Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ Iɴᴅᴇx —

a very-delayed Celebration of the year 2020 in cinema and related entertainment media, “hosted bythe Azure-Winged Magpie, the Spotted Nutcracker, (feat.) and a big surprise!
(We made it! We made it! …eventually!)

BUT! First things first! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to YOUR EMPRESS MAGPIE J-chan! Happy Birthday to me! Wooooooo! Okay, now stop it.

Hello hello and welcome welcome to the mostest-bestest awards in the universes for TV and cinema (so far!)… the 3rd Annual Oscine Awards!

Before we get on to the event, I’m going to warn you right now that this is a multimedia post and some parts of this might take a little while to load on slower connections.

Oscine Awards 2021
The 2021 Award, designed by the Crow

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

The Azure-Winged Magpie: I know. I know. We’re not in February any more (or even close). We could have released the awards ahead of the Academy Awards like we usually do, but we decided to hold our ceremony after they were all done over there in United America-land so that we could be sure of our choices. In other words… we didn’t ruin the Academy Awards’ viewership this year (for which I expect a thank you note as well as a box of actually-good chocolates) and we’re not compromising on the hard-hitting, eye-opening, brain-splitting content we promised you way back when.

For obvious reasons, we didn’t actually catch that many films (and reviewed only one) in 2020. But don’t anyone worry! For the last few weeks months, Lt Cdr Nutcracker and I (your Glorious Empress Magpie*cough*), birthday-overlord “Number One“, caught up on a LOT of films. Almost every major film that came out in 2020 (and then some…).

Since there were only really two of us, we didn’t use our voting pool this year, although thinker-upper of the Oscine Awards the Crow sent in a list because he was forced to to help out. And after all the arguments and debates we had between ourselves, I’m pretty sure we speak for “the team” when it comes to our winners.

Like last year, we’re shuffling up our awards once again, but with a few twists! We’re bringing back the award for the Best Documentary Feature of 2020, and we’ll point out what’s different about the awards when we’re presenting them.
And on that note, tonight’s event is going to be…

(I know. Exciting, right? The same exact three people as last year.)
(And yeah. You reading this right. We got ‘im! We dragged the Crow kicking and screaming all the way over to our emergency orbital Corvid HQ to do this.)

Like usual, I, the Azure-Winged Magpie, come in science blue and write in lilac. The Spotted Nutcracker comes in operations gold and writes in grey. And The Crow comes in command red and writes in black. We’ll mark ourselves out separately, but it’s nice to have a refresher, no? (Especially since we didn’t do any new menus this year…)

Another little detail about this year is that while we have a LOT of media involved in tonight’s ceremony, we’re not really doing any sound of our own this year (mostly because we’re trying to save on our shiny new storage space). We did have a few animated running gags planned, but thanks to the tequila-flavoured tiny life-form we’re having problems with for the last year and a half, our new animator couldn’t finish everything. (We’ll have to save all of that for next year, I guess.) We really wanted to make this bigger and grander, but onwards and upwards, amirite?

Any video featuring winners is going to have audio though, so make sure you turn your audio down to somewhere in the middle and give the volume button a click to get the full effect!

And with all that dusted… let’s all strap in! Because it’s finally time! After making you all wait so much to figure out who the big winners (and losers) of 2020 are…
Welcome one, welcome all, to…

The 3rd ANNUAL
OSCINE_AWARDS

Onwards and wingwards! Let’s get right into it!


Best Season of TV Programming, 2020

The Spotted Nutcracker: Last year was a very good year for TV. Everyone was indoors (or should have been) and there weren’t as many movies going to cinema theatres. This didn’t mean that everything that came out was going to be good, but it did mean that there was a bigger chance for TV shows to impress viewers in 2020. And there was a lot to choose from.

These are our nominees for the best of TV in 2020:

  • BoJack Horseman (Final Season)
  • Dark (Final Season)
  • Fargo (Season 4)
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Raised by Wolves
  • The Boys (Season 2)
  • The Mandalorian (Season 2)
  • The Queen’s Gambit
  • Wandavision
  • ZeroZeroZero

And the winner is…

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit edged this win by a large margin in our eyes. Not only was the show a record-breaking series for Netflix, but it is one of the best character pieces that’s been made in a long time. The show received some minor criticism for some choices it made (especially with regards to the appearance of the lead character), but we didn’t think those criticisms made any difference to the quality of the show. It’s emotional, interesting, and a great statement about making it in a world where most people think you can’t ‘make it’. That’s all you could ask for in a show, and the Queen’s Gambit wins it outright.

Here’s to the winner of the first Oscine Award in 2021!

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Documentary Feature, 2020

The Azure-Winged Magpie: This year, there won’t be any nominees for this category. We’re going ahead and awarding the winner for Best Documentary Feature, 2020 right out of the gates because we don’t really think there’s any debate about who deserves the award.

And the winners are…

  • Athlete A
  • Collective

Athlete A + Collective

Athlete A deserves a LOT more public credit than it’s been given. The film’s a 10/10 from most reviewers/publications, but somehow got chopped out of most mainstream awards (although it won the ones it was nominated for). It’s one hell of an exposé and it struck very different chords that sang the same tune to both myself and the Spotted Nutcracker, which I’m pretty sure are chords would strike a lot of people when they watch it (if they haven’t already).

And that’s why it gets the top award for its kind from us here at The Corvid Review.

…Just like Collective does! One of us had a personal connection to the events that the documentary explores and one of our guest reviewers was actually in the area at the time (don’t worry; she was and is fine), but I didn’t know either of those things until late-April. Would knowing that have changed our opinion? Well… I mean… it just makes what happened hit a little harder than when we watched the documentary, but it doesn’t change how great the documentary is. Collective‘s another 10/10.

Both of these documentaries deal with important issues and events and really need to be watched by more people, because knowledge is power. And the knowledge these documentaries explore are problems that continue to exist in many ways despite the light shone on them. We want to sing about these two until the world hears about them. We want all the power to go to the people who actually need it.

Oscine Awards 2021

Worst Season of TV Programming, 2020

The Spotted Nutcracker: 2020 had a lot of good things on screen and it had a lot of bad things on screen. The worst of the bunch (that we watched) are…

  • Emily in Paris
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex_2045
  • Messiah
  • Ratched
  • Star Trek: Discovery (Season 3)
  • The Witcher

And the “Greatest Disappointment” of 2020 is:

Messiah

What. The. Hell?! What the helling hell was helling going on with this stupid show? I hated most of the other shows on the nominees list, but this was the one show that just made me… not care the most. The Witcher was just bad. Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 was horrible (but will one day get a “ghosted” review of it’s merits vs it’s flaws on The Corvid Review), but Messiah was a big ball of… nothing.

Messiah is the kind of program that deserves a lot more criticism than it probably would have because it actually started out interesting, before falling into the trap of having one unexplained thing and then another one and then another one while pretending it was the coolest thing on Earth. And that’s why it gets an award that can pretend like it’s a cool thing, but we can all see what’s wrong with it.

And now, over to the first film award for tonight!


Best Aesthetic Design, 2020

The Azure-Winged Magpie: The award for Best Aesthetic Design takes a long, hard look at all things involved in making a film look good. This includes things like sets, clothes, makeup, hair, and even the style in which the film’s shot. But we’re not just looking for pretty. We’re looking for films where the design team took care in making the world they’re trying to sell us fit together.

And in our eyes the best, most aesthetic films of 2020 are:

  • Another Round
  • Emma
  • Hamilton (it counts!)
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Possessor
  • Promising Young Woman
  • ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ
  • The Father
  • Sound of Metal

And the winner is…

Possessor

Hooo boyyy! We know when something’s going to end up being controversial, and this is right up there! But no seriously. Possessor wins this award by a pretty big mile. It’s a nifty-looking film that lives in a weird, kinda broken world, and did the team ever do some work to make it looks and feels real. I can buy this world, even though there’s so much weirdness going on in it and that’s one of the ways a film “aesthetic” is established (see what I did there?). Add in the fact that the pretty things look pretty and the not-pretty things look not-pretty and we’re on to a winner here!

Another Round, Hamilton, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and ꓔꓰꓠꓱꓕ all came close to the finish line, but Possessor takes home the award for Best Aesthetic Design, 2020!

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Audio, 2020
[OST + Score + Mixing]

The Spotted Nutcracker: This award is pretty self-explanatory, and if it isn’t, I’m pretty sure the extra line beneath the title should give it away. This award is a package deal and is always the one we’re the most unsure about until some time has gone by and we think about which nominees we actually remember.

The nominees are:

  • Hamilton
  • The Invisible Man
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Soul
  • Sound of Metal
  • ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ

And the winner is…

(Okay. No. That’s obviously not the winner. But watch the video! This guy’s channel needs a lot more views, and his content’s been stolen in the past before. The Crow set that straight.)

And the winners are…

Judas and the Black Messiah
+ Sound of Metal

This is probably another controversial choice because Hamilton exists in the same category, but Hamilton is an actual musical. If we remember what Judas and the Black Messiah sounded like more than Hamilton (don’t ask why. We don’t know either), Judas and the Black Messiah did something better (and the writing helped, too). Sound of Metal is a movie that deals with sound, and has a lot of work involved in the sound design, and we remembered what it sounded like just as much as we did JatBM. And it’s because of that reason that the award for Best Audio, 2020 gets shared by both Judas and the Black Messiah and Sound of Metal.

Oscine Awards 2021

Photo courtesy of the Food Channel (click da linkie!)

“The Roast Turkey” Award
Worst Motion Picture of 2020

🗑️ ( ◡ ) 🔪

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Oh ho ho HO! It’s turkey time! Wait… why tf did I just say that…?!

(Okay. Let’s restart.)
Hello one! Hello all! It’s time to see what films deserve to get chucked into my big ol’ rustbucket this year (and then get stomped on and have icky stuff dumped all over them!)!

This is the “award” for the worst-of-the-worst from 2020, the films you really shouldn’t see unless you’re fancying a little brain damage to kick the summer off with! These are the kinds of things that drove me insane millenia ago (did you know Cthulu watches The Room on a regular basis? No wonder he’s always a few tentacles short of a plate of yummy calamari… I regret going over to tea at his so often. I never even got to scoff him down with tartare sauce either…)

Anyway. Enough reminiscing! Here’s the CENSOREDLANGUAGECENSOREDLANGUA!

  • 365 Days*
  • Artemis Fowl
  • Blood Machines*
  • Capone
  • Doolittle
  • The Grudge
  • Monster Hunter
  • Music*
  • The New Mutants
  • Rebecca
  • The Tax Collector
  • Wonder Woman 1984*

And the “winner(s)” is(are)…

365 Days + Music

I’m not even going to talk about these two. Music is actually worse, but I had to stick bab36u5ldaze in there too. They’re bad. ’nuff said.
The films that have an asterisk next to them will get reviews soon enough (maybe. We have a twoTWO!-year backlog on here…)

Time to preheat the oven and get the bucket out!
(And no. There’s no special award this year.)


Best Visual Effects, 2020

The Crow: It’s a little surprising that 2020 was a blip in the upwards curve that CGI’s been ramping up over the last decade. Worldwide crises aside, one might’ve been led to believe that 2020 would turn out to be a year where a lot of productions heavy on the digital design elements would finish up and polish off their work, but this wasn’t the case overall. If anything, a lot of 2020 productions were a step back in terms of visual effects.

The nominees for Best Visual Effects, 2020 are:

  • Mank
  • Possessor
  • Soul
  • ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ

And the winner is:

ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ

It’s refreshing to see – especially in light of what I wrote earlier – a movie that distinctly refrains as much as it possibly can from digital effects tops the list for 2020. We’ve always pushed for more practical effects in our reviews, and we always will until computer-generated effects actually get to the next level — a level, mind you, that they can already reach, if used correctly (not that most mid-level Hollywood studio execs know that).

The sheet amount of work put into ꓔꓰꓠꓱꓕ shows, and while I — in a very ironic fashion– don’t entirely like the movie as a whole, the work is truly inspiring.

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Original Videogame

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Nope. No Call of Fortnite Duty Modern Among Zero Black Medal of Honor Ops Gear NBL 20XX Us FIFA Solid here. We want actual art.

The nominees for Best Original Videogame of 2019 are…

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Doom Eternal
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Half Life: Alyx
  • The Last of Us Part II

And the Best Original Videogame of 2019 is…

Ghost of Tsushima

Ghost of Tsushima was a joy to play. I really liked The Last of Us Part II and Doom Eternal, and Crusader Kings III was a real close call, but they really didn’t do anything that new. Not that Ghost of Tsushima did too much in that direction either, but it was so refreshing to see a new IP come out and actually be good. I didn’t follow the hype, I didn’t really know anything about the game until I played it, and it blew me away. Gorgeous and slick, it’s the only nominee who really deserved this W.

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Writing
[Story + Screenplay]

The Spotted Nutcracker: There weren’t a lot of risks taken with storytelling in 2020, and it’s a little disheartening to see the level of writing go down so much year after year. This is the category for which we had to watch the most movies because we simply didn’t like the movies that we thought would be nominated by everyone else as the frontrunners. And after a lot of watching and taking notes,

The nominees are…

  • The Assistant
  • The Father
  • First Cow
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Minari
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Nomadland
  • Possessor
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Wolfwalkers

And the winner(s) is(are)…

Never Really Sometimes Always

I loved this film. It’s simple, it’s a little “safe” in the story it tells, but it’s such a good story! It’s the kind of story that won’t date until we somehow manage to “remove the pregnancy from the pregnancee” (thanks J-chan!). It’s one of the oldest stories in the world and you can do it time and time again, and every time, you’re going to end up with something new because so many factors go into the idea.

Where Never Really Sometimes Always stands ahead of the crowd is in its consistency and the way in which it sticks to what it is. We’re living in a world where everyone’s trying to do the big world-ending drama, and the “human” stories are the usual “this is what’s trending on Twitter” stories, and in the middle of all of that is Never Really Sometimes Always tells a very human story in a very direct way. Most of our other nominees did the same thing, but we only really loved one of them in the end.

At this point, I think it’s just statistically a fact that human stories are what win you an Oscine Award.

Oscine Awards 2021

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Text

Best of The Corvid Review, 2020
[No Award]

Here’s a quick run-down of our top posts as of Jan 1, 2020:

  • Most Popular Post of 2019Possession
  • HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Most Popular Post of All TimePossession
    Yes! We have a new champion!

And now over to our…

The Sir Pickpocket Award for Excellence, 2020

And the award goes to…!

Hideo Kojima

One of us spoke about the man himself at length some time ago, and we’re all BIG fans of his. He’s the greatest director to have ever worked in videogames, and it’s been a long time coming for him to win a coveted Oscine Award.

We like it, Kojima-sama, we like it very much.

Winner winner! Songbird winner!

Oscine Awards 2021

And now over to our…


Best Individual Performance

The Azure-Winged Magpie: We’ve only ever awarded a single performance every year here on the Oscine Awards, and we always have a LOT of performances to go through. So I’m going to cut straight to who we picked.

The nominees for Best Individual Performance are…

  • Christopher AbbottPossessor
  • Riz AhmedSound of Metal
  • Maria BakalovaBorat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Kenneth Branaghꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ
  • Olivia ColmanThe Father
  • Viola DavisMa Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Sidney FlanaganNever Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Julia GarnerThe Assistant
  • Daniel KaluuyaJudas and the Black Messiah
  • Frances McDormand — Nomadland
  • Mads Mikkelsen — Another Round
  • Elizabeth MossThe Invisible Man / Shirley
  • Carey MulliganPromising Young Woman
  • Anthony HopkinsThe Father
  • Gary OldmanMank
  • Andrea RiseboroughPossessor
  • Tilda SwintonThe Human Voice

And the actor who had the Best Individual Performance in 2019 is…

Anthony Hopkins —The Father

I’m so so so sorry to all our other nominees, but when Sir Anthony Hopkins is at his peak, you can’t really compare anyone to him (unless he’s that dashing Loki in disguise! oh shit!). And this is Sir Hopkins in one of his best roles. The Father was a film we knew about but never really took seriously until we actually saw it. Just like Never Really Sometimes Always from our Best Writing category, the film bowled us over with how ‘human’ it was. And it made us ugly cry. Like ugly cry a LOT. Two-time Oscine Award-nominee Olivia Coleman bowled us over too and was one of our finalists for the awards, just like a lot of the performances nominated this year came close (special shoutouts to the Crow’s ever-favourite Carey Mulligan, Riz Ahmed and Mads Mikkelsen), but no one really compares to peak Mr Fava Beans.

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Overall Composition

The Crow: The award for Best Overall Composition is the dominant technical award of the night, and the highest possible accolade for the team behind a movie that we can give. This is for the movies that achieved the perfect possible balance between all the elements that go into making a movie. We shall let this award — as well as the award following it — stand on its own without any additional text by us.

The following are the nominees which the Azure-Winged Magpie and the Spotted Nutcracker felt struck the perfect balance in all technical aspects of movie-making:

  • Bacurau
  • Collective
  • Hamilton
  • Mank
  • Possessor
  • Promising Young Woman
  • Sound of Metal
  • ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ
  • The Father

And the winner/s) is/are:

Sound of Metal

directed by: Darius Marder
produced by: Bill Benz, Kathy Benz, Bert Hamelinck, and Sacha Ben Harroche

Oscine Awards 2021

Best Motion Picture

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Here we are! It’s finally time to announce the winner of The Corvid Review‘s Best Motion Picture of 2019! This is the film that may not have been the technical darling (although it could!) of the year, but was beak and head over wings out of all the films in the last year!

And the nominees are:

  • Athlete A
  • Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Mank
  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • The Father

And the winner is…

The Father

directed by: Florian Zeller
produced by: David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi, Philippe Carcassonne, Christophe Spadone, and Simon Friend

Winner winner! Songbird winner!

Oscine Awards 2021

Summary & Round-Up

The Crow: A full list of the winners follow:

  • Best Season of TV Programming, 2020: The Queen’s Gambit
  • Best Season of TV Programming, 2020: Messiah
  • Best Aesthetic Design: Possessor
  • Best Audio: Judas and the Black Messiah + Sound of Metal
  • “The Roast Turkey Award” / Worst Movie of 2019: 365 Days + Music
  • Best Visual Effects: ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ
  • Best Original Videogame: Ghost of Tsushima
  • Best Writing: [TIE] Never Rarely Sometimes Always
  • Best Individual Performance: Anthony Hopkins (The Father)
  • Best Overall Composition: [TIE] Sound of Metal [x2]
  • Best Picture: The Father [x2]
  • Most Nominations: (no longer counts “Most Disappointing” and “Roast Turkey” entries)
    • Sound of Metal [4 nominations, 2 wins];
    • ꓔ ꓰ ꓠ ꓱ ꓕ [4 nominations, 1 win];
    • The Father [3 nominations, 2 wins];

Hope you enjoyed this post, and we’ll see you all shortly.

The Azure-Winged Magpie: You might have noticed that we left a certain minor category out this year. But we’re also going to ask you to shhh! about it (for now!) Y’see…

Blogging is such a drag. Every day, we’d write the same kind of thing, dress the same, sit in front of the same kind of games… Yeah, we became just that kind of people. But then one day, we go and do something new! We couldn’t even be unoriginal about the way we do it. We’re not complaining… we were dying of boredom anyway, But guess what? We will be coming back, and we’re bringing all our new toys with us.”

— Team out

2 thoughts on “ Awards / Scorecard: The 3rd Annual Oscine Awards [2021]! ”

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