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RT presents… The Alternative Oscars based on artistic achievement (but we’ll tell you who wins the real thing)

Michael McCaffrey
Michael McCaffrey

Michael McCaffrey is a writer and cultural critic who lives in Los Angeles. His work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog. He is also the host of the popular cinema podcast Looking California and Feeling Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MPMActingCo

Michael McCaffrey is a writer and cultural critic who lives in Los Angeles. His work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog. He is also the host of the popular cinema podcast Looking California and Feeling Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @MPMActingCo

RT presents… The Alternative Oscars based on artistic achievement (but we’ll tell you who wins the real thing)
The Academy Awards are a myopic establishment dog and pony show that ignores artistic greatness in favor of the status quo. I’ve come up with a better alternative.

The cinematic cretins at the Academy Awards have consistently gotten things wrong over the years with their insipid choices inspired by political correctness, social cowardice and an appallingly pedestrian taste in film. 

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It is for this reason that I have taken it upon myself to create an alternative to the Oscars. Being that I’m a nice Irish-American lad I have named my alternative movie awards The Mickeys.

So here are the winners of the newest, most prestigious and illustrious (non-existent) awards in cinema… The Mickey Awards!

Best Supporting Actress

RT

In the Academy Awards’ usual inept fashion, they will reward Laura Dern for her strained turn as a lawyer in the ever dreadful and contrived Marriage Story

Dern doesn’t make the cut for the Mickeys though, as the nominees are Margaret Qualley and Margot Robbie (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Park So-dam and Lee Sun-kyun (Parasite) and Zhao Shuhzhen (The Farewell).

The Mickey goes to… Margot Robbie for her effervescent and luminous performance as Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

The pussy hat contingent complained this film was misogynistic because Robbie’s Tate had a paucity of dialogue, but it’s a testament to her talent and skill that she was able to convey an affecting story with more than just words.

Best Supporting Actor

RT

Brad Pitt is a shoe-in to win this award at the Oscars for his performance as stuntman Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

Pitt does give a great ‘movie star’ performance as Booth, and earns a Mickey nomination along with Joe Pesci and Al Pacino (The Irishman), Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Sam Rockwell (Jojo Rabbit) and Son Kang-ho (Parasite).

The Mickey goes to… Al Pacino in The Irishman. Pacino has become a sort of parody of himself in his later years, but his portrayal of Jimmy Hoffa was a perfect manifestation of self-defeating tenacity and combustibility that is one of the highlights of his superb career. 

Best Actress

RT

Renee Zellweger’s near universally unseen performance as Judy Garland in Judy is a sure thing to win the Oscar over a conveniently thin field. 

Admittedly, it’s slim pickings in Best Actress, but after considerable contemplation…

The Mickey goes to… Florence Pugh in Midsommar.

Pugh is on her way to becoming a movie star and her Mickey will no doubt only accelerate her ascent.

Best Actor

RT

A plethora of formidable actors inhabit the nominations for the Best Actor Mickey.

Leonardo DiCaprio gave the best performance of his career as struggling actor Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

Joaquin Phoenix was transcendent as a tortured clown in Joker.

And Brad Pitt graduated from being a pretty boy to being a true thespian with his sensational and complex work in the terrific Ad Astra.

The Mickey goes to… Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix is a lock to win the Best Actor Oscar, which just goes to show that a broken clock can be right twice a day. Phoenix’s work in The Master (2013) was a gargantuan evolutionary leap for the craft of acting, and his performance in Joker is a powerful continuation of that evolution. 

Best Director

RT

The Oscars in all their flaccidity are going to award Sam Mendes for the technologically complex but dramatically mundane 1917. The Mickeys will make no such cowardly maneuver. 

The Mickey nominees for Best Director are…

Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Todd Phillips (Joker), Bong Joon-ho (Parasite), James Grey (Ad Astra) and Terrence Malick (A Hidden Life).

And the Mickey goes to… Bong Joon-ho. All of the nominees did extraordinary work but Bong’s direction of Parasite was exquisite. Parasite is an intoxicatingly detailed, precise, and specific master class in the art and craft of film directing. 

Best Picture

RT

Some of the Oscar nominees in this category are the pathetically pandering Little Women, the vacuous Jojo Rabbit, the aggressively fraudulent and narcissistically awful Marriage Story, with the predictable winner being the banal 1917

Despite those lowlights, 2019 was a fantastic year for cinema filled with a bevy of quality films like Ford v Ferrari, Ad Astra, High Life, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and A Hidden Life, among many others. But the nominees for the Mickey are…

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood – A fork in the eye of woke Hollywood, this film may be the very best of Tarantino’s career as it is chock full of outstanding performances and crackling dialogue.

Joker – The fact that Todd Phillips, the guy whose previous claim to fame was making The Hangover movies, made the dramatically electrifying Joker is one of the great miracles of modern cinema. 

The Irishman – Martin Scorsese turned the story of a mafia hitman’s regrets into a surprisingly poignant and existentially insightful referendum on his own spectacular career. 

Parasite – A startlingly original film and one of the most entertaining and interesting dramatic investigations of class struggle and social structure to come along in ages.

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And the Mickey goes to… Joker.

Joker is a deeply profound and insightful film that eloquently and artistically expresses the palpable sense of despair and rage that permeates the consciousness and animates the intentions of the dispossessed in society. Disguising this sentiment within the cloak of comic book intellectual property was a stroke of genius.

The elites loathed Joker because it didn’t tell them what they wanted to hear, but rather had the temerity to speak the ugly, unvarnished, and unnerving truth. 

For its efforts, Joker made over a billion dollars… and now it earns the equivalent of that in prestige with the coveted Mickey Award for Best Picture.

Thus concludes The Mickey Awards… and unlike the Oscars, we didn’t run for four hours or contain sanctimonious speeches by people receiving $210,000 swag bags.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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