Back to the Oscar race, with "Roma" having won big at the critics choice awards last night and with its lack of any sort of controversy this year, its momentum is now firmly confirmed. Is there any reason why this film can't the Best Picture prize at the Oscars? Despite my theory that it's just too artsy for a large and vast voting body whose tastes, quite frankly, tend to not veer towards the high-brow, there is a sense that a lot of people will be voting for "Roma" on a purely partisan basis. Accepting the award last night, its director Alfonso Cuaron said in his speech, "this bunch of Mexicans are not as bad as sometimes they are portrayed," clearly taking aim at the Trump administration and its militant stance at getting that border wall funding to prevent Mexicans from entering the country illegally.
What better middle finger to Trump than to reward an all-Mexican film the Oscar, probably the most overt political statement one can make this awards season with any movie, safe for, maybe, Spike Lee's "BlackKklansman" which ends with a scathing, 3-minute indictment of the Trump administration and has the veteran filmmaker, quite explicitly, telling his audience we have a neo-Nazi, sympathizing president in the White House. So is it BlackKklansman vs Roma? Is that the conversations the AMPAS voting body wants to have this Oscar season? I don't see why not.
The Critics Choice voting body gave "Roma" four awards last night — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Film. Whereas, "A Star is Born" has had its momentum killed the last few weeks with the globes and now this almost complete shutdown at the critics choice awards. Vice‘s Christian Bale won for Best Actor while Glenn Close (The Wife) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) tied for Best Actress. Mahershala Ali (Green Book) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) won the supporting categories. All seem to be the frontrunners for their respective Oscar categories. But if I had originally predicted late last year that the Best Picture prize would most likely be a showdown between "A Star is Born" and "Green Book," the zeitgeist seems to be hinting a whole other set of contenders, especially with the shunning of "Green Book" by the "wokers" and momentum currently sliding, with people possibly coming to their senses, for Bradley Cooper's Gaga musical.
Mark your calendars for Saturday January 19th, that’s when the Producers Guild of America — the most important of precursors for the Best Picture prize — will reveal their winner. Oscar nominations will be announced a few days later on the 22nd. By then, we'll know exactly what to expect come Oscar night with the front-runner almost all but revealed. The PGA and the Academy voted in sync last year with "The Shape of Water" winning both organizations top prize, but there was a rare two-consecutive-year split before that when the PGA went for "The Big Short"/"La La Land," and the Academy went for "Moonlight"/"Spotlight."