94th Annual Oscars Predictions for the End of the World


It’s that time of the year again, the 94th Annual Academy Awards are upon us. Looking over the list of nominations, I feel a little underprepared to make any real Oscars predictions considering I have seen so few of the films outside of the best picture category. Surprisingly, I managed to watch four of the best picture nominations in January alone, but aside from a handful of others, nada.

Unlike Sam Elliot, I can’t tell you if Power of the Dog is a real western or not. Honestly, I can’t even muster the energy to debate whether the film’s director, Jane Campion, actually slighted the Williams sisters in her acceptance speech several nights ago. 

While I did see the film, I can’t offer any insights on the controversial asian accent in Licorice Pizza that seems to have sprung up during awards season several months after its initial release. I can say it was uncomfortable to watch because I felt embarrassed for the ridiculous character, but I have pretty bad second hand awkwardness.

It would be a lie to say I am not looking forward to the Oscars, but I don’t have quite the same excitement I usually do. Even last year’s odd ceremony felt like it existed in a more hopeful time. It’s not just Russia’s war in Ukraine, as many have pointed out, there have been wars and atrocities going on around the globe as we go about business as usual.

It’s also not just the continuing pandemic we live in or the conflicting messages we receive from various government and scientific bodies. Nor is it only the impending climate crisis and our inability to do anything proactive about it. 

I think it’s all of it all the time. I think I want to be excited about the movies themselves, but the Oscars feel too grounded in the real world that we live in. They feel like a vestige of a fairytale existence in an empire that is crumbling.

Maybe, this is me just feeling overwhelmed about my rapidly approaching fatherhood. Maybe I’m subconsciously afraid of the world my son will inherit. My gut tells me everyone feels like this. That’s why reactionary movements are so attractive to so many.

Who knows? Perhaps the world as we know it truly is ending, or possibly those of us with anxiety about the future are materializing worries where there ought not be any. Maybe, as trite as this sounds, we just know way too damn much about what is going on everywhere all of the time at once. I think I want to become less interested in the answer and more interested in the journey.

I think we all deserve and desperately need to log off a little more. I know as much as the next how hard that can really be, but there is no solace in getting angry or anxious about stuff you have no control over. Maybe read a good book, or microwave yourself a bag of popcorn and sit on the couch and let yourself be swept away to a distant land. Escapism can be dangerous, but there is something primal about storytelling. I say, let yourself connect with that human need to create or witness creation.

Oh yeah, my Oscars predictions. I hope Dune wins every award it’s up for, and a few it isn’t. It was a masterpiece of storytelling. The awards that don’t go to Dune I hope go to Licorice Pizza, a movie that made me excited to raise a son in some weird way I can’t explain. I also hope Jesse Plemons wins best supporting actor because I like that guy, and as I said before, I didn’t see his film.