I saw a tweet by the awesome Amy Smith that gave her congratulations to Elizabeth Moss for winning the 2021 Best Actress award at the Oscars for The Invisible Man. It was a downright funny tweet. But it made me think, three months into the year, what would win the awards if we could only go by films so far. Let’s have a look.
Disclaimer. For UK people, I have to go by the Academy rules on this one so films like 1917, Jojo Rabbit are not eligible. Soz.
The Way Back
The most Oscar-friendly film to be released thus far and the one that if it was released later in the year would have possibly been a contender. But as you will see throughout the rest of this piece, there are so many contenders due to the compacted nature of this idea.
The Invisible Man
Could The Invisible Man really win an Oscar, even in this imaginary world we have just created? Yes, it could. It is a smart film that at times could be seen more like a thriller than horror and in truth, the best horror films are usually ones that become more than the genre itself.
There are of course many other nominees, but I thought I would go with what the Academy loves the most and that is a redemption story. So I would go with The Way Back.
Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man), Pedro Costa (Vitalina Varela) are nominees but…
I am going with…
Celine Sciamma (A Portrait of A Lady on Fire)
I had wanted to keep this simple and go for one per category, but damn if there haven’t been some great pieces of directing this year already.
As mentioned previously, Whannell was so creative with The Invisible Man that he would deserve a nomination at the very least in this truncated world. But it is very hard to look past Celine Sciamma’s A Portrait of A Lady on Fire. It is astoundingly beautiful. Then we have Pedro Costa’s Vitalina Varela which is as a humbling film. Much like the majority of Costa’s work. Too many people have slept on this auteur and his work should be more widely known to the cinema-going public. In the end, I would most likely go for A Portrait of A Lady on Fire, which strangely would be eligible for All categories except for Best International Film due to being released 13 days too early in France in September.
Elizabeth Moss (The Invisible Man), Noemie Merlot (A Portrait of A Lady on Fire), Vitalina Varela (Vitalina Varela) are nominees, but…
Though I am going with…
Sidney Flanigan (Never Rarely Sometimes Always)
Again I thought about it at the beginning and I would almost go with Amy’s pick of Elizabeth Moss. It is a performance that has to drive the film and keep the audiences invested. If we lose our interest in her and her wellbeing, then the film is lost. But then I thought about it more and I become a little stuck on who to choose here. Noemie Merlot is so good in Portrait, yet Vitalina Varela is breathtaking in her performance even if it is a film based on her real life. She is taking what really happened and acting it out again. It is a truly wonderful performance.
However, I would be tempted to give it to Sidney Flanigan for her performance in Never Rarely Sometimes Always. It is such an empathic and emotional performance that you can only admire it. A true tough one.
Best Supporting Actress
Adèle Haenel (A Portrait of A Lady on Fire)
Who is truly the lead in Portrait? It is hard to judge, but it would be folly to have both in the supporting category so I split them. I do not think any other supporting role was as well acted this year so far than in Adele Haenels performance in A Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Ben Affleck (The Way Back)
Without Affleck, in the role, the film for me just isn’t as strong. Is it because of his past that it makes it more real? I am not sure, but it is a powerful performance and the one that stands out amongst any others this year thus far.
Best Supporting Actor
Jim Carrey (Sonic The Hedgehog)
From all reports, Carrey somehow steals a film that is about a blue alien looking hedgehog that goes super fast… He knew what he had to do for the role and he did it. If anything he just needs to receive one after not even getting a nomination for various films!
Best International Film
It really is a beautiful film and when it gets proper UK releases it should be watched by many. Truly heartbreaking. Allow this to be an excuse to deep-dive into Pedro Costas work at the very least.
Vitalina Varela is breathtaking to look at, barely a shot in the entire film would be misplaced in a gallery. The use of light in a predominately dark film is exceptional. For proof of what I am talking about, check out the trailer below.
Well, that’s it for this one. I didn’t want to go too deep into the categories as I would really only be picking films to pick films at that point. What do you think of my selections? Would you choose something else? Let me know.