Guide to Oscars 1

Your Guide to The Oscars

Commentary, Nominees, Picks, and Predictions

Guide to Oscars 1It’s that time of the year where film junkies make their picks, girls go crazy over Twitter to check out the best dresses on the red carpet, and people pass out on their couches when the ceremony runs past midnight.

Yes, the center of the universe will revolve around the 91st Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles where all the stars will be under one roof this Sunday.

Looking back, last year’s Oscars had its fair share of controversy.

The ceremony took place at a time where the #MeToo Movement was gaining momentum and many people in Hollywood were ousted.

A lot of actresses who attended last year’s Oscars wore black in solidarity with those who were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

On the other hand, actors wore pins that read “Time’s Up,” which was in support of the foundation that pays for the legal defense of those who were sexually harassed in the workplace.

While it looked like everyone was in unison on the red carpet, it was a different vibe inside the Dolby Theater, where there were controversial wins.

NBA legend Kobe Bryant won an Oscar for Best Animated Short, but the player was at the center of a sexual assault case in 2003.

Also, Gary Oldman, who won Best Actor for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, was accused of sexual assault from his ex-wife in a case from 2001.

In wake of #MeToo’s rip through Hollywood, maybe it wasn’t the best decision for the Academy to award such individuals.

Fast forward to this Sunday and there is even more controversy revolving around this year’s Oscars.

On Dec. 4, Kevin Hart announced on Instagram that he would be hosting this year’s ceremony.

Then, on Dec. 6, Hart’s unearthed homophobic tweets from nearly ten years ago went viral and many called on the comedian to step down.

It didn’t take long for Hart to get the message because the next day, on Dec. 7, the comedian announced on Twitter that he would step down as the ceremony’s host.

It’s been over two months since the controversy swirled through Hollywood, yet the Academy never found a replacement for Hart.

Guide to Oscars 2Considering how much talent there is in Hollywood, it’s shocking that the Academy didn’t find a replacement for one of the year’s biggest events.

I would’ve loved to see The Rock host, but the highest paid actor in Hollywood took to Twitter on Feb. 6 to say that he was too busy shooting the next Jumanji sequel to put the effort in.

Also, it would be redundant for the host to be someone like Jimmy Kimmel or Billy Crystal again.

Although there won’t be a host this year, it could be a good thing.

Maybe without a host, we can finally get through the ceremony without it feeling like an eternity.

Last year’s Oscars were nearly four hours, which seems to be the benchmark for every year.

In an attempt to shorten that run time, the Academy accounced in early February that they would not show the live results of four categories.

Through commercial breaks, the awards for cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts and makeup and hairstyling were to be distributed.

Towards the end of the ceremony, the Academy was supposed to rebroadcast the winners accepting their awards.

This decision was met with immediate blowback from Hollywood and film purists alike.

A ton of actors, producers, cinematographers, and everyone in between contributed their name to an open letter to the Academy, where they referred to the move as, “an insult.”

Prominent figures in Hollywood like Martin Scorsese, Brad Pitt, and Spike Lee felt that the winners of those categories shouldn’t be pushed aside during the commercial breaks.

Instead, they deserved their airtime as much as any other category.

The Academy felt the pinch from Hollywood on this decision. As a result, last Friday, Feb. 15, the Academy reversed their choice by allowing all categories to receive their awards live.

For the betterment of the many average fans watching at home and for the sake of ratings, the Academy’s initial decision to rebroadcast the results of minor categories later in the ceremony would have made sense.

Of course those behind the scenes deserve their recognition (which they would have received at some point in the broadcast), but nobody is on the edge of their seat for who will win makeup and hairstyling.

Leading up to Sunday’s ceremony, the Academy also faced backlash for the creation of a new category: “Best Popular Film.”

In an attempt to boost ratings, the Academy initally planned for this year’s Oscars to award a blockbuster film for its achievement in popularity.

Guide to Oscars 3Many journalists and members of the Academy were upset at the decision because they didn’t know what exactly would constitute a “popular film.”

They also felt the move was more of a gimmick for ratings than it was to award an actual achievement in film.

In response to criticism, Academy President John Bailey announced that the category would not happen at this year’s ceremony, but the idea would be improved upon for a future date.

The Academy has been scrambling to make changes to improve viewership because last year’s ratings reached an all time low of 26.5 million viewers, 20 percent fewer than 2017.

It seems that most of the decisions made by the Academy leading up to this year’s Oscars have been weak.

The list of Best Picture nominees are weak too, with only four out of the eight scoring a three or higher on my scale out of four.

Although each category this year doesn’t have a clear favorite, here are my picks and predictions for who will take home the Oscars:

Best Picture

Black Panther


Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favorite

Green Book


A Star is Born



My Pick: BlacKkKlansman

Prediction: Roma

While Roma’s heart is in the right place, the film is much too boring to get behind. Like Kacey Musgraves sings, I’m alright with a slow burn, but that movie nearly knocked me out.

On the other hand, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is the clear favorite.

The director’s latest joint was filled with action, laughs, and a powerful message as it followed the incredible true story of black police officer Ron Stallworth’s attempt to infiltrate the KKK in the early 1970s.

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Pick: Christian Bale

Prediction: Rami Malek

Malek’s interpretation of Freddie Mercury was well received, but I was on the fence.

The actor looked like Mercury with the huge overbite and perfectly sized mustache, but Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t test the boundaries of Malek.

We never got to see an ailing Mercury, despite the music legend’s well known battle with drug addiction and AIDS.

Contrarily, Bale gave everything he had to play Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice.

Bale looked like he had ten Whoppers a day to stay in the VP’s shape. Plus, whenever he spoke, it felt like crows would fly into the dark sky, just the same as Cheney.

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?


Pick: Lady Gaga

Prediction: Glenn Close

I don’t think anyone predicted that Gaga would give the tour de force performance she gave in A Star is Born. From the singing to the acting, Gaga was pitch perfect.

However, the Academy has their favorites.

Close is overdue for an award, so they may give it to her based on tenure.

Best Director

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Adam McKay, Vice

Pick: Spike Lee

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón

Spike Lee returned to form with his direction in BlacKkKlansman. The director managed to provide a genuine message on race in America, while dishing out an incredible amount of entertainment.

Meanwhile, the Academy sucks up to the artsy-fartsy direction. Expect Cuarón to bring this one to Roma.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell, Vice

Pick: Mahershala Ali

Prediction: Mahershala Ali

I enjoyed Ali’s composed and cool interpretation of pianist Don Shirley, but I wasn’t completely blown away by it.

To be forward, none of the actors wow me in this category, but Ali’s performance is the better of the bunch.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Vice

Marina De Tavira, Roma

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Pick: Nobody

Prediction: Regina King

I’m not astonished by any of the following performances.

I wasn’t a big fan of The Favorite, If Beale Street Could Talk, or Roma, so I can’t say I’m rooting for any actress in particular in this category.

This category sums up how I feel about the whole ceremony. I’m not pulling for anyone to win in a category because this year’s selection of films are the most underwhelming in recent memory.