"Roma“ has escaped unscathed from backlash thus far this awards season. With the lack of any sort of controversy surrounding Alfonso Cuaron's Mexico-based tone poem, its momentum is now firmly in high gear, it looks like it will be the film to beat this Oscar season.
Is there any reason why"Roma" can't win best picture come February 24th at the Kodak Theater? Despite my theory from a weeks back that it's just too artsy for a large and vast voting body whose tastes, quite frankly, tend not to veer towards high-brow, there is a sense that a lot of people will be voting for "Roma" on a purely partisan basis. Accepting the award at the critics choice awards, Cuaron stated 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 from the Hollywood liberal elite than to reward an all-Mexican film its top Oscar, it would, most certainly, be the most overtly political statement they can make this awards season, 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 working 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.
"A Star is Born" has had its momentum severely deflated the last month or so, especially with the Golden Globes shutdown, although that could change if Bradley Cooper's film wins the Producers Guild Award on Saturday. However, there's a certain hesitation on the part of voters to reward a film which is a remake of a remake of a remake. Also, Bradley Cooper, for all the impressive technical chops he showed as a director, seems to be *too* well-liked in some circles, he IS Hollywood and that is something the Twitter wokers rather not see rewarded.
As for "Green Book," well, if Peter Farelly's film were released, say, 5 years ago it might have very well been the frontrunner, alas, we live in an age where every impurity a person may have committed in his or her past is microscoped to no-ends, and whatever is found is enough to scold them to the furthest oblivion of cinematic imprisonment. That's what happened to "Green Book," a universally loved audience crowd-pleaser which irked a particular set of critics for being a white-savior, magical-negro story told by a penis-flashing director and starring an n-word uttering white male. You can't make this stuff up.
The four movies mentioned above ("Roma," "BlackKklansman," "A Star is Born" and "Green Book") are our four major contenders. However, byt the looks of it, Netflix may have a best picture winner in its hands. A game-changing moment, if that's to be the case.