HOLLYWOOD—Oscar Sunday is less than a week away America, and we predicted the acting categories last week and now it’s time to turn our attention to the races for Best Director and Best Picture. I’ll be honest Best Director might be one of the easiest races to predict this season. While all five nominees, Alfonso Cuaron “Roma,” Spike Lee “BlacKkKlansman,” Adam McKay “Vice,” Yorgos Lanthimos “The Favourite” and Pawel Pawlikowski “Cold War” are all deserving, there is one clear front-runner.
That person is Cuaron, who already has a statute for his work on the film “Gravity.” He has nearly swept all the awards this season including the Golden Globe, Critics Choice Awards, Directors Guild of America and likely Oscar to top things off. His stiffest competition would be Lee, who has NEVER been nominated in this race before. While “BlacKkKlansman” is a good movie, it’s not great because Lee fails to trust the material to convey what an already solid movie does up until its final moments.
“The Favourite” is not everyone’s cup of tea; while “Cold War” is a brilliant flick I’m afraid far too many people haven’t and won’t see it. “Vice” has people divided; some love it, while others hate it. With that being said, that leaves “Roma” as a clear front-runner. Cuaron excels at doing what he does best as a director: showing how crucial style is when making a movie.
What he did with “Gravity” was epic, and what he does with “Roma,” while not the most entertaining movie is something that will be studied for years in the educational arena. He’s a winner and the mere thought of someone else’s name being called when that envelope is opened will leave me aghast. However, everyone thought Martin Scorsese was a shoo-in for “The Aviator” and Clint Eastwood came out of nowhere to claim the victory for “Million Dollar Baby.”
On to Best Picture, we have eight contenders “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star is Born” and “Vice.” So we can eliminate several films from contention because not much has transpired for them this awards season. Those films include “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite” and “Vice.” While stellar films, none have won major prizes for Best Picture.
So that leaves “Black Panther,” “Green Book,” “Roma” and “A Star is Born.” When awards season first kicked off, “A Star is Born” was the one to beat, but it has lost its fizzle. So you have a three-way race between “Green Book,” “Roma” and “Black Panther.” I would like to think “Black Panther” has a shot after winning the SAG Award for Outstanding Ensemble, and with the major adjustments to the Academy’s membership it is a long shot, but it could happen.
That means you have “Green Book” and “Roma” vying for the top prize. “Green Book” had the potential to be a clear front-runner, but a little controversy has hurt the films chances. Not to mention the movie only won one major prize and that was the Golden Globe for Best Musical or Comedy, even though it’s not a comedy people. “Roma” on the other hand has cleaned house in the Best Picture race and it’s too hard to see any other movie coming out of left-field and claiming the Best Picture Oscar. It would almost feel like a travesty if any other movie won beyond “Roma” at this point.