Thursday, July 25, 2024

Where the Oscars Stand on Thanksgiving Day: Don’t Believe all the Progn-Oscar-tors, Surprises Await Us


It’s time to start ruminating. The PrognOscartors are digging in hard. The publicists are fretting. The heat is turning up. There’s still plenty to see. Academy voters must must see “Never Look Away,” a masterpiece, I must say it over and over. (I write this waiting to see Mary Poppins, Vice, The Mule, All is True, and Mary Queen of Scots.)

Best PictureA Star is Born, First Man, Green Book, Roma, The Favourite; back 5- yet to be determined, mostly because of Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule.” Widows, Blackkklansman, Can You Forgive Me, seem solid. “Vice” is still being seen and thought about. No one’s seen the Ian-McKellen-Judi Dench Shakespeare movie “All is True.” (She plays Anne Hathaway! Just the way Robert Redford plays Forrest Tucker in “Old Man.”) “Bohemian Rhapsody” shouldn’t be overlooked. Not so sure about “Beale Street.”

Best ActorBradley Cooper, natch. Ryan Gosling. Viggo Mortensen (for the win?). And then what? Rami Malek, it would seem to me, leaves one spot:  Christian Bale, mostly likely. Clint? As with “Gran Torino,” not feeling push on Clint. Could be a Warner Bros. issue. Embarrassment of riches. And Willem Dafoe— as Vincent Van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate” — is mesmerizing.

Best ActressGlenn Close. definitely. Wow. Then Lady Gaga, Olivia Colman. Then what? Judi Dench? (Who knows? Maybe.) I really feel Nicole Kidman must be there for “Destroyer.” And then it’s going to be Viola Davis, followed by Melissa McCarthy. Kidman’s performance is essential. It’s Close’s turn over all.

Best Supporting ActorRussell Hornsby for “The Hate You Give.” This guy is the real deal, and this is his moment. Mahershala Ali will probably win. Okay, we love him, but he did just get an Oscar. You never know. Richard E. Grant swoops into “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and disarms everyone. He’s in. My number 4 choice is Sam Elliott, in “A Star is Born.” No debate. So who’s number 5? Timothee Chalamet is devastating in “Beautiful Boy.” Lucas Hedges gave two great performances. The door here is still open. And no one is pushing Jonathan Pryce in “The Wife,” which is a mistake.

Best Supporting Actress-– this is a weird category this year, with all kinds of talent. I’m writing this before seeing “Vice,” but I’m hearing Amy Adams. Looking at some predictions, I see Regina King is hot in “Beale Street.” She’s one of my favorites. Claire Foy just stole my heart in “First Man.” She’ll be nominated. But Amy, Amy! Rachel Weisz in “The Favourite.” And fifth? My crazy choice is Letitia Wright in “Black Panther.” I felt she leapt off the screen. But still not sure the Academy is going to really honor “Black Panther.” So Emma Stone or Nicole Kidman (“Boy Erased”) are on deck.

Foreign Film— My favorite movie of the year is Florian Henckel von Donnersmark’s “Never Look Away.” It’s an actual masterpiece. (This is a must see film.) But so is “Roma.” And Nadine Labiki’s “Capernaum” (which I hope everyone sees) and “Cold War.”

So good and what do we do? Isle of Dogs, The Old Man and the Gun, A Quiet Place. Ben is Back.

and more to come…just don’t look at lists on these so-called “Oscar sites” and think that’s it. SAG Best Ensemble– A Quiet Place? At Eternity’s Gate, The Favourite, Roma. (“Roma” actually reminds me of “Ragtime” for some reason.)

And the jockeying continues….

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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