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It's the Booze Talkin', Toni Collette and Hereditary deserve Oscar noms!

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This coming Tuesday brings us 2019’s picks for what the Academy Awards consider the best movies of the year - well at least those who had the best awards campaign. And there is a good chance that most of us will be scratching our heads at some of the films nominated and many that are not. Throughout the years of writing this column, we’ve discussed the Oscars and genre representation quite a bit. We’ve talked about films like GET OUT and THE SHAPE OF WATER - both deservingly getting praised, but especially Guillermo Del Toro's sci-fi, romantic fantasy earning Best Picture and Best Director. And from 2018, we have one film that seems to be getting more buzz than usual when it comes to award season hype. While some may not consider HEREDITARY a straight-up horror show, this shocker of a flick managed to get under audiences skin in the most terrifyingly profound way.

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Ever since the film was released in early June, it moved fans with a mix of tragic family drama and insanity, with some seriously f*cked up and demented happenings. Even with the film well into its home video release, it is one that I’d rather not dive too deeply into the plot so those that have yet to experience it won’t know too much. What I will say, is that aside from being an impressive directorial debut from Ari Aster - as well as his first produced feature length screenplay - it offered a monumental performance from its star Toni Collette. In fact, every single actor involved gives excellent support to its leading lady. That includes Gabriel Byrne, Ann Dowd, and the terrific Milly Shapiro and Alex Wolff. However, it is the wounded mother dealing with shockingly horrific situations that helped make this such an effective and haunting experience.

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Collette is no stranger to award worthy performances. Ever since the actress first charmed audiences and critics alike in MURIEL’S WEDDING, she has become one of the most genuinely talented performers working today. For her phenomenal work in HEREDITARY, she has already earned a bevy of nominations for a variety of awards - in fact, she recently won Best Actress for this performance from the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society, a group I myself am a part of. It is hard to imagine a conversation about the upcoming Oscar telecast without mentioning her name. And frankly, in a year with so many wonderful performances that include everyone from Olivia Colman to Glenn Close to Nicole Kidman to Lady Gaga, Collette certainly seems like she will break through the typical shunning of genre and earn a Best Actress nomination.

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As well, considering this is Aster’s feature film debut, it is an impressive nightmare that boldly handles the disturbingly dark story. Is it possible that not only will Collette be nominated, but the film as well? This year there have been a number of solid horror entries, so it is all the more impactful that this twisted tale has earned the kind of critical acclaim it has. With Toni Collette’s brilliant work and the critical praise of the feature itself, could HEREDITARY wind up with more? Perhaps a Best Picture nomination? To be fair, I sincerely doubt that it will be one of the films up for the biggest prize of the night, but with all the buzz there is certainly a possibility.

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However, there is another film that may find itself mentioned on Tuesday morning. A QUIET PLACE is a fantastic feature that again, gives another actress the chance to shine. Emily Blunt is absolutely brilliant in the silence is golden thriller, and frankly, her real life husband may very well find his name called for a nomination or two. Not only did John Krasinski direct the feature, he also co-wrote, executive produced and stars in the film. As a fan of horror, it would be wonderful to see both of these flicks facing off against movies like A STAR IS BORN, GREEN BOOK, THE FAVOURITE and BLACKKKLANSMAN. I’d be willing to wager that both of these projects find a bit of love when it comes to nominations this week. And I couldn’t be happier.

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Maybe it’s the Booze Talkin’, but Toni Collette and HEREDITARY may bring horror to the Oscars. 2019 was an inspiring year for genre, and both this film and her performance are utterly captivating. As a fan  - although in all honesty, I had a few issues with the final act - I would love to see something like this sneak out ahead of the pack and receive a chance at winning a golden statue. It would be exciting to see the horror genre get more love this year. And with this brutal family drama I believe it genuinely has a shot - as well, I won’t be surprised to see A QUIET PLACE earn a little something something. Ultimately it doesn’t really matter to fans, because we don’t need an award to convince us that something is as good as it is, but for genre to once again earn a little award season respect would certainly be something that I’d be happy to celebrate. What do you think? Are we going to hear Toni Collette’s name come Oscar night? I’ve got a sneaking suspicion we will. 

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