Alternative Oscars 2020: The Nominations


Alternative Oscars 2020For our dedicated voting form, CLICK HERE. But don’t worry, there’s another link at the bottom of the page, after all the nominations!

Foreword by Adam Brannon. Can you believe we’re here again? Now into its fourth year, the Alternative Oscars has become one of my favourite times of the year, as we put the best films to the test for a shot at winning one of our coveted awards. I’ve always felt like blockbuster movies haven’t received as much recognition as they deserve.

After all, some of these films have been a labour of love for their directors and leading men and women. This year, however, we’re mixing things up a little with an Alternative Oscars of the Decade!

From 2010 to 2019, we were given exceptional performances, stunning cinematography and some of the finest special effects ever put to the big screen. Because of this, myself, Daulton, Joe, Jesse and Emily have picked films, actors, directors and actresses from the last ten years that we feel are deserving of taking home a prize.

Familiarise yourself with the nominations this year, and then visit our dedicated survey to cast your vote.

Best Animation

Alternative Oscars Best Animation

Isle of Dogs

Nominated by: Jesse

How was this decision made in the era of The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water, you may ask? With great ease. Isle of Dogs was an Oscar frontrunner, with one of the best directors at its helm, for a movie for kids. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt, and it’s a pleasure to watch.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Nominated by: Adam

Toothless, Hiccup and co have been part of one of the finest trilogies of all time, yet one that has flown under the radar. How to Train Your Dragon 3 rounds out three films that have had heart in spades and mixed with that some of the finest animation ever put to film.

A Silent Voice

Nominated by: Emily

A Silent Voice is an exquisitely crafted tale of a hearing impaired girl who is mercilessly bullied in school and follows the repercussions when her tormentor reaches out to her years later. Although often hard to watch, the film is beautifully animated, and pulls you into almost dream-like sequences as you explore the world in which the characters inhabit.

Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse

Nominated by: Joe

I went into Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse with exceedingly low expectations. To my surprise, the film is not only fantastically well written, the animation is also wonderfully executed. The film uses mixed media to blend various animation types at various points of the film and the effect is quite honestly stunning.

Toy Story 4

Nominated by: Daulton

We all measure Pixar films in feels, and while Toy Story 3 does have both the Incinerator and Andy’s goodbye, Toy Story 4 has that group hug. Coupled with stunning animation and a beautiful score Toy Story 4 is the finest animated film of the decade.

Best Score

La La Land

Nominated by: Daulton

Well this was the easiest category for me to pick. I don’t see how someone could pick anything other than La La Land for Best Score. From the Planetarium to the Final Dream sequence, the score is probably my favourite ever written. Just listening to that final scene is enough to bring back the feeling of watching La La Land for the first time.

How To Train Your Dragon

Nominated by: Adam

I promise that my Alternative Oscar nominations aren’t just from the dragon-riding series, but John Powell’s rousing score from all three films is orchestral music at its finest. The main theme in the first film, aptly named ‘Test Drive’ on the OST features some of the most beautiful instrumental music put to film over the last decade and that’s why it deserves to win this award.

Interstellar

Nominated by: Joe

Best score for the decade is a tricky one as the 2010s has been a great decade for film music. As for personal favourites, I would have to go for the sweeping and timeless Interstellar score from Hans Zimmer. What he came up with is quite honestly remarkable and fits Nolan’s melancholic space odyssey perfectly. From haunting lows to epic crescendos, the Interstellar score is a timeless masterpiece.

Under The Skin

Nominated by: Emily

With just a few scores under her belt, Mica Levi is a contender for the most exciting film composer of the decade. Under The Skin is a jarring examination on what it means to be human, through the eyes of that which is not of this world. Her music swells, disjointed and often abrasive. She infuses familiar classicals notes with otherworldly synth, drawing you in just as Johansson lures men into her deadly alien soup.

Inception

Nominated by: Jesse

To be honest, anything Hans Zimmer creates could be eligible for this award – the man is a genius. However, no other score elicits quite the same response as the music from Inception. It’s iconic, and if you hear it, you can’t help but join in. That is the marking of a true masterpiece.

Best Special Effects

Best Special Effects Alternative Oscars

Avengers: Endgame

Nominated by: Jesse & Daulton

The entire Avengers franchise is based upon how brilliantly, beautifully, and convincingly they can craft worlds: something which requires a lot of man, brain, and computer, power. Over the decade, so many stories have been punctuated with the glory of special effects, and none have done it quite as well as the final instalment in Marvel’s Avenger’s franchise. Just look at that last battle, if you’re not convinced.

Life of Pi

Nominated by: Adam

Before the new Apes trilogy showed how far special effects could go, Ang Lee’s excruciatingly detailed take on Yann Martel’s novel of the same name proved that films could be as beautiful as pieces of art. Life of Pi is a stunning movie from start to finish with gorgeous cinematography coupled with special effects that remain at the very pinnacle of what we can achieve. If you haven’t watched it, it’s a must.

War For The Planet Of The Apes

Nominated by: Joe

For truly great special effects, look no further than the Planet of the Apes trilogy, more specifically the third instalment, War for the Planet of the Apes. The motion capture animation work on the non-human characters is second to none. The Apes are brought to life like nothing ever seen before on the big screen and they integrate with the real actors seamlessly.

Doctor Sleep

Nominated by: Emily

In a far better sequel to The Shining than anybody could have hoped for, Doctor Sleep melds the iconic visual sequences of its predecessor with beautifully dreamy set-pieces of the present. Sadly snubbed at the 2020 Oscars for a visual effects nomination, Doctor Sleep is a triumph of visual film-making.

Best Set Piece

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 2 – Battle of Hogwarts

Nominated by: Adam

I was so close to choosing Jurassic World for Best Set Piece, but then I remembered how I felt the first time I saw the Battle of Hogwarts in the final Harry Potter movie. After growing up reading the books, seeing Hogwarts go up in flames at the hands of Voldemort and his minions was heartbreaking and stunning in equal measure. Plus, there’s that beautiful scene in the Hogwarts Boathouse. You know the one… sniff.

La La Land – Dream Sequence

Nominated by: Daulton

I was actually thinking the other day on what my favorite moment in film is, and it came down to one question in the end. What scene did I never want to see end? This is the only scene I can remember never wanting to end, and when it did. You only get to experience the ending for the first time once, and my first time was incredible. What we get is one of the most heartbreaking, best scored, incredibly emotional scenes of the entire decade.

Baby Driver – Opening Chase

Nominated by: Jesse

Never has a film made more people think they are better at driving than they actually are. Guitars, strings, a deep bass line, all come together to create (arguably) one of the best openings to a movie seen in recent memory. There’s drama, action, and Jon Hamm. What more could you ask for?

Avengers: Endgame – “MCU, Assemble”

Nominated by: Joe

The ‘Avengers, assemble’ scene from Avengers: Endgame gets my vote for best set piece for several reasons. Not only is it emotionally impactful and stunningly composed within the context of Endgame itself, it also represents the culmination of 10 years of film making, world building and storytelling. The result is something we will likely never see again in cinema – an entire decade of backstory, character arcs and emotional investment coalescing into one epic climax.

Mission Impossible: Fallout – The Entire Film

I nominate the entire movie which is essentially one huge set piece. The Halo jump scene had me on the edge of my seat. It was incredibly thrilling and a scene I could watch again and again. Combine this with the now famous bathroom scene, Henry Cavill’s muscles and the nail-biting helicopter, cliff-top finale, and you have one hell of an action movie!

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor Alternative Oscars

Alan Rickman – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt 2

Nominated by: Adam

We’re going right back to the beginning of the decade for this nom. Gone too soon, Alan Rickman’s performance as Severus Snape in this final instalment in the Potter saga is Oscar-worthy. We always wanted to see more to this multi-faceted personality, and in the finale, we really got that. His performance always brings a tear to my eye and is fully deserving of winning this category.

Woody Harrelson – Edge of Seventeen

Nominated by: Daulton

Another difficult choice, as there were a lot of great supporting roles from actors this decade. When I first heard Woody Harrelson say “You need to watch out for run-on sentences”, I actually started choking I laughed so hard. It’s this comedy mixed in with his heavy hitting scenes where he discusses how to be a family that makes this performance the best supporting actor of the decade. 

Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

Nominated by: Joe

Best Supporting Actor surely has to go to Jared Leto for his outstanding work as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club. When Leto was cast, there was somewhat of an uproar from parts of the LGBTQ+ community as many argued that the character was the perfect opportunity to cast a trans actor. Whatever your thoughts are, Leto was more than vindicated following the controversy. His performance won critical acclaim as well as a best supporting actor Oscar and, for many, cemented his place among the Hollywood elite.

Stanley Tucci – Easy A

Nominated by: Jesse

A man who randomly appears in every film you ever watch, Mr Tucci is a cinematic legend. From Easy A, to Captain America, to Transformers and The Muppets Movie, there isn’t a single genre he hasn’t ventured into. He’s a class act, a lovely human, and well deserving of this accolade.

Michael Stuhlbarg – The Post

Nominated by: Emily

Stuhlbarg is a character actor that has appeared in some of the biggest films of the decade and yet, I can guarantee you’ve just had to Google his name. Michael Stuhlbarg is a man that is just as comfortable playing a mob boss as he is a bookish middle school teacher. He has starred in films such as Call Me By Your Name, The Post and The Shape of Water. Since 2017, Stuhlbarg is slowly emerging as the face with no name to a recognisable star, but let’s be fair, he’s always been bursting with talent.

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actress Alternative Oscars

Allison Janney – Tallulah

Nominated by: Emily

Alright, so she did win an Oscar in 2017 for I,Tonya but in my opinion Janney’s career spans a decade of outstanding performances and Oscar snubs. From her sensitive performance as a woman longing for motherhood in indie flick Tallulah to supporting comedic roles in Tammy and Spy, Janney’s talent spans a plethora of genres. Always a joy to watch, Janney bring pathos and a sense of grounding to every character she inhabits.

Lupita Nyong’o – Us

Nominated by: Jesse

From becoming an Oscar winner, to being part of the Star Wars and Marvel universes,  to being one of the scariest leads in recent horror, Us, Lupita has set the bar for actresses in the 2010s. She has worked her way up to full-blown stardom in the 2010s, and she absolutely deserves it.

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Nominated by: Daulton & Joe

From the first scene that Alicia Vikander appears in Ex Machina, I would have given her this award. The fact that for the rest of the movie she continues to deliver an amazing performance as an artificial intelligence who you never can truly trust makes it even easier for me to pick her. Her mannerisms are so robotic and mesmerising that it makes the film better every second she’s on screen. 

Felicity Jones – A Monster Calls

Nominated by: Adam

Whether or not Felicity Jones’ performance in the wonderful A Monster Calls is classed as Supporting or not, it deserves much more recognition than it received upon release. Battling a life-limiting illness and with a young son to look after, Jones pours everything she has into this deeply emotive role. If you haven’t seen A Monster Calls yet, it’s a must, albeit hard, watch.

Best Director

Best Director Alternative Oscars

Edgar Wright

Nominated by: Daulton

I laid out a few directors that made at least three films that I really liked, and I came up with four finalists. David Fincher, The Russo Brothers, Martin Scorsese, and Edgar Wright. However, I just enjoy Wright’s movies better, and because of that, I have to give this to Edgar Wright. His comedic style just make his movies so fun to watch, and just slightly better than Fincher, who probably would have won if I had seen Mindhunter. But, I haven’t, and Edgar Wright is my pick for Director of the Decade.

Jennifer Kent

Nominated by: Emily

Although Kent’s back catalogue is thin, she has certainly made her mark in this decade’s cinematic psyche. Her debut feature, The Babadook, was the jangling bag of nerves but her latest project, The Nightingale, is horrifying on a completely new level. Expertly crafted with several laugh-nervously-or-you-might-cry moments, Kent proves once again that she is a fearless director and one to watch in 2020.

Taika Waititi

Nominated by: Jesse

A comedy powerhouse, Waititi exploded into the 2010s with multiple bouts of comedy gold, including Hunt for the Wilderpeople, What We Do In The Shadows, and Thor: Ragnarok. His erratic and eclectic style of filmmaking is refreshing in a sea of serious and vaguely miserable directors, and it is always clear (without doubt) that he is always having fun.

Steven Spielberg

Nominated by: Adam

It’s probably fair to say that Steven Spielberg had a bit of a wobble in the noughties and his films weren’t the guaranteed box office gold that the 80s and 90s had brought us. Fast forward from 2010 onwards, and the director has created cracking low budget flicks like The Post, Lincoln and War Horse alongside his more usual popcorn-munching fayre like Ready Player One. He is and will always be, one of the directing greats.

Denis Villeneuve

Nominated by: Joe

From gritty crime dramas such as Prisoners and Sicario to epic, thought-provoking science fiction films such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Villeneuve really is an accomplished all-rounder. For me, Arrival is probably his strongest work, in terms of creativity and craft he’s up there with the best of them however it’s his attention to detail in the moment that really brings his work to life.

Best Actress

Best Actress Alternative Oscars

Emily Blunt

Nominated by: Adam

Has there been an actress (apart from those others nominated here) that has had such an amazing decade as Emily Blunt? While it was a shame that she was overlooked for the part of Black Widow, she’s certainly made up for it with roles in A Quiet Place and Edge of Tomorrow, proving she’s got the acting chops for horror and action roles. Plus, she’s the new Mary Poppins! We love you Emily!

Saoirse Ronan

Nominated by: Joe & Jesse

Now you would be forgiven for thinking this is a bit of an odd choice for Best Actress, but when you actually look back over Saoirse Ronan’s career for the past decade, it’s absolutely packed full of great performances across a number of fantastic independent films. From Ladybird to The Grand Budapest Hotel and, more recently, Little Women, Ronan has more than proven her acting prowess over the past decade.

Emma Stone

Nominated by: Daulton

Another actress that wouldn’t win this award based on one performance (Olivia Cooke in Thoroughbreds is far and away the best), but its for her work across films like La La Land, Birdman, Easy A, Battle of the Sexes, and The Favourite that make Emma Stone the best actress of the decade. Her charm and intensity manage to lift her over a fairly vacant area of competition. Honestly, if you doubt this pick at all, just go watch the Audition Scene from La La Land, then come back and apologise for disagreeing.

Florence Pugh

Nominated by: Emily

From her debut feature performance as the titular Lady Macbeth, to the gut-wrenchingly raw performance in the decade’s sunniest horror film, Florence Pugh has had one hell of a breakthrough decade. Pugh displays the unique ability to turn her complexion from pale to puce in fiery succession, and her mastery of emotion is, at times, truly astounding. I predict bigger and better things to come.

Best Actor

Best Actor Alternative Oscars

Hugh Jackman

Nominated by: Adam

Hugh Jackman has had an amazing decade. Whether it’s getting to stretch his acting chops in films like Les Miserables or Logan, or sharing with the world his incredible voice in The Greatest Showman, it’s difficult to pick out an actor who is more likeable and dedicated to giving the audience a great time. He’s fully deserving of this award.

Ryan Gosling

Nominated by: Daulton

If this was only based on one performance, I would have gone with Michael Keaton for his work in Birdman, but being that this is an award for the entire decade of work, it’s got to go to Ryan Gosling, who I’ve seen in six films this decade, 3 of which are in my top 3 films of all time (The Nice Guys, La La Land, Drive) and three movies in which he was outstanding in (Blade Runner 2049, First Man, The Big Short). His comedic timing and charm, along with his surprising intensity manages to elevate him over the competition, which really only includes DiCaprio.

Adam Driver

Nominated by: Emily

So this one is technically cheating as Driver may end up win an Oscar come awards season, but alas, I honestly couldn’t choose anybody else. It’s been an outstanding decade for Driver, who went from playing Lena Dunham’s zainy boyfriend in the TV series Girls to a career-defining performance in Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (2019).

Leonardo DiCaprio

Nominated by: Joe & Jesse

Over the past 30 years, DiCaprio has proven himself as one of the top actors working today. What separates DiCaprio from his contemporaries, however, is his uncanny ability to select largely only great films to star in, thereby ensuring that each of his incredible performances are all the more memorable (and the 2010s have been no exception to this). He also managed to bag his first Best Actor Oscar in 2015 for his portrayal of Hugh Glass in The Revenant which, as far as I’m concerned, was long overdue.

Best Picture

Logan

Nominated by: Emily

In a decade defined by the superhero genre, Logan was a sombre and intimate farewell to everybody’s favourite Wolverine. For the first time, the tension between Logan’s struggle to be a good person and his innate animalistic killer instincts is explored in detail. The film is a heady mix of emotional drama, action-adventure and western noir, topped with an electrifying, and truly Oscar-worthy, final performance by Hugh Jackman.

Drive

Nominated by: Joe

Selecting the best film of a decade is no easy task. But why Drive I hear you ask? The reason for choosing Nicolas Winding Refn’s neo-noir thriller is simple; not only is it a phenomenal, wonderfully written film that boasts a great score, an outstanding cast and some truly incredible set-pieces, it’s also very much a contemporary classic. Sure, technically superior films may have been released over the past 10 years but Drive really is the best film winner the decade deserves.

Get Out

Nominated by: Jesse

All you have to see is a teacup and saucer, and it takes you back to this movie. It’s chilling, disturbing, and genuinely the best debut made by a single director during this decade. Jordan Peele, although surprisingly a comedian by trade, is one of the most refreshing voices in horror for a long while. This movie kickstarted a genre that was stuck in a jumpscare rut.

La La Land

Nominated by: Daulton

This was a three way race between La La Land, Ex Machina, and Thoroughbreds, and by the narrowest of margins, La La Land managed to edge out based off of one thing, and that’s the ending. As previously mentioned, the ending to La La Land is the best set piece of the decade, and that managed to carry it above the other two films. I also can’t forget to mention the amazing score and songs including “Another Day of Sun” and “Someone in the Crowd”, the fantastic leading performances from Gosling and Stone, and the characters with more depth than an Olympic Swimming Pool. With all those aspects combined, they make La La Land the best film of the 2010s.

The Martian

Nominated by: Adam

It would have been easy to have picked one of the massive superhero blockbusters for this award, or even my personal film of the decade, Jurassic World. However, Ridley Scott’s The Martian is one of the finest films I’ve seen over the last ten years and had my jaw on the floor on more than one occasion. Propped up by an incredible performance from Matt Damon, it looks great, sounds great and is a little understated – and that’s just who deserves to win Best Picture in this Alternative Oscars.

Remember to vote for your favourites using our dedicated and completely anonymous voting form, CLICK HERE.

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