Yes, it’s that time again. It’s time for A-list movie stars, filmmakers, agents, lawyers, escorts and whoever to get decked out in tuxes and evening gowns, head over to Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre and take in the extravagance, pageantry and rampant self-importance that is the 87th annual Academy Awards.
With each passing year, the event itself seems more like a spectacle of celebrity back-patting and ego-stroking than an actual salute to great cinema. (Any cinephile or movie lover will tell you that the Oscars are rarely about giving awards to the movies, stars or filmmakers who actually deserve them.) Not to mention that the movies usually nominated aren’t widely embraced by the public. The New York Times recently reported that 43 million Americans tuned into the ceremony last year, while only 6 million had actually seen Best Picture winner “12 Years a Slave.”
As always, the buzz, brouhaha and assorted drama leading up to the awards is often more intense and unpredictable than the awards.
“American Sniper,” nominated for several awards including Best Picture, became a hot-button topic – and not just for its astounding success at the box office. Audiences were butting heads over its subject matter, with the left condemning the movie as fascist and jingoistic (and for glossing over some unflattering facts about its real-life protagonist) and the right saluting it for shining a light on heroic soldiers.
“Selma,” another Best Picture nominee, also got some heat for its historical accuracy (some people didn’t dig how Lyndon Johnson was portrayed), as well as lack of nominations for Best Director (Ava DuVernay) and Best Actor (David Oyelowo). Oscar voters must’ve thought black Hollywood had its night to shine when they gave a bunch of awards to “Slave” last year.
But if you’ve been covering the Oscars as long as I have, you know who’s going to get nominated and, usually, who’s going to win. So I present to you a rundown of who will and won’t (but really should) win at this year’s ceremonies, along with some personal favorites of mine that were overlooked by the Academy.
Remember, these are predictions just based on what I know. I’m not saying this is exactly what’s going to happen. Let’s see how right I am tonight.