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Best of the Aughts: A Single Take, #100 – #91

Hello, and welcome to my much-delayed project to annotate my top 100 songs of our not-so-dearly-departed decade.



Best of the Aughts: A Single Take, #100 - #91

Hello, and welcome to my much-delayed project to annotate my top 100 songs of our not-so-dearly-departed decade. This is going to be long enough as it is, so a few brief notes: This list is super-homogeneous, mainly focusing on the wussier strands of indie rock and commercial hip-hop, so if that’s not your thing, turn back now. Some of this stuff vaguely qualifies as “criticism”; some borders on solipsism. Nonetheless, I’ve been working on this since July and it’s finally in a form I can stand, so let’s run with it. I’ve included YouTube embeds where I can and streaming links where I couldn’t.

100. J-Kwon, “Tipsy” (Hood Hop, 2004)

J-Kwon should get major credit for his exuberant opening taunt, the perfect compromise between label-ordained responsibility and blunt reality: “Teen drinking is very bad. Yo, I got a fake ID though.” Otherwise he was a one-hit wonder the same way as Hurricane Chris (“Ay Bay Bay”) and Yung Joc (“It’s Goin’ Down”), dominating a whole summer with a hook and a beat rather than with anything to say. There’s lots of lines like “here comes the 3 to the 2 to the 1” just to get to the next rhyme—but the slippery beat makes that irrelevant. At a moment when the Neptunes could still do no wrong—before the oddness of N.E.R.D. and the commercially alienating exercises of Clipse—everyone wanted to rip them off, which meant a wealth of inventively minimalist beats in unlikely places. This welcome trend was quickly wiped off the face of the earth by a) crunk, which more or less justified itself b) the maddeningly monochromatic bullshit of G-Unit, which didn’t. In retrospect, “Tipsy” seems like a dispatch from a kinder, gentler age, when one super-dominant song was enough to guarantee even the lamest rapper a gold album. The Neptunes’ greatest contribution may have been inspiring producers to single-handedly elevate non-entity rappers to moments of true glory. This was one of the most pleasurably content-devoid songs of 2004; you can keep “Since U Been Gone,” even if that is slightly more fun to karaoke.

99. Rachel’s, “Water From the Same Source” (Systems/Layers, 2003)

This is the only wordless track on this list; there will be no mention of Mogwai, Godspeed, Sigur Ros and the rest of the post-rock pantheon because I don’t really care. Rachel’s themselves are rogue classical musicians betraying The Sacred Principles of Classical Music (which, in the 21st century, run either to preservationist classicism or saying nice things about George Crumb and the Kronos Quartet); Systems/Layers is the enjoyably pretentious result of their collaboration with a dance group for a project I’ve never seen and have zero interest in. This six-minute track is basically piano and strings languidly gliding through C-major in variations of descending arpeggios and patterns, repeating the loveliness rather than varying it. I’ve never been resolved in my own head whether it’s sentimental, New Age gack or actually quite gorgeous. I do know, however, that stripping the pretty dreadful opening credits music from Yi Yi and replacing it with this would be the only way of improving an otherwise perfect film.

98. Bentley feat. Pimp C & Lil Wayne, “C.O.L.O.U.R.S.” (Can’t Tell Me Nothing: The Official Mixtape, 2007)

Though super-entertaining in its own right, I’m mainly including this for three things it can be a metonym for: a) Bentley’s album was supposed to come out in 2006 and has yet to come within glancing distance of so much as a release date, so this is a tribute to all the rappers stuck in perpetual label purgatory (cf. Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury odyssey, Killer Mike’s life story, Big Boi’s latest and many more. b) My way of apologizing to Lil’ Wayne for being unable to choose a single track of his that clearly sticks out the purposes of this list (my personal preference is for “Dr. Carter,” but that seems vaguely wrong somehow); here, he’s slurring and weaving as unpredictably as Stephen Malkmus. c) My way of similarly apologizing to OutKast for always being vaguely annoyed by them no matter how awesome “Ms. Jackson” was; this track basically is ersatz-Outkast (“C.O.L.O.U.R.S.” stands for “Cool Outrageous Lovers Of Uniquely Raw Style,” apparently) without the stuff that annoys me. It was buried on a Kanye West mixtape more entertaining than the album (Graduation) it was supposed to hype, which could also say a few things about rap in the aughts if you wanted to, though I wouldn’t go that far.

97. Badly Drawn Boy, “Something To Talk About” (About A Boy soundtrack, 2002)

Before writing a bunch of shit songs and staging slapdash shows whose sole goal appeared to be giving Cat Power a run for her money in the public freak-out sweepstakes, Badly Drawn Boy wrote this gorgeously soft-headed track. I got this off of one of the samplers Landmark Theatres used to give out, which is also where I heard my first Elvis Costello song (and, uh, Ed Harcourt). The cover art is by Daniel Clowes, so I suppose it’s mildly collectible; it depicts New York’s Sunshine Theater, which I thought was so grotesquely dark and uninviting as drawn it couldn’t possibly be real, but it’s actually dead-on. Note: If you put this on a mix for a girl you’re pursuing, at least one of her friends will say it’s too sappy.

96. Peter Bjorn and John, “Young Folks” (Writer’s Block, 2006)

I heard about the song long before I heard it, and actively avoided hearing it because I figured it couldn’t possibly be as good as advertised. Then I was in a Mexican restaurant, and realized there weren’t that many terrifically catchy songs with whistle hooks going around and that I’d been a fool to avoid it this long. The unavoidable hit of 2006, at least if you were anywhere near Williamsburg and similar areas (I’m given to understand it later hit real honest-to-goodness radio stations and, puzzlingly, Grey’s Anatomy); ubiquity normally breeds contempt, but not so much in this case. The song itself is terrific, though hearing it at every last party and area restaurant for a year felt like it should be wearisome; in practice, it wasn’t. In retrospect we got off especially easy: in 2007, when MGMT’s ridiculously inane “Time To Pretend” might as well have been as huge as “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in Young New York, I realized I would’ve rather heard this for two continuous years. I heard “Young Folks” again a few months again, blasting from the stoop of people actually younger than me, which I guess means it’s a high school classic to them; that was disorienting.

95. The Cardigans, “Communication” (Long Gone Before Daylight, 2003)

From The Cardigans’ vastly underrated let’s-write-something-that-would-make-Elliott-Smith-himself-cry-and-stab-himself phase. Though best known (at least in the US) for freak ‘90s hit “Lovefool,” The Cardigans nonetheless persevered far longer, seemingly caring neither about their US one-hit-wonder status nor the fact that none of the teens who’d reliably freak out to “Lovefool” through drunken singalongs valued them roughly as much as Ace of Base. Long after most stopped paying attention, they arrived at an incredibly depressing album—2003’s Long Gone Before Daylight—that easily beat Sea Change at Beck’s similar change-up game (the shift’s roughly the same: pop-craft and irony to unadulterated bummerness). From the opening chorus of “If this is communication, I disconnect,” I knew I was onto a Good Thing. For the kind of freak who can’t get enough of “He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss),” there’s also The Cardigans’ arguably superior take on the subject, “And Then You Kissed Me” (“And then you hit me/And then you kissed me” etc.). This is for emotional masochists only, obviously. After Smith was gone and The Delgados broke up, but before The National came into my world, this album was mope music for a freshman year when I sorely needed it.

94. Baby Teeth, “Swim Team” (The Simp, 2007)

The most ignored Chicago band of the aughts (or whatever weird designation I could give them), Baby Teeth fell so thoroughly through the cracks that neither All Music nor Pitchfork could be bothered to review their awesome 2007 album The Simp. Baby Teeth took the most obvious bits of Queen (the guitars) and ELO (the strings) and mix-and-match them with other ‘70s staples way less obnoxiously than you might fear. I have no clue what “Swim Team” is actually about, but the lyrics suggest a sexually frustrated 8th-grader berating an out-of-his-league girl for dropping swim team practice to hang out with another guy: “When someone comes to lunch you think that’s hot/It’s only twice a week, well that’s a lot/You’re either on the swim team or you’re not.” I question your commitment to the swim team! Cue end of tantrum and dramatic walk-away. The girl shows up the next day, totally blasé. Something like that.

93. Carlos Adolfo Dominguez, “Boobies (Clean)”

This is one of those songs you can use to annoy the shit out of people, which is precisely what a friend of mine did while working at his university’s student paper. I was briefly going through a phase where I read PopJustice, a British website which reviews each week’s “pop” singles (meaning “pop” in a more-over-the-top-than-Pet Shop Boys way), which made it really easy to find obnoxious novelty singles until I lost patience with sifting through the hype. Whoever this lunatic is, he’s never put out another song; in fact, if there’s a non-“clean” version of this, I’ve never run across it. A thickly accented European announces, over the world’s shrillest synthesizers, that he likes to go to the discotheque, because that is where he goes to dance. He proceeds: “I like to go to to the movies / The movies is where I feel your boobies.” His logic is impeccable. This is probably the only song on this list that could be considered strictly a novelty, but it never gets old.

92. Clipse ft. Ab-Liva, “Ride Around Shining” (Hell Hath No Fury, 2006)

In all likelihood the only hip-hop duo whose work plays stronger as cohesive albums rather than singles, Clipse were perhaps the aughts’s definitive example of a group whose fanbase—somewhat uneasily for all those still juvenilely concerned with “authenticity”—seemed to consist largely of white Pitchfork nerds. (The rest of their followers seem to be entirely in their native Virginia.) Clipse seem entirely cool with this: As Malice once noted in an interview, “the hipsters and everybody that’s just cool gravitate toward us.” Their first album, Lord Willin’, went gold on the strength of one single, “Grindin’” (though the song I remember hearing over and over on Austin radio was actually “When The Last Time,” which charted higher but was apparently less of a club hit). By the time their follow-up actually came out four years later, they were extremely frustrated and more than willing to diss “the crackers” at their very own label on nothing less than their lead single. (The only close comparison would’ve been if Wilco took the trouble to add a diss track to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which obviously would have been awesome.) It was hard not to suspect, when Hell Hath No Fury actually dropped (or, commercially, bricked), that part of the reason the indie rockers were championing it had more to do with its back story and deliberately alienating and non-commercial sonics than anything. Which, indeed, effectively made them hip-hop’s Wilco.

In truth, the Neptunes’s beats for Clipse were intellectually brilliant but not really any more difficult than, say, “Tipsy”; it’s just that where normally the oddest beats were anchored by the dumbest rappers, Clipse were heady and challenging even a capella. “Ride Around Shining” isn’t necessarily their most second-for-second effective song (though, like all of Hell Hath No Fury, it’s near-perfect), but it’s the song that quickest sums up their most overt oddities, both lyrically and musically; for people who “don’t like hip-hop” because it’s not overtly challenging, this is an effective in. The beat is little more than scraped piano strings and a deeply unnerving chorus screaming “Go, go, go.” Given Clipse’s penchant for nasal rapping voices and potentially excessive cleverness, they seemed less frightening than nerds enthusiastically playing the part of thugs with large vocabularies, which also helps the uncommitted. (Live, it’s a whole other story: Their voices drop down, and they seem to be actively toying with the idea of shooting the crowd.) But “Ride Around Shining” is freaky on every level, from Pusha T’s guide on how to treat women (“Fuckin’ with college bitches with innocent looks like Mya / Corrupt they mind, turn ’em to liars”) to Malice’s penchant for oddly authoritarian declarations with vaguely bibilical syntax (“Listen youngin’, you’ve only just begun / You’ll understand when you’re older / Said father to the son”). Given that Malice is now apparently a born-again Christian, this is strangely appropriate.

91. Jarvis Cocker, “Cunts Are Still Running The World” (Jarvis, 2006)

“Well did you hear, there’s a natural order / Those most deserving will end up with the most. That the cream cannot help but always rise up to the top / Well I say: Shit floats.” The perpetually embattled former Pulp frontman has stayed more relevant since the group disbanded than most ex-frontmen, his bile apparently not tempered one bit. This is the best track on his solo debut, and it’s technically a “hidden track.” The two other best songs rely upon a sample of “Crimson And Clover” and basically ripping off “Bad Moon Rising,” so that’s not saying much; his second solo album was a vast leap forward, with screaming raw band courtesy of Steve Albini. This is the last gasp of Pulp’s cheap, massive synths phase, and a grand one it is too. It’s anti-globalism, but it’s really a thin pretense for being anti-everything, speaking to the disgruntled, just-dumped, never quite big/rich/good-looking-enough teenage worm in all of us. Given the massive chorus and underlying ethos (global solidarity through powerless discontent), it’s the much-needed antidote to U2, a fabulously ironic anti-anthem.



Who Killed My Father Is Heartbreaking but Prone to Pat Sociological Analysis

Édouard Louis’s latest is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts.



Who Killed My Father

Edouard Louis’s father has been an important figure in each of his previous works, even when he’s never seen or mostly at the periphery (as in The History of Violence). With his latest, Who Killed My Father, Louis finally turns to directly examining his most important, damaged relationship. Both in his previous books and interviews, Louis has repeatedly acknowledged this broken relationship, largely stemming from the author’s open homosexuality. Alongside this, Louis’s prior works have circled around a number of themes to which he returns here: the French political and working classes, the small-town prejudices that surrounded his upbringing and drove a closeted homosexual boy to escape to more cosmopolitan Paris, and the role of state power in producing social and physical illness.

With Who Killed My Father, Louis invites inevitable comparisons to Abdellah Taïa, another talented French writer who’s also gay and largely estranged from his place of origin, and also primarily an autobiographical novelist. Like Louis, Taïa incorporates his complicated relationship with a parent into several of his books. Taïa also connects that relationship, his writing, and his experience with the society he left behind in Morocco and the one he found in France. But what distinguishes his writing in, for example, Infidels or Salvation Army from that of Edouard Louis in Who Killed My Father is a strong sense of meaning. Taïa incorporates his relationship with his mother, M’Barka, to convey something more meaningful and developed.

Louis begins down this same road before clumsily inserting a political tract at the end of Who Killed My Father that doesn’t knit as effortlessly with parts one and two. The book situates Louis’s relationship with his father front and center as compared to his previous work. It’s clear that he’s exposing the painfulness of their relationship for the purpose of speaking about political power and its physical and social toll on those who don’t possess it, but Who Killed My Father stumbles in conveying its message adequately.

Louis’s account of his father’s suffering and violence toward those around him is both painful and sharp. Who Killed My Father is strongest when Louis is demonstrating his father’s most private acts of kindness, as when the father gives Louis a copy of Titanic for his birthday after trying to convince him to ask for a more “masculine” gift. After Louis realizes that his carefully planned tribute to the pop band Aqua at a family dinner has embarrassed his father, the man reassures Louis that “it’s nothing.” In the book’s first and strongest part, Louis expounds not only on the relationship with his father, but also excavates what might have made his father the man he grew up with. At one point, he recounts finding a photograph of his father in women’s clothes—undoubtedly some adolescent joke, but also inconceivable from the man who insisted to his son that men should never act like girls.

Regrettably, part one ends with a trite conclusion that says everything and nothing at the same time. In part two, the story attempts to braid together all the malignant threads of Louis’s family narrative. Louis recalls igniting a violent outburst between his father and older brother as a result of his mother shaming him for acting too much like a girl (“faggot” is what some others in the neighborhood more precisely call him). The insinuation hurts and angers him so much that he betrays his mother’s confidence on another family secret, setting loose a new wave of violence. Part two is short and important to moving Who Killed My Father toward some wider evaluation of the questions Louis begins the book with, but it ultimately fails to find its footing by pivoting in part three to an unearned polemic against the political classes.

Who Killed My Father is strong as a portrait of a family unable to communicate (except in brief moments of tenderness) through anything but volatile, toxic outbursts, but the book at its weakest when trying to ham-handedly force this narrative into some broad theorizing about power and society and structural violence. Part one aligned beautifully with a narrative of meaning more comparable to Taïa at his best. Unfortunately, the story quickly falls apart when Jacques Chirac is indicted for destroying Louis’s father’s body through changes in health care coverage. It’s not that the questions Louis ends with aren’t necessary and important ones; it’s that there’s so little threading the narrative together into anything cohesive. What was the point of the first two-thirds of the book? His father was cruel, occasionally loving, but never mind because the state is killing him? The life of the poor is one of abject powerlessness against an unremittingly powerful and callous “ruling class”?

Louis deserves credit for the attempt to tie it all together into some grander commentary on the political class and its ambivalence, but the conclusion is simultaneously glib and condescending. Perhaps Louis didn’t intend it, but the book’s conclusion drains away responsibility for the cruelty and bigotry of those like his father, and patronizes them as with a quick How could we expect any better of the noble, working poor? Is it the state’s or the ruling class’s subjugation of his father’s body that’s somehow also responsible for his inability to sympathize with gays or immigrants? Of course, the poor are subjugated by the rich and Louis has written more meaningfully about the implications of that relationship elsewhere. But in Who Killed My Father, he inadvertently demonstrates that the answer isn’t to sanctify them any more than it is to demonize them.

Édouard Louis’s Who Killed My Father is now available from New Directions.

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Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” at 30

To celebrate this sacred anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the single’s evolution over the last three decades.



Through the Years: Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” at 25

This week Madonna’s iconic hit “Like a Prayer” turns 30. The song is, by all accounts, her most broadly beloved contribution to the pop-music canon, landing at #7 on our list of the Best Singles of the 1980s. Even the singer’s most ardent critics can’t help but bow at the altar of this gospel-infused conflation of spiritual and sexual ecstasy, a song that helped transform Madge from ‘80s pop tart to bona fide icon. To celebrate this sacred anniversary, we’re taking a look back at the single’s evolution over the last three decades.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 3, 2014.

Pepsi Commercial

Following a teaser that aired during the 31st Annual Grammy Awards in January of 1989, Madonna premiered “Like a Prayer” in a Pepsi commercial during The Cosby Show, the #1 rated series on U.S. television at the time. Part of a $5 million sponsorship deal with the soft-drink company, the ad, titled “Make a Wish,” was an innocuous bit of nostalgia that would soon be eclipsed by the scandal surrounding the single’s forthcoming music video.

Music Video

Madonna dances in front of burning crosses and kisses a black saint in a church pew in this modern morality tale about racial profiling and pious guilt, prompting both the religious right and cultural critics, like bell hooks, to cry foul. Eventually, the mounting outrage caused Pepsi to pull out of their multi-million dollar deal with the Queen of Pop. The singer’s response was coyly defiant.

Blond Ambition Tour

Madonna’s first live incarnation of “Like a Prayer” was also her best. Sure, her voice was raw and unrefined (“Life is a misstaree, eve’one mus stan alone,” she heaves), but her 1990 tour performances of the song displayed a rapturous, almost possessed quality that she’s never been able to recapture.

Mad’House Cover

Dutch Eurotrash group Mad’House’s claim to fame is their blasphemous take on “Like a Prayer” from 2002. The glorified Madonna cover band’s version is stripped of the original’s nuance and soul, a tacky, mechanical shell of a dance track. Regrettably, this is the version you’re most likely to hear on Top 40 radio today. (Only slightly less heretical, the cast of Glee’s rendition of the song peaked at #27 in 2010.)

MTV On Stage & On the Record

Then notorious for forsaking her older material, Madonna dusted off “Like a Prayer” in 2003 during the promotion of her album American Life. Thirteen years after her last live performance of the song, even Madonna’s comparatively reedier voice and noticeably more limited range couldn’t diminish its enduring magic.

Sticky & Sweet Tour

After performing crowd-pleasing but relatively anemic versions of “Like a Prayer” during her Re-Invention Tour in 2004 and Live 8 in 2005, Madonna reinvented the song for her Sticky & Sweet Tour in 2008, using elements of Mack’s “Feels Like Home” for an amped-up techno mash-up.

Super Bowl XLVI

Madonna closed her record-breaking Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012 with “Like a Prayer,” and though she wasn’t singing live, it was the closest she’s ever gotten to her ecstatic Blond Ambition performances. (For those lamenting the lip-synching, she would go on to reprise this version of the song, completely live, during her MDNA Tour later that year.) And if there were any doubt, a stadium of nearly 70,000 football fans waving flashlights and singing along is a testament to the song’s transcendent, all-encompassing appeal. The performance’s final message of “World Peace” seemed attainable, if only for a brief moment.

Met Gala 2018

Last year, Madonna dusted off her old chestnut for an epic performance at Vogue magazine’s annual Met Gala. The event’s theme was “Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” which seemed tailor-made for both the Queen of Pop and “Like a Prayer.” Madonna slowly descended the steps of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in a shroud, flanked on both sides by a choir of monks, as she sang a Gregorian-inspired rendition of the pop classic. The performance also featured a portion of a new song, “Beautiful Game,” and a cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

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Oscars 2019: Complete Winners List

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS.



Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS. Which isn’t to say that the ceremony wasn’t without its surprises. For one, whoever decided to capture Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born in one single take that would end with the pair sitting side by side, rapt in each other and framed in Bergman-esque repose, should hereby be responsible for every Oscar ceremony moving forward.

For some, though not us, Green Book’s victory for best picture came as surprise. As our own Eric Henderson put it in his prediction: “Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.”

In the end, the awards went down more or less as expected, with the only real shock of the evening being Oliva Colman’s stunning upset over Glenn Close in the best actress race. (Glenn, we hope you are on the phone right now trying to get that Sunset Boulevard remake to finally happen.) Black Panther proved more indomitable than expected, winning in three categories (none of which we predicted), and Free Solo pulling a victory over RBG that was the first big sign of the evening that, then and now, AMPAS members vote above all else with their guts.

See below for the full list of winners from the 2019 Oscars.

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book (WINNER)
A Star Is Born

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (WINNER)
Adam McKay, Vice

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER)
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite (WINNER)
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Green Book (WINNER)
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee (WINNER)
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

Original Screenplay
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly (WINNER)
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

Foreign Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) (WINNER)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Documentary Feature
Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (WINNER)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding the Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
RBG, Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2, Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman (WINNER)

Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (WINNER)
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

Film Editing
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman (WINNER)
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, Hank Corwin

Production Design
Black Panther, Hannah Beachler (WINNER)
First Man, Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre and Gordon Sim
Roma, Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enrı́quez

Original Score
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson (WINNER)
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Original Song
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice (WINNER)
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter (WINNER)
The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War, Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Daniel Sudick
Christopher Robin, Chris Lawrence, Mike Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould
First Man, Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm (WINNER)
Ready Player One, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Dominic Tuohy

Sound Mixing
Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali (WINNER)
First Man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and José Antonio García
A Star Is Born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow

Sound Editing
Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst (WINNER)
First Man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay

Makeup and Hairstyling
Border, Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots, Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks
Vice, Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney (WINNER)

Live Action Short Film
Detainment, Vincent Lambe
Fauve, Jeremy Comte
Marguerite, Marianne Farley
Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Skin, Guy Nattiv (WINNER)

Documentary Short Subject
Black Sheep, Ed Perkins
End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry
Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi (WINNER)

Animated Short
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine
Bao, Domee Shi (WINNER)
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

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