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🎬 OSCAR PREDICTIONS + Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the Great Escape and more

I forgot to attach emojis to the titles of last week's movies. Please accept my sincerest apologies f
🎬 OSCAR PREDICTIONS + Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, the Great Escape and more
By Eric Johnson • Issue #54 • View online
I forgot to attach emojis to the titles of last week’s movies. Please accept my sincerest apologies for the oversight. Here they are:
💎 Uncut Gems
⚖️ Just Mercy
🤵🏻 The Gentlemen
❎❎ The Great Dictator
If you can find it in your heart to forgive me for this emoji deprivation, please tell a friend to subscribe to this newsletter at bit.ly/esjmovies
Also, I’m splitting up my reviews from this week, saving some for next week’s newsletter to make room for my 2020 Oscar predictions. Scroll down for those.

🏹 Kentucky Fried Movie
Pictured: How this newsletter will be delivered in the year 3020.
Pictured: How this newsletter will be delivered in the year 3020.
After recently revisiting Airplane I decided on a whim to rewatch KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE, the previous film from writer/director trio Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker. It’s an even more loosely connected series of sketches, loosely based around the idea of what you might see flipping channels in the 70s, and further underscores just how much of a fortuitous lightning strike Airplane was. Some of the sketches, like AM Today and Courtroom, show hallmarks of the same humor they’d later be known for, and there are enough chuckles throughout the short runtime that I enjoyed myself. But there are many gags or entire scenes that fall flat, including an elaborate parody of Enter the Dragon that belly flops in the middle of the movie.
🕳 The Great Escape
Pictured: "Oh, we can just walk out? OK, thanks! Bye! ... Let's tell everyone else we escaped."
Pictured: "Oh, we can just walk out? OK, thanks! Bye! ... Let's tell everyone else we escaped."
I had never seen the early blockbuster THE GREAT ESCAPE, but I’m glad I finally remedied that this week. The talented ensemble cast of dozens features great performances by James Garner, Donald Pleasence, Steve McQueen, all playing serial escapists who have been placed in the same German POW camp during World War II. The first half has really fun Big Heist Energy, but I really appreciated that the actual escape attempt, and its aftermath, embraced a darker and more stressful tone, which was much needed after two hours of relatively low stakes. I sometimes had a hard time keeping track of the massive cast of white men (except for McQueen and Coburn, who always stand out), and there are several outdoor shots that look downright ugly by today’s standards. Still, I’m overall glad to have made the time to see it, and now will have the theme music stuck in my head for at least two weeks. 
🎥 Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood
Pictured: Leo's just working on some dance moves, then we'll get back to the movie.
Pictured: Leo's just working on some dance moves, then we'll get back to the movie.
I saw ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD way before any of the other Best Picture nominees, and so decided I should make the time to catch it again in theaters and re-evaluate the film, which I liked but didn’t love on the first go-round. This decision let me appreciate the excellent acting and production design in this movie much more; I wasn’t as focused on the plot and the ending (which had been lightly spoiled for me by a review’s headline, distracting me as I waited for the spoiler to be fulfilled). Overall, my feelings on the movie are largely unchanged — it’s a lot of fun, really well made but uneven, and it doesn’t quite earn its flabby length. But both Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio give excellent performances (I think this is a career-best for DiCaprio, honestly), and I’m currently listening to the incredible soundtrack, for which Quentin Tarantino deserves a special honorary Oscar.
Speaking of which …
👀 Who I'd Vote For in the 2020 Oscars, and Who I Think Will Win
The Oscars are this Sunday! Here’s my ballot and predictions; hopefully I’ll do a little better this time than I did at the Golden Globes.
➡️ = who I want to win
👉 = who I think the Academy will pick
() = I haven’t seen this movie yet
the full list of nominees:
Best sound editing
  • ➡️ Donald Sylvester, “Ford v. Ferrari”
  • Alan Robert Murray, “Joker”
  • 👉 Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate, “1917”
  • Wylie Stateman, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Matthew Wood and David Acord, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Best sound mixing
  • Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano, “Ad Astra”
  • ➡️ Paul Massey, David Giammarco, and Steven A. Morrow, “Ford v. Ferrari”
  • Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, and Tod Maitland, “Joker”
  • 👉 Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson, “1917”
  • Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Best costume design
  • Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson, “The Irishman”
  • Mayes C. Rubeo, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • 👉 Mark Bridges, “Joker”
  • Jacqueline Durran, “Little Women”
  • ➡️ Arianne Phillips, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Best actress in a leading role
  • Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
  • ➡️ Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
  • Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
  • 👉 Renee Zellweger, “Judy”
Best actor in a leading role
  • () Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • ➡️ Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
  • 👉 Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
  • () Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
Best actress in a supporting role
  • Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
  • 👉 Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
  • Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • ➡️ Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
  • () Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
Best actor in a supporting role
  • ➡️ Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
  • () Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
  • Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
  • Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
  • 👉 Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Best original song
  • Randy Newman, “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4″
  • 👉 Elton John and Bernie Taupin, ”(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
  • () Diane Warren, “I’m Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
  • Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II”
  • ➡️ Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo, “Stand Up” from “Harriet”
Best original score
  • 👉 Hildur Gudnadottir, “Joker”
  • Alexandre Desplat, “Little Women”
  • ➡️ Randy Newman, “Marriage Story”
  • Thomas Newman, “1917”
  • John Williams, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Best makeup and hairstyling
  • () Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker, “Bombshell”
  • Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou, “Joker”
  • 👉 Jeremy Woodhead, “Judy”
  • () Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White, “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil”
  • ➡️ Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole, “1917”
Best visual effects
  • Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick, “Avengers: Endgame”
  • Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli, “The Irishman”
  • ➡️ Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman, “The Lion King”
  • 👉 Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy, “1917”
  • Robert Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy, “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”
Best original screenplay
  • ➡️ Rian Johnson, “Knives Out”
  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
  • Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns, “1917”
  • Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • 👉 Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won, “Parasite”
Best adapted screenplay
  • Steven Zaillian, “The Irishman”
  • 👉 Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Todd Phillips and Scott Silver, “Joker”
  • ➡️ Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
  • Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”
Best production design
  • Bob Shaw and Regina Graves, “The Irishman”
  • Ra Vincent and Nora Sopkova, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • 👉 Dennis Gassner and Lee Sandales, “1917”
  • Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • ➡️ Lee Ha Jun and Cho Won-woo, “Parasite”
Best documentary short subject
  • () ➡️ 👉 “In the Absence”
  • () “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
  • () “Life Overtakes Me”
  • () “St. Louis Superman”
  • () “Walk Run Cha-Cha”
Best documentary feature
  • () ➡️ 👉 “American Factory”
  • () “The Cave”
  • () “The Edge of Democracy”
  • () “For Sama”
  • () “Honeyland”
Best live action short film
  • () “Brotherhood”
  • () 👉 “Nefta Football Club”
  • ➡️ “The Neighbors’ Window” (the only one I’ve seen because it’s on YouTube — it’s good!)
  • () “Saria”
  • () “A Sister”
Best animated short film
  • () “Dcera”
  • ➡️ 👉 “Hair Love” (on YouTube, please watch it)
  • “Kitbull” (on Disney+, also really good)
  • () “Memorable”
  • () “Sister”
Best animated feature film
  • () “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
  • () “I Lost My Body”
  • () “Klaus”
  • () “Missing Link”
  • ➡️ 👉 “Toy Story 4”
Best international feature film
  • () Poland, “Corpus Christi”
  • () North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
  • () France, “Les Miserables”
  • (*) Spain, “Pain and Glory”
  • ➡️ 👉 South Korea, “Parasite”
Best cinematography
  • Rodrigo Prieto, “The Irishman”
  • Lawrence Sher, “Joker”
  • Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse”
  • ➡️ 👉 Roger Deakins, “1917”
  • Robert Richardson, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
Best film editing
  • Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, “Ford v. Ferrari”
  • Thelma Schoonmaker, “The Irishman”
  • Tom Eagles, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • 👉 Jeff Groth, “Joker”
  • ➡️ Yang Jinmo, “Parasite”
Best director
  • Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
  • Todd Phillips, “Joker”
  • 👉 Sam Mendes, “1917”
  • Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • ➡️ Bong Joon Ho, “Parasite”
Best picture
  • “Ford v. Ferrari”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Jojo Rabbit”
  • “Joker”
  • “Little Women”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • 👉 “1917”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • ➡️ “Parasite”
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Eric Johnson

I'm reviewing every movie I watch, and watching every movie I own. Settle in, this is going to take a while.

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