Another Oscar Night, another story packed with fearless (foolish?) predictions by Kenosha News staffers Elizabeth “Tell Me Again Why There’s No Host?” Snyder and Dave “I Don’t Remember Who Won Last Year” Walter:
Liz: The president just declared a national emergency over our border with Mexico, yet he continues to ignore the REAL emergency happening tonight. What gives? When will we Make the Oscars Great Again?
Dave: Now, now, Liz; don’t make this into a political thing. Besides, there’s no category for Best Performance by a Reality TV Star as President of the United States.
Liz: Dave, as you know, the Academy Awards are all about politics! That’s why the studios fund ad campaigns to win the golden statues. It’s the Los Angeles version of the Iowa caucuses but with better looking candidates. As for tonight’s show, it will feature the usual spectacle of famous people handing trophies to other (mostly) famous people, but with no host on the stage, how will I know when to laugh?
Dave: Better yet, how will you know when to wake up?
Liz: Why couldn’t they just make Jimmy Kimmel do it again; he’s already on ABC, and he did a really good job with a difficult gig.
Dave: Maybe they can bring back Ellen DeGeneres to do a selfie with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
Liz: As they say in show business, the show must go on, but as someone who’s been watching the Oscars for several decades and who still remembers the droll hosting style of Johnny Carson, I protest!
Dave: Take it up with Trump; he’s used to protests.
Now on to the predictions:
Nominees: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born,” “Vice”
Liz: This is such a mix of films, from a blockbuster superhero tale (“Black Panther”) to a black-and-white foreign language movie showing on Netflix (“Roma.”) Who says the Oscars are stodgy?
Dave: It is a weird mix — a little something for everybody, which means nobody will be happy.
Liz: Of course, there’s no way to declare a movie is “best” (though I’ve seen some that are definitely “worst”), and it’s impossible to compare such wildly different projects. Is the Freddie Mercury bio-pic “Bohemian Rhapsody” better than the latest remake of “A Star Is Born”? Both have music; one has Lady Gaga.
Dave: The early favorite was “The Favourite,” but it has generated little to no buzz since showing up on a bunch of best-of-2018 lists in December. Despite its popularity, “Black Panther” won’t win because it’s a superhero movie. “Vice” has been very polarizing, and “Green Book” has gotten considerable blowback for its historical inaccuracies and portrayals.
Liz: Everything I’ve read says this is “Roma’s” race to lose, but with this varied of a slate, who knows? “Green Book” — a “Driving Miss Daisy” for this century — has support, too, and it won at the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild Awards.
Dave: I thought “Roma” was incredibly dull. That probably makes me a rube, but whatever.
Will win: Liz: “Roma,” with its 10 nominations and broad support in the Academy. Dave: “The Favourite,” because it touches most of the bases the Oscars love.
Should win: Liz: Man, this is tough. Based on growing up a Queen fan, I’ll say “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which really doesn’t have a shot. Dave: “Black Panther.” Sure, I’m a Marvel guy from way back, but this movie is about so much more than a superhero from Wakanda.
Nominees: Christian Bale, “Vice”; Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”; Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”; Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
Liz: This looks like a two-man race between Malek for his electrifying performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury and Academy Award favorite Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Dave: Yes, but I’m giving the edge to Malek. He has dominated the awards season. Plus “Vice” has more than its share of critics.
Liz: If Bale does win, it could mean Academy voters hate Cheney more than they love Queen. Or maybe they just want to see if Bale thanks Satan again for inspiring his performance, as he did at the Golden Globes.
Dave: See? Just another reason for voters to hate “Vice.”
Liz: Yeah, but if Satan is an Academy member — not an impossibility — Bale’s a shoo-in.
Will win: Liz and Dave: Malek will be singing “We are the Champions.”
Should win: Liz: Malek but really, this is a category of great actors. Dave: Malek, because it’s totally different from his TV gig on “Mr. Robot.”
Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”; Glenn Close, “The Wife”; Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”; Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”; Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Liz: You hate to say no one else has a chance to win here, but it would be a major surprise if Close didn’t win at the Oscars.
Dave: True, but Aparicio is garnering major kudos for her performance. If there is a groundswell for “Roma,” (I hope not), it may carry over into this category.
Liz: A win for Close tonight would end the longest losing Oscar streak of any living performer. Can the academy resist giving Best Actress to Close? We think not. And here’s where I can share my Glenn Close story: As a Bradford High School student in 1980, I saw a then-unknown Close on Broadway over Thanksgiving weekend. She was playing the wife of showman P.T. Barnum, in the musical “Barnum,” starring Jim Dale. It was quite the spectacle, with the entire theater transformed into a circus.
Dave: And after seeing that performance, you decided you hated the circus. Or is that a different story?
Liz: My hatred for the circus predates that show ... and, yes, that’s a story for another time. As for tonight, there’s always a chance for Lady Gaga, who tied with Close at the Critics’ Choice Awards. But I think Close has the edge here.
Will win: Liz and Dave: Glenn Close — finally!
Should win: Liz: Glenn Close; here’s to you, Mrs. Barnum. Dave: Is that a tribute to “The Graduate”? I agree; Close is the deserving winner, though the win may be more for her body of work.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”; Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”; Sam Elliott, “A Star is Born”; Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; Sam Rockwell, “Vice”
Liz: Ali has been winning all of the Oscar lead-up awards, so we’re sticking with him to win the Oscar, too.
Dave: He’s become a go-to actor, for sure. I still remember him fondly as the slimy Cottonmouth in “Luke Cage” on Netflix. (More Marvel connections.)
Liz: Voters might think it’s too soon to honor Ali, who won this award two years ago for “Moonlight,” but Rockwell just won last year (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), so he won’t win. Oscar voters looking to honor veterans for years of solid performances might go for Elliott or Grant here, but I still think Ali triumphs.
Dave: Missing from this category is Michael B. Jordan for his role in “Black Panther.” While he’s the “villain” of the movie, his motivations are understandable and compelling. Plus it’s high time to recognize Jordan, who has become a movie star after starring on the television series “Friday Night Lights.”
Will win: Liz and Dave: Mahershala Ali.
Should win: Liz: Sam Elliott; let’s not forget veteran actors! Dave: Michael B. Jordan (even though he’s not nominated).
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Amy Adams, “Vice”; Marina de Tavira, “Roma”; Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Emma Stone, “The Favourite”; Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”
Liz: Thank goodness for this category; it’s almost always a toss-up. Like this year.
Dave: This category is known for upsets, though I’m thinking King is the winner.
Liz: Adams has a long losing streak at the Ocars; does she finally break through the same year Glenn Close does? And what about Stone and Weisz: Are they splitting the votes of “Favourite” fans?
Dave: Again, “Roma” may lift Marine de Tavira to an unexpected win.
Liz: King is another one of those actresses who does solid work in movies and TV; a win for her would echo the Oscar win for veteran character actor J.K. Simmons a few years back.
Will win: Liz and Dave: Regina King. If Marina de Tavira wins, look for a “Roma” sweep.
Should win: Liz: There’s not a bad pick here. Dave: King.
Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”; Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”; Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”; Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”; Adam McKay, “Vice”
Liz: It’s best not to disagree with the Directors Guild in this category, which means Cuaron wins. This would be his second Oscar in five years, following his trophy for 2013’s “Gravity.”
Dave: Agreed, though again, I’m no fan of the movie.
Liz: The dark horse is Lee, who has yet to win this award despite a decades-long career.
Dave: Like Close, the nomination feels like a nod to his body of work. But it’s probably not enough to garner him the Oscar. It’s hard to believe that even “Do the Right Thing” was snubbed. Inconceivable!
Will win: Liz and Dave: Alfonso Cuaron.
Should win: Liz and Dave Spike Lee.
Best Animated Feature Film
Nominees: “Incredibles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Mirai,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse”
Liz: As incredible as it would be if a Pixar film loses here, I’m picking “Spider Verse.” It’s the one film on this list that everyone loved. Plus, my Spidey sense is tingling ...
Dave: That’s just your fear that winter will never end. “Spider Verse” is a visual feast with a heart-tugging story. Well deserving of the win. (Yay, Marvel!)
Liz: I marvel at your many Marvel references, Dave.
Will win: Liz and Dave: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse.”
Should win: Liz: Spider power! Dave: Web Head!
Best Original Song
Nominees: “All the Stars” from “Black Panther”; “I’ll Fight” from “RBG”; “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”; “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”; “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
Liz: Is it “Shallow” to pick the song from “A Star Is Born” just to give an Oscar to Lady Gaga?
Dave: Yeah, probably a gimme.
Will win: Liz and Dave: “Shallow.”
Should win: Liz: “Shallow.” Dave: “All the Stars.” Gotta stick with my Marvel theme.
Best Documentary Feature
Nominees: “Free Solo,” “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” “Minding the Gap,” “Of Fathers and Sons,” “RBG”
Liz: This is really the year of the documentary. “Free Solo” will air next month on National Geographic, and “Hale County” and “Minding the Gap” just aired on PBS in the past week. Oh, and CNN showed “RBG.”
Dave: My brother-in-law is a rock climber and has been talking about “Free Solo” for months. And it is amazing.
Liz: It used to be so difficult to actually watch the nominees, but not this year. I’m still not attempting rock climbing, however.
Will win: Liz: I have no idea, but I’ll pick “RBG” because Ruth Bader Ginsberg has been in the news so much the past few years. In Supreme Court terms, she’s a rock star. Dave: “Free Solo,” though I see “RBG” as a strong contender as well.
Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”; Matthew Libatique, “A Star is Born”; Robbie Ryan, “The Favourite”; Caleb Deschanel, “Never Look Away”; Lukasz Zal, “Cold War”
Liz: I picked this category to honor actual filming in the world of cinema after the Academy announced this award would be given out during a commercial break in the show. Really? How a film LOOKS is not deemed an important award in filmmaking? But now the Academy dropped that plan after serious blowback.
Dave: “Roma” is definitely the favorite here — after all, it’s in black and white, which means it must be a grand achievement in cinematography, right?
Liz: Sorry, Dave, there’s no Marvel Studios film here for you!
Will in: Liz: I’m no cinematographer, but I’m picking “Roma.” So much of the praise for the movie emphasizes the look of it. Dave: It will probably be “Roma,” but it’s not my favorite (or “Favourite”).
On with the show!
Liz: No matter who wins, I’m hoping for an entertaining show tonight. I know, I know. The Oscars are a long slog, but we can hope, right?
Dave: I’ll just mention one thing: This is the 30th anniversary of Rob Lowe and Snow White. SMH. If you don’t know about this, find it on YouTube. You’ll be amazed it was ever allowed on an Oscar telecast.
Liz: “Proud Mary” was never the same after that opening number. The 1989 telecast was also the last time the Oscar show didn’t have an official host. Good or bad, we can only wish for something so memorable to happen tonight. Are you listening, Rob?