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Saturday
Jan122019

It's time for final Best Picture predictions!

For the next week we'll be sharing final predictions for each Oscar category. We're starting with the big kahuna, Best Picture because it's the most crucial. It's a domino effect essentially since each year shows us that once voters favor your movie, they just favor it whether or not it's particularly worthy from one category to the next. We'll start with the not so obvious (if you ask me) question:

What would be nominated in a five film year?

Past statistics will tell you that that would be the DGA lineup (BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born, and Vice) because prior to 2010 when the Best Picture category expanded, the DGA lineup was slightly more predictive of Best Picture than of Best Director, as curious as that might seen. But it wasn't infallible, of course. And we don't think those would be the five this year. 

So let's take them in the order of strength after the jump...

01. ROMA
Given the sense that Alfonso Cuarón is going to casually stroll to a second Oscar in a landslide for Best Director for his passion project Roma. Given Netflix's hard sell. Given the dwindling resistance to streaming in the industry. Given all those reasons this looks like the frontrunner at the moment.

Can it win, though? Partially subtitled films have won Best Picture (Slumdog Millionaire, The Godfather Part Two) but no fully foreign film has ever actually won. And yet. There's a first time for everything. 

02. A STAR IS BORN
With its perfect 11-11 record with the guilds, Bradley Cooper's remake of the beloved Old Hollywood story (transposed again to the music industry, as it was in the '76 iteration) is a strong contender. It's better than it has any right to be in just about every way.

Can it win, though? As we saw with the unfortunate Globe ceremony, it's no sure thing for wins. Not even for Bradley Cooper's best performance ever. But it should be fine for plentiful nominations and might even eke out a win in the top category.

03 BLACKKKLANSMAN
The early prospects for this picture were fueled by the sense that it's time to give Spike Lee his due. Having just won an Honorary Oscar, the iconoclastic director surprised by helming one of his very best films. In fact, if Roma weren't around we'd be assuming that Spike Lee would be winning his first competitive Oscar. The film has had very little trouble staying in the conversation and it feels timely (unfortunately) given the drain America has been circling down with a white supremacist in the White House.

Can it win, though
? Sure, if it gets enough #1,2, and 3 votes in the preferential voting and, rather remarkably nobody seems to hate this incendiary picture. As Mark Harris joked on twitter...

 

04 GREEN BOOK
Yes, yes, it has a lot of detractors. But you can't actually vote against a movie. This week has been a strange one for the road trip comedy about race relations. It won the Golden Globe and instantly became an even bigger target. This week there's been all sorts of controversy in the form of resurfaced public records. An old interview surfaced where Peter Farrelly admitted to flashing his penis frequently at work and the director issued a very quick retroactive apology saying "I was an idiot" then the Golden Globe winning writer was called out for spreading Trumps lies about Muslim Americans on 9/11. He then deleted his twitter account and made an apology as well. But make no mistake it will still be nominated in multiple categories. The people who love it really don't care about the controversies, and if the past few years are any indication about human nature, once people get defensive about their loves, they dig their heels in (see fans of Bohemian Rhapsody who are frequently enraged when people try to explain that it's actually a bad movie). Fans think Green Book is funny and heartwarming and has a positive message.

Can it win, though
? That would be an uphill climb given all the controversy lately. It really helps if no one hates your movie, which is we think how Moonlight and Spotlight won in their years. 

THOSE ARE THE LOCKIEST OF LOCKS. BUT THESE ARE LIKELY...

05/06 
BLACK PANTHER / THE FAVOURITE  (or vice versa) 
Here's where it gets really tricky. In a five film year I'm leaning toward it being Black Panther as the Picture nominee without a director nomination (think The Fugitive or Jaws or other crowdpleasing blockbusters that the Academy knew they needed to recognize!) and The Favourite being the opposite (despite Lanthimos missing director nods frequently). But in our new Oscar times, both films are very likely getting in.

Can either of them win, though? I think Black Panther can, actually, if nominated but it all depends on which nominations it receives and whether or not any of the frontrunners stumble. I suspect that The Favourite is too queer and strange (this is not a dig -- it's a downright amazing film) and probably too female-centric; Oscar still has issues with preferencing male stories almost exclusively for Best Picture. *LOUD SIGH* 

07/08 VICE / BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (or vice versa)
Now we return to more divisive films. Vice is not especially well reviewed and not a big hit (both those things usually hurt your Oscar chances) but it is punchy to watch if you don't think too hard about it and the Academy has a crush on Adam McKay since The Big Short. The late release date obviously helped it, as did the A list actors. In other words it was neither forgotten as it would have been with an earlier release nor had any trouble getting noticed in the glut of movies released at Christmas time due to huge stars / flashy material. The acting branch especially is likely to dig it as that branch has literally never tired of mimicry and weight gains and 'transformations'.

As for Rhapsody, inexplicably those who enjoy this (and Queen is one of the best selling bands of all time for many reasons and one of those is: HIGHLY ENJOYABLE!) actually feel the need to also name it a "Best". I think Walter Chaw said it best when he said:

 

This is one of the strangest things that's happened in our Oscar-watching years but it looks like it's going to get nominated, despite its myriad problems in construction, the troubled production history, the fact fudging, the weird queerness-as-sinister-lure-for-innocent-Freddie approach that the rock god himself would surely have rolled his eyes at, the decent but for-awards-purposes lousy reviews, and so on. There is always the chance the Academy will fill up all their populist needs with Black Panther and A Star is Born and come to their senses unlike the Globes. Still, it's hot at a crucial time with voting, having just won the Globe and moving back into lots of theaters. Plus Queen is a nostalgic thing for a huge bulk of 50-60 somethings and that's the age range of a lot of AMPAS voters. 

Adding to the atypical strength of this movie with awards bodies, people don't seem to mind the notion of voting for a Bryan Singer movie despite the multiple sexual misconduct allegations. The director has been celebrating on Instagram (see pic above) and he just received his own BAFTA nomination for the movie

Can either of them win, though? No. Too much baggage. And the preferential balloting for the winner hurts the films that some people really dislike. 

09 IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
If we get nine nominees, we think If Beale Street will be the one to just barely slip in despite a rocky presence in the precursor awards. You do not have to have thousands of votes to get a Best Picture nod but you do have to have hundreds of fans putting you at #1 on the ballot. And the people who love If Beale Street Could Talk are devoted. What's more it has a degree of prestige that some of its competitive set lacks. 

Can it win, though? No. Not enough heat. 

 

IF THERE'S A SURPRISE NOMINEE INSTEAD OF ONE OF THOSE ABOVE...

10 A QUIET PLACE  It's stuck around in the conversation and other than Bohemian Rhapsody it's the year's biggest 'original' hit. That counts for something but we think Black Panther is going to hog the votes from Academy members who want Oscar to expand their interest in genre fare.

11 FIRST MAN  Fans of great crafstmanship love it, but it struggled after audience disinterest in movie theaters. It might rally at the last second -- The Right Stuff (1983) is part of its cinematic lineage and that movie won several Oscar nominations despite also having trouble at the box office. Whether or not First Man surprises in Best Picture we are expecting a healthy nomination tally and either this film or Mary Poppins Returns will collect the title of "most nominations without a best picture bid" 

12 MARY POPPINS RETURNS  It's splashy and fun and a lot of people enjoy it. But unlike what we've seen with Bohemian Rhapsody fans, people who love it don't seem to have the need to proclaim it "Best!" which will not help. This awards season is so strange!

13/14 LEAVE NO TRACE  and FIRST REFORMED Critically loved but the big problem for all the little films this year is that Roma has sucked up virtually all the oxygen in the critical discussion. And when you're a small film you need plenty of critical hoopla to win the kind of attention that gets you invited to the big show.

15 CRAZY RICH ASIANS  Popular and hopefully influential. Actors like it (as we see with the SAG nomination) but as with Mary Poppins Returns people don't seem to feel the need to cry "Best!"

 

UPDATED BEST PICTURE CHART

We don't actually know how many nominees we'll get this year. Mathematically we know it's possible for there to be anywhere between 5 and 10 nominees. Or so the Academy has told us. The reality thus far has been different. In the seven years since they implemented the variable amount of nominees system we've mostly had 9 nominees (five of those seven years) with 8 nominees happening just twice. We're totally curious if we'll ever see a 5, 6, 7 or 10 year at this point ! Aren't you?

THE NOMINATIONS WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 22ND. THE OSCARS ARE HELD ON SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24TH.

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Reader Comments (59)

So the range for Best Picture is 5-10. How does the Academy determine how many nominees there will be? Does a film need to get a certain minimum number of votes to be included?

I’ve talked with less Oscar-obsessed acquaintances who are mystified that “movies I’ve never heard of that no one ever sees” are nominated. (Roma, Beale Street, and The Wife fall into that category for them— the last figuring more in the Best Actress race than the one for Best Picture). That’s how you get nominations for stuff like Green Book and (gulp) Bohemian Rhapsody. If popcorn movies need to be nominated, I’d rather see A Star is Born, Black Panther, or Crazy Rich Asians in the mix.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

I've seen all and Blakkklansman is my fav among the bunch. Mark Harris can laugh all he wants, but not ALL audiences are American. This ethnocentric view of films piss me off, really.
Spike Lee's film it's one of his best because it's one of his most casual: A terrific entertaining con-movie in which two cops infiltrate to outsmart the Klan. With another sub-texts, of course. But it's pretty simple (the Klan don't need too much to be outsmarted, franhly) It doesn't need to be non-controversial (that's bullshit). It's an actual true story that get all the punchlines but non of the solemnity that legend implies.

ROMA is second fav. I loove Cuarón, always did. But this is solemn and emotionally distant to me (not for others, which I ENVY)

Having said that, I wopuldn't be mad at all for the first time EVER, a foreign film wins. If this sorry year (at least as "Oscar movies" concerned deserves something, this is it. So you can put "your" ethnocentricity where it fits.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I'm a gay man and I'm discordant to THE FAVOURITE. Lanthimos is generally detested over here and that won't change with that film. I someone is interested here's my take: https://letterboxd.com/moviegoergeek/film/the-favourite/

Sub-Kubrickian BS.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Love the Walter Chau quote. I'm always there for Madea movies even thought they are objectively awful. I just personally enjoy watching them!

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Garrett

If Americans need movies CUSTOM-MADE to be "controversial", there's last year's Three Billboards. Now, that's cynical. I agree there are movies so patronizing that are utterly unwatchable without cursing at them (GREEN BOOK). But don't patronize non-American audiencies about what's the BEST or WORST representation of racism to YOU. Or about "who's this movie is made for?" babbling. BLAKKKANSMAN desn't belong on that group.I'd say neither is VICE, although its second hour goes off the rails completely. Not everyone in the World knew who Dick Chaney really was and which felonies he did. I won't defend that film, but the idea of making it for the "otherness".

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I wouldn't vote for these 5 Black Panther,Bohemian Rhapsody,Black Klansman,First Man or A Quiet Place

I would vote for First Reformed,Leave No Trace,A Star Is Born,Green Book and The Favourite.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

In my ideal Oscars world (won't happen)

1- SHOPLIFTERS
2- TRANSIT
3- FIRST REFORMED
4- LEAVE NO TRACE
5- BLAK KLANSMAN

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

"Why does something you like have to be good?"

Why does something you dislike have to be bad?

I'm not blind to the pedestrian direction of Bohemian Rhapsody and its historical inaccuracies, but despite its problems there's still plenty of things to like: Brilliant performances, Sound mixing, Photography, Costume Design, Make up, Editing and a script that focus in the musical legacy rather than in a LGBT agenda. Things that the people who count, a.k.a. the people who make movies and therefore is able to vote appreciate. Some critics just ignore these aspects to hate on a movie because it didn't meet their expectations but if they were wise they would realize that time might make this movie a classic and their biases will look even more foolish through the years than they do now. Just because you don't like something doesn't make it bad. The "problems" you mentioned (who cares about a troubled production?You're not an investor and you'll never be, and historical inaccuracies are part of every Hollywood period piece) don't affect the movie result.

And the preferential balloting for the winner hurts the films that some people really dislike.
If by some people you mean the critics, they don't have the power to vote. The SAG has embraced the movie and they are the major voting guild and Bohemian Rhapsody chances of winning are bigger than Black Panther at this point. As they should be as superhero movies are overrated.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOMi

Definitely feeling "Roma" as the frontrunner as well, though it wouldn't be the first time a director's won twice without a BP ("Crash" can still go eff off).

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

I am a Spanish/Italian descendant. I know for a fact Viggo Mortensen speaks prefectly Spanish. And that Italian it's not hard to spell for Spanish speaking persons, especially for that strong Buenos Airean accent he has. I know his Italian in that film is atrociously wrong and I don't understand why.

I would like to hear Italian-speaking people telling about it here:)) Pac Man Viggo didn't work on his Italian at all. He will be nominated, of course. Italian. Spanish, Esperanto. It's all the same!!
Another nomination that will hurt (perhaps, at the expense of Ethan Hawke, ouch!)

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I thought Viggo was quite bad in Green Book.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

markgordonuk

I thought so. Also that the film is "nice", very well lensed but irredeemable cynical in its protrait of Dr. Shirley. My "suspension of disbielie" didn't work with him on that one.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

"disbelief", sorry.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

That Mahershala Ali makes it somewhat credible speaks volumes abour his talent as an actor. I have no problem for HIM being nominated (I split "acting" from "characters")... but in LEAD ACTOR.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Chofer -- I think you misunderstood Mark Harris's quote. He was making a joke about the fact that BLACK KLANSMAN (from Spike Lee who is notoriously provocative) has virtually no controversies surrounding it. It's a funny turn of events and the movie is great. None of us (including Mark Harris) are attacking BlacKkKlansman.

Oh and TRANSIT is not eligible since it isn't released in the States until 2019. Good movie, though!

Biggs -- it's true alot of Americans dont go to movies much outside franchise films. But it's a huge bummer that they think therefore that other movies aren't good. It's so silly -- I dont assume everything I missed each year is unworthy!

OMi -- SAG's voting body does not significantly overlap with Oscars. SAG selects a new nominating committee (at random) each year from their 100,000ish members. Oscar's acting branch has like 3,000 members (or somewhere around there I think) and sure they're all SAG members but what are the chances in any given year that a bulk of them end up on the SAG nominating committee. not high at all! We'll have to disagree on Bohemian's chances at a win.If it wins SAG i'll admit I was wrong but I think BLACK PANTHER or BLACK KLANSMAN is going to take SAG.

It's true that sometimes critics look dumb years into the future (and sometimes they look smart) depending on whether a movie they loved becomes a classic but Bohemian Rhapsody is a mess. You can see all over the movie that there were production problems. It's so obviously told from a very biased point of view, too (the surviving members of Queen) and it's homophobic to boot with a totally skewered view of Freddie Mercury. So i'm not worried about looking dumb years from now. Bad is bad and that movie pisses me off even though the concert scenes are great fun because QUEEN is an awesome band.

January 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

NATHANIEL!!

Good to know. I missed the sarcasm, then. Jim Hoberman put it on his top 10 list this year (My favoUrite critic!)
But because many films this year that could be nominated fell prey to the "Green Book" or "Vice" syndrome of underlining OR white-washing everything, I wanted to spill that out.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Your comment that the movie no one hates has an advantage makes me think that BlacKkKlansman could take it (and I think that would be great).

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

chofer: You say "Lanthimos is generally detested over here". As a matter of interest, where is 'here'?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Suzanne

I have the same feeling!! But ROMA can happen if not for the Netflix controversy. Either way, I would be fine.

Nathaniel

I completely agree about your take on BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. I think I am the only contrarian here on the subject, but I found THE FAVOURITE having the same problem, even if it's a fictionalized telling of Queen Anne. I find that its a skewed and short-sighted view on WOMEN. Like that it wants to be "rebellious" or "relevant" about women being Bosses when in fact it's a mysoginistic view on them. Cynical, at best.
These women are trecherous, manipulative and capricious. Nasty to each other (and even stupid men that surrounds them). And that Lanthimos totally gets wrong "love" mixing it with "truth". Whaat?? We gay men sure love cattyfights. But these are cruel and pointless. To what ends? Showing that women are either social climbers (Emma Stone), boneheaded politicians (Rachel Weisz) or useless and hysterical (Olivia Colman)? I love what Colman does with her character. I got pissed off by that final episode. What's its point? Oh, women can be a scumbags as men! Really funny!
I hope NONE of them run MY Country or either my house!

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

In Argentina Lanthimos is generally loathed by critics.

I mean "here".

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

I'm sort of with OMi on this. Bohemian Rhapsody was a good time at the movies, and actual real people who don't even go to the movies went to the movies to see it and then told everyone what a great film it is. Saying that their experience was wrong because they're not refined enough has an implicit undertone that doesn't sit well with me.

I really do understand where people are coming from when they have problems with its representation of queerness, but I also think it didn't shy away from internalised homophobia in a less progressive time. I'd heard so much negativity about its homophobia before I even saw the film that honestly I was shocked that the finished product even spent most of its running time dealing with sexuality. And yes, the perspective on that sexuality is where people have the problem; I get that. But my main problem wasn't the representation of his sexuality, but the alignment of it with loneliness. And I'm sure Freddie had some great nights out.

Wouldn't make my top ten, but honestly I'd rewatch it ahead of Black Panther or A Star Is Born.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRobUK

Since Christmas, I finally got around to two of the big contenders, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY and WIDOWS. I was fully prepared to both hate the former (either for the undeserved love from devotees or for the film itself) and love the latter, based on how my tastes and opinions line up so frequently with this blog (boo, category fraud!).

Strangely, I found that it was reversed. Whilst I didn't highlight it in my Best of 2018 list, I found BH entertaining and engaging. Whereas the McQueen film, so beloved here, I found to be more guilty of the messiness and lack of focus that you're accusing the Mercury biopic of. It's not worthy of hate, but for me it's easily McQueen's least accomplished movie to date, which was disappointing.

I don't think either film is going to be in the conversation for awards for much longer (apart from Rami Malek in the Actor category, which I think is deserved because the performance goes beyond the Oscar-fellating imitation game of Gary Oldman and many others, and manages to take you into Mercury's soul, straight-washing aside), bit it is a curious conflict for me reading this blog since the Golden Globes. (But viva debate!)

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTravis C

I saw Roma and loved it. But is it bad that I'm slightly rooting against it for Best Picture because I'm concerned it won't get a DVD release, thereby rendering my Best Picture collection incomplete?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterStephenM

1 The Rider
2 Beale street
3 Roma
4 3 Identical Strangers
5 Science Fair

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDO

Travis

I have a lot of friends who enjoyed that film and even myself in some parts. I don't think there's nothing inherently wrong in liking it, I din't think it's the worst film of the bunch either. It's not pretentious, that's a plus. It looks and acts like a TV film from the 90s in many respects, too.The sven of Mercury telling the band "At least you have families" or whatever that sounds in English is a dialogue bit that would make everybody cringe, no matter the "straight-washing".
It's not a particular good film with dialogues, you see. Another bonheaded decision: We were ALL chanting and marveled at the final sequences re-creating their Live Aid Concert. So why their former Manager had to appear to cut the pleasure of that sequence (the whole film pivots around that sequence) disgusted at what he had boneheadedly missed?? It was a funny meta-idea of Singer putting Mike Myers on that role; it was another cringeworthy moment seeing him again, years later in the middle of that sequence. It's like the Band's POV imposing himself childishlly. AGAIN: "Oh, look what you missed, moron, ho ho!!

What are we, eleven?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Stephen M -- this is perfectly acceptable because physical media is important for completism.

January 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

of the 15 predicted films I've seen all except for If Beale Street Could Talk

1) I loved: Roma,The Favourite, First Man

2) I really like: First Reformed, Blackkklansman, A Quiet Place, A Star is Born

3) the rest is just not Best Picture material:
- Leave No Trace is really good but something's missing in there to make it important, special, and memorable
- Black Panther becomes massively pedestrian and predictable in the final act (something A Quiet Place struggles with, however, the latter is helped by the fact that it's an original and surprising story)
- Green Book is a fun, feel good joy ride and nothing more than that
- Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody are pathetic and I'm already hating the fact that probably both will receive nods
- Crazy Rich Asians and Marry Poppins ReSperms are really fun and entertaining to watch and nothing more than that

I saw Burning this week and honestly believe it's one of the best films of the year; it's unique!

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Would people on here who don't like BH like it more if it portryaed Freddie more at home in his homosexuality as he seemed to be,even even he admitted he loved gay sex.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

I pray that Criterion will release Roma on dvd... PLEASE

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTobias s

While I think it will get in, I wouldn't be shocked if The Favourite gets the Carol treatment. It's done better than Carol (getting the PGA nomination), but the academy has shown that they reject films with women at the center in favor of male-centric films.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I’m less invested in the Oscars this year because the films I do like best are mostly out of the conversation. THAT BEING SAID, why did The Ballad of Buster Scruggs catch, like, no attention all season?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterDevin D

I can't see how THE FAVOURITE won't make the final cut. I'd put it in my Top 5 easily.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

My gut says FIRST MAN is making the cut, ditto Chazelle in Best Director...

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

Andrew... yeah. I don't think it's out of the equation.

January 12, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

For the criticism about the "at least you have families" dialogue in BH, that conversation is taken almost verbatim from an actual argument Freddie Mercury had with the rest of the bank, retold in Peter Hince's book on the band. Since was Freddie's personal roadie for many years. Hince noted how sad everyone found that conversation, because of the loneliness it revealed, especially as Freddie so rarely allowed these kind of personal glimpses. He was extremely private.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJair

Yep, those are the 8 movies we're going to get. I don't see Beale Street making it.

I'm currently predicting 8 noms for First Man. Am I crazy?

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I think Lee takes picture AND director. We need a black person to win best director. Cuarón won't stop that from happening twice.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal - I’m pretty sure Lee will get his (competitive) Oscar in Adapted Screenplay.

Every moment in ROMA is about the direction. Cuarón’s taking it again.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRoger

I don't see Vice or BR making it. They're too divisive. Even if they have their champions, not enough people will put them as their number one.

I see Beale Street overperforming in a Phantom Thread-way. It's currently expanding (doing well) and the people who like it are passionate.

Then the last spot will be A Quiet Place. In addition to it being a hit, its screeners went out early and it plays well. I think Blunt, while missing in lead for Poppins, will show up in supporting and a screenplay nod will happen.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMya

i really don't see "Black Panther" as an Oscar worthy movie- it's another well made Marvel movie but it really doesn't transcend the genre. I have no interest in "Roma" shot in neo-realist B and W to make it look more important than it is. I really like " The Favourite" specially in it's "All About Eve" second act- but that WTF ending comes out of left field. " Green Book" seems the safer feel good movie but it has that preposterous gay episode which is really bad screen writing. But remember Oscar is how Hollywood wants to present it self

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Good points Jaragon!

I missed the ALL ABOUT EVE nod, but it's a good one. My dislike of that films is solely based on two big things for me: 1) The estethics (pointless in emphasizing what's already on the page) 2) The final 2 episodes, especially the final shot. SPOLER: It's all about what Abigail did to one of the rabbits, the Queen DOES to her. I left out the cinema in rage because I was thinking Queen Anne would get away from these toxic relationships but SHE became toxic as well.
I just cannot forgive that. It's abjection for the sake of it. I think this film was in Whit Stillman head when he tweeted about GB "being pleasurable". I don't totally agree with him but THE FAVOURITE gave me an enormous displeasure with that final. I don't think I can tolerate 70 engrossing minutes and disregard the film's POV, which clearly is in that last, prolongued shot (for our torture). It RUINED it for me. You compare these characters with another nasty woman like Michele Leblanc in ELLE, for instance, Verhoeven is incapable of that abjection. In fact, that character is totally free. Free from prejudices, help, men or even her best female friend. But that women chose to pick up their relationship in the final. There's many differences in treatment. ALL ABOUT EVE had that dangerous symbiosis in each women, but never is abject, it'll all said or suggested. What Lanthimos makes Abigail do with one of the rabbits is visually cruel. The final shot is a parallelism of the Queen doing the same to her (ALL ABOUT EVE, indeed) But he's showy in the most abject way. Never the pervertions are out of frame or suggested. The fact that there's lesbian relationships don't change the POV. It just changes the Queen's allegiances. The result is the same. And even more irritant because of that. Women behaving like men. Just what we need now.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

The idea that Mary Poppins ran out of steam is simply insane? It got nominated for everything

I think PC culture gets caught up over little itty bitty details missing the forest for the trees on this small BR controversy. I like the producer's response at the GG when he had to explain the controversies and lashing by the critics. He said something along the lines of "well, I think it's similar to the band not being understood when they were in their heyday. We made this for the audiences, we're proud of the fact that they like it"

I'd like to hope that this is the year that the Osccars revolt against PC cuture

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterOrrin

Screw 'Bohemian Rhapsody' it's ruined my perfect future cat name of Freddie Mercury.

January 12, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

First Man is so good... why did it suddenly drop out of the picture race? I pray it makes it in.

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Silkwood

I agreed w Nat's top 8 but I believe A Quiet Place will move up & replace Beale Street.

AQP has gotten more guilds' support than Beale St & the voters alr had 3 movies centered on African American protagonist/issue/storyline (BlacKkKlasman, Black Panther & Green Book) to choose from & they have only 5 slots to enter their choices.

I blamed Annapurna's bad releasing strategy. They shld've released Beale St right after its favorable TIFF debut to build up its momentum and not pushed it into the Xmas bloodfest, where thr r tonnes of competition!

Same botched up strategy they dealt Destroyer!

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

It is strange to me that there is such a strong heat against BR about how the movie focused on his sexuality. As far as I know, a film is not a documentary. Some ones view point has to guide us threw. To me it looks like that BR hit the right nerve and made people talk about it.

The movie is also in line with how private Mercury was about his life. He demanded the band to not talk about his sickness. He refused to be a poster boy for anything and anyone. And the reaction is from the LGBT guys and community is the perfect answer to how Mercury still in 2019 refuses to be a poster boy for anyone and anything

He was a musician with a grand talent and had a fantastic charisma who always was in such a huge need of "me time". Switch on and switch off

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterManuel

THE RIDER
LEAVE NO TRACE
THE FAVOURITE (can't decide yet who is my Favourite film of the yea between this three)

SUSPIRIA
SHOPLIFTERS
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
WILDLIFE
AT ETERNITY'S GATE

If I voted at the Oscars, this would be my nine nominees.

Yes, I made part of the group who don't liked at all ROMA, Blackkklasman, Black Panther, Green Book and A Star is Born.

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSoshua

I agree with Chofer's take on "The Favourite" -- it's not just mean-spirited, it's misogynist mean-spirited: The gays who write for this wonderful blog (note: I'm gay, I love you otherwise) and champion it should be re-examining their own attitudes towards women that somehow they see reflected in this ugly film.

Yavor writes that "Leave No Trace" "is really good but something's missing in there to make it important, special, and memorable." I disagree: It's so rare to spend two hours getting under the skin of two characters who are totally believable, who are so beautifully written and acted, and whose ultimate trajectory earns such genuine emotional response from viewers. I just love this movie, and I wish/hope it finds enough devotees who give it a first place BP vote.

I could watch "Roma" every week for the rest of the year. It's gorgeous. The furniture store through birth scene is one of the most remarkable sequences of any movie.

I did love "Star is Born" I thought "BlacKKKlansman" was overrated, especially in a year that gave us "Sorry to Bother You" and "Blindspotting" -- two films that made us think about how race plays out in relation to other systems of power -- while being wildly entertaining at the same time.

I am not a superhero film fan, but I did see "Black Panther" and thought it was laughably godawful. People, the line readings! I can't.

BH was mediocre but sorta enjoyable. Maybe "Moonlight" raised my expectations bar, but I was underwhelmed by "Beale Street" -- I think, especially, the Tish character was such a blank slate that I couldn't connect with the central relationship and felt disconnected from the whole film.

Anyway, "Leave No Trace" and "Roma" please. Or totally out of left field noms for "Sorry to Bother You" or "Blindspotting."

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterdtsf

Roger and cal roth - They had no problem giving Iñárritu Oscars for Picture, Director and Original Screenplay a few years back (and he was competing against Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater, two of our great filmmakers, who have never won). Roger, I know you're correct that Spike Lee will never win Picture and Director, but the idea of Cuarón collecting a second Best Director trophy while another black director (the most influential black director) wins Best Picture is just bonkers.

January 13, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

chofer & dtsf --[SPOILER ALERT] there are few things that bother me more than when people assume that depiction is endorsement. Why is The Favourite misogynist because it's showing us deceitful women? Deceitful women have existed. Should they never be portrayed because that's a negative character trait? What's more the final shot of The Favourite is pretty damning on the tragedy front. The Queen loses her only minor measure of happiness (Lady Sarah) and all that's left are her emotional scars. [/SPOILER]

It's a very sharp comedy that's also a tragedy. I love it and I love women so don't get it twisted.

January 13, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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