It’s that time of the year again when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences bestow their awards. That means that I am going to weigh in with my thoughts. Please note that my track record is not the greatest. I have my favorites, but that doesn’t mean they will win. So here goes.
There are ten films up for the Best Picture Oscar. I am not sure that all of them deserve their nominations and a few that didn’t make it should have been on the list. For example, some people believe that “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” should have made it. In my opinion “RRR”, an Indian film, should have also been nominated. A lot of people talked about how great “Women Talking” was. I thought it was all right, but not for Best Picture. I also felt that way about “The Banshees of Inisherin”. As I said in my review, it was a well made, quirky Irish film, but not they year’s best movie. “All Quiet on the Western Front” was great, but it being a foreign film and its director not being nominated limit its chances. Some say “Top Gun: Maverick” should get it, and it was good, but again, is not a Best Picture. “Elvis” was a great film, but I don’t think it has a chance. “Triangle of Sadness” is a unique film by a new director. It’s a bit weird to get the Oscar. We will probably hear from its director/writer in the future. I did not like “Tar”. While Cate Blanchett’s performance is outstanding and the part is very well written, I was underwhelmed by the character and story. In fact I actively disliked the characters and overall movie. “Avatar: The Way of Water” was better than the original, but it didn’t get a nomination for James Cameron as director. It is probably too light for the Academy. I enjoyed “The Fabelmans”, but I don’t think it is Steven Spielberg’s best. I wouldn’t be upset if it won, but I also wouldn’t vote for it. That leaves “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” for the Oscar. It too is a quirky, unique movie that is also a mind bender and keeps its audience on its toes. Well written, well acted and it is hard to compare to anything else. I think the Academy will reward this film as I would.
Best Director will probably go to the “Two Daniels”, Daniel Scheinhart and Daniel Kwan, for “Everything, Everywhere All at Once”. Up until a few weeks ago I thought the film would win, but Steven Spielberg would receive his third Oscar for directing. That still could happen, but I think the Two Daniels will get it.
The Best Actor race is currently a three-way contest. Brendan Fraser in “The Whale” gives a mesmerizing, once-in-a-lifetime performance. His is one of those acting jobs that ranks with William Hurt in “Kiss of the Spider Woman”, Marion Cottilard in “La Vie en Rose” or Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Along with Fraser Austin Butler in “Elvis” is amazing. He transformed into one of the best known figures in modern history and made the audience believe it was him. Colin Farrell gives his best performance yet in “The Banshees of Inisherin”. Other nominations went to Bill Nighy in “Living” and Paul Mescal in “Aftersun”. I did not see the latter and Nighy is wonderfully understated in a beautiful performance. I don’t think either of them has a chance. I wish I had two votes in this category because I would give them to Fraser AND Butler, but if I have to choose, I will go for Brendan Fraser.