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Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019 2 years ago

Critic's Picks: The Oscars

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The 91st Academy Awards airs Feb. 24. We offer our picks in all the major categories.

Best Supporting Actress Nominees

Emma Stone plays Abigail in "The Favourite." Courtesy photo
  • Amy Adams “Vice”
  • Marina de Tavira “Roma”
  • Regina King “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Emma Stone “The Favourite”
  • Rachel Weisz “The Favourite”

It looks as though Regina King will reign supreme. Her gut-wrenching portrayal of a mother determined to save her daughter’s fiancé from paying for a crime he didn’t commit is riveting. She embodies the “black experience” in America. But watch out for Amy Adams’ gutsy performance as Dick Cheney’s deeply devoted wife, Lynne. It’s her fourth nod in this category.

 

Best Supporting Actor Nominees

Mahershala Ali plays Dr. Don Shirley in "Green Book." Courtesy photo
  • Mahershala Ali “Green Book”
  • Adam Driver “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Sam Elliott “A Star is Born”
  • Richard E. Grant “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
  • Sam Rockwell “Vice”

Mahershala Ali should grab a second Oscar for his impeccable elegance and vulnerability as pianist Don Shirley. The chemistry between Ali and Viggo Mortensen on screen is a rare gift. No debate unless Sam Elliott sways the Academy for his long history as a great actor. Prediction: Ali makes the best case.

 

Best Actress Nominees

Melissa McCarthy plays Lee Israel in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" Courtesy photo
  • Yalitza Aparicio “Roma”
  • Glenn Close “The Wife”
  • Olivia Colman “The Favourite”
  • Lady Gaga “A Star is Born”
  • Melissa McCarthy “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Glenn Close delivers a quietly powerful portrayal of a woman who stands in the shadows of her husband’s accomplishments. She speaks volumes via body language and facial expressions for the most part, wordlessly. Close is, simply, her most brilliant, ever, as a woman scorned who comes clean with a vengeance. No contest here.

 

Best Actor Nominees

Rami Malek plays Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody." Courtesy photo
  • Christian Bale “Vice”
  • Bradley Cooper “A Star is Born”
  • Willem DaFoe “At Eternity’s Gate”
  • Rami Malek “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Viggo Mortensen “Green Book”

Torn. Christian Bale totally disappears into character as the infamous VP Dick Cheney. It’s a jaw-dropping and terrifically terrifying performance. But Rami Malek, as the iconic frontman for Queen, is astonishing. He’s electrifying, precise and mind blowing. It’s a toss, but we’re going with Bale.

 

Best Director Nominees

Adam Driver plays Flip Zimmerman and John David Washington plays Ron Stallworth in "BlacKkKlansman." Courtesy photo
  • Alfonso Cuaron “Roma”
  • Yorgos Lanthimos “The Favourite”
  • Spike Lee “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Adam McKay “Vice”
  • Pawel Pawlikowski “Cold War”

It’s about time for Spike Lee to score an Oscar. And since “BlacKkKlansman” is the best film he’s ever made, the timing couldn’t be better. Lee elevates an incredibly unbelievable true story to a thought-provoking commentary on racism in America. It’s a shocking, funny and galvanizing piece of filmmaking. Cuaron’s “Roma” is an intimate and breathtaking masterpiece. But we like Spike.

 

Best Picture Nominees

Yalitza Aparicio plays Cleo in "Roma." Courtesy photo
  • “BlacKkKlansman”
  • “Black Panther”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  •  “The Favourite”
  • “Green Book”
  • “Roma”
  • “A Star is Born”
  • “Vice”

We’re going with the “feel good” film amongst the eight nominees, “Green Book.” It’s a breath of fresh air in stagnant times. This wickedly wise and wise cracking journey through the Deep South in 1962 never stoops to cliché, even though it’s rife with them. When two men who are polar opposites become best of friends, we are forced to embrace the fact that our differences can become a means by which we bond. Director Peter Farrelly has created an ode to the American landscape, inhabited by two guys in a turquoise 1962 Cadillac Sedan DeVille, navigating with a green book. And it’s one exhilarating ride. Look out, “Roma.”

 

The Academy Awards air at 8 p.m. Feb. 24 on ABC.

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