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 Picture— A 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 Actor— Bradley 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 Actress— Glenn 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 Actor— Russell 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….