Oscar Nominations Predictions

The nominations for the 91rst Academy Awards will be announced obscenely early on Tuesday, January 22, after which will follow a month of all-out battles, Hollywood style. So many categories are still up for grabs, so this year’s race for Best Publicist / Marketing Machine will be exciting to watch (hey, I need all the distractions I can get). The golden statues will be handed out on Sunday, February 24.

But first, you have to be in it to win it, so here are my predictions for who I think will be very happy on the morning on January 22 (in the big categories). Remember, these aren’t who I HOPE will be nominated, these are who I PREDICT will be. My personal choices would be a whole different thing…(don’t get me started, Golden Globes). Ok, here goes:

BEST PICTURE:
A Star Is Born
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
First Man
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma
Vice

BEST DIRECTOR:
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Sony Pictures

I’ve always envied the people who were lucky enough to see the original Star Wars in the theatre when it was first released in 1977. What it must have been like to experience it for the first time, as a blank slate, to be blown away by the inventiveness , the entirely new universe that George Lucas created, not to mention the special effects and other technological cinematic breakthroughs it heralded. It was a watershed film in the history of cinema, a touchstone in time for the medium and the business. And to have been someone lucky enough to have experienced it first-hand—well, that’s a feeling I’ve always longed for.

Well, last night I came pretty close to it. The new animated feature, Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse is—and let me make sure to say this exactly the way I mean to—LIKE NO OTHER MOVIE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN. It may not herald a new technology, but what it does do is use existing technologies in ways I’ve never seen before. If you think movies are stale and tired and that nobody does anything new anymore, I beg you to see Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse and tell me if you still feel the same way.

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My Top 10 of 2018

1. THE FAVOURITE
Gorgeous and wicked, Yorgos Lanthimos’s masterpiece is a tour de force behind and in front of the camera.

2. PADDINGTON 2
Another sequel that’s better than the original, which is impossible because the original was so good. Pure happiness.

3. ROMA
A dreamscape that breathes in every frame and reveals a mastery of the medium.

4. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tender but brutal, the kind of movie that reminds me what a great screenplay can do.

5. BLACKKKLANSMAN
A top-of-his-game Spike Lee joint that sizzles with humor and a biting social commentary.

6. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
A moody and magnificent trip down a cinematic rabbit hole.

7. ISLE OF DOGS
Another reminder that there is nobody like Wes Anderson and I’m not even sure we deserve him.

8. LOVE, SIMON
The freshest breath of air in movies in years. And long overdue.

9. THE DEATH OF STALIN
A timely political satire that is as hilarious as it is brilliant. A masterclass.

10. GAME NIGHT
The best time I had at the movies all year.