Awards / Scorecard: The 1st Annual Oscine Awards [2019]

Cᴏɴᴛᴇɴᴛ Iɴᴅᴇx —

a Celebration of the year 2018 in Film and Television.
“Hosted by” the Crow and the Azure-Winged Magpie.

Introductory Statement

The Crow: 2019 will be a rather difficult year for us on The Corvid Review. The Azure-Winged Magpie will find herself mostly on her own as we move forward due to a certain project I’ve committed to. As for the moment, “Star Trek Month” is still very much on, with my slightly-delayed review of Velvet Buzzsaw due soon, as well as the Azure-Winged Magpie’s review of Alita: Battle Angel; however, following today, I’ll be taking a step away from this blog in order to start work on the aforementioned project.

The reason I mention this is because even though 2018 was quite a difficult year for us, we — surprisingly — managed to watch all the major releases of the year between the both of us (we managed to catch up with the few that lagged behind in January), and intend to do the same for 2019. In light of that, we decided to do away with our old “Scorecard” system in favour of a more “formal” declaration of which works of 2018 we felt deserved special mention.

And so, replacing our annual “Scorecards” from 2019 onwards are the Annual Oscine Awards.

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These awards are quite self-explanatory, but we would like to remind everyone that not every movie we liked has made the list. There was much, much more to 2018 than this list can encompass. We’d like to think that even gaining a nomination to our list constitutes a special mention, and have spent quite a few days honing our list down to the movies that were most deserving of this “coveted” new award.

Further: while the Oscine Awards are going to only focus on movies (with one award reserved for television) this year, we intend to expand the categories next year, and in the years to come.

With the arrival of the Oscine Awards, we’d also like to announce the fact that The Corvid Review will be slowly going through a major overhaul (technically starting today). The projected date for the end of this overhaul is May, and there is a lot to be done. Some detals about this overhaul have been previously covered, and while I’d like to let the results speak for themselves as they happen (especially since most of the work will be behind the scenes), there is one immediate change I would like to draw special attention to:

The-Corvid-Review-Banner
The Corvid Review: Site Banner 2017 — 2019

This image has served as our site banner for nearly two years. While it won’t be leaving us permanently (by “order” of the Azure-Winged Magpie), it’s been high time for an update. And updates have been made — multiple updates. In time, they will slowly be rolled out, but for the moment, I would like to present to you the new and improved Site Banner for The Corvid Review, starting today.

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The Corvid Review — 2019 Banner 1

Again: this image is just one of many that will start to appear on the site starting today. We’d like to know what you think of our (read: my) art, and welcome an feedback that we receive. Of course, the Star Trek theme continues, but as time goes by, even that mainstay of our identity might become subject to change.

But now, with all that said and done, we move on to the Inaugural Oscine Awards!

A run-down of the categories follow:


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The 1st Annual
Oscine Awards

The Primary Categories are:

Best Documentary Feature
Best Aesthetic Design
Best Visual Effects
Best Audio
Best New TV Programme
Best Writing
Best Individual Performance
Best Overall Composition
Best Motion Picture

The Secondary Categories are:

“Greatest Disappointment” of 2018
Worst Picture of 2018
Most Anticipated Picture of 2019
“Most Surprising” Picture of 2018

The nominees (and subsequent winners) follow:


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Best Documentary Feature

The Azure-Winged Magpie: So here we go with the very first Oscine Award ever er… awarded! And this lovely singing award is meant for the Best Documentary of 2018! 

This award is meant for the documentaries that taught us something in a special way. And just to be clear, let me say that again. While what we learnt is the most important thing, the way in which it was taught to us is important too. We’re looking for documentaries that did something interesting with the format that we didn’t expect or thought was really creative. And what documentaries did we think made the final “cut”? 

The nominees are:

  • 24 Frames
  • Studio 54
  • Free Solo
  • Minding the Gap
  • They Shall Not Grow Old
  • Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
  • They Shall Not Grow Old

And the winner is…

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They Shall Not Grow Old

Hands down. Chins up. This documentary was special. All I have to say is that you’re looking at and hearing World War I. The real actual World War I. And it looks and sounds like it happened only a few years ago. Peter Jackson’s been on a bit of a slippy staircase for a while now but this documentary put him straight back up on his high seat. It totally deserves its status as the Best Documentary of last year.

No questions asked. 


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“Greatest Disappointment” of 2018

The Crow: To qualify as a disappointment, a movie must come with expectations. Therefore, with one glaring exception, this has been a section largely spearheaded by the Azure-Winged Magpie.

Throughout most of 2018, the year seemed to be rather muted, with some of my acquaintances hearing my “there’s nothing out there” rant at one point or another. Of course, the year finished strong and gave us much to talk about — but also produced a sizeable quantity of “duds” along the way. The following is a list of these duds that we had expected to be much, much better than they turned out to be.

The nominees are:

And the winner is…

The Predator

The one movie. The one movie on the list I saw (and reviewed) is our winner. The reason? I can give you two.

One: it’s a franchise with a solid foundation. I’ve spoken before about how I liked 2010’s Predators, despite its faults, and how highly I rate the original.
Two: Shane Black. This is a man who has previously appeared on our old “Scorecard” system with his previous movie The Nice Guys, which the Azure-Winged Magpie felt was worthy of calling her favourite movie of 2016 (bar Your Name).

While he had largely mis-stepped with 2013’s Iron Man 3, no one could’ve predicted just how poor The Predator turned out to be. I consider it to be one of the worst movies of 2018, although the Azure-Winged Magpie is much kinder to it. But what it — unquestionably — ends up being is the Most Disappointing movie of 2018.


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Best Aesthetic Design

The Crow: The Award for Best Aesthetic Design takes into consideration those movies which made use of “set-dressing” — be it literal sets, clothing, make-up, or even a sticker on a water-bottle in the background — to create a believable world that the movie can exist in. The award also takes into account the overall look and “feel” of the movie as far as it relates to the tone the movie is trying to set.

What we are looking for is a production in which the actions and happenings feel natural within the world’s own rule-set.

The nominees are:

And the winner is…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is without peer in this category. While it might come as a surprise, considering it’s up against the likes of The Favourite and First Man (both of which came very close to picking up the award), the overall design of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is — without hyperbole — excellent.


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Worst Motion Picture of 2018
The Roast Turkey Award

(ಠ ◡ )

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Oh yas. It’s that time. It’s time to bring out… MY BUCKET! I don’t have to tell you lot what this award is for, but you betcha I’m going to be coating this film in a nice thick layer of herbed butter and sticking it into an oven until it burns to a lump of coal!

(And no. We didn’t review most of these films but I’ve got some… plans up my feathers!) 

The nominees are:

  • The Cloverfield Paradox
  • Death Wish
  • Fifty Shades Freed
  • Gotti
  • The Happytime Murders
  • Holmes & Watson
  • Mortal Engines
  • The Nun
  • The Predator
  • Robin Hood
  • Slender Man

And the “winner” is:

Fifty Shades Freed

What a load of [BLEEP]!

I kinda feel bad for Jamie Dornan and Dakota “50 Shades Ruined My Life” Johnson (who I liked in Bad Times At The El Royale and Suspiria)! This is one special pile of doo-doo that one day (ONE day!) is going to get stuffed into my bucket with super-special care (and a lot of herbed butter)!


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Best Audio

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Okay. So this one was a rough one to pick. Audio’s the one thing we’re both not that good at. But we like OSTs and just listening to what happens in the backgrounds of films. We like how music can be used to set the mood (and NEVER EVER should TELL you what you should be feeling) and make the scenes we’re watching better.

We’re not just looking at songs. We’re looking at ALL the sounds

And let me tell ya. This one really took a while to figure out. 

The nominees are:

And the winner is…

First Man

Yup. I gotta hand it to First Man. This film sounds… full(?!) It’s like we’re looking into what was really going on behind the scenes at NASA at the time. And that “landing” music… wow. That is just so damn good! That whole scene is so.damn.good! BlacKKKlansman came really close to winning, but First Man just about edged it because it left the music hanging in the background and kept it from telling us how we were supposed to feel (not like BlacKKKlansman did it that much either). I’m gonna go ahead and say this was a tough one but the right one to win this award. 


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Best Visual Effects

The Crow: This award is meant for those movies which expressed the most creativity in the field of visual language. We are looking for movies which employed new, and inventive, techniques that could further the field — as well as make for a capturing work of cinema. Considering that this is a field we are rather specially qualified to pick apart, we engaged in many “fun” debates while zeroing down on our eventual winner.

The nominees are:

  • Annihilation
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • First Man
  • Mandy
  • Ready Player One
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • They Shall Not Grow Old

And the winner is…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I assume this isn’t much of a surprise, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse picks up its second Oscine Award in our inaugural year. And while it was the clear winner, with not as much competition in this round as in Aesthetic Design, there was some clear competition in the “lower decks” as the rest of the movies listed battled it out for places 2 — 7. While we won’t be revealing the ranked list (especially considering we didn’t make one for each category), the point remains that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the clear winner of the Oscine Award for Visual Effects.

Great job.


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Best New TV Programme

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Okay so… the Crow doesn’t really watch TV.

Sure. He’s going through Star Trek: Discovery episodes like they’re hot cakes but I’m betting he can count all the TV shows he’s ever watched on his toes. So this is MY section! And I watched a LOT of TV last year (okay. I watched a LOT of Netflix last year). 

The nominees are:

  • Altered Carbon
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Elite
  • Killing Eve
  • The Terror
  • You

And the winner is…

Altered Carbon

The Crow watched this too and he disagrees. But he’s also got nothing to put up for the award so I get to have my way! Altered Carbon was AWESOME! It looked great and had an amazing story. Everything was just so good about it that I pretty much made this award just so I could hand it to the show. I really want season 2 (starring Anthony Mackie/Falcon) to be as good as the first one. 


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“Most Surprising” Picture of 2018

The Azure-Winged Magpie: So yeah. We’re looking at the film that came outta nowhere, smacked us straight in the face (cause it was awesome) and went dancing off again. We want films that are good but films that we didn’t know were even a thing or expected to be doo-doo. This award’s the opposite of Miss “Most Disappointing” up there and I don’t really think I need to be telling you what it’s for. 

The nominees are:

And the winner is…

The Other Side of the Wind

Okay… so this is a weird one. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was going to be our winner but when you really think about it… The Other Side of the Wind is a film that was in the ol’ pipeline for forty (forty!) years. And we actually really liked it too! 

It’s the last film Orson Welles ever made and I’ve seen some of his other films. It’s just… not what I expected. It’s not what I expected at ALL. At least with Spider-Man (…Spider-Man! Does whatever a spider can!) I knew I was getting the friendly neighbourhood web-slinger in a fun action adventure flick. But with TOSOTW (…wow), I was pretty much left flapping ’round in the wind (get it?! LOL)! 


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Best Writing

The Crow: We haven’t read these screenplays, of course. That said, three of them are notably written in languages we either speak to the mildest of degrees or are utterly illiterate in (on second thought… dobrý večer). That said, for this section, we’re considering only original works of fiction which formed the bones around which a movie could be built. No adaptations or remakes belong here. We are only interested in works that were written for the movie which was presented, and we are looking for excellence.

This year, considering our lack of screenplays read, we’re focussing specifically on the story as it’s told and the lines that are delivered (and we hope the translators were as accurate as possible, although the loss of nuance is inevitable).

The nominees are:

And the winner is…

Shoplifters

I think the Azure-Winged Magpie put it best when she said that Shoplifters featured an intensely “human” story. I quite agree. Shoplifters is a bittersweet look at the human condition through the lens of the outsiders it casts a lingering eye on. That — some might realise — is a quality that runs through most of the movies on the list of nominations (if not all). Picking a winner was a little difficult, but not by much. It’s the innocence — stolen or preserved — in Shoplifters that makes it our pick for the movie featuring the Best Writing of 2018 (and we really do hope the translations were as accurate as possible).


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Most Anticipated Picture of 2019

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Okay. So… this is a pretty “unique” award to stick into a “ceremony” but hey! Here we are!

You readers know how hyped I (or we) get for films and 2018 seemed pretty “meh” to both of us for a long long long time. And the longer 2018 got… the more we got hyped for the next year’s films! And these are the films we want to see the MOST in 2019! 

The nominees are:

  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
  • Us

And the winner is… 

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Oh come on! This isn’t a surprise coming from us. Sorry Endgame, but we ain’t even previewed you yet (I don’t know if we even will because that’s going to be a whole other can of worms to open up). On the other hand… Godzilla got two previews already! And there’s a third already written up and on the list to come out the minute “Star Trek Month’s” done!

But it’s not liked we’re not hyped for Endgame too! I mean now that the Crow’s done with Ant-Man And The Wasp, we’ve actually covered every Marvel Cinematic Universe film made so far. And Us! We want to watch Us yesterday! We loved Get Out and we’re expecting a film that’s just as good. And Tarantino! We haven’t covered a single QT film so far on The Corvid Review, but you lot know we like what he does.

But THE KING rules over all of them. Godzilla: King of the Monsters is the film we’re most hyped for in 2019. So much that I’m doing a whole month of NOTHING but Godzilla films and everything leading up to KotM.

All hail My King! 


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Best Individual Performance

The Crow: We intend this award to be an indication of the single best performance delivered in a given year. While the very nature of the award — as well as the feats of certain actors — make this award naturally prone to ties and other complications that might warrant the use of a handsaw, we gave much time and thought to the individual who deserved our nod above all the rest for 2018.

The nominees are:

  • Glenn Close: The Wife
  • Toni Collette: Hereditary
  • Olivia Colman: The Favourite
  • Claire Foy: Unsane
  • Tomasz Kot: Cold War
  • Joanna Kulig: Cold War
  • Rami Malek: Bohemian Rhapsody
  • [Tie] Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen: Green Book *

[ * A clarification: A surprise last-minute complication arrived with our viewing of Green Book, which warranted a “joint” award for Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. Their performances individually are… fine. But it’s together that they shine the most.]

And the winner is:

Joanna Kulig — Cold War

This is a category that deserved a last-minute go-over; not only because of the surprise inclusion of a pair into the list of nominees (and the ensuing considerations that came with it), but because I wanted to make sure that I had made the right choice. And after much thought, I’m at peace with my choice.

Toni Collette was the only other name that ever came close to the title, and I am surprised that I’m so at home with choosing Ms Kulig over her. Ms Collette’s excellent performance in Hereditary is near-perfect (is there anyone else who can make that stare work without causing laughter?), and is worthy of grand distinction, but there’s a certain nuance to Ms Kulig’s performance. Of course, this is partly directing — especially in the first half of the movie — but it’s mostly pure performance. It takes a while for the brilliance of Kulig’s performance to settle in, but when she commits: she commits. And when she does, it’s spectacular.

I mentioned in my short review of Cold War how Ms Kulig was something of a revelation to me, and I stand firmly by that statement. A close race, but in the end, one with a clear winner.


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Best Overall Composition

The Crow: Composition is a term I’ve been using with increasing regularity on The Corvid Review, and it’s a factor worthy of an award. The Best Overall Composition exists to award movies which feature not only stellar directing, but which feature a marked level of excellence in everything — ranging from aesthetic design, to sound, to effects, to performances, to writing, and so much more.

The Best Overall Composition award is by far the highest honour that we on The Corvid Review have established (with the exception of Best Picture, of course) and serves to distinguish movies that have achieved a special level of excellence in all fields; and yet strike a fine balance between them. This category, as well as the next, will not feature any end notes once the winners have been announced, since we think it’s only right to let the winners have their moments in both our minds and yours.

The nominees are:

  • Annihilation
  • BlacKKKlansman
  • Cold War
  • The Favourite
  • Hereditary
  • Mandy
  • Roma
  • Shoplifters
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

And the winner(s) is(are)…

[TIE] Cold War / The Favourite

Cold War

directed by: Paweł Pawlikowski
produced by: Tanya Seghatchian & Ewa Puszczynska

The Favourite

directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
produced by: Ceci DempseyEd GuineyLee Magiday, and Yorgos Lanthimos


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Best Motion Picture

The Azure-Winged Magpie: Even though the last category was the for best made film(s) that we saw last year, this category is for the Best Motion Picture that everyone saw last year. What that means is that we’re talking about a picture that was both good and popular (cause everyone knows we like weird things). We’re talking about a big studio film that came out and had a good run in cinemas all over the shop (which kinda means we’re really talking about Hollywood since they sell the most tickets). 

The nominees are:

  • Annihilation
  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Cold War
  • The Favourite
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • Shoplifters
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

And the winner is…

The Favourite

directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos
produced by: Ceci DempseyEd GuineyLee Magiday, and Yorgos Lanthimos


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A full list of the winners follow:

  • Best Documentary: They Shall Not Grow Old
  • “Greatest Disappointment” of 2018: The Predator
  • Best Aesthetic Design: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 
  • Worst Movie of 2018: Fifty Shades Freed
  • Best Visual Effects: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse [x2]
  • Best Audio Design: First Man
  • Best New TV Programme: Altered Carbon
  • “Most Surprising” Picture of 2018: The Other Side of the Wind
  • Best Writing: Shoplifters
  • Most Anticipated Picture of 2019: Godzilla: King of the Monsters
  • Best Individual Performance: Joanna Kulig (Cold War)
  • Best Overall Composition: [TIE] Cold War [x2] / The Favourite
  • Best Picture: The Favourite [x2]
  • Most Nominations: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and The Favourite [6 nominations each, 2 wins]; Cold War [5 nominations, 2 wins]

The Crow: Out of these winners, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse came the closest to snagging three Oscine Awards, whereas The Favourite very nearly ended up taking home only one award. Toni Collette — as mentioned before — came the closest to snagging the Best Individual Performance award and didn’t miss it by much.

That said, I must mention that I’m surprised to see just how strong the Azure-Winged Magpie’s lobbying for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Annihilation was. I only watched Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse recently, and while I’m very fond of it, her lobbying makes my own staunch support for the likes of Cold War and First Man seem pale by comparison. While it rightfully deserves its two awards (and retains a strong argument for the third), the sheer number of nominations it received makes it a true “heavyweight” amongst our inaugural Oscine Award winners — alongside Cold War and The Favourite.

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Quite a number of otherwise distinguished movies missed out on picking up an award, but then again: not everyone would have walked away a winner, tonight. Congratulations to all our winners and to our nominees, and a big thank you to all of them for giving us a good year of cinema and television (apart from the “Roast Turkey Award” winners, of course).

We’re glad to see how well 2018 shaped up given how dry the year seemed like it might be going leading into October. With the inaugural Oscine Awards now over, the Azure-Winged Magpie are now off to continue arguing about last year’s movies, and the movies we’ve recently seen. We look forward to another year of film and television with all of you, and we’ll be back with these coveted golden text awards again next year.

We return with a review of Velvet Buzzsaw tomorrow, and possibly one for Alita: Battle Angel. “Star Trek Month” will resume shortly thereafter.

Until then,

— Team out

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