Cue in the outrage police. Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” might set back the Oscars by a few years when and if it wins Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards tonight. All the “progress” that happened with “Moonlight",” “12 Years A Slave,” and “Shape of Water” winning might be destroyed, according to wokers, of course. No diss intended to Farrelly’s lovely film, but the amount of hate it has garnered throughout awards season is enough to send Twitter into outrage-overdrive when Peter “I flashed Cameron Diaz" Farrelly and Nick “Muslims celebrated on 9/11” Vallelonga get on-stage to accept their award at around midnight EST (Yes, that’s when the Oscars will likely finish broadcast).
“A Star is Born”
Who will win: “Green Book”
Who should win: “The Favourite” or “Roma”
Lowdown: I just can’t seen Alfonso Cuaron’s masterful “Roma” winning. It’s not in the least bit what you’d be call an “accessible” movie and Oscar voters have had historical tendencies to be, oh how shall I put this, a little more low-brow in their tastes? Sure, they gave the Oscar to “Moonlight” in 2016, an artsy character-driven drama, but that film had a plot! The beauty of “Roma” is that its plotless, a mosaic of memories rather than dramatics, a dive into its director Alfonso Cuaron’ deepest childhood subconscious. Bet on “Green Book,” Peter Farrelly’s controversial awards-season juggernaut that, despite the social media backlash, has been well-loved by Joe and Jane popcorn, so much so that you’d be hard pressed to find a moviegoer that didn’t fall for its lovable conventionality.
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Paweł Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, ‘”The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Who will win: Alfonso Cuaron
Who should win: Alfonso Cuaron
Lowdown: This is Cuaron’s award to lose, especially after winning the DGA Award and his fiercest Best Picture competitor, “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly, being snubbed out of a nomination due to jokingly flashing his penis to Cameron Diaz back in 1998. It’s just been that kind of Oscar season …
Actor In A Leading Role
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Who will win: Rami Malek
Who should win: Willem Dafoe or Viggo Mortensen
Lowdown: It feels like only recently that Rami malek became the frontrunner in this category. Was it after the Golden Globe win? Quite possibly, but, regardless, ever since then he’s been the designated one to win the leading actor category and for good reason, his campaign has been damn-near spotless. Malek’s rise to frontrunner status is all the more surprising considering it’s from a Bryan Singer-directed movie. Then again, Malek has taken advantage of his on-set feuds with Singer, the arguments and physical altercations between the two on the set of “Bohemian Rhapsody” are now the stuff of Hollywood legend, to promote his distaste towards Singer. Malek has never once thanked Singer in acceptance speeches, instead opting for a shout-out to Singer’s replacement Dexter Fletcher, a man that was on-set for only 10% of the film’s production. That scores major points with an industry that has all but blacklisted Singer.
Actress In A Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Who will win: Glenn Close
Who should win: Olivia Colman
Lowdown: There is absolutely no reason to think of anybody else winning this award but Glenn Close. She’s been nominated six times in her career and has never won. Sure, “The Wife” seems to have been greeted with a collective shrug by most critics (I’m not one of them) but the performance itself is well-deserving of a win. Hollywood loves to toast its veterans, especially those that have been snubbed without a win for more than four decades.
Actor In A Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”
Who will win: Mahershala Ali
Who should win: Ali or Richard E. Grant
Lowdown: Ali already won this category in 2017 for his performance in “Moonlight,” but that doesn’t even matter. Ali has won every major precursor including BAFTA on his way to Oscar night. He is well-loved in the industry, has garnered the reputation of a being a brilliant actor and, by all means, deserves the award for masterfully chewing up the scenery as Dr. Don Shirley in “Green Book,.” It would be wonderful to see Grant take the trophy, a scene-stealer in “Can You Ever Forgive Me,” but the Academy’s love affair with Ali will surely continue, just don’t call him Shirley.
Actress In A Supporting Role
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Who will win: Regina King
Who should win: Rachel Weisz
Lowdown: Despite being snubbed in most major categories, Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” has been riding on Regina King’s fine but not Oscar-worthy performance ever since awards season started. Here’s the gist of it, King is popular in the industry, is an African-American actress and that seems to be enough for voters to pick her, especially based on her previous work and the countless critics awards she’s received for this performance. And still, I’m meh on this truly being the best supporting turn of the five. Rachel Weisz should win, but having her “Favourite” co-star Emma Stone in this category potentially stealing some votes will be too tough for her to overcome. Weisz won the BAFTAs, for which King wasn’t nominated, but the odds-makers say King is a cinch to win. Will voters actually go for the worthiest or just be lazy enough to have not seen most of these films and cast their ballot choice for the obvious?
“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito
“Vice” Hank Corwin
Who will win: Hank Corwin
Who should win: Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Lowdown: Every editor I’ve spoken to has had great praise for the editing in “Vice.” It’s a movie the, despite dividing critics, has been uniformly embraced by the industry. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because most are narrowing down their attentions to solely Donald Trump when, in fact, they should realize that the evils committed by Dick Cheney in this country between 2000-2008 far exceed anything the current 45th President has done in terms of ill-deceiving scope and earth-shattering malevolence. So, yeah, “Vice” deserved better from my fellow cohorts but it will age like fine wine. I’m sure of that. Give the Oscar to Corwin already.
Animated Feature Film
“Isle of Dogs”
“Ralph Breaks The Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Who will win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Who should win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” or “Isle of Dogs”
“Spider-Verse” came out of nowhere this past December with its excellent box-office and, more surprisingly, the all-out rave reviews which greeted it as a “groundbreaker” of the animation genre. If you’re the academy it’d be damn-near foolish not to honor this visual stunner. Then again, its weak spot was always the fairly conventional story it told. The same can’t be said of Wes Anderson’s wonderful “Isle of Dogs,” a through and through triumph of the art form which had some critics shooting darts at its supposed cultural appropriation of Japanese culture. Boo-hoo, the outraged fads of the day will eventually become obsolete, Anderson’s wickedly fun movie will remain, fully intact, for future generations to watch and bask in its splendors.
Foreign Language Film
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
Who will win: “Roma”
Who should win: “Cold War” or “Roma”
Lowdown: Wouldn’t it be a hoot if voters decided to give “Cold War” the foreign language Oscar just because they thought “Roma” had the Best Picture prize in the bag, only to later watch “Green Book” win the top prize? One could dream of such entertainment at the upcoming four hour ceremony, but, for predictability’s sake, the winner has got to be Cuaron, right?
“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan
“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique
Who will win: Alfonso Cuaron,
Who should win: Lukasz Zal
Lowdown: Zal won the ASC but only because Cuaron was ineligible as he’s not a registered member.
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”
Who will win: “Avengers: Infinity War”
Who should win: “Avengers: Infinity War”
Lowdown: Disney and Marvel are at the forefront of special effects. This race would be a no-brainer if it weren’t for the fact that some Academy members of bitter towards superhero movies, but, in the end, I don’t see why “Infinity War” doesn’t win this category. Even as a person that disliked that film I have to frankly acknowledge how impressive the visual effects were on-screen.
Music (Original Song)
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther”
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG”
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from “The Ballad of Busters Scruggs”
Who will win: “Shallow”
Who should win: “Shallow”
Lowdown: It’s not even close. “A Star is Born” was graced with such a catchy and memorable song, which became a top 40 hit, in fact, it’s something most song nominees over the years cannot claim to have had. I look forward to Gaga and Cooper performing this country/pop tune on-stage at the Kodak theater.
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen
Who will win: “Free Solo”
Who should win: “Free Solo”
Lowdown: This year’s crop of nominees is as unpredictable as you might imagine, given we just came off an incredible year for non-fiction filmmaking. They could have easily expanded the category to ten nominees, alas, there’s incredible buzz for “Free Solo” within voter circles, it really is a stupendous feat of IMAX glory, but will voters be political and give it to RBG? Nah, too simplified, too pedantic a portrait of the court Justice … It’s ‘Solo’.
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
“BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
“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, Will Fetters
Who will win: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Who should win: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Upset: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
Lowdown: Holofcener and Whitty’s win at the WGAs won't matter here. This is their chance to give Lee a non-lifetime Oscar.
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay
Who will win: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
Who should win: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
Upset: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
Lowdown: I don’t think Nick Vallelonga can win the Oscar, not after that tweet was found in which he pledged support for President Donald Trump’s theory that Muslims celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey. But, If “Green Book” does win here, then you can sure as hell bet that it will win Best Picture as well and that the academy is un-phased by any of the controversies the controversial movie, as they should be.