Oscar picks and pans

Academy Awards ready to recognize the best-of-the best in film industry

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Oscar picks and pans

The Academy Awards nominees were announced Jan. 22.

The Academy Awards nominees were announced Jan. 22.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Awards nominees were announced Jan. 22.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Awards nominees were announced Jan. 22.

Daniel Lackey, Staff Writer

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Amid the yearly buzz of the entertainment industry award season shines a ceremony synonymous with acknowledging the year’s best-of-the-best in film.

The Academy Awards (a.k.a. the Oscars) is the pedestal actors, directors, producers, designers, composers, editors (and everyone in between) drool over, hopeful for the chance of receiving a prestigious Oscar statuette.

The 91st annual award nominations were revealed Jan. 22. Since the beginning of the new year, other ceremonies already recognized the best of the film industry, which generally provides a hint on who will win Oscars.  

For the most part.

The following lays out the noteworthy nominations (with the help of percentages on professional critique sites Rotten Tomatoes* and Metacritic**) while also highlighting the likeliest winners, personal favorites, honorable mentions, the occasional undeserved nominee, and the topic that causes passionate film buffs to shake their heads in dismay: snubs.

Best Picture

“A Star Is Born”


“Black Panther”

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“The Favourite”

“Green Book”



Likeliest winner: “Roma”

Personal pick: “The Favourite” – Outstanding in direction, visuals, script and especially the high class acting, this treat perfectly blends comedy and drama into an unforgettable, exquisitely delicious period piece.

Undeserved nominee: “Bohemian Rhapsody” (62 percent  and 49 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, respectively): Boasting an almost nonexistent title of receiving “critical acclaim,” I haven’t such seen such a low percentage rating for a Best Picture nominee since “The Reader” (2008; 63% on Rotten Tomatoes and 58% on Metacritic). However, regular filmgoers ate this one up, plus it was hugely successful at the Box Office. “Vice” is a close second (64 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and 61 percent on Metacritic).

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale – “Vice”

Bradley Cooper – “A Star Is Born”

Willem Dafoe – “At Eternity’s Gate”

Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Viggo Mortensen – “Green Book”

Likeliest winner: Christian Bale: “Bale’s transformation is a sight to behold,” according toRotten Tomatoes’ Critical Census. He’s already won a Critic’s Choice and Golden Globe Award for his role, so this award is practically a shoo-in for Bale. However, Rami Malik has won a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as well, evening out the playing field.

Personal pick: Bradley Cooper: He nailed his portrayal of an alcoholic/renowned musician, but probably not to the same level Bale. At least he is nominated.

Best Actressing in a Leading Role

Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”

Glenn Close – “The Wife”

Olivia Colman – “The Favourite”

Lady Gaga – “A Star Is Born”

Melissa McCarthy – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Likeliest winner: Glenn Close: The veteran actress of the nominees, Close has been nominated six times over a span of nearly three decades. She’s encountered her fair share of getting robbed, especially for her role in “Fatal Attraction” (1987) when she controversially lost to singer/actress Cher. Close has won a Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Satellite, and Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance, edging out favorite Lady Gaga for the Globe and sharing the Critics’ Choice. It would be a replication of 1988 if Gaga defeated her, as she is another singer transformed to dramatic actress.

Personal pick: Olivia Colman/Glenn Close.

Honorable mention:  Melissa McCarthy: Kudos to her for branching off from her recent line of seemingly endless, critically-panned comedies and instead basking in the praises of a critically lauded role central to the respected “Can You Ever Forgive Me?This nomination no doubts represents a defining turning point for her career.

Snub: Toni Collette (“Hereditary”): While the movie is terrifying in itself, Collette offered up a terrific performance. She managed to command every scene she was involved in with her massive acting chops, leaving the viewer agape in unsettling awe. The Academy’s known distaste for horror movies is probably the culprit for this snub.

Honorable mention snubs: Saoirse Ronan (“Mary Queen of Scots”): There were excruciatingly high hopes for “Mary, Queen of Scots” when the trailer was released last summer. But it was disappointing. On the bright side, I did walk into the movie knowing that Ronan and her screen counterpart Margot Robbie would for sure dominate with their acting. In the end, they were absolutely marvelous.

Keira Knightley (“Colette”): “Colette” did not have a large theatrical release, which prevented Knightley’s performance from reaching the eyes of audiences. As usual, this two-time Oscar nominee showcased her skills with passion and classiness.

Best Supporting Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”

Adam Driver – “BlacKkKlansman”

Sam Elliott – “A Star Is Born”

Robert E. Grant – “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Sam Rockwell – “Vice”

Likeliest Winner: Mahershala Ali: Ali has a strong chance of taking home the prize, yet he’s so fresh from earning an Oscar at last year’s ceremony for his role in Best Picture winner “Moonlight.” Multi-Oscar winners have typically had to wait a number of years before a second or third Oscar is awarded.

Snubs: Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”) and Timothèe Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”): Both of these youngsters emitted raw, vulnerable performances that should at least be acknowledged by the Academy. Their moments will come.

Best Supporting Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams – “Vice”

Regina King – “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Emma Stone – “The Favourite”

Marina De Tavira – “Roma”

Rachel Weisz – “The Favourite”Likeliest Winner: Regina King: Thus far, King has snatched every award for this category.

Personal Pick: Emma Stone/Rachel Weisz: Each superbly mastered the unique characteristics of their own roles, yet perfectly shared the quality of mischief.

Snub: Margot Robbie (“Mary Queen of Scots”).


*Rotten Tomatoes is a website that exhibits a considerable amount of professional reviews for movies and television shows, with each critic given two options for determining the overall quality of them: rotten or fresh. The former indicates a disfavorable view of the movie, while the latter indicates an acceptable or outstanding judgment for a movie or show. When all of the reviews are accumulated, the site displays the percentage of “fresh” or positive reviews. The public also has the option for writing reviews and scoring using the classic one-to-five star system. The site has garnered controversy, for speculation says that moviegoers conflicted between seeing a movie or not heavily rely on the score as the last straw.

**Metacritic is another way to glimpse reviews from critics over movies, shows, music, video games, etc. Each critic provides a score of 0-100 to the object of critiqued. From there, all of the reviews are averaged together to form a central percentage.


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