UNLIKE LAST YEAR AT THIS TIME, I am right on track to have a perfect Oscars day. I am going to the movies early in the weekend and luckily, I can see my choices back to back. My shopping list is completed; all I need to do is pickup the ingredients for the treats to have on Oscar day. There will be a creamy dip accompanied by cinnamon sugar chips, pretzels baked with caramel chocolate pieces and topped with a pecan half and of course the main chocolate item: a chocolate brownie bread loaf; no stepping on a scale for 2 weeks for me. Household chores will get done long before the telecast and I do not plan on leaving the house several hours before the show; so, I have little concern on what the weather will be. My extra soft afghan is already on the sofa and I wiped clean any dust from my television screen; as you can see, I am all set to reap the rewards from this past year of watching movies. NOW DESPITE MY EVERY BEST EFFORT to cover as many films as possible, this year’s nominees caused me some distress. There are a couple of categories where there are nominated films I not only did not see, but I never even heard of them. I do hope this is an anomaly and will not happen again. Because of this situation, in the category where I have not seen all the nominees, I will only list what I think should win and not what will win. With that being said, I want to take this moment and wish everyone a happy and fun Oscar viewing time. Once again there will be no host and I am totally fine with it. So, here we go; below please find my predictions on who should win and who will win this year’s Oscar awards.
MY CHOICES: OSCAR PICKS:
JOAQUIN PHOENIX JOAQUIN PHOENIX
BRAD PITT BRAD PITT
RENEE ZELLWEGER RENEE ZELLWEGER
KATHY BATES LAURA DERN
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD
SAM MENDES BONG JOON HO
FORD V FERRARI PARASITE
STAND UP “(I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN
JOJO RABBIT THE IRISHMAN
KNIVES OUT ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
WELL ANOTHER OSCAR SEASON will close with this weekend’s awards show. It has been an interesting past year for movies. There have been a couple of breakout stars and some major flops. Looking at my reviews the past year, there seems to have been fewer outstanding films in my opinion. I believe only 1 or 2 movies received my top 4 star rating. To tell you the truth overall it has been a tough slog to sit through so many pictures that were poorly made. I did however discover 3 new things at the theater. First, I love the one remodeled theater out of 18 at the movie complex near my house. With oversized, soft reclining seats that vibrate to the soundtrack and a dynamite sound system; it made watching a blockbuster film more enjoyable. Second, I discovered a decked out theater with great sound and picture quality along with reclining seats does not make a poorly made film any better. And lastly I discovered I hate, yes hate, sitting in a theater that allows people to order food and have it brought in so they can eat a meal while watching the movie. It is so annoying to sit there and try to pay attention to the picture while a group of people next to you are chomping down on their food. And don’t get me started with the ones that eat with their mouths open!
So let us put all of that aside, get settled into our happy place and enjoy the Academy Awards show. I have all of my favorite snacks ready (to be eaten during the commercials) and have the weekend off from teaching, so I can focus on getting all of my chores done before the telecast. Without further ado let me present to you my choices for what I think should and will win in each category listed.
MY CHOICE TO WIN WHAT WILL WIN
The Shape of Water The Shape of Water
Gary Oldman Gary Oldman
Sally Hawkins Frances McDormand
Sam Rockwell Sam Rockwell
Allison Janney Allison Janney
Guillermo del Toro Guillermo del Toro
Loving Vincent Coco
Call Me by Your Name Call Me by Your Name
Get Out The Shape of Water
Dunkirk Blade Runner 2049
This is Me Remember Me
Phantom Thread Beauty and the Beast
Baby Driver Star Wars: The Last Jedi
THERE YOU HAVE IT, my picks for the Oscars. May each and every one of you enjoy the show and may each day after be an Oscar worthy day for you. Thank you for your support, comments, likes and suggestions; I appreciate it deeply and also you allowing me to nurture my passion for movies.
Five people are lined up waiting for the starting bell. When it goes off they race as fast as they can to the finish line. It seems as if the race was over just as fast as when it started. Under these circumstances I agree on naming one of the contestants the”winner.” The person was the fastest human on the planet. You see all five people ran their hearts out to get to the finish line first; but they were timed, so one came in first, the next one second and so on. Truthfully I have no issue with this type of contest because it seems more like physics to me. The Oscars on the other hand are different; how does one judge art? It is that time of year that everyone (that is right I am pointing my finger at you) is all abuzz about who will get an Oscar award. I do not know what methods other people use to decide who deserves the award (notice we no longer use the words win or winner, example: …and the Oscar goes to ___), but this is how I choose the acting roles: the actor who is the most convincing and totally becomes the character, where I no longer see them as “so and so” portraying a character, they are the character; they get my vote. My bottom line for how I choose in the other categories is how much did that nominee or aspect contribute to the entire film watching experience and teleport me from my theater seat into the picture and story.
With no further ado I present to you my choices on who I would like to see get the Oscar award and who will probably receive it.
MY PICKS THEIR PICKS
SPOTLIGHT THE BIG SHORT
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU
LEONARDO DICAPRIO LEONARDO DICAPRIO
BRIE LARSON CHARLOTTE RAMPLING
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
SYLVESTER STALLONE MARK RYLANCE
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
ALICIA VIKANDER KATE WINSLET
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
THE BIG SHORT THE MARTIAN
BEST FOREIGN FILM: (I DID NOT SEE ALL THE NOMINEES)
SON OF SAUL
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: (I DID NOT SEE ALL THE NOMINEES)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
THE HATEFUL EIGHT THE HATEFUL EIGHT
As the past Oscar season is about to come to a close, I want to wish all of you an Oscar day filled with unexpected joy, happy surprises and as always good health. Thank you for joining me on this journey to discover that elusive 4 star movie.
Let the show begin!
For the past year I have spent my time in a variety of movie theaters. Some had floors so sticky that my shoes refused to go with me when I tried to leave my seat. There were numerous occasions I had to ask people around me to shut off their phones; some did so obediently while others had to first glare at me. I did not care for I had a movie to watch and review. And what a year it has been; we learned there was a theory for everything and we had new guardians of the galaxy. The Chicago Bears finally caught a Fox and a man bonded with the avian world. There was another lesson on how to train your dragon while a woman went wild and another was just gone. We saw a boy grow up to be a mature young man and discovered a new hotel in Budapest. Such an eclectic group of films the past year; just the way I like it. As we come to an end this weekend during the high holiday of the Oscar awards, I want to thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey that was filled with discovery, disappointment, joy, amazement, anger and love. Wow, doesn’t that sound just like an intimate relationship? Without further ado, here are my thoughts and predictions for who will take home the Oscar.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
I would be very surprised if the academy awards this to Meryl. Personally my other choice would have been Emma Stone.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)
This was my easiest decision; I felt he deserved it from the moment I saw him in this movie.
BEST DIRECTOR: Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman)
I believe the academy will choose Richard Linklater for Boyhood because the film was novel. However, I thought Alejandro with his seamless filming was extraordinary.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: CitizenFour
Though I did not see all the nominees in this category I thought this film played out like an exciting thriller. My other choice would be Finding Vivian Maier.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Once again I did not see all the entries in this category but I felt this picture was the most well-rounded out of the group.
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore
It is not only her time now but out of the group I thought she really stood out.
BEST ACTOR: Eddie Redmayne
This was my toughest decision and I feel there is a good chance the Academy will choose Michael Keaton based on his body of work. I would be okay with that decision. He was excellent but I felt Eddie’s detailed transformation made for a brilliant performance. My other choice would be Benedict Cumberbatch.
BEST MOTION PICTURE: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Here again I feel the Academy might reward Boyhood though if I did not choose Birdman first I would choose The Grand Budapest Hotel.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Glory
If for nothing else this movie deserved more nominations so the Academy will vote to give this the best song Oscar and I agree on the choice; it was the most memorable to me.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The Grand Budapest Hotel
I normally do not include this category in my predictions but because the movie was so different and fun, I wanted to list it as my 1st choice.
There you have it, this year’s predictions. No matter who wins, I had a great time watching all of these films.
In a few days the big event will be upon us. I know it will be worth everything I endured the past year. There was the teen movie where the audience looked like it was separated into different groups, huddled by the campfire glow from their cell phones, texting away. I recall the small cluster of elderly people behind me who I assumed were addicted to hard candies based on the crackling, unwrapping noises that pierced the still air throughout most of the movie. All of these things will melt from my memories as the flood of winning Oscar nominees settle into fresh impressions. This was a tough year for me with a few of the categories because the competition was so close. I have my pre-Oscar meal planned, washed my soft cozy afghan and dusted the big screened television; so, I am ready for my favorite day of the year. I really do not have a bucket list but one day I want to be part of the audience sitting at the Oscar telecast. Better yet, I would do almost anything to be a seat filler. If the chance ever comes I already know I would leave behind a tastefully wrapped chocolate candy on each celebrity’s seat upon my departure. Please find below my choices for who I feel should receive the Oscar this year.
BEST ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
This was a tough call because I feel Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave deserves it just as much as Matthew. I would prefer a tie here; however, I feel the academy will choose Matthew based on his recent body of work.
BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
If anyone can grab this from Cate it will be Judi Dench for Philomena. This is tough but I decided on Cate for her different moods on display.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club
His role was more complicated to pull off and he was brilliant with his performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave
I actually was leaning towards Jennifer Lawrence for the longest time but the more I thought about it I decided Lupita was extra special. The dark horse here would be June Squibb for Nebraska, but Lupita deserves the win.
BEST DIRECTOR: Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
This was the hardest one for me to make a decision. Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity deserves this just as much as Steve McQueen. The new technology he created for the cameras, the difficulty in pushing actors who were alone in many scenes; it was amazing work. However, I am choosing Steve based on the variety of cast and scenes in this film. He kept me absolutely engaged throughout the film.
BEST PICTURE: 12 Years a Slave
Since the beginning I have been telling everyone that this film needs to be shown in every classroom. Being based on a true story only made this movie more incredible for me.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gravity
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Frozen
I only saw 3 out of the 5 nominees and if I had seen The Wind Rises my answer may have been different.
VISUAL EFFECTS: Gravity
So another year comes to a close and I want to thank each of you for your encouragement, support, comments and total acceptance of me; a part neurotic, obsessive, film lover.
As the final days up to the Oscar telecast turn like the last pages of an engaging, voluminous novel; I look back at the past year with a sense of joyful pride. There have been some amazing movies that lingered with me like a comfortable old sweater on a cool day. I have also seen a variety of dreadful films that weighed me down to the point where I felt my seat was swallowing me up alive. No matter which type of film it may have been, what has heightened my movie watching experience has been my ability to share these films with each of you. Thank you for your likes, opinions and sharing your personal stories. Now if I can only get asked to be a seat filler at the Oscar telecast, my life would be complete. So, before the biggest holiday of the year takes place this Sunday; here are my picks for what I feel deserve the Oscar.
Best Picture: Argo
Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz
Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway
Best Director: David O. Russell
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
To everyone I wish you an Oscar night filled with fun and excitement, before we all get a good night’s sleep to begin a new year in search of that perfect 4 star movie. Happy Oscar Day!