Reel Dad predicts the Oscar winners for costumes, sound and more
Best International Feature Film: Parasite
While no film in Academy history has won both the Picture and Foreign Language Film Oscars, Bong Joon-Ho’s modern masterpiece should make Oscar history in this renamed category. If the Academy chooses “Parasite” as Best Picture, though, it could decide to “spread the wealth” and select “Pain and Glory” in this category which would be a well-deserved honor for Pedro Almodóvar.
Best Animated Feature: Toy Story 4
At a time when the world can confuse, and divisions can overwhelm, we can be comforted by a movie where the heroes remain authentic, the villains can be managed and the outcome, even if a bit predictable, can reconfirm the goodness we share. While this fourth edition of the “Toy Story” franchise may not break new ground, it sure does make us feel better about the world.
Best Documentary Feature: American Factory
In a category filled with thrilling work - and several worthy candidates left without nominations - this moving look at an Ohio auto-glass manufacturing plant tops the list. And it doesn’t hurt that it was produced as part of the Obamas’ work with Netflix.
Best Cinematography: 1917
It took Roger Deakins many years - and 14 Oscar nominations - before he finally won this Oscar a couple of years ago for “Blade Runner 2049.” Now, on his 15th nod, he should again be honored for his breathtaking work on “1917” that makes us feel we are in the middle of a world at war.
Best Costume Design: Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood
In a film that dares to play with the conventions of the movies, the exaggeration of the exquisite costumes sets the bar for visual impact. They make us believe we are again living in a decade that, years later, is not remembered for its visual splendor. Or its taste.
Best Film Editing: Ford v Ferrari
Every movie relies on the film editor to establish pace and rhythm. As if creating a piece of music for this auto racing epic, editors Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland deliberately abbreviate and extend shots and sequences to bring this action-packed story to life.
Best Original Score: 1917
The most effective music in film enhances what we experience without distracting, capturing the feel of the moment while hiding in the layers. This exquisite score by Thomas Newman reinforces the spirituality of Sam Mendes’ film while standing on its own as a lovely display of composition.
Best Song: I’m Gonna Love Me Again from Rocketman
No surprise, Sir Elton John deserves to be honored this year, the first time he will win an award with writing partner Bernie Taupin. While an Oscar for “Harriet” would bring Cynthia Erivo to EGOT status, that milestone may have to wait. This feels like Elton’s Oscar to lose.
Best Makeup and Hair: Bombshell
While we might think we have seen everything that prosthetics can accomplish - with little opportunity for surprise - the visual impact of this recreation of the women of Fox News adds to the film without drawing too much attention to the science behind the art.
Best Production Design: 1917
When Sam Mendes decided to make this film look like one continuous take, he needed a production design flexible enough to recreate war with creating unnecessary challenge for the camera. The result is a world we can’t recognize through a lens that captivates.
Best Sound Editing: Ford v Ferrari
Yes, this marvel of a film is as dazzling to listen to as to watch, with a collection of sounds that continually surprises. The movie becomes a symphony of audio elements that contributes to the sense of adventure it explores and humanity it celebrates.
Best Sound Mixing: Ford v Ferrari
The second sound category honors the creation of non-dialogue and non-music elements to enhance a film’s sound. The Academy should reward the film that uses sound most effectively to tell its story. That should, again, be “Ford v Ferrari,” with a collection of sounds as rich as its story.
Best Visual Effects: 1917
Some movies make it obvious how computers enhance the visual experience. But Sam Mendes’ “1917” never reveals what the keyboard has done. Instead the director’s use of special effects enhances the realism of his continuous-take approach.