The Oscars award the obvious contributions to film. The Envys dig deeper
So many awards, so little time. But as the season races toward its biggest night — the Academy Awards on Sunday — the fact is, a whole lot of worthy individuals, performances and films are just not getting the attention they deserve. We here at The Envelope are here to fix that. Presenting the 2020 Envy Awards: Oscar Edition.
The Two Toes Up Prize
“Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood”
Clearly, feet are hugely important in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film — particularly bare, dirty ones. From the shots of our shod heroes getting out of a car to the long, lingering images of the dirty soles of Margot Robbie’s feet in a theater (c’mon, who puts their bare feet up on a movie theater seat?) and Margaret Qualley’s toes pressed against the windshield of a car — to say nothing of the rest of the hippies who go shoe-free — we were left wondering if cinemaphiles weren’t the only fetishists attracted to the movie.
Outstanding Use of Music in a Non-Musical
This season, characters uncovered their inner Stephen Sondheim by making use of his tunes in “Marriage Story” and “Joker,” but we instead want a special nod given to Elisabeth Moss’ re-imagining of “Heaven” in “Her Smell.” Moss plays a destructive rocker who settles down by the end of the movie, and the syrupy lyrics to Bryan Adams’ 1980s hit have a fresh resonance as she sings them to her young daughter. Better luck next time, Mr. Sondheim.
The Steve McQueen Honorary Car Chase Award
Yeah, “Ford v. Ferrari” has tons of amazing car races, but they are so Earth-bound. Not so for “Ad Astra,” which features a rollicking race across the lunar surface, as hero Brad Pitt finds himself pursued by pirates in moon rovers. It’s heartening to know that even if we manage to colonize other space bodies, there will always be car chases to satisfy Hollywood audiences.
One Shot Deal Honorary Mention
The single-take (ish) format of “1917” has been the subject of much discussion, and the lead characters’ long monologues in “Marriage Story” are compelling, but we actually found the unbroken single-shot scene of Awkwafina and Zhao Shuzhen in “The Farewell” — in which the grandmother teaches her beloved granddaughter how to exercise the Chinese way — totally charming and 100% free of war violence or divorce-related anger.
Best Supporting Use of Pastry
Doughnuts don’t get a lot of love in the movies, but thanks to Daniel Craig’s summation of the central mystery in this whodunit, we see the world in a whole different (glazed) light. “This case has a hole at the center,” he notes enthusiastically toward the end of the film. “A doughnut. I thought your story would be the doughnut hole in the doughnut’s hole, but now I see that there is a hole in the middle of the doughnut hole. Or perhaps it’s actually just a very small doughnut.” Hole-y mackerel.
Best Audition for a Broadway Jukebox Musical
There is so much to love about this dazzling biopic of Elton John’s life and hard times, but for us it all got started the moment that first song-and-dance number broke out — as if John’s life were just one unending musical. By the time “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” came along, we were already prepared for front-row tickets to what will inevitably be the movie’s transformation to the Great White Way.
The complete guide to home viewing
Get Screen Gab for weekly recommendations, analysis, interviews and irreverent discussion of the TV and streaming movies everyone’s talking about.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.