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  • Rough Cut Staff

Mailbag, Part 1: 2021 Oscars


April is Oscars month, which essentially just means we get two extra months to pretend we won't be disappointed on the big night.

We're celebrating the Academy Awards all month long, and we're kicking off with a 2-part mailbag. First up: our writers take on the upcoming 93rd Oscars. In Part 2, they answer questions about the 92 ceremonies that came before. Let's get going.

1. I want my favorite film actors to like watching movies, just like I want my favorite NBA players to like watching basketball and my favorite plumbers to like using the toilet. So which Best Picture nominee is the favorite movie of each nominee for Best Supporting Actress? And no, they can’t pick their own movie.

  • Maria Bakalova

    • Zach D’Amico: The Trial of Chicago 7, because who wouldn’t love seeing their co-star/Dad go toe-to-toe with fascism?

    • Sara Murphy D’Amico: Promising Young Woman

    • Carson Cook: Mank

    • Jonny Diaz: Promising Young Woman, because that’s WHAT MARIA BAKALOVA IS

  • Glenn Close

    • ZD: I think she’s a Judas and the Black Messiah gal.

    • SMD: Nomadland

    • CC: Sound of Metal

    • JD: Nomadland, because Glenn loves it when an actress over 60 who isn’t Meryl Streep gets a great leading role.

  • Olivia Colman

    • ZD: I could see Olivia just absolutely head-banging, and having a shameless crush on Riz. It’s Sound of Metal.

    • SMD: Minari

    • CC: Judas and the Black Messiah

    • JD: Minari, because prickly grandma is exactly the role Olivia Colman will crush in 20 years

  • Amanda Seyfried

    • ZD: Promising Young Woman, no doubt

    • SMD: Minari

    • CC: Minari

    • JD: Judas and the Black Messiah, because she seems cool as hell

  • Youn Yuh-jung

    • ZD: I think also Promising Young Woman, because what else would you expect from the woman who blew up with 1971’s Woman of Fire?

    • SMD: The Father

    • CC: Promising Young Woman

    • JD: Sound of Metal, because she knows that sometimes the best cinema comes with subtitles


2. Whose outfit will create the most controversy and why?

ZD: Is it Sasha Baron Cohen, or is he too “of a certain age” for the hi-jinx? Considering he’s literally nominated for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, I’m going to say he’s not. The question is whether he can come up with a prank that complies with health and safety protocols.

SMD: According to someone familiar with the Hollywood rumor mill, Aaron Sorkin is going to be sporting a suit of white paper to symbolize the prolific screenwriting he could’ve been doing instead of directing The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s called the “Opportunity Cost[ume]” by Givenchy Up. The controversy will be whether he really means it, or whether it was a dare.

CC: Aaron Sorkin, showing support for Sacha Baron Cohen’s Oscar-nominated performance in Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, turns up in the Borat man-kini.

JD: The Oscar producers’ very pointed dress code requirement was specifically targeted at one person, and one person only: Best Actress presenter (and last year’s Best Actor winner) Joaquin Phoenix. He will show up in a hoodie, and the internet will be mad, because we live in a society.

3. Who will have the best and worst speeches, and why?

ZD: The best will be Youn Yuh-jung, duh.

The worst will be when Nomadland wins Best Picture. Already having won three awards, Chloé Zhao will just hand the microphone to the next producer. That will be Frances McDormand, who will laugh at the microphone and pass it along. Then several white men you’ve never heard of will thank a list of names like Peter, Jim, Betty, and Mike, and you’ll fall asleep, wondering what the point is.

SMD: The worst will be Eric Roth, who will start to thank the Academy for giving the award for Best Picture to Mank. Then Faye will intervene and announce that – oh dear – for a second time in a row an LA-centric film has just won and then lost an Oscar.

Of course the best will be Frances McDormand, who doesn’t really care about getting another Oscar and uses her time to rage against large studios who see movies primarily as a way to make money and ensnare viewers into subscribing to their streaming services. She drops the mic at the end and it breaks.

CC: This feels like a Trojan Horse for a predictions question and I’m not falling for it.

JD: Based on her incredible appearance at the Golden Globes, there’s no way that Taylor Simone Ledward doesn’t give the speech of the night on behalf of her late husband Chadwick Boseman. Moments like that are the real Oscar gold. Pack your tissues.

Worst speech will be when Borat Subsequent Moviefilm wins Adapted Screenplay in an upset and the NINE credited screenwriters use their entire 45 second window trying to figure out who to hand the microphone to. Sacha Baron Cohen will barely get out his “First of all, we want to thank our star Rudy Giuliani…” before the orchestra starts playing them off.


4. You’re vaccinated. Your vaccinated buddies are coming over for an Oscars rager. You need a food and drink pairing that is in theme with this year’s nominees. Go.

ZD: Judas and the Black Messiah? More like Gouda and the White Russian!!!


Drink: bottles of champagne. No glasses are available. And you can’t share with anyone else because of COVID.

Food: chicken nuggets, served on either blue or pink plates (maybe your friends will become vegetarian once they figure this one out).

CC: The “Another Round of Minari” menu: no food, just Mountain Dew-based cocktails.

JD: We’re having Chicago Seven Layer Dip (aka deep dish pizza) and we’re consuming Another Round-levels of liquor because we deserve it!!!

Nordisk Film

5. You’ve been given Oscars Producer Steven Soderbergh’s phone number. You can send him a single text message pitching a host for this year’s Oscars ceremony, but he also has no idea who you are or why you’re texting him. Write that text.

ZD: Hey Steve, it’s me, the fucking hilarious Aubrey Plaza and the answer to your hosting headache. Ya welcome.

SMD: How about Kenneth Branagh for Oscars host? It will be nice working with proper villains again!

CC: Listen, Steven, I know you’re planning on going hostless again, but with all the strangeness we need an anchor. We need America’s dad. Call Tom.

JD: Steve. Clooney. New Phone. Pitt, Cheadle, and Julia are in. Go pick them up and meet me at the Dolby. Let’s do this.

6. Speed round, no explanations:

  • Which nominee most deserves a trophy this year?

    • ZD: Time for Best Documentary Feature.

    • SMD: Carey Mulligan, Best Actress

    • CC: Maria Bakalova, Best Supporting Actress

    • JD: Carey Mulligan, Best Actress

  • What will be the most shocking win?

    • ZD: David Fincher, Best Director

    • SMD: Youn Yuh-jung (answered before SAG Awards, so this was prophetic)

    • CC: Viola Davis, Best Actress (also answered before SAG Awards, also prophetic)

    • JD: Maria Bakalova, Best Supporting Actress

  • Have you watched any of the nominated shorts this year, like you said you would?

    • ZD: So, no, but nex

    • SMD: No (pretended she never said she would)

    • CC: No (pretended he never said he would)

    • JD: I still have time! I’ll do it, I swear!


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