My Academy Watch List

Final wrap up. Post awards. Winners’ edition only.

What have I seen. What do I plan to see. How do I feel about the outcome.

What have I seen

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Winner – costume design, make up and hairstyling – reportedly a first for Black women) – read my review

Two Distant Strangers (Winner – live action short) – a modern day horror; watch (on Netflix)

Promising Young Woman (Winner – original screenplay) – as I said in my last movie post I liked this, ending and all

Soul (Winner – original score, animated feature)

Judas and the Black Messiah (Winner – supporting actor, original song) – I would have liked to see Lakeith get the best actor spot held by Gary Oldman instead of a co-supporting actor nod and, though there was a sense of inevitability about it, for anyone who’s been following the awards season, big up Daniel Kaluuya on his win in the supporting actor category (and HER, sure, though I really don’t remember the song)

What do I plan to see

Sound of Metal (Winner – sound, film editing)

Tenet (Winner – visual effects)

Minari (Winner – supporting actress) – a part of me is just tickled that Steven Yeun from The Walking Dead is in an Oscar film and an Oscar nominee for best actor himself

How do I feel about the outcome

Production stumbles and fumbles (the re-ordering, the overlong speeches, the lack of clips, host please) aside, I mean kudos to the winners. I still think Chadwick Boseman should have won best actor, no shade to Anthony Hopkins. I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch The Father but the bits I’ve seen it’s obvious he did his usual good work. I do feel that can be said for all the nominees (possible exception Gary Oldman, as I couldn’t make it through 15 minutes of Mank). Chadwick was really good in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (and Da 5 Bloods for that matter) and he’ll never have another shot, and we know it’s not all about meritocracy with Hollywood and the Academy, otherwise Denzel (Malcolm X) would have won over a long overdue Pacino (Scent of a Woman) in 1993. That’s subjective, Joanne. Yeah, that’s the point.

Anyway, let’s talk about who the real winners were. Was it Colman Domingo in that pepto hot pink suit, Regina King with the silver-blue wingspan (even my mom was impressed with her confident strut to start the show), stunning lady in red Amanda Seyfried, Zendaya being a whole yellow vibe with hair blowing in the wind like she had her own personal Beyonce-fan, or Lakeith Stanfield making the fitted jump suit sexy again?

Wadadli Pen Turning 10

So my major non-profit activity is something I actually wouldn’t mind having the werewithal to do and develop full time; some days it already feels like a full time job. The Wadadli Youth Pen Prize ( can be time-consuming but I’m grateful to all the patrons and partners for helping to lighten the load. I’m also grateful for notes like this facebook note from Lia Nicholson (the second placed writer in the first year of the annual Wadadli Pen Challenge for her story Tekin Ahn Dey!):

“Thank you Joanne for all your hard work over the years to inspire young writers and give confidence in creativity. The extent of my writing these days is limited to academic work as I study for my master’s, but I did get one blog up earlier this year: Count me in for celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the Wadadli Pen Challenge next year! It is a great asset to Antigua & Barbuda.”

This is the photo call for the first season of Wadadli Pen. Lia's actually not in this picture (she was a high school student in Vermont at the time) but that's her mom standing second from right.

This is the photo call for the first season of Wadadli Pen. Lia’s actually not in this picture (she was a high school student in Vermont at the time) but that’s her mom standing second from right.

As I said in response, writing is writing, and I’m glad that Lia is still hitting it for six; I’m also thankful for her and all the young writers who shared their writing because as a writer myself I know it’s not easy. And you know I reached out to see how she could come celebrate with us, right?

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