that red carpet interview that people are talking shit about. Some of the best facial reactions of his acting career.
  • Sad there’s no gif of that early close-up on Pedro Pascal pointing at the camera when Kimmel is joking about the Mandalorian protecting him, that was probably the hottest moment at the ceremony.
  • Possibly the shortest In Memoriam segment ever and this was pulled by leaving so many names out. Having Charlbi Dean missing when she’s the star of a movie nominated for Best Picture there and missing Paul Sorvino on the same montage that has Ray Liotta is a look. My set of most disappointing absences:
  1. Sacheen Littlefeather (responsible for one of the most notorious events in Oscar history and she should have been acknowledged especially after the Academy’s public apology to her)
  2. Gene LeBell (the legendary stunt coordinator who made Steven Seagal soil himself, especially given Brad Pitt won an Oscar for playing a character inspired by him)
  3. Ricou Browning (the man responsible for some of my favorite underwater action in the form of maybe my favorite movie monster ever)
  4. David Warner (one of the best actors of my age)
  5. Fred Ward (one of my picks for the coolest actors of my age)
  6. Kevin Conroy (Batman: Mask of the Phantasm was a movie, it counts)
  7. Pat Carroll (in the same ceremony where they advertised Melissa McCarthy taking over her role in The Little Mermaid remake)
  8. Julee Cruise (maybe a stretch since Twin Peaks is more television than film but Angelo Badalamenti was on the montage and she did work on David Lynch’s films)

And then the other notable absences: Leslie Jordan, Anne Heche, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Phillip Baker Hall, Leiji Matsumoto, Tom Sizemore, Ginger Stanley, Gilbert Gottfried, Chaim Topol, Henry Silva, Leon Vitali, L.Q. Jones, Ruggero Deodato, Bert I. Gordon, Irene Papas, Albert Pyun, Lenny Van Dohlen, Clu Galagher, Jason David Frank, Taylor Hawkins, Joe Turkel and a whole lot of others I must be forgetting. Sure, some of these were longshots for a lot of reasons but some of these were very obvious.

  • Very clean and well put-together designs this year (the color scheme of the theater, the deco lines with tasteful curves, the layout of the nominees behind the presenters as a mash-up) but otherwise this ceremony was overall extremely boring. Like, sure, it’s nice that no one got hurt this time, but I’d love to see shit needed to go down next year. These are fun when things are fucking up and the worst we got was Elizabeth Banks almost tripping on her dress. We need disasters and we need chaos for decent television, especially against the privileged members of the Academy. Will personally volunteer to drop kick a giant Oscar statue or shout fire in the crowded Dolby Theater next year if necessary.

My Favorite Movies of All Time, circa age 30 – #101-91

(Proof that I’m still messing myself up over this list… at the last second, I took a look at my Honorable Mentions and realized “Holy shit, I didn’t include THAT?!” Will not beat my self up anymore, this post will accordingly have 11 entries and you can consider it “one for goodluck”.)

101. The Truman Show (Peter Weir, 1998, USA)

On the one hand, you have a sober yet brilliant examination of what place free will has in the control of a cruel God. On the other hand, you have an ahead-of-its-time dissection of culture’s obsession with every facet of a public personality to the point of no privacy and braindead fixation on the tube. Around the edges is Peter Weir using Andre Niccol’s heady writing as a blueprint for realizing a disorienting facsimile of small-town life, populated with a cast very good at selling the plastic fakeness of the world while also cracking through those performances, and at the center is Jim Carrey channeling all of his goofy energy into a man who is trapped by his world and doing what he can to break the cage.

100. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938, USA)

The platonic ideal of the screwball comedy, driven largely by Katharine Hepburn’s unhinged performance. She’s just pulling out all the stops, unrelenting with her character’s breathless ability to quickly say something to get one up on them and with no real grounding or willingness to let the audience catch their breath. The perfect core for Howard Hawks to hone his sharp fast-paced filmmaking and the perfect aggressor towards Cary Grant’s befuddled victim of her wiles.

99. WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008, USA)

Spoiler alert: this will be the only CGI animated movie that appears and I’m not quite sure I picked the right one for me. But WALL-E doesn’t just display a casual ability to treat animation as grounded cinema attached to the principles of focus, lighting and camera movement and applying those with sophistication towards storytelling. It also carries one of my greatest loves of visual storytelling: the charming ability of a character to communicate a full personality that has hopes and dreams without really speaking. And it carries one of my deepest personal loves: looking up at the stars at night by myself and thinking about what’s beyond that cosmic blanket. With those two anchors, it is no surprise that I’m a sucked for its romantic soul.

98. The Triplets of Belleville (Sylvain Chomet, 2003, France/Belgium/Canada/UK)

A caricature in motion: sketching a variety of novel visual personalities just from the desire to make them look as bizarre as possible and centering around the such recognizable cultural institutions as the music hall and the Tour de France with backgrounds that can’t decide on a single real-world analogue for the very-French city it takes place in. From there, we get a story with just as much weirdness to match: a kidnapping, a conspiracy, the dogged pursuit of a warm and dedicated grandmother. I am willing to accept that I’m warmer to this movie than necessary on account of it having a good dog named Bruno, but I’m also glad that animators working outside of any studio like Chomet were making wholly unique works like this in the 21st Century.

97. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982, USA)

Kind of corny having this in the same post as The Truman Show, isn’t it? In any case, as stimulating as cinema gets: the full impact of high-speed movement, the expanse of the natural and technological world, the thrilling hypnotism of Phillip Glass’ score. My first montage film and maybe it helps that it doesn’t have even a little bit of subtlety – thematically or atmospherically. But it is simply the ride that does it for me, if I may be forgiven for sounding like a dazed undergrad talking about this movie. I was a dazed undergrad when I first watched it.

96. The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau, 1924, Germany)

The camera and the face are such a perfect pair together and you’ll see a lot of movies on this list that stress that collaboration. The Last Laugh is one of the primary examples I think of regarding the representation of a face as an emotional anchor, given how the silent cinema necessitates the most expressive performances to function and Jannings was one of the most expressive performers of that era. Murnau’s guiding of the audience to intimate levels of watching the weary sadness on this poor humiliated man’s face is just the movie making no illusions about whose heartbreak we’re gonna feel. Assuming you cut the movie before the last scene, of couse.

95. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Werner Herzog, 1972, West Germany/Mexico)

Nowadays, Herzog stakes his claim as a crazy man who makes documentaries about volcanoes but once upon a time he was a crazy man who made movies about crazy men (often in the jungle). One could try and play dimestore psychiatrist about this approach to making art, but it resulted in a good crop of movies portraying the external collapse of an already dangerous mind within the pressures of an uncaring natural world. There’s not argument that the pinnacle of these portraits center around the infamously violent screen presence of Klaus Kinski and this always strikes me as the purest exemplar of Herzog and Kinski’s very volatile work together. Just leave a madman floating in the middle of the river and watch him break down as a mirror to the world.

94. My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007, Canada)

If we’re to have autobiographical films, they may as well defer to their subjectivity on some level but Guy Maddin’s memoir is less deferential and more just jumping headfirst into a swirling mass of pseudohistories, Oedipal complexes, silent film, and a dream logic that really barely holds them together except by the strength of its associative momentum. My first introduction to Maddin, a much unreliable one that promised whether or not I could believe what was before my eye… I’d be thrilled.

93. Park Row (Samuel Fuller, 1952, USA)

All the President’s Men is normally the go-to choice for “Best Movie About the Press” and it’s certainly a masterpiece that made me consider a future in it. But when it comes to cheat-thumping passionate declarations about what the journalist truly brings to society, it has to be Samuel Fuller’s passion project where he uses all of his powers as a filmmaker of melodrama and masculinity to advocate for an idealized social honesty that could save the nation allegedly. Could a man who didn’t believe so passionately in this lost cause come up with something as hokey as beating a man against a statue of Benjamin Franklin?

92. The Fall (Tarsem Singh, 2006, USA/India)

If you ask me to talk about movie images that branded themselves in my brain, this will likely be the most recent movie I pull from. It’s not just gorgeous, but it’s fully audacious: Tarsem Singh used all that music video goodwill to shape a globetrotting adventure lifting in inspirational from nearly every culture in the world and the only thing that could bring the illogical heights is grounding it to a story of two friends translating the way they see hope and hopeless in their lives into a word game. On top of its marvelous location photography and florid colors and designs, it maybe boasts the best costumes of Ishioka Eiko’s way too small film career but one could say that of all Ishioka’s work.

91. The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925, USA)

The quintessential showcase of Chaplin’s deft ability to weave his sincere sentimentality and his uproarious sense of physical humor. So good that he can make light of the horrifying possibility of frost and cannibalism and the general bloodthirsty nature of desperate men without ever spoiling the fun or pretending the peril isn’t real. I can guarantee if you hear his name, the first image in your mind is something from this picture: his blank face hanging over dancing dinner rolls, the teetering house on the edge of the cliff, the casual repast of a boiled boot. For me, it’s his sad tramp standing in silhouette against a party all alone in the shadows. Don’t know what that says about me.

Final Predictions for the 95th Academy Awards

Just fresh off of watching the last of the 54 nominees, just fresh off of recording the latest episode of A Night at the Opera pre-gaming for tomorrow’s ceremony, and I’m pretty happy to say: I’m kind of jazzed over how uncertain my nominations are here. Not necessarily because I like the nominees – hell, the favorite of the competition is a movie I flat out do not like – but just the anticipation is intoxicating. It feels like we haven’t had this unpredictability since the 88th Oscars at least. Anyway, I’ll elaborate on my thought process for each prediction, my picks, what I think should have been nominated and for the rest of the fun, listen to podcast to listen to Britt, Erickh, and myself hash it out.

Let’s see how I fare at the end of tomorrow evening.


  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • The Fabelmans
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • Women Talking

PREDICTION: Everything Everywhere All at Once
MY PICK: The Fabelmans
SHOULD BE HERE: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio

(Britt’s prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Erickh’s prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once)

It’s just the momentum behind it. I’m not nearly as outraged about this: I may not be a fan of Everything Everywhere All at Once, but I really hated the last two winners of Best Picture and EEAAO at least feels more unconventional and non-Oscarbaity than those two (or Green Book if we skip past Parasite being the only worthy winner of the last 5 years).


  • Todd Field – Tár
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness
  • Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

SPOILER: Steven Spielberg
MY PICK: Steven Spielberg
SHOULD BE HERE: James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water

(Britt’s Prediction: The Daniels
Erickh’s Prediction: The Daniels)

A little less certain here than the Best Picture win but I can’t see the Academy seeing a reason to break the Picture-Director synchronicity to award it to an already twice-awarded titan, except that Spielberg is way better.


  • Ana de Armas – Blonde
  • Cate Blanchett – Tár
  • Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
  • Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
  • Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

PREDICTION: Michelle Yeoh
SPOILER: Cate Blanchett
MY PICK: Michelle Yeoh
SHOULD BE HERE: Viola Davis – The Woman King

(Britt’s Prediction: Michelle Yeoh
Erickh’s Prediction: Michelle Yeoh)

Would be the funniest shit if Andrea Riseborough wins and so I am rooting for it to happen. That said, I really do like all five performances on this slate with Yeoh being the single least objectionable win I can think of for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Won’t shed tears if it goes to anyone else, though. And to be clear… Davis’ performance in The Woman King is better than all of them.


  • Austin Butler – Elvis
  • Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brendan Fraser – The Whale
  • Paul Mescal – Aftersun
  • Bill Nighy – Living

PREDICTION: Brendan Fraser
SPOILER: Austin Butler
MY PICK: Colin Farrell
SHOULD BE HERE: Daniel Giménez Cacho – BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

(Britt’s Prediction: Brendan Fraser
Erickh’s Prediction: Austin Butler)

Pretty confident on the hunger of the Oscars to have not just ONE happy comeback story but TWO of them. That said, my co-host Britt made a very good argument on Oscar’s allergy to Best Actor Comeback Stories after Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler lost to Sean Penn in Milk. If that bias shows up again, Butler’s the one fella who’s in the favorite genre of movies: biopics.


  • Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Hong Chau – The Whale
  • Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

PREDICTION: Angela Bassett
SPOILER: Kerry Condon
MY PICK: Kerry Condon
SHOULD BE HERE: Lashana Lynch – The Woman King

(Britt’s Prediction: Jamie Lee Curtis
Erickh’s Prediction: Jamie Lee Curtis)

I think Bassett has got the exact right set of precursors and I’ll be honest, it never occurred to me that Curtis had any real shot until my co-hosts were predicting her. But I still have to think Chau and Condon have more conversation before Curtis among voters and I wonder how allergic they’ll be to giving Curtis an award over 3 women of color ESPECIALLY if Blanchett ends up succeeding at her upset and taking Actress over Yeoh.


  • Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brian Tyree Henry – Causeway
  • Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
  • Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin

SPOILER: Will Smith walks right back up that stage with his hand ready.
MY PICK: Barry Keoghan
SHOULD BE HERE: Tom Hanks – Elvis

(Britt’s Prediction: Ke Huy Quan
Erickh’s Prediction: Ke Huy Quan)

The award I am the most confident predicting of the night. That’s happening.


  • Todd Field – Tár
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness
  • Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner – The Fabelmans

PREDICTION: Everything Everywhere All at Once
SPOILER: The Banshees of Inisherin
MY PICK: The Banshees of Inisherin
SHOULD BE HERE: James Gray – Armageddon Time

(Britt’s Prediction: The Banshees of Inisherin
Erickh’s Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once)

It only makes sense to use this category to pad the pocket of whatever is winning Best Picture, so I’m feeling steady here. I’m not optimistic to imagine Banshees taking this home, though it’s so obviously the best of the set. Hell, even if we presume EEAAO gets spoiled out, I’m not convinced Tár won’t be the spoiler.


  • Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson, & Ian Stokell – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Ishiguro Kazuo – Living
  • Rian Johnson – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Ehren Kruger, Eric Warren Singer, & Christopher McQuarrie – Top Gun: Maverick
  • Sarah Polley – Women Talking

PREDICTION: Women Talking
SPOILER: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY PICK: Living
SHOULD BE HERE: George Miller & Augusta Gore – Three Thousand Years of Longing (though certainly Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio had a better shot)

(Britt’s Prediction: Women Talking
Erickh’s Prediction: Women Talking)

All three Best Picture nods have a shot here but I can’t imagine the outrage the internet will roll out if Women Talking goes home empty-handed. Even though it’s probably among the least discussed nominees I can think of.


  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • The Sea Beast
  • Turning Red

SPOILER: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
MY PICK: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

(Britt’s Prediction: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
Erickh’s Prediction: Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio)

I honestly think this is anyone’s game outside of The Sea Beast. I think there’s a real shot that Turning Red makes me look like a fucking idiot as the nominee that feels like it’s not even bothering campaign but y’know… the last time I had this vibe that a Disney movie wasn’t working to win was Big Hero 6 and that was an upset of a win. I expect beyond the overnight success of Puss in Boots or the prestige of Pinocchio, it’s that Disney money that will ensure its potential win here. In any case, still better a winner than the fucking shell that also has a good shot.


  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)
  • Argentina, 1985 (Argentina)
  • Close (Belgium)
  • EO (Poland)
  • The Quiet Girl (Ireland)

PREDICTION: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY PICK: This is a genuinely dire list, the worst I think we’ve seen for this slate in a long time. I guess, EO.
SHOULD BE HERE: Decision to Leave

(Britt’s Prediction: All Quiet on the Western Front
Erickh’s Prediction: All Quiet on the Western Front)

No real reason to expect disruption to the token Best Picture nominee taking it home, though I do hear a lot more praise for EO over it.


  • All That Breathes
  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • Fire of Love
  • A House Made of Splinters
  • Navalny

PREDICTION: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
SPOILER: Fire of Love
MY PICK: All That Breathes

(Britt’s Prediction: Navalny
Erickh’s Prediction: Navalny)

Fire of Love is the easiest watch of the bunch by a lot. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed has an Oscar alumni behind it and a sense of important messaging that had more staying power than either of the Ukraine/Russian related works (though Navalny is an “easier” watch than A House Made of SplintersSplinters is a good movie though and Navalny is a piece of shit). Going with All the Beauty and the Bloodshed with a bit of uncertainty behind my prediction.


  • The Elephant Whisperers
  • Haulout
  • How Do You Measure a Year?
  • The Martha Mitchell Effect
  • Stranger at the Gate

PREDICTION: Stranger at the Gate
SPOILER: The Elephant Whisperers
MY PICK: Haulout

(Britt’s Prediction: The Elephant Whisperers
Erickh’s Prediction: The Elephant Whisperers)

Same principle as the Doc Feature category: Elephant Whisperers is an easy watch enough to be a spoiler, but Stranger at the Gate has the sense of “social relevance”, specifically the condescending kind of white Oscar voters will pat themselves on the back for even though it tokenizes both Muslim people and PTSD-inflected veterans. That’s catnip for them.


  • An Irish Goodbye
  • Ivalu
  • Night Ride
  • Le Pupille
  • The Red Suitcase

PREDICTION: An Irish Goodbye
SPOILER: Le Pupille
MY PICK: The Red Suitcase

(Britt’s Prediction: Le Pupille
Erickh’s Prediction: An Irish Goodbye)

Straight up, An Irish Goodbye had the best audience response out of the nominees when I saw these shorts in the theater. Le Pupille does have the pedigree behind it and the last time I counted that out was last year’s win for The Long Goodbye but c’mon… it can’t possibly happen again, could it? Especially since Cuarón and Rohrwacher aren’t ON-SCREEN like Riz Ahmed was.


  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse
  • The Flying Sailor
  • Ice Merchants
  • An Ostrich Told Me the World is Fake and I Think I Believe It
  • My Year of Dicks

PREDICTION: The Boy, the Mole, Yada yada
SPOILER: An Ostrich Told Me the Yada was Yada
MY PICK: Ice Merchants

(Britt’s Prediction: The Boy, The Mole, and the other fuckers
Erickh’s Prediction: My Year of Dicks)

Again, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse had… some audience response. People laughed at a late reveal but people were also murmuring about how great it was. Clearly soulless people, but in any case, it feels like the most popular of this bunch despite being the only movie that’s a piece of shit and besides which the universe hates me enough to constantly let my least favorite nominee in this slate win.


  • Volker Bertelmann – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Justin Hurwitz – Babylon
  • Son Lux – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • John Williams – The Fabelmans

SPOILER: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY PICK: Babylon
SHOULD BE HERE: Michael Giacchino – The Batman

(Britt’s Prediction: All Quiet on the Western Front
Erickh’s Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once)

I honestly was not expecting to predict Babylon for anything, looking at this slate. It just feels right. Maybe it’s blinding me from it being pit against four Best Picture nominees, including one as my spoiler with a really weird enough score to stand out (though in my opinion a terrible way). But it’s pure vibes for me here.


  • “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman
  • “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick
  • “Life Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • “Naatu Naatu” from RRR
  • “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once

PREDICTION: “Naatu Naatu”
SPOILER: “Hold My Hand”
MY PICK: “Naatu Naatu”
SHOULD BE HERE: “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing if I’m sticking to shortlist items, but I think it’s ridiculous The Bob’s Burgers Movie didn’t make the shortlist at all.

(Britt’s Prediction: “Naatu Naatu”
Erickh’s Prediction: “Naatu Naatu”)

The internet is clamoring for RRR to get something at the Oscars, “Naatu Naatu” is the only song that is a musical number, and come on have you really heard anybody talk about the other nominees?


  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Elvis
  • Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTION: Top Gun: Maverick
SPOILER: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY PICK: Elvis

(Britt’s Prediction: Top Gun: Maverick
Erickh’s Prediction: Top Gun: Maverick)

If Top Gun is taking any trophy, it’d have to be this one. Still if All Quiet on the Western Front will make anything like the fuss it made back at the BAFTAs, this seems the place to begin its upset run.


  • Rick Carter & Karen O’Hara – The Fabelmans
  • Dylan Cole, Ben Procter, & Vanessa Cole – Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Christian M. Goldbeck & Ernestine Hipper – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, & Bev Dunn – Elvis
  • Florencia Martin & Anthony Carlino – Babylon

SPOILER: Babylon
MY PICK: Avatar: The Way of Water
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Akin McKenzie & Christophe Dalberg – The Woman King

(Britt’s Prediction: Babylon
Erickh’s Prediction: Elvis)

Sticking to my presumption that the only shot Babylon has in this awards is score, I’m picking Elvis as the next showiest of the bunch especially in tandem with Best Costume Design.


  • Roger Deakins – Empire of Light
  • James Friend – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Florian Hoffmeister – Tár
  • Darius Khondji – Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
  • Mandy Walker – Elvis

PREDICTION: All Quiet on the Western Front
MY PICK: Bardo, in maybe my least favorite slate of the whole awards.
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Janusz Kaminski – The Fabelmans

(Britt’s Prediction: Elvis
Erickh’s Prediction: Elvis)

Feels like anybody’s pick but All Quiet on the Western Front is the one that may make an upset sweep for sure and this would have to be square one.


  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Elvis
  • The Whale

MY PICK: Elvis
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Crimes of the Future

(Britt’s Prediction: Elvis
Erickh’s Prediction: The Whale)

If I picked Fraser for his transformation, it would only make sense to go with the make-up that facilitated that transformation. In turn, if Elvis wins this, we can be sure Butler is taking home that Actor trophy.


  • Jenny Beavan – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
  • Ruth Carter – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Shirley Kurata – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Catherine Martin – Elvis
  • Mary Zophres – Babylon

SPOILER: Babylon
MY PICK: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE: Kym Barrett – Three Thousand Years of Longing

(Britt’s Prediction: Elvis
Erickh’s Prediction: Elvis)

Same principle as Production Design. Elvis takes that, it’s taking this one. If Babylon takes that one, mayyyybe it’ll take this as well (it’ll certainly deserve it more than Production Design) but also this slate has some pretty hard contenders with Mrs. Harris being the only certain loser. But really I’d have to go with a biopic portraying the most gaudily dressed stage performer outside of Liberace and Elton John.


  • Eddie Hamilton – Top Gun: Maverick
  • Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Paul Rogers – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Matt Villa & Jonathan Redmond – Elvis
  • Monika Willi – Tár

PREDICTION: Everything Everywhere All at Once
SPOILER: Top Gun: Maverick
MY PICK: Top Gun: Maverick
SHOULD BE HERE: Margaret Sixel – Three Thousand Years of Longing

(Britt’s Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once
Erickh’s Prediction: Everything Everywhere All at Once)

Top Gun: Maverick definitely has a good chance here but Everything Everywhere All at Once needs good padding as the Best Picture favorite – I think my final tally of awards it’s taking is five – and it definitely has that show-offy MOST editing that usually takes this award.


  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Top Gun: Maverick

PREDICTION: Avatar: The Way of Water
SPOILER: Someone busts into the Dolby Theatre announcing they object to this union.
MY PICK: Avatar: The Way of Water

(Britt’s Prediction: Avatar: The Way of Water
Erickh’s Prediction: Avatar: The Way of Water)

One could argue the sole purpose of Avatar is to coo over bleeding-edge effects. There IS more to Avatar than that, but I mean on obvious glance.

My Favorite Movies of All Time, circa age 30 – An Introduction

I feel like a feature with that title shouldn’t really need an introduction post as it’s pretty self-explanatory. But this was cooking for about a year now and the ceremony of finally putting it to post does necessitate context to my mindset, I feel. In fact this was really simmering a little longer: on my 24th birthday 6 1/2 years back, I posted my 100 favorite movies around that time and THAT in itself was a response to a 4-year-earlier list that I acknowledged as being “immediately outdated”. I knew at the time I typed those words, the sentiment would hold true now to the 4 year list and thought about making a regularity of rewriting the list a la how Sight & Sound check in every ten years (and how appropriate for me to have been brought into the world in 1992, in pattern for S&S‘s practice). But even now I understand my unwillingness to bind myself to a selection of movies as unsteady as this very list that I’ll be spending the next few days breaking down into ten posts of ten entries.

Part of my problem taking so long by moving my target date – originally I entertained (but did not commit) to making it my 29th birthday post as five years after the last incarnation; then I decided on the occasion of my 30th birthday for the personal centennial factor; then I figured I could push it back as long as I did it while I’m still 30 – was how often I found myself neurotically second-guessing and re-arranging and removing and including movies all throughout, at points tempting myself with “do I really need to stop at 100?” But eventually there came an uncomfortable truth that I had to face: 9 months through my 30th year in life… I was not going to be physically able to write another word on this hear blog without finally posting this list, revisions be damned. And now I’m pushing myself to accept what I have and open it up.

How did I do that? Kind of by finally embracing the arbitrariness of such a task: my whims may have fluctuated within an hour, making this a never-ending game of musical chairs, that’s fine… it captures a precise moment in which my mind said “yes, this is a 100 movie list that I love” and that is sufficient for me. It’s a snapshot of a moment in the past that’s still near enough I can relate to the fella a few weeks ago that said “OK, this is the one I’m gonna post”. This certainly is not the list of 100 movies that I think are better than any other movie I’ve ever seen, but that’s fine… that’s the illusion of objectivity that I may entertain yearning for but deep down know is never achievable. And the biggest gripe is that maybe it’s not even THE 100 movies I love more than any other. Probably most of them, but not all of them… but that’s fine too because it is a list of 100 movies I love enough to consider personal masterpieces.

Anyway, even while trying to accept the whim of the listmaking, I still made myself abide by certain rules, some of which you may remember from the last incarnation of this list.

  • No movies released in the last ten years. If I was talking shit about the Sight & Sound list having them, obviously I need to be my own example. Besides, y’all heard me talk enough about Mandy.
  • 3 movie maximum per director. I was discussing this with a friend about a week ago but I feel like there was never any real threat to this rule – my three favorite directors represented on the list have two movies each – except for one particular silent filmmaker.
  • No miniseries (though I will confess to two of the films on my list technically count as television). There’s a real difference between the two artforms, y’all. I love Twin Peaks, Scenes from a Marriage, Dekalog, and Fanny and Alexander. They’re all tv, though, and just because an acclaimed filmmaker is making them and they stand out above the usual form of television doesn’t disqualify them. Maybe I’m particularly eager to play fair with this because I mostly dislike television, so I don’t want to paint exceptions to my dislike as exceptions to the form.
  • No movies I watched for the first time in the last year. This one is a new one I’m applying on the merit of feeling like I haven’t really sunk in with a movie if it’s too fresh in my mind, similar to the “no movie from the last ten years” rule. An attitude I sort of had 7 years ago as well, but back in 2016 I didn’t feel like I’d seen nearly enough movies to impose that rule on myself.

And I guess before we finally begin our hand, I guess I should give an impression of what movies are to come: since the last list, I’ve eased myself into adding 21st Century films, including one selection from the 2010s. I also found myself eager to shovel in as many silent and musical films without feeling the proportion would be contrived. In addition to that devotion to the silent era, there’s a good amount of post-War era pictures there. In spite of that post-War element, I do find myself shocked with only fitting in one true blue film noir (which I consider to be restricted to American cinema in the 1940s) with neo-noir outnumbering it in representation, but I don’t have any qualms with my one pick for that suite and I imagine that it’s a consequence of my preferred kind of post-War cinema being based in Japan. I surprised myself by the amount of short films on the list (two of which premiered on television) and haven’t decided if my horror fandom is adequately represented. And of course, I do devote space to animated films – shorts AND features – but I do wish I could have made room for films outside of the usual big studios one could name. I think the most conscious element was trying to represent some of my favorite filmmakers (a lot of whom simply did not make the cut and it’s killing me what the absences are), but what really threw me aback for some were the selection of movies I found myself more eager to have represent my taste than what I would have responded kneejerk maybe a week prior.

Hey, it’s all intuition. Would be absolutely no fun if I knew exactly what I was setting to pen here from the word go.

The resultant list is mine and will remain mine, even after I take a peek a month from now and go “Agh! What was I thinking not including such-and-such?!” and even after I determine the next instance where I’m going to revisit and update this list with all the new movies I just discovered and watched and all the new ways I look at the last ten years of moviemaking with appropriate distance. It’ll just be a different past version of mine.

Anyway, I gotta stop stalling. There’s no turning back from here. Let’s dive in!