This year’s film awards season is coming to an end this week with the popular polarizing event known as the Academy Awards. With a growing distaste for the film industry and questionable decisions of the film academy, here are some of my favorite performances and film facets of 2019.
Best Actor in a Lead Role: Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Sometimes the hardest thing an actor can do is be a real person in front of a camera. Too often, composure is taken for granted and attention is diverted to an actor going off the wall. This emotional, rooted performance stood out the most for me this year.
Best Actress in a Lead Role: Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Looks like the Oscars forgot about this movie since it came out in February, but I have not. Lupita Nyong’o not only plays two different characters, but she’s playing two characters playing each other, pretending to be each other ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
Best Cinematography: The Lighthouse
Shooting in 4:3 ratio in a small set emulated the cramped feeling the characters experienced in “The Lighthouse.” Difficult to create but splendidly done, this intriguing film should not be ignored.
Best Disney Remake: Aladdin
Despite major media backlash over the presentation of the genie and a terrible first 10 minutes, the cast has incredible chemistry and manages to pull together a film with incredible heart and individuality. This can’t be said for all the other Disney remakes this year.
Directing: Greta Gerwig
The Academy needs to get their vision checked. They must be blind for passing over Greta Gerwig three years in a row. Her contribution to cinema will not be overlooked by The Point.
Best Documentary: For Sama
Most often, this is the category that no one watches, but this year’s documentaries were consistently impactful, especially “For Sama.” Footage captured during the siege of Aleppo by a young mother illustrates the horror of war first hand, bringing to screen the humanity we normally see as only statistics.
Best Comic Book Film: Joker
Movie theaters this year were dominated by “Avengers: Endgame,” the biggest and most profitable superhero/comic book film to ever hit theaters. But surprising to some, the greatest film about a comic book character this year was easily “Joker.” Defying the norm and taking artistic risks, Joker has opened new avenues for how to make a comic book movie that will hopefully inspire others to take more creative liberties.
Best Score: Joker
With disappointing and unremarkable scores from “Star Wars” and “Avengers” this year, the standout music was from “Joker.” Its intimate sound and unrivaled intensity stood out against the big-budget, giant orchestra arrangements.
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Jojo Rabbit
It takes a great writer to make a palatable story of a young Nazi and his imaginary friend Hitler, rather than another film of old guys sitting around a table.
Best Writing (Original Screenplay): Marriage Story
Composed entirely of sitting and talking, walking and talking and crying and talking, “Marriage Story” continues to be compelling throughout its runtime. The excellent writing given to the actors has excellent spacing and relatability that coats the entire film.
Best Movie that no one went to see: Booksmart
A lot of great movies attract no one at the box office and the best one this year was definitely “Booksmart.” Low theater attendance and ticket sales had this film pulled from theaters quickly, but Olivia Wilde’s take on the high school stoner experience for girls was excellent and worth your dollar.
Best Sound Mixing: Ford v Ferrari
Recreating the sounds and effects from these super loud cars and placing them in a circuit without blowing your speakers out is way harder than you’d expect.
Best Visual Effects: The Lion King
This film had a lot of problems ranging from lack of heart, being a cash grab, and fighting the fact no one wanted this. Regardless, the effects are amazing. Worth seeing on the big screen, this film was breathtaking at moments and unparalleled in visual effects.
Best Picture: Marriage Story
2019 was an excellent year for movies, especially those on streaming services. The movie that stood out the most was accessible to anyone, full of heart, and excelled in every aspect of filmmaking. The direction, the score, the writing and performances; every bit of this movie collates so perfectly it felt like the obvious choice.
Written by: Tony Le Calvez