2019 Movies: The Stevens

The Stevens = my version of the Academy Awards, where the only member of the Academy choosing the nominees and winners for each of this hallowed — and, often, hollow — institution’s official feature-length categories (plus two, sans one; Best Picture will be tomorrow) is…me.

And since my name’s Steven, voila: The Stevens!

The qualitative-minded sentiments outlined previously also apply here, thus the reason certain category-names hyperlink back to thoughts on how to assess them.

Remember: more than one person per year, per category turn in “Oscar-caliber” work. Below are each and every one, ranked (if a nominee’s name is nowhere to be found in a technical category, blame IMDB’s incomplete records). Oh, and watch out for my joint nominations, be it for a single artist responsible for multiple “Oscar-caliber” work last year, or for multiple actors from the same movie; sometimes, performances can’t be evaluated on their own, indivisible from how they relate to each other.

  1. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell / Us
  2. Julianne Moore, Gloria Bell
  3. Honor Swinton Byrne, The Souvenir
  4. Mary Kay Place, Diane
  5. Molly Shannon, Wild Nights with Emily
  6. Natalia López, Our Time
  7. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
  8. Camila Morrone, Mickey and the Bear
  9. Aisling Franciosi, The Nightingale
  10. Liron Ben-Shlush, Working Woman
  11. Jess Weixler, Chained for Life
  12. Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Woman at War
  13. Gabriela Cartol, The Chambermaid
  14. Florence Pugh, Midsommar / Little Women / Fighting with My Family
  15. Erika Karata, Asako I & II
  16. Julia Stockler & Carol Duarte, Invisible Life
  17. Awkwafina, The Farewell
  18. Juli Jakab, Sunset
  19. Tao Zhao, Ash Is Purest White
  20. Nguyen Phuong Tra My, The Third Wife

  1. Brad Pitt, Ad Astra Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  2. Antonio Banderas, Pain and GloryThe Laundromat
  3. Matthew McConaughey, The Beach Bum / Serenity
  4. Franz Rogowski, Transit / In the Aisles
  5. Adam Driver, Marriage Story The Dead Don’t Die / The Man Who Killed Don Quixote The Report
  6. Robert De Niro, The Irishman
  7. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  8. Tom Mercier, Synonyms
  9. Marcello Fonte, Dogman
  10. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
  11. Jimmie Fails, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  12. Carlos Reygadas, Our Time
  13. Carloto Cotta, Diamantino
  14. Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse / High Life The King
  15. Andrew Garfield, Under the Silver Lake
  16. Darío Grandinetti, Rojo
  17. Matthias Schoenaerts, The Mustang / The Laundromat A Hidden Life
  18. Keanu Reeves, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum / Always Be My Maybe / Toy Story 4
  19. Jonas Dassler, The Golden Glove
  20. Masahiro Higashide, Asako I & II
  21. Jesse Eisenberg, The Art of Self-Defense
  22. Hasan Majuni, Pig
  23. Takumi Saitô, Ramen Shop
  24. Benjamin Berman, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  25. Tom Hanks, Toy Story 4
    • A nomination for the whole tetralogy; Tom Hanks’ irreducible, inimitable Tom Hanksness has been central to the franchise’s endlessly endearing, emotionally-resonant, affable and appealing vibe.

  1. Tilda Swinton, The Souvenir The Dead Don’t Die
  2. Juliette Binoche, High Life / Non-Fiction
  3. Penelope Cruz, Pain and Glory
  4. Shuzhen Zhao, The Farewell
  5. Susan Ziegler, Wild Nights with Emily
  6. Sofia Boutella, Climax
  7. Laura Dern, Marriage Story / Little Women
  8. Cho Yeo Jeong, Parasite
  9. Anna Paquin, The Irishman
  10. Paula Beer, Transit
  11. Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  12. Regina Hall, Little
  13. Adèle Haenel, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  14. Fernanda Montenegro, Invisible Life
  15. Diana Lin, The Farewell

  1. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse / Pasolini 
  2. Jonathan Majors, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  3. John Turturro, Gloria Bell
  4. Tom Burke, The Souvenir
  5. Adam Pearson, Chained for Life
  6. Joe Pesci, The Irishman
  7. James Badge Dale, Mickey and the Bear
  8. Asier Etxeandia & Leonardo Sbaraglia, Pain and Glory
  9. Al Pacino, The Irishman / Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  10. Stephen Plunkett, Chained for Life
  11. Javier Bardem, Everybody Knows
  12. Shia LaBeoufHoney Boy The Peanut Butter Falcon
    • Autobiographical metatextual commentary, Round 2: His rehabilitation permitting, imagine if Shia had played both his father AND his contemporary self (which, for the record, isn’t a knock against Lucas Hedges’s performance).
  13. Sam Claflin, The Nightingale
  14. Daniel Craig, Knives Out
  15. LaKeith Stanfield, Uncut Gems
  16. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
  17. Men of Midsommar
  18. Yongbo Jiang, The Farewell
  19. The Amazing Johnathan, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  20. Tony Hale, Toy Story 4
  21. Ian McShane / Laurence Fishburne / Mark Dacascos, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  22. Bob Dylan, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

  1. Toy Story 4
  2. Tito and the Birds
  3. Ruben Brandt, Collector

  1. Hoyte Van Hoytema, Ad Astra
  2. Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse 
  3. Benoît Debie, Climax
  4. Adrian Durazo & Diego García, Our Time
  5. Sean Price Williams, Her Smell
  6. José Luis Alcaine, Pain and Glory
  7. Adam Newport-Berra, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  8. Yorick Le Saux, Little Women
  9. Black Mother
  10. David Raedeker, The Souvenir
  11. Adam J. Minnick, Chained for Life
  12. Darius Khondji, Uncut Gems
  13. Robbie Ryan, Marriage Story
  14. Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  15. Mátyás Erdély, Sunset
  16. Waad Al-Khateab, For Sama
  17. Shai Goldman, Synonyms 
  18. Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
  19. Kyung-pyo Hong, Parasite
  20. Chananun Chotrungroj, The Third Wife
  21. Adam Holender, Apollo 11
  22. Stefano Falivene, Pasolini
  23. Radek Ladczuk, The Nightingale
  24. Paul Faltz, Luz
  25. Pawel Pogorzelski, Midsommar
  26. Zac Nicholson, All Is True
  27. Phillip Youmans, Burning Cane
  28. Yorick Le Saux & Tomasz Naumiuk, High Life
  29. Dan Laustsen, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  30. Wyatt Garfield, Diane
  31. Steven Soderbergh, The Laundromat
  32. Mike Gioulakis, Under the Silver Lake
  33. Pedro Sotero, Rojo
  34. Benoît Debie, The Beach Bum
  35. Conor Murphy, Mickey and the Bear
  36. Midnight Traveler
  37. Los Reyes
  38. Erick Stoll, América
  39. Asako I & II
  40. Anna Franquesa Solano, The Farewell
  41. Claire Mathon, Portrait of a Lady on Fire
  42. Bojan Bazelli, 6 Undergound
  43. Peter Matjasko, In the Aisles
  44. Roger Deakins, 1917
  45. Jörg Widmer, A Hidden Life
  46. Drew Daniels, Waves
  47. Benjamin Berman & Dan Adlerstein, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  48. Hyung-ku Kim, Grass

  1. Katharina Ost, Transit
    • World War II in the 21st century.
  2. Heidi Bivens, The Beach Bum
  3. Fred Cambier, Climax
  4. Caroline Eselin, Under the Silver Lake
  5. Paola Torres, Pain and Glory
  6. Arianne Phillips, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  7. Amanda Ramirez, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  8. Miyako Bellizzi, Uncut Gems
  9. Grace Snell, The Souvenir
  10. Ellen Mirojnick, The Laundromat
  11. Amanda Ford, Her Smell
  12. Stacey Berman & Karen Boyer, Chained for Life
  13. Mark Bridges, Marriage Story
  14. Andrea Flesch, Midsommar
  15. Christopher Peterson & Sandy Powell, The Irishman
  16. Margot Wilson, The Nightingale
  17. Danielle Hollowell, Little
  18. Marina Franco, Invisible Life
  19. Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
  20. Györgyi Szakács, Sunset
  21. Massimo Cantini Parrini, Dogman
  22. Khadija Zeggaï, Synonyms
  23. Mitchell Travers, Hustlers
  24. Jam Monti, Rojo
  25. Wambui Thimba, Rafiki
  26. Luca Mosca, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum 
  27. Stacey Battat, Gloria Bell
  28. The Third Wife
  29. Rossano Marchi, Pasolini
  30. Catherine George, The Dead Don’t Die
  31. Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name
  32. Amit Gajwani, Braid
  33. Amanda Ford, Poms
  34. Liza Bracey / Diane Keaton, Hampstead

  1. Martin ScorseseThe Irishman / Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
  2. Gaspar Noé, Climax
  3. James Gray, Ad Astra
  4. Carlos Reygadas, Our Time
  5. Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse
  6. Pedro Almodóvar, Pain and Glory
  7. Alex Ross Perry, Her Smell
  8. Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir
  9. Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems
  10. Aaron Schimberg, Chained for Life
  11. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
  12. Nadav Lapid, Synonyms 
  13. Joe Talbot, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  14. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  15. Joon-ho Bong, Parasite
  16. Khalik Allah, Black Mother
  17. David Robert Mitchell, Under the Silver Lake
  18. Claire Denis, High Life
  19. Kent Jones, Diane
  20. Greta Gerwig, Little Women
  21. Jennifer Kent, The Nightingale
  22. Harmony Korine, The Beach Bum
  23. Steven Soderbergh, The Laundromat
  24. Madeleine Olnek, Wild Nights with Emily
  25. Iván Osnovikoff & Bettina Perut, Los Reyes
  26. Abel Ferrara, Pasolini
  27. László Nemes, Sunset
  28. Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book
  29. Jim Jarmusch, The Dead Don’t Die
  30. Chad Stahelski, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  31. Benjamin Berman, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  32. Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside, América
  33. Tilman Singer, Luz
  34. Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Asako I & II
  35. Sebastián Lelio, Gloria Bell
  36. Ari Aster, Midsommar
  37. Ash Mayfair, The Third Wife
  38. Christian Petzold, Transit
  39. Thomas Stuber, In the Aisles
  40. Agnès Varda & Didier Rouget, Varda by Agnès
  41. Lauren Greenfield, The Kingmaker
  42. Lulu Wang, The Farewell
  43. Michael Bay, 6 Underground

  1. Denis Bedlow & Gaspar Noé, Climax
  2. Ronald Bronstein & Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
  3. Robert Greene, Her Smell
  4. John Axelrad & Lee Haugen, Ad Astra
  5. Jinmo Yang, Parasite
  6. Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman
  7. Helle le Fevre, The Souvenir
  8. Evan Schiff, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  9. Neta Braun, François Gédigier & Era Lapid, Synonyms
  10. Fabio Nunziata, Pasolini
  11. Nick Houy, Little Women
  12. Our Time
  13. Fabian Podeszwa & Tilman Singer, Luz
  14. Steven Soderbergh, The Laundromat
  15. Sofi Marshall, Chained for Life
  16. Roger Barton, William Goldenberg & Calvin Wimmer, 6 Underground
  17. Douglas Crise, The Beach Bum
  18. Mike Selemon, Diane
  19. Soledad Salfate, Gloria Bell


(A category the Oscars should add, because voters basically refuse to nominate documentaries for any award besides their own)

  1. Black Mother
  2. Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book
  3. Damian Rodriguez & David Tedeschi, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
  4. Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11
  5. Los Reyes
  6. Nicolas Longinotti & Agnès Varda — Varda by Agnès
  7. Per K. Kirkegaard & Andrew Nackman, The Kingmaker
  8. Scott Evans, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  9. Billy McMillin, Mike Wallace Is Here
  10. Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside, América
  11. Emma Benestan, Luc Forveille, Léa Masson, Giorgia Villa — The Competition
  12. Pablo Proenza, Wrestle

  1. Click!

  1. For my rankings of all my favorite non-English language movies of 2019: Click!
  2. For my rankings of the official Academy Awards submissions: Click!

  1. The Souvenir
  2. The Golden Glove
  3. Climax
  4. Uncut Gems
  5. The Irishman
  6. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  7. Her Smell
  8. Chained for Life
  9. Midsommar
  10. The Nightingale
  11. Pain and Glory
  12. The Laundromat
  13. Little Women
  14. The Dead Don’t Die
  15. End of the Century
    • Naturalistic aging!
  16. Our Time
  17. Ash Is Purest White
    • The subtle physical deterioration rooted in the visible accumulation of exhaustion with age.


(Does location scouting qualify as production design?)

  1. Kade Gruber, Transit
    • World War II in the 21st century.
  2. Barbara Ling, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  3. Kevin Thompson, Ad Astra
  4. Antxón Gómez, Pain and Glory
  5. Ha-jun Lee, Parasite
  6. Sam Lisenco, Uncut Gems
  7. Jona Tochet, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  8. Michael Perry, Under the Silver Lake
  9. Jean Rabasse, Climax
  10. Stéphane Collonge, The Souvenir
  11. Elliott Hostetter, The Beach Bum
  12. Howard Cummings, The Laundromat
  13. Jade Healy, Marriage Story
  14. Alex Holmes, The Nightingale
  15. Fletcher Chancey, Her Smell
  16. Sia Balabanova, Chained for Life
  17. Craig Lathrop, The Lighthouse
  18. David Crank, Knives Out
  19. Dimitri Capuani, Dogman
  20. Henrik Svensson, Midsommar
  21. Jess Gonchor, Little Women
  22. Bob Shaw, The Irishman
  23. László Rajk, Sunset
  24. Kevin Kavanaugh, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  25. Do Trong An, The Third Wife
  26. Rodrigo Martirena, Invisible Life
  27. Igor Gabriel, Pasolini
  28. Our Time
  29. Dario Mendez Acosta, Luz
  30. Julieta Dolinsky, Rojo
  31. Alex DiGerlando, The Dead Don’t Die
  32. Jagna Dobesz, Ólafur Eliasson, François-Renaud Labarthe & Mela Melak — High Life
  33. Suzie Davies, Peterloo
  34. Sharon Seymour, Isn’t It Romantic
    • That Nancy Meyers aesthetic!

  1. Max Richter, Ad Astra
  2. Mark Korven, The Lighthouse
  3. Daniel Lopatin, Uncut Gems
  4. Keegan DeWitt, Her Smell
  5. Randy Newman, Marriage Story / Toy Story 4
  6. Simon Waskow, Luz
  7. Davíð Þór Jónsson, Woman at War
    • Extra credit points for the nomadic band surrealistically appearing onscreen to play the music “live”.
  8. Jaeil Jung, Parasite
  9. Emile Mosseri, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  10. Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
  11. Stuart Staples & Tindersticks, High Life
  12. The Haxan Cloak, Midsommar
  13. Disasterpeace, Under the Silver Lake
  14. Tofubeats, Asako I & II
  15. Nathan Johnson, Knives Out
  16. Vincent van Warmerdam, Rojo
  17. Jeremiah Bornfield, Diane
  18. SQÜRL, The Dead Don’t Die
  19. Alex Weston, The Farewell
  20. Bear McCreary, Child’s Play
  21. Pino Donaggio, Domino
  22. Zai Lao, Shadow


During Movie

  1. “The Dead Don’t Die” — The Dead Don’t Die
  2. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” — Toy Story 4
  3. “The Buddi Song” — Child’s Play
  4. “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)” — Wild Rose
  5. “Catchy Song” — The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
  6. “Mere Gully Mein” — Gully Boy


End Credits

  1. “Moonfog” — The Beach Bum
  2. “Swan Song” — Alita: Battle Angel
  3. “Super Cool” — The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
  4. “Do-Dilly-Do (A Friend Like You)” — Missing Link
  5. “NY Se Mumbai” — Gully Boy
  6. “Do You Remember” — Fighting with My Family

  1. Max Eggers & Robert Eggers, The Lighthouse
    • Compiled from pre-existing texts, a thematic decision; how we arrange our sense of reality from what we have to work with describes the movie’s conception of reality, what the characters must do on the island, and what the movie demands of the audience.
  2. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
  3. Madeleine Olnek, Wild Nights with Emily
  4. Pedro Almodóvar, Pain and Glory
  5. Joanna Hogg, The Souvenir
  6. James Gray & Ethan Gross, Ad Astra
  7. David Robert Mitchell, Under the Silver Lake
  8. Ronald Bronstein, Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
  9. Joon-ho Bong & Han Jin Won, Parasite
  10. Jim Jarmusch, The Dead Don’t Die
  11. Aaron Schimberg, Chained for Life
  12. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  13. Jimmie Fails, Joe Talbot & Rob Richert, The Last Black Man in San Francisco
  14. Harmony Korine, The Beach Bum
  15. Benjamin Berman, The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  16. Nadav Lapid & Haim Lapid, Synonyms 
  17. Jennifer Kent, The Nightingale
  18. Asghar Farhadi, Everybody Knows
  19. Gaspar Noé, Climax
  20. Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt, Diamantino
  21. Olivier Assayas, Non-Fiction
  22. Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone & Massimo Gaudioso, Dogman
  23. Benjamín Naishtat, Rojo
  24. Alex Ross Perry, Her Smell
  25. Kent Jones, Diane
  26. Claire Denis, Jean-Pol Fargeau, Geoff Cox & Nick Laird, High Life
  27. Agnès Varda & Didier Rouget, Varda by Agnès
  28. Riley Stearns, The Art of Self-Defense
  29. Lulu Wang, The Farewell
  30. Stéphane Brizé & Olivier Gorce, At War
  31. Rian Johnson, Knives Out

  1. Greta Gerwig, Little Women
  2. Steven Zaillian, The Irishman
  3. Scott Z. Burns, The Laundromat
  4. Christian Petzold, Transit
  5. Alice Johnson Boher & Sebastián Lelio, Gloria Bell
  6. Sachiko Tanaka & Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Asako I & II
  7. Clemens Meyer & Thomas Stuber, In the Aisles
  8. Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja, Aniara
  9. Jean-Luc Godard, The Image Book
  10. Andrew Stanton & Stephany Folsom, Toy Story 4

  1. Her Smell
  2. Luz
  3. The Lighthouse
  4. Climax
  5. Ad Astra
  6. High Life
  7. They Shall Not Grow Old
  8. The Nightingale 
  9. Midsommar
  10. Uncut Gems
  11. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  12. Ip Man 4: The Finale
  13. 6 Underground
  14. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood

  1. Ad Astra
  2. Her Smell
  3. Uncut Gems
  4. Los Reyes
  5. The Lighthouse
  6. The Image Book
  7. Black Mother
  8. Chained for Life
  9. Luz
  10. Climax
  11. They Shall Not Grow Old
  12. Aquarela
  13. Queen & Slim
  14. Our Time
  15. The Nightingale
  16. Midsommar
  17. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  18. High Life
  19. Apollo 11
  20. Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood
  21. 6 Underground

  1. Ad Astra
  2. The Irishman
  3. They Shall Not Grow Old
  4. The Image Book
  5. High Life
  6. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
  7. Midsommar
  8. Aniara
    • Makes so much out of so little (moolah).
  9. Black Mother
  10. Apollo 11
    • Pristine restoration is a visual effect!
  11. 6 Underground
  12. Alita: Battle Angel
  13. Tigers Are Not Afraid
  14. The Wandering Earth
  15. Diamantino
  16. Fantastic Fungi 

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