In-Depth with Brad Byrd: Oscar nominees

In Depth with Brad Byrd

(WEHT) – On Monday, Brad Byrd and Jim Hunter sat down to discuss the announced nominees for the Oscars.

Interview transcription

Brad Byrd: Welcome to In-depth its more than an entertainment story and it’s been that way for decades. we are talking about the Oscars, and the nomination were announced today, that will air worldwide on February 9th. Joining me tonight is our movie analyst JimHunter. Its always good to see you. We have a couple of headlines here… Women were not included in the nods today and the African American experience was also excluded.

JH: There were certainly opportunities to nominate both female directors and African Americans film particularly Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wong the farewell, was not represented anywhere in the academy award and films like a Queen and Slim, and Dolemite .queen and slime is a more modern African American film not nominated for anything. Dolemite is my name is a bio-pic of 1970’s African American figure. Eddie Murphy was a possibility for best actress he’s not nominated as well. This is a rather serious problem for the academy.

BB: Let’s get to your pics, you have a very good record over the year. Let’s start with actors in the leading role. (displays pictures)

JH: The actors in the leading role , there are the nominees on screen, I think Joaquin Phoenix is the presumed front runner at this stage. one again this is really early. this is like picking a world series winner in august.. he’s gotten many of the predicting awards including the golden globes. He’s gotten the curse of the comic book shell we say, the academy does not recognize films based upon comic book material. the joker has already won for Heath Ledger, they likely will provide an oscar to Joaquin Phoenix as well.

BB: Actress in a leading role, the nominees are going to be coming up what do you think?

JH: I think that this is Renee Zellweger’s Oscar, one of the things I said if she doesn’t win an oscar for Judy they should just cancel the category. You’ve got Saoirse Ronan and Scarlett Johansson, Scarlett Johansson is a nominee in two categories. That’s only the twelfth time that happened. but early predictions are Renee Zellweger who inhabits Judy Garland in Judy will probably take the leading actress in the nominee.

BB: Acting in a supporting role, Tome hanks was in most of the trailers for a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. What’s your pic on this one?

JH: Unfortunately it’s not Tom Hanks it Brad Pitt in Once upon a time in Hollywood. That not because I think Brad Pitt is the best of the list I’d have to get it to Joe Pesci, I think he’s actually menacing and doing somethings he’s never done before in the Irishmen. But brad Pitt has taken the best supporting actor in The Golden Globes. I expect the predicting awards … to go to brad as well. He also has the showier roles and I think One Upon A Time in Hollywood is building up momentum going into award season.

BB: Best actress in supporting, you had a couple that you were troubled by.

JH: I would have taken a couple of those nominations out replaced them with other nominees. But I think that Florence Pugh getting a nomination is really good. she probably she have best nominations for Midsommar. The odds on favorite is Laura Dern in Marriage Story she has come on a let. Jennifer lopes was set to be the front runner when Hustlers came out. Hustler came out a little too early it came out in September and therefore wasn’t recognize but the academy. Little surprised by Kathy Bates, little surprised by Margot Robbie but Laura Dern at the end of the day was probably odds on favorite.

BB: Best director and this doesn’t necessarily mean the best director will have the best picture, which has surprised people in the past… whose your pick on this?

JH: We’ve seen a best director best picture split, best on my picks right now were going to get a best director best picture. Line up..Sam Mendez for 1917, this is a technical marvel of the year. It is an absolute technically crafted film. Its meant to look like one shot. It is of course not shot all in one take. But it’s meant to look like all in one shot, which means they had some amazing, amazing problems they had to solve. Not a single scene is in the same location as in the previous scene. It is amazing how Shawn Mendez does it.

BB: And Alfred Hitchock would be proud.

JH: And Alfred Hitchock directing “Rope” would be proud.

BB: Okay, we’ve got nine best pictures this year, first of all, let’s get to them and what was your pick for best picture.

JH: The best picture pick was 1917 for me, I think the Parasite is the strongest film on that list but 1917 seems to be peaking at the right time. It just released wide last week it is coming off of wins in the best category at The Golden Globes. This seems to have a lot of momentum behind him. That said there were tons of snubs in the best category.

BB: Let’s talk about.. we have a little bit of time here… what do you call recency bias… because you’re troubled by this, this year?

JH: I am troubled by this..this year, recency bias is sort of the psychological effect of privileging the things that happened. recency bias in this sense means that all of the best picture nominations except for Once upon a time in Hollywood were released after October. there are 104 slots for narrative film and 34 films are spread across those 104 slots.

That means 2/3 of those films are coming from the same crop of films. That means there are a whole lot of films in the beginning of the year such as US, such as the Farewell, such as the Honeyboy, Midsummer, such as Rocketman, Taron Egerton in Rocketman not getting nominated. All of these films are not getting recognized in these big categories and that is a problem. If you have a really good film that you think is prestige, why would you open it between October and December, and that’s where you get this crowded market place.

BB: We are out of time but will be talking about this during the next month in a half well and see what happens. The Oscars tend to be a reflection upon our society sometime…that apparently right now is being debated.

Jim Hunter thank you soo much for joining us, you’re watching Eyewitness News at 9 but we’ll be right back.

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(This story was originally published on January 13, 2020)

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