91st Oscars: ‘Green Book’ took Best Picture. Rami Malek is the best actor while Olivia Colman prevailed with best actress win over heavy favourite Glenn Close.


Finally, the Oscars is here. The 91st Academy Awards took place just a moment ago with some surprising wins. This year’s ceremony runs half hour longer than the anticipated 3-hours period. The ceremony also comes with no host. Here’s below is the full winners list along with my comments:

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

 

Opinion: I haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ (now I think I should). My first choice is ‘Roma’. I have a feeling many would be fine with ‘Roma’ winning since it is not as divisive as ‘Green Book’ (this film has some controversy). I’m surprised. I have to admit that ‘Roma’ is more of a technical masterpiece while the Academy just wanted to go away from that since they had done so last year (as many viewed ‘The Shape of Water’ more of a technical masterpiece too).

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Expected. It’s so nice to see Guillermo del Toro (last year winner) to present this to Alfonso Cuaron. Both are great friends and are from Mexico. Very well deserved win to Cuaron. It’s his second directing win! So many Mexicans rule in this category for the last couple of years.

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?”

Opinion: Oh my god! I was so shocked when I heard ‘Olivia Colman’. Poor Glenn…she is amazing in ‘The Wife’ and everyone thinks she is going to get it this time due to the huge overdue factor (me included). But she isn’t. That is shocking. I was really hoping she will win after 7 nominations. And yet, not again. She is a a wonderful actress and has been unfortunately overlooked by the Academy once again. Felt really bad for Glenn Close. Congratz, Olivia Colman; win in first nomination! I love her acceptance speech (she is a very likable and fun person). She is excellent in ‘The Favourite’ too but I still wanted Close to win her first Oscar in her long amazing career.

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”

Opinion: Happy for Rami Malek. He is phenomenal in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Some people criticized that he just impersonates Freddie Mercury and lip-sync throughout the entire movie. To these people, have you watched the entire movie? His performance in it is much more than that and I’m glad that the Academy recognizes that.

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”

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ but have heard a lot of good reviews particularly for Regina King’s performance in it. She is snubbed at the SAG and BAFTA surprisingly. I would have prefer Emma Stone from ‘The Favourite’ to win this one but I knew she won’t. The 5 ladies here are all very deserving.

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”

Opinion: No. Although I knew Mahershala Ali is going to win as he sweeps all the major precursor awards, but I prefer Richard E. Grant. My judgement is a bit biased here as I have not watched ‘Green Book’. Ali has already won the same award just few years ago and I think it’s too quick for him to win another one.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Blackkklansman’. My choice is ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’.

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ and I would prefer ‘The Favourite’ to win this. Its script is brilliant. It just doesn’t feel right when ‘The Favourite’ is not winning anything at all.

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Opinion: Expected. The camerawork and lighting in ‘Roma’ are brilliant. The black-and-white style further expresses the cinematography of the film.

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Opinion: Good for ‘Black Panther’. The only fascinating thing from the film is its unique costumes.

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Opinion: I predicted ‘Vice’ while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my second choice. I was wrong. I find that the editing in ‘Vice’ is much more obvious but Academy is very in love with the editing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (mostly due to the amazing Live Aid scene).

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Opinion: Expected. The same formula last year; do a huge transformation to a leading man in a movie (particularly turning one into a fat politician – Winston Churchill last year and Dick Cheney this year) and you got this.

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Opinion: ‘Black Panther’ has best score?! This is a joke. ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ or even ‘Isle of Dogs’ are much more worthy. I have a feeling that Academy wanted to give a lot of awards to ‘Black Panther’ just to show that they are very serious in celebrating diversity. This is not right. Quality should be the priority.

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Opinion: Definitely ‘Shallow’. Very deserving as the song is simply amazing! The only win for ‘A Star Is Born’ which has been predicted to be a strong contender in the early award season but fails.

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)

“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Opinion: Not hugely disappointed but would have prefer ‘The Favourite’ to take this. Looks like the love for ‘Black Panther’ is strong. There’s a lot of reliance on green screen for most setting in ‘Black Panther’ and less on practical set-up and that’s why I don’t really agree with it winning production design.

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Opinion: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my third pick and it ends up prevailing even in this category. ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘First Man’ have better sound editing in my opinion.

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Opinion: Expected. The sound mixing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is amazing. Music-themed film usually win here. Sorry ‘A Star Is Born’. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has much more obvious sound work and in much larger quantity and volume.

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Opinion: Wow. This is so surprising. Academy tends to favour low-key supporting visual effects (same like when ‘Ex Machina’ won some years ago). I disagree totally. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is robbed. The CGI on Thanos alone is enough to win. ‘First Man’ is like my 4th pick (at the bottom).

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Opinion: Expected again. ‘Roma’ is even in best picture contention.

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is certainly at the top this year. ‘Incredibles 2’ is fun but ordinary. I have high expectation for ‘Isle of Dogs’ but it came out being fine although it has unique animation. ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is here just to fill in the slot.

– No comments for the last 4 categories below as I’m not interested in them and have not watched any of them too.-

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi

“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

I got 11 correct and 9 incorrect for my prediction (can check out my final prediction in my previous blog post). That is not good. I got almost half of my prediction wrong. The 91st Academy Awards gave us a lot of surprise in a year where a lot of races are wide open.

‘Green Book’ took the top honor (winning best picture), defeating ‘Roma’ which is thought to be the frontrunner (‘Roma’ has most nominations and has won quite a lot of major precursor prizes). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has the most wins at the night with 4 (lead actor, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing). ‘Green Book’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Roma’ ties with 3 wins each. Each of the best picture nominees won at least an award this year which is quite rare.

So now, that’s the official end of the 2018 Hollywood film awards season.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

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My final prediction for the 2019 Oscars.


The 91st Academy Awards is finally happening this weekend. All the 13 guilds have handed out their prizes and major precursor awards (Golden Globes, Critics Choice, SAG, BAFTA) have announced their winners in the past several weeks.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ topped at the guild wins with 4 but these wins are mostly at the lesser important technical categories. The movie also won best motion picture – drama at the Golden Globes. ‘Green Book’ won at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) and also won best motion picture – musical or comedy at the Golden Globes. ‘Roma’ won at the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) and also won Best Picture at the Critics Choice and the BAFTA. ‘Black Panther’ won Best Cast in Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). So which film is going to win best picture this Sunday at the Oscars? Predicting the winner this year is super challenging as there is no clear frontrunner even after all the precursors. Now, this is really an exciting year.

I have previously published the full nomination list for the 2019 Oscars some time ago with my prediction but that wasn’t quite updated. Here, I will publish it again with my latest and final prediction of who will win and who should win.

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: In term of statistic, ‘Roma’ is at a very slight upper edge over the other nominees in terms of winning in the precursor awards. This movie is beautiful, intimate and is a technical masterpiece. Since preferential system is applied for this category, ‘Roma’ has the advantage for being a movie that is not divisive or heavily hated by anyone (unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, Vice and Green Book) and is expected to take up a lot of 1st, and also crucial 2nd and 3rd pick by the voters. Out of the 8 nominees, I enjoyed ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the most because it is highly entertaining. But other than that, I don’t think that it is best picture material. ‘Roma’ has my pick. ‘The Favourite’ or ‘Blackkklansman’ may upset but I think their chances are quite far behind.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Will win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Opinion: There is no doubt that Alfonso Cuaron is getting his second directing Oscars. The dark horse here would be Spike Lee but I don’t think he has that momentum to take down Cuaron at this point since the latter has been sweeping all the precursor awards already.

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?”

Should win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Will win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Opinion: Only losing the best actress to Olivia Colman in the BAFTA (due to Colman being a British and has the home advantage), Glenn Close is certainly the frontrunner (she won at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG) and my pick to win the best actress. This would be her first ever win in her 7th nomination. That is crazy and unbelievable that such an amazing actress has never won an Oscar before. She is winning this not because of the overdue factor but because she delivered an excellent performance in ‘The Wife’. I have to admit that the overdue factor is also giving her an advantage over the other nominees. I will scream if she doesn’t get to go up on stage to take that Oscar this Sunday. Looking forward to a standing ovation for her. She is a phenomenal actress. This shall be her year!

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”

Should win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Will win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Opinion: Rami Malek is the frontrunner after winning Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG. He only lost the Critics Choice (to Christian Bale). Forget about Critics Choice. The critics have been seriously panning ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but the film industry people have shown the opposite reaction to the movie instead (by giving it multiple major awards). I am with the industry people this time. The critics are wrong. Rami Malek didn’t just imitate Freddie Mercury but he brought the character to life with fantastic acting. His performance there is beyond imitation or lip-syncing. He made us believe that Freddie Mercury himself was in that movie.

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”

Should win: Emma Stone (The Favourite)

Will win: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Opinion: Regina King may still win this but I think Rachel Weisz will prevail especially after her recent BAFTA win. It gave her a lot of momentum. Between her and Emma Stone (both from the same film;The Favourite), I would slightly prefer the latter more because her role is slightly more complex and her performance slightly more engaging. But I don’t think she can win as she has just won best actress not long ago. The other nominees can pull off upset here too as this race is wide open till now.

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”

Should win: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Will win: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Opinion: Mahershala Ali has been taking all the supporting actor prizes, making him the clear frontrunner in this category. He is certainly going to win (this will be his second supporting actor Oscar) but I would prefer Richard E. Grant to prevail. He is superb in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ alongside Mellisa McCarthy.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Should win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Will win: Blackkklansman.

Opinion: Can You Ever Forgive Me? won at the Writers Guild Awards (WGA) and that’s my choice too. However, I think the Academy wouldn’t want ‘Blackkklansman’ to go home empty-handed since it is also a best picture nominee (Can You Ever Forgive Me? is not a best picture nominee).

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: ‘The Favourite’ is the frontrunner here but ‘Green Book’ or even ‘Roma’ can pull off a surprise win here too. ‘The Favourite’ is a quirky, unconventional period film and its screenplay helps a lot for its success. If the love for ‘Roma’ is super strong, then it may also possible to take this one too.

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: No debate. It’s going to be ‘Roma’. Another foreign film ‘Cold War’ is the dark horse here. English film has no chance for this category this year. Opps.

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Should win: Black Panther

Will win: Black Panther

Opinion: This is going to be battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. Academy will certainly find a way to reward ‘Black Panther’ which is the first superhero film nominated for best picture ever (but unlikely to win best picture) and this is the category for it (also possible on the ‘best production design’ category). I’m giving the edge for ‘Black Panther’ due to their creative and futuristic looking costumes and I’m bored of seeing period movies keep on winning this from their typical massive traditional dresses.

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: It’s between ‘Vice’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It’s too close to call but I’m picking ‘Vice’ in the end for its more obvious editing effort throughout the entire movie while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has splendid and spectacular editing only particularly at its end during the Live Aid segment.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: Same scenario as ‘Darkest Hour’ last year. Huge makeup to turn an actor unrecognizable and particularly into a fat politician and you are winning this.

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Should win: Isle Of Dogs

Will win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Opinion: It is absurd that ‘First Man’ is not nominated here. I would have pick that to win here easily. This is the category where ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ has the higher chance of winning (besides than the very tight race in the supporting actress category).

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Should win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Will win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Opinion: 100% sure that Lady Gaga (and Bradley Cooper) will still have their moment on stage to receive an award (rather than just performing the song live during the ceremony). They won’t have chance to win for the acting categories. ‘Shallow’ is a beautiful and powerful song (I love this song too) and it will secure the only win for the overrated ‘A Star Is Born’.

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)
“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: Similar to the ‘best costume design’ category, this is the battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. The other nominees wouldn’t stand a chance at all. I’m fine with any of these two winning. If ‘The Favourite’ won here, I prefer ‘Black Panther’ to win for costume design. Hence, that’s my prediction right now.

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Should win: A Quiet Place

Will win: A Quiet Place

Opinion: The only nomination for ‘A Quiet Place’ and I have a feeling that many voters will put a tick for it. The movie has great sound editing despite its content being mostly quiet due to its plot. Now, that is what makes the sound work from the movie so awesome and noticeable. ‘First Man’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may stun us with a win here too.

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Should win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Opinion: All the way for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. The sound mixing work in this movie is brilliant! Period.

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Should win: Avengers: Infinity War

Will win: Avengers: Infinity War

Opinion: The visual effect on Thanos alone is enough for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to win. I must say that I’m also impressed by the visual effects from ‘Ready Player One’. But hey, this mega blockbuster (Infinity War) has to be rewarded!

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: Definitely ‘Roma’. This film is even in contention at best picture category and is even projected to win there. So, it should take this one easily without any competition.

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Should win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Will win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is going to win due to its brilliant story and unique animation. The other nominees are pretty ordinary.

– No comments or predictions for the last 4 categories below as I’m not interested in them and have not watched any of them too.-

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

So, it looks like each of the 8 best picture nominee is going to win at least one award. That is good. No one is going home empty handed. Everyone will be happy at the end of the ceremony (except for the non best picture contender which lost in the categories they are contending). ‘Roma’ is projected to be the biggest winner with 4 wins (picture, director, foreign language film and cinematography). ‘The Favourite’ is expected to win 3 awards (production design, original screenplay and supporting actress). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is to win 2 (lead actor, sound mixing) and ‘Vice’ is predicted to do the same (makeup & hairstyling, film editing).

So now, I have made my final prediction for the 91st Academy Awards (2019 Oscars) in 20 out of the 24 categories. Let see how many out of 20 that I got it right. The awards ceremony is happening this Sunday, 24th February 2019 at 8pm (will be the next day morning at local time). I will be watching it live. This year’s competition is intense and many categories are still wide open. It makes the awards to be more exciting than previous years.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

‘The Favourite’ won big at the BAFTA while ‘Roma’ widen the lead to be the Oscar frontrunner for best picture.


The 72nd British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) was held last evening with the movie ‘The Favourite’ emerged as the biggest winner with 7 wins. This is very much expected due to home advantage. Will it be able to win that many awards in the Academy Awards end of this month? I don’t think so.

Here’s the full list of winners for the 72nd British Academy Film Awards along with my opinions for several categories as usual:

BEST PICTURE
“BlacKkKlansman”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma” – WINNER
“A Star is Born”

Opinion: With this win, ‘Roma’ now is the frontrunner for the Oscar’s best picture race. The best picture competition is very exciting this year as each of the nominated films has their fair share of awards with no clear frontrunner like last year when it is very obvious that only ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri’ are fighting for the best picture title.

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” – WINNER
Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born”

Opinion: Anyone besides than Alfonso Cuaron winning will be the most shocking news. Cuaron is going to win his second directing Oscars end of this month for sure. He is an excellent craftsman.

BEST ACTOR
Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born”
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – WINNER
Steve Coogan, “Stan & Ollie”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Opinion: I don’t see any more competition from other nominees at this point. Christian Bale is no longer a threat anymore to Rami Malek. Malek should get his Oscar acceptance speech ready after winning the same gong at Golden Globes, SAG, and BAFTA.

BEST ACTRESS
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” – WINNER
Viola Davis, “Widows”

Opinion: I’m not surprised that Olivia Colman won and not Glenn Close. Colman has a huge home advantage and she also did a great job in ‘The Favourite’. However, Glenn Close is still the one to beat for best actress in the Oscar end of this month due to the huge overdue factor and she has won more important precursor awards (Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice) than Colman. It’s a pity that Close couldn’t make a clean sweep after this loss.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” – WINNER
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”
Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”

Opinion: I would have prefer Richard E. Grant or Timothee Chalamet to win. Now, it is a lock for Mahershala Ali to claim his second Oscar.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Claire Foy, “First Man”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Margot Robbie, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite” – WINNER

Opinion: With Regina King and Emily Blunt missing in the nominees here, many are saying that Amy Adams may have a chance. But then, she lost again. Vote splitting isn’t enough to take out Rachel Weisz (as she share same film with Emma Stone who is also nominated here). It’s now Regina King vs. Rachel Weisz for the Oscar.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Janusz Glowacki, Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Deborah Davis, Tony Mcnamara, “The Favourite” – WINNER
Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, “Green Book”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Wilmott, “BlacKkKlansman” – WINNER
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Josh Singer, “First Man”
Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, Eric Roth, “A Star is Born”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Newton Thomas Sigel, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Lukasz Zal, “Cold War”
Robbie Ryan, “The Favourite”
Linus Sandgren, “First Man”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” – WINNER

Opinion: Deserving win for ‘Roma’ as the movie is really excellent especially in its technical aspects including cinematography.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite” – WINNER
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Mary Queen of Scots”

Opinion: No surprise here. Actually, no surprise to all the categories of which ‘The Favourite’ is winning. Home advantage it is. I don’t really get the critical love to this movie. I like it but I don’t see it being a spectacular film.

BEST FILM EDITING
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“Vice” – WINNER

Opinion: I like the editing in ‘Vice’ but I still see huge competition in this category from ‘First Man’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

BEST MAKE UP & HAIR
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite” – WINNER
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Stan & Ollie”
“Vice”

Opinion: Another obvious win due to home advantage. ‘Vice’ is definitely better in make up and hair. ‘Vice’ will still win in the Oscar for this category.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“The Favourite” – WINNER
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Roma”

BEST SCORE
“BlacKkKlansman”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“A Star is Born” – WINNER

Opinion: Now this is a joke. While I enjoyed and is very fascinated by the songs in ‘A Star Is Born’, its score doesn’t stood out at all. Poor choice from the voters.

BEST SOUND
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – WINNER
“First Man”
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”
“A Quiet Place”
“A Star is Born”

Opinion: Great to see ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ getting win on other category other than just the lead actor. The movie certainly has great sound work in it. Deserving win.

BEST SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Black Panther” – WINNER
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”

Opinion: Another joke! Visual effects in ‘Black Panther’ is just average. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ or ‘Ready Player One’ has much better VFX.

BEST ANIMATED FILM
“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – WINNER

Opinion: The clear frontrunner for best animated feature. No more competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ stood out easily among the rest of the animated films last year.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Free Solo” – WINNER
“McQueen”
“RBG”
“They Shall Not Grow Old”
“Three Identical Strangers”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Capernaum”
“Cold War”
“Dogman”
“Roma” – WINNER
“Shoplifters”

BEST BRITISH FILM
“Beast”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite” – WINNER
“McQueen”
“Stan & Ollie”
“You Were Never Really Here”

Opinion: Expected although I prefer ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to win.

BEST DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
Daniel Kokotajlo (writer/director), “Apostasy”
Michael Pearce (writer/director), “Beast” – WINNER
Chris Kelly (writer/director/producer), “A Cambodian Spring”
Leanne Welham (writer/director), Sophie Harman (producer), “Pili”
Richard Billingham (writer/director), Jacquie Davies (producer), “Ray & Liz”

BEST BRITISH ANIMATED SHORT
“I’m OK”
“Marfa”
“Roughhouse” – WINNER

BEST BRITISH LIVE-ACTION SHORT
“73 Cows” – WINNER
“Bachelor”
“The Blue Door”
“The Field”
“Wale”

RISING STAR AWARD
Barry Keoghan
Cynthia Erivo
Jessie Buckley
Lakeith Stanfield
Letitia Wright – WINNER

So now, we are all waiting for the final moment, the final and most important report card for 2018 films; the 91st Academy Awards on 24th February 2019.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Result of the SAG Awards 2019 and what it means to the Oscar race.


Screen Actors Guild Awards is the third of the big five major Hollywood film awards and it serves as a major hint especially to the acting races for the upcoming Academy Awards. To recognize the best of actors in 2018 films, the 25th Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards took place last evening with 9 award categories for television and 6 categories for film. I’ll miss the television section as I don’t watch them.

So here are the list of winners for the 25th Screen Actor Guild (SAG) Awards 2019 (only for film categories) along with my opinions:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
“A Star Is Born”
“Black Panther” – WINNER
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Crazy Rich Asians”

Opinion: Hated this outcome very much. ‘Black Panther’ is seriously overrated. I don’t find anything spectacular about this movie in every aspects and yet it is so beloved by critics (I don’t get it at all). It is an average superhero movie at most (there’s a lot more much better superhero movies than this one obviously). Anything other than ‘Black Panther’ should win this. I think ‘Black Panther’ won this just because they had a large cast and they are all black (it’s all about celebrating diversity in recent years…but hey, Crazy Rich Asians is slightly more deserving than ‘Black Panther’ too). This doesn’t mean that ‘Black Panther’ is now the frontrunner for best picture in the Oscars because the two do not relate to each other much in recent years (which I’m glad). Well, this outcome also means that ‘A Star Is Born’ is totally out of picture and will only win for original song on next month’s Academy Awards. Its frontrunner status is certainly gone as it doesn’t win any major precursor prize to date. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ won Golden Globe for best motion picture – drama, ‘Green Book’ won Golden Globe for best motion picture – musical or comedy and Producer Guild Award (PGA) for best theatrical motion picture, ‘Roma’ won best film at Critics’ Choice and now ‘Black Panther’ won best cast at SAG. ‘A Star Is Born’ is no where to be seen. In fact, the movie came before the ceremony with most nominations (at 4) and ended up losing all of them (as predicted). Yes, that’s another overrated movie.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – WINNER
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
John David Washington, “BlacKkKlansman”

Opinion: So glad that Rami Malek won in a very close competition with Christian Bale. This looks like a repeat in 2015 when Michael Keaton is the frontrunner after winning Golden Globe for best actor – musical or comedy and then winning both best actor – comedy and best actor in Critics’ Choice. Christian Bale is in that exact same position this year. However back in 2015, Eddie Redmayne suddenly surges out of no where and won Golden Globe for best actor – motion picture drama and then won at SAG. He then proceed to win at the BAFTA and the Oscars too in the end. Now, Rami Malek is on the same path with him. It’s the exact repeat of 2015. May people are predicting Christian Bale to win best actor in the Oscar next month after his double win in Critics Choice but I never got persuaded by that. I stay with Rami Malek all the way from the beginning because his performance as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is marvelous and blew me away. Christian Bale is great too as Dick Cheney in ‘Vice’ but this is certainly Rami Malek’s breakthrough year. Sorry to the other contenders, you are just there to fill in the slots. There is literally no competition from the remaining nominees already clearly at this point.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Glenn Close, “The Wife” – WINNER
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Opinion: It’s finally the year for Glenn Close to take the Oscar. Although her performance in ‘The Wife’ is not the best in her impressive career that spans few decades or the most outstanding among the nominees, but no one should have a doubt that she is one veteran actress who is very much loved and is long overdue for an Oscar. This is certainly her year and no one will be obstructing her path to grab that Oscar (since now she swept all the best actress prize in the major awards already). She is expected to take the BAFTA next month too although there is a strong competition from a home favourite, Olivia Colman (she’s a British). Sorry, Lady Gaga. For me, she was just doing fine in ‘A Star Is Born’ (great singing of course and some good emotional scenes and that’s it) but so many had gone crazy by over complimenting her performance in that film. Like what I said many times before, she was literally only playing herself in that movie and that’s not a big challenge. Even Melissa McCarthy is better than her as the former nailed that dramatic role in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ which is a total opposite to her usual comedic roles in the past.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” – WINNER

Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Opinion: Well. Mahershala Ali is now on his way for his second Oscar although I find that it is way too soon to award him again. I would personally pick Richard E. Grant or even Timothee Chalamet (who shockingly got snubbed at the Oscars nomination). I hope that Oscars will pull off an upset in this category next month.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Emily Blunt, “A Quiet Place” – WINNER
Margot Robbie, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Wow! This is very surprising. Emily Blunt got snubbed for a nomination in the Oscars and yet she won it here at the SAG. She is fantastic in ‘A Quiet Place’ and I’m actually happy for her win here. There is no love for Amy Adams again unfortunately and she is predicted to win this one easily as Regina King is snubbed here (a strong contender after winning Golden Globe and Critics Choice). Both Emily Blunt and Regina King got snubbed in the BAFTA and we will see who will win there. Now, the race for best supporting actress in the Oscar is still wide open but Regina King remains the frontrunner at this stage.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Ant-Man and the Wasp”
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
“Black Panther” – WINNER
“Mission: Impossible – Fallout”

Opinion: The immense love for ‘Black Panther’ here is insane and had me annoyed. I don’t mind ‘Black Panther’ winning this and not the best cast. But winning this and the ‘best cast’ (the top honor) is beyond what I can bear with. I don’t hate this film but I just don’t enjoy it and certainly didn’t find it deserving to be winning major prizes and even get nominated for best picture in the Academy Awards.

So, next up will be the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) to be held on 10th February 2019 and is the last major film awards before the coveted 91st Academy Awards aka the Oscars on 24th February 2019.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Nomination list for the 91st Academy Awards


The Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) had just announced its nomination list a moment ago. Known to many as the Oscars, this prestigious awards ceremony will be held on Sunday, 24th February 2019 to recognize the best of films released in 2018.

Here’s the full nomination list along with my comments on several categories:

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Opinion: Only 8 films made it (usually it’s 9 and somewhere between 5 to 10 slots allowed for every year). These 8 films were in my prediction too, so there’s no surprise here. I personally would have prefer to see ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ getting nominated. I hate it when ‘Black Panther’ gets that much love. It is so overrated.

Predicted to win: Roma

My choice: – (wait till I watch most of the nominated films above)

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Bradley Cooper is missing. That’s one of the biggest snubs. Now, it says a lot of things; ‘A Star Is Born’ is not getting a lot of love from the Academy, Well, Alfonso Cuaron is now 100% likely to win this while the remaining 4 are just to fill in the slot. He had won the same award only several years ago from his directing in ‘Gravity’ which is also another splendid film.

Predicted to win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

My choice: –

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?”

Opinion: This will be a three-way race (Close, Gaga and Colman). I personally prefer Glenn Close as she is a great actress and is definitely long overdue for an Oscar. Her performance in ‘The Wife’ is amazing as well. Lady Gaga, another hot favourite, is practically just being herself in ‘A Star Is Born’, so there’s actually not much a challenge for her obviously.

Predicted to win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

My choice: Glenn Close (The Wife)

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”

Opinion: John David Washington got snubbed here from his performance in ‘Blackkklansman’. Christian Bale is currently the frontrunner but I prefer Rami Malek to win from his exceptional transformation as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Rami Malek’s performance there is hands down the best of the year. Now, we will just see who will win on SAG that will give us more clue on who will be the frontrunner for the Oscar.

Predicted to win: Christian Bale (Vice)

My choice: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

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”

Opinion: Claire Foy got snubbed here from her role in ‘First Man’. Regina King is back on track after being snubbed at BAFTA and SAG. Now, she remains as the frontrunner and is most likely to win as the other two strong contenders, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will be cancelling each other out from their roles in the same film, ‘The Favourite’.

Predicted to win: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

My choice: Emma Stone (The Favourite)

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”

Opinion: Timothee Chalamet is missing! His performance in ‘Beautiful Boy’ is fantastic and yet got snubbed here to my surprise. I think the Academy wouldn’t want to award Mahershala Ali another supporting actor win that soon yet and so I believe Richard E. Grant may take it in the end. Sam Rockwell getting nominated here from his unimpressive role in ‘Vice’ is a joke.

Predicted to win: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

My choice: –

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Predicted to win: ‘Blackkklansman’

My choice: –

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Predicted to win: Green Book

My choice: Vice

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Predicted to win: Roma

My choice: –

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Opinion: I’m tired of seeing period films winning this category already. It’s time for the Academy to look beyond the typical monstrous classic dresses to innovative contemporary fashion in films. Hence, I’m choosing ‘Black Panther’ although I’m not a fan of the movie.

Predicted to win: The Favourite

My choice: Black Panther

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite”(Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Predicted to win: Green Book

My choice: Vice

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Opinion: ‘Vice’ is going to win this just like last year for ‘Darkest Hour’. You get a man transformed into a bald, fat politician for a movie and you will take this. Same formula..boring.

Predicted to win: Vice

My choice: No choice…Vice

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Opinion: ‘First Man’ got snubbed here. The best thing for ‘First Man’ is its score and it got snubbed here for that. What a shocker! I am even predicting it to win.

Predicted to win: Mary Poppins Returns

My choice: Isle of Dogs

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Opinion: This is for Lady Gaga definitely. ‘Shallow’ is such a brilliant song. Love it and it easily stood out above the rest.

Predicted to win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

My choice: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)
“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Predicted to win: The Favourite

My choice: The Favourite

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Predicted to win: First Man

My choice: First Man

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Opinion: I have a feeling that Academy will surely get ‘Black Panther’ to win one Oscar and this is the best pick (or sound editing).

Predicted to win: Black Panther

My choice: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Opinion: Surprised that ‘Black Panther’ didn’t get nominated here but I’m fine with it. ‘Christopher Robin’ and ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ got nominated here is a surprise. They definitely will not win though.

Predicted to win: Avengers: Infinity War

My choice: Avengers: Infinity War

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Opinion: 100% sure that ‘Roma’ will take it. ‘Roma’ is now even a strong contender for best picture. So, now, there is nothing betting against it.

Predicted to win: Roma.

My choice: Roma

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Predicted to win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

My choice: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

Overall summary: ‘Roma’ and ‘The Favourite’ received 10 nominations each, becoming the films with highest number of nomination this year. This surprised me as I (and many others) have been predicting that ‘A Star Is Born’ is going to get the most nominations. ‘A Star Is Born’ is fading out of voters’ mind now as it only manage to grab 8 nominations. ‘Vice’ also gets 8 nominations. Next is ‘Black Panther’ which has over performed with 7 nominations. It is the first superhero movie to contend for the top prize; best picture. ‘Blackkklansman’ has 6 nominations, followed by ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Green Book’ with 5 nominations each.

After winning big in Golden Globes last weekend, Bohemian Rhapsody goes home empty handed in Critics Choice.


Here comes the second out of five major Hollywood film awards honouring the best of 2018 films; Critics Choice Awards 2019. After a shocking major win by Bohemian Rhapsody in Golden Globes in the last weekend, the film wins nothing in Critics Choice, cementing the fact that critics (Broadcast Film Critics Association, BFCA) really do not like the movie as much as Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).

Here below is the full list of winners (only for film categories) for the 24th Critics Choice Awards along with my opinions:

BEST PICTURE

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

The Favourite

First Man

Green Book

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

Roma (WINNER)

A Star Is Born

Vice

Opinion: Ahhaa…a foreign film wins the top honor and that is very unusual. It means that ‘Roma’ is really an excellent film and is now the strong frontrunner for the Academy Awards next month. Usually, whichever film wins Critics Choice for best picture will win the Oscars for the same. Seeing Bohemian Rhapsody not even nominated for the 10 slot here is a strong sign that the film isn’t appealing to critics. The critics are all wrong. On the other hand, ‘A Star Is Born’ is losing some strength. It will still pose a big risk to Roma for best picture win in the Oscar though.

 

BEST ACTRESS

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Glenn Close, The Wife (WINNER)

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (WINNER)

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Opinion: A tie, seriously?! Just ignore Lady Gaga and hand this to Glenn Close only. Now, it shows that Lady Gaga is still in position to grab the Oscars and it now makes the best actress race much more exciting with a three-way fight (Glenn Close, Lady Gaga and Olivia Colman). Lady Gaga is good in ‘A Star Is Born’ but isn’t impresssive enough for best actress honour. For me, she is just acting as her own self (a person who can sing as required for the film) with some added emotion in to make it work. It’s nothing difficult especially for her whom is a talented singer.

 

BEST ACTOR

Christian Bale, Vice (WINNER)

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Ryan Gosling, First Man

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Opinion: Rami Malek is robbed. Best actor should easily goes to Rami Malek for his marvelous performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. No one could top that. Christian Bale is just doing something so similar with Gary Oldman last year (portraying as a fat politician). The exact same formula and you get to win best actor again. The critics just love to see actors transformed literally with huge makeup and gave them best actor honour. Christian Bale is good in Vice but Rami Malek is a step ahead clearly. Now, it depends on SAG (Screen Actors Guild Awards) end of this month to determine who will be the frontrunner for the Oscars next month. It’s now between Christian Bale and Rami Malek. Others have all lost their momentum especially Bradley Cooper. He just seems doesn’t have luck for awards every year.

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle, First Man

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (WINNER)

Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Adam McKay, Vice

Opinion: This is a lock in. Alfonso Cuaron had been snatching all the precursor awards for best director for his work in Roma. He will went on to win Oscars, taking that award twice which is an impressive achievement.

 

#SEEHER AWARD

Claire Foy

Opinion: Don’t know what’s this about. It’s something about an award to honour woman in film industry.

 

BEST COMEDY

Crazy Rich Asians (WINNER)

Deadpool 2

The Death of Stalin

The Favourite

Game Night

Sorry to Bother You

Opinion: A good recognition for ‘Crazy Rich Asians’. I would have thought that ‘The Favourite’ would win this easily. Looks like ‘The Favourite’ isn’t getting a lot of love here surprisingly.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Christian Bale, Vice (WINNER)

Jason Bateman, Game Night

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2

Lakeith Stanfield, Sorry to Bother You

Opinion: Christian Bale again. It reminds me of Michael Keaton winning both best actor awards in Critics Choice last time but ended up losing the Oscar to Eddie Redmayne. I hope the same case applies here (Rami Malek is my pick for the Oscar). It all comes to the SAG most likely to determine the eventual Oscar winner.

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Olivia Colman, The Favourite (WINNER)

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Rachel McAdams, Game Night

Charlize Theron, Tully

Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Opinion: Yes, certainly! Olivia Colman is great in ‘The Favourite’. She still has the momentum to go for the Oscar glory (but now looks more likely that Glenn Close will prevail due to overdue factor for the Oscar).

 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite (WINNER)

Vice

Widows

Opinion: Agreed. The best thing from ‘The Favourite’ comes from the great chemistry and performances from all the three main female leads in the film; Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.

 

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE

Annihilation

Halloween

Hereditary

A Quiet Place (WINNER)

Suspiria

Opinion: Agreed on this too. ‘A Quiet Place’ is an impressive film and it ranks among my top 3 most favourite films last year.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, First Man

Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Opinion: Regina King won at the Golden Globe and now at Critics Choice. So is she an Oscar frontrunner? Not so fast. She had been snubbed surprisingly for even nomination at the SAG and BAFTA. It makes the supporting actress race intense this year. All the nominees in this category are incredible by the way.

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, Green Book (WINNER)

Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Opinion: Ohh, looks like Mahershala Ali is on his way to his win his second supporting actor win at the Oscar so soon. Many would have thought that this would go to Richard E. Grant. Anyway, Grant still remains the darkhorse for the remaining awards.

 

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (WINNER)

Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace

Ed Oxenbould, Wildlife

Millicent Simmonds, A Quiet Place

Amandla Stenberg, The Hate U Give

Sunny Suljic, Mid90s

Opinion: Nothing to comment here as I didn’t watch ‘Eighth Grade’.

 

BEST SONG

All the Stars, Black Panther

Girl in the Movies, Dumplin’

I’ll Fight, RBG

The Place Where Lost Things Go, Mary Poppins Returns

Shallow, A Star Is Born (WINNER)

Trip a Little Light Fantastic, Mary Poppins Returns

Opinion: Very much expected. ‘Shallow’ is a powerful and a beautiful song and is going to sweep all ‘best original song’ awards. I personally like this song a lot too.

 

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther

Deadpool 2

Mission: Impossible — Fallout (WINNER)

Ready Player One

Widows

Opinion: I disagree to this choice. Fallout is good but it is just like a typical Mission Impossible movie with nothing exceptional. I would have prefer ‘Infinity War’ or even ‘Ready Player One’ to take this one.

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Grinch

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (WINNER)

Opinion: Now, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is the clear frontrunner for the Oscar next month after winning also at the Golden Globe last week. Incredibles 2 has lost the momentum heavily.

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Bo Burnham: Eighth Grade

Alfonso Cuarón: Roma

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara: The Favourite

Adam McKay: Vice

Paul Schrader: First Reformed (WINNER)

Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly: Green Book

Bryan Woods, Scott Beck and John Krasinski: A Quiet Place

Opinion: No comment as I didn’t watch ‘First Reformed’. This movie jumped out of nowhere and win this. Many didn’t expect ‘First Reformed’ to win anything. Now that is quite surprising.

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole: Black Panther

Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Barry Jenkins: If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)

Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters: A Star Is Born

Josh Singer: First Man

Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee: BlacKkKlansman

Opinion: ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ gain back some momentum after its win here in adapted screenplay. Didn’t watch the movie.

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (WINNER)

James Laxton, If Beale Street Could Talk

Matthew Libatique, A Star Is Born

Rachel Morrison, Black Panther

Robbie Ryan, The Favourite

Linus Sandgren, First Man

Opinion: Didn’t watch Roma but I knew it is a black-and-white film. The film must be really good in capturing lighting even when the final product is just black and white without colours.

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart, Black Panther (WINNER)

Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez, Roma

Nelson Coates and Andrew Baseman, Crazy Rich Asians

Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton, The Favourite

Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas, First Man

John Myhre and Gordon Sim, Mary Poppins Returns

Opinion: Some love for Black Panther. I didn’t enjoy Black Panther like what most critics do but I do felt fine with the film winning best production design.

 

BEST EDITING

Jay Cassidy, A Star Is Born

Hank Corwin, Vice

Tom Cross, First Man (WINNER)

Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough, Roma

Yorgos Mavropsaridis, The Favourite

Joe Walker, Widows

Opinion: Good for ‘First Man’. Now, the movie gained back also some strength for contention of some technical awards in next month’s Academy Awards. This is one of them. ‘First Man’ does really have great editing.

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Alexandra Byrne, Mary Queen of Scots

Ruth Carter, Black Panther (WINNER)

Julian Day, Bohemian Rhapsody

Sandy Powell, The Favourite

Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns

Opinion: Quite surprising for a superhero film to win best costume design. It means that the critics really love Black Panther a lot. I would have picked ‘The Favourite’ or even any other nominees in this list.

 

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Mary Queen of Scots

Suspiria

Vice (WINNER)

Opinion: Expected. The body and face transformation for Christian Bale in Vice alone earns the film the trophy. Same as what ‘Darkest Hour’ had done last year to Gary Oldman face and body. Boring…

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther (WINNER)

First Man

Mary Poppins Returns

Mission: Impossible — Fallout

Ready Player One

Opinion: Black Panther again. Boring again…I personally think that this award should goes to either Infinity War or Ready Player One.

 

BEST SCORE

Kris Bowers, Green Book

Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk

Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs

Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther

Justin Hurwitz, First Man (WINNER)

Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns

Opinion: Yes. The score in ‘First Man’ is the most outstanding aspect of the movie. Period.

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Burning

Capernaum

Cold War

Roma (WINNER)

Shoplifters

Opinion: Wow…Roma taking this as well as the best picture! Roma is the biggest winner. Looks like I have to check out the movie soon to see how great it is.

Right. That’s it for Critics Choice. The next major awards (the third one) will be the Screen Actors Guild Awards to be presented on 27th January 2019 (Sunday).

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Drama review for ‘The Learning Curve Of A Warlord’.


A long week with toothache and lacking concentration at work is certainly not good. Fortunately, the week ends with me being very delighted to be able to get my hand on a latest music DVD all the way from Hong Kong and also being thrilled with the final episode of a TVB drama that I have been following for the past one month. The drama is called ‘The Learning Curve Of A Warlord’ (大帥哥).

This 30-episode drama starred Dicky Cheung who is promoted to a marshal in control of a small town during chaotic warlord era. From there, he faces multiple threats and challenges from three neighbouring town’s warlords, the higher rank marshal, Japanese spies, etc along with his loyal friends and three wives. Other cast in the series include Sisley Choi, Zoie Tam, Vivien Yeo, Raymond Cho, Tony Hung, Tsui Wing, etc.

This drama is very impressive. When I first know the existence of this drama and learning a bit of what the story is going to be about and its setting, I felt that this is going to be a lousy, silly and meaninglessly funny drama and that’s it. The selling point would just be the comeback of Dicky Cheung who is famous for his work in TVB decades ago (Journey to the West, etc). In the end, I’m very surprised by how good the drama turns out to be, in all areas.

Dicky Cheung is amazing as Dik Kei / Dai Sui Gor. I am very impressed by his memory skill. He can memorize super long lines of dialogue and spill them out clear, fast, continuous and sharp, along with varied range of expression he delivered in the same time. It’s perfect ‘multitasking while acting’ (that’s another level) if you know what I mean. His performance in here is no doubt splendid and him not winning best actor in last month’s TVB Anniversary Awards is totally absurd. His performance in just the first 10 episodes in this drama (before the awards ceremony) is more than enough to defeat any contenders in 2018 including the best actor winner, Joe Ma. I also got to know that Dicky do improvise certain lines of his as well as of the other cast to improve things. Now, that is great.

The supporting cast also have their shining moment in this drama. They are not left out of their character development and story arc which is good. Zoie Tam and Vivien Yeo (both portrayed as Dicky’s wives) surprised audiences with their excellent performances (both of them improved a lot and outshines the supporting boys in the drama) while the main female lead, Sisley Choi is also not bad (it is just that she couldn’t push it all out in her acting and her character’s personality is partly to blame and hence not getting higher praise compared to Zoie and Vivien).

This series has a lot of dramatic things going on to keep audiences hooked to its episode every evening. It has a lot of hilarious scenes (funny lines and multiple thoughtful reference to famous Dicky’s lines from his past memorable roles), emotional moments (a number of pretty good and heartfelt crying scenes), intense gun fighting sequence, and warm friendship moments. The final episode is intense, unpredictable, exciting. has happy conclusion, and left me moved, thrilled and impressed once again. ‘The Learning Curve Of A Warlord’ performs beyond my expectation and I would rate it a total of 8.4 out of 10. This is my most favourite TVB drama in 2018. Highly entertaining, has great ingredients and I enjoyed it very much.

(Images in this post are from online sources)