If Oscar Picked the Oscars

Defiantly contrarian dream nominations from the Hassle's film editor


Oscar Goff is the film editor and senior critic for Boston Hassle. Follow him on Twitter (if you’re into that sort of thing) at @TheOscarGoff.

Those who keep tabs on the nebulous entity known as Film Twitter in recent months may have noticed something of a rift between two major tribes of film writers. On one side are the critics, who come together at the end of each year to vote on superlatives for the best films of the past twelve months. On the other are the awards bloggers, statisticians and speculators who analyze those choices in hopes of predicting the big winners at the Academy Awards. This year, the nation’s critics groups have united around a somewhat surprising choice: Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s humane, three-hour opus Drive My Car, which has taken Best Picture in at least six such groups (at the Boston Society of Film Critics, of which I am a voting member, it was the first non-English language film to take the top prize since Akira Kurosawa’s Ran in 1985). This has become an increasing source of aggravation among the awards trackers, who view Drive My Car as a frivolous choice which has no chance of pulling its weight at the Oscars.

This is, of course, ridiculous. Putting aside the increasingly global makeup of the Academy (which has recently favored such subtitled gems as Cold War, Another Round, and 2019’s Best Picture winner Parasite), the job of a critic is to highlight the films they personally find worthy, not to serve as lobbyists for the organization that gave Best Picture to Green Book. Nevertheless, the discourse has escalated, with prominent awards analysts rending their garments over critics’ dismissal of traditional awards-bait like King Richard.

Which brings us to this column. The following picks for the top six awards categories are comprised of films and performances which almost certainly will not be nominated. Some of these films fall into so-called “disreputable” genres which rarely garner mainstream award consideration; some performances are presently being overlooked in favor of flashier costars; and some are absent from the current awards discussion for reasons that are frankly a mystery to me. These are also not necessarily my personal top picks (though many are, as my top ten list will attest), but they are all amply worthy of consideration. And who knows: if, by some twist of fate, a member of the Academy happens to be reading this, maybe they won’t be so far-fetched after all.



Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn
The Green Knight
The Velvet Underground

Apichatpong Weerasethakul


Roy Andersson, About Endlessness
Prano Bailey-Bond, Censor
Todd Haynes, The Velvet Underground
Pablo Larrain, Ema
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Memoria



Don Cheadle, No Sudden Move
Adam Driver, Annette
Gary Green, Fried Barry
Udo Kier, Swan Song
Mads Mikkelsen, Riders of Justice

Nita-Josee Hanna, PG: PSYCHO GOREMAN


Morfydd Clark, Saint Maud
Rebecca Hall, The Night House
Nita-Josee Hanna, PG: Psycho Goreman
Lana Rockwell, Sweet Thing
Annabelle Wallis, Malignant

Fred Melamed, SHIVA BABY


Kenneth Collard, Limbo
Barry Keoghan, The Green Knight
Luke Kirby, No Man of God
Fred Melamed, Shiva Baby
Reece Shearsmith, In the Earth



Harriet Sansom Harris, Licorice Pizza
Jessica Henwick, The Matrix Resurrections
Aoba Kawai, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
Diana Rigg, Last Night in Soho
Lea Seydoux, The French Dispatch

Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, 2/8, at 8:18 AM (EST). If any of the above people or films are among them, Oscar Goff will happily eat his shoe.

This piece was originally written for KONTENT, the Boston Hassle’s monthly Patreon newsletter. To receive a monthly batch of early and exclusive Hassle goodness (or just to continue supporting local alternative journalism), please consider becoming a patron!

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