My Oscar Predictions

The 91st annual Academy Awards takes place Sunday, February 24th at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. ABC will air the awards beginning 8:00pm EST. This year’s ceremony will not have an official host.

Here are all the nominations, and who I think should win and who will win. I won’t give long explanations on my choices. Just offering my predictions with minimal, if any, commentary.

During the telecast, I will be live tweeting my oh-so accurate predictions beginning at 8:00 EST!!

PICTURE:
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice

Should win: Black Panther. Will win: Roma or Green Book. Roma is also nominated in the Best Foreign Film category too. It could win both. If not, the big prize goes to Green Book. However, Black Panther was easily the best movie I saw in 2018.

DIRECTOR:
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
Adam McKay – Vice

Should win and will win: Alfonso Cuaron. Roma is a vision.

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 and will win: Rami Malek. He channeled Freddy Mercury.

ACTRESS:
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
Oliva Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Should win and will win: Glenn Close. Six Oscar nominations + Never won+ Forty-five years in the business = “It’s about damn time!!”

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: Mahershala Ali. Will win: Sam Elliott. Elliot wins, like Glenn Close, for time spent in the business.

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 and will win: Regina King. She gave an unforgettable performance in this movie.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
The Favourite – Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed – Paul Schrader
Green Book – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron
Vice – Adam McKay

Should and will win: Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Joel & Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman – Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and 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 and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

Should and will win: If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins

ANIMATED FEATURE:
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Should and will win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Again, one of the best of 2018 that I saw. Spider-Man is one of a kind. The animation alone makes this movie a winner. An Afro-Latino teenage Spider Man gave me the feels. A must-see.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Should and will win: Roma (Mexico)

CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Cold War – Lukasz Zal
The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron
A Star is Born – Matthew Libatique

Should and will win: Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

Should win and will win: RBG. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is getting her due.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.

Should and will win: Period. End of Sentence. In a rural village outside Delhi, India, women lead a quiet revolution. They fight against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation.

ANIMATED SHORT:
Animal Behaviour
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

Should and will win: Bao. A woman who is suffering from empty nest syndrome gets a second shot at motherhood when one of her handmade dumplings springs to life. This is a touching silent film. And it’s a Pixar short film. Pixar rarely goes wrong in it’s storytelling. This film is no exception.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT:
Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
Skin

Should and will win: Detainment. Two 10-year-old boys are detained by police under suspicion of abducting and murdering a toddler.

VISUAL EFFECTS:
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Should win and will win: First Man.

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

Should win: Black Panther. Will win: Roma.

COSTUME DESIGN:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres
Black Panther – Ruth Carter
The Favourite – Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots – Alexandra Byrne

Should win and will win: Black Panther – Ruth Carter. The costumes in Black Panther have never been seen before in film. The costumes are a mix of original and historic rooted in ancient African cultures. This is an easy one. If Ruth Carter doesn’t win, I’ll be ticked off.

MAKE-UP & HAIR:
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice.

Should and will win: Border.

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: Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman. Will win:
Green Book – Patrick J. Don Vito

SOUND MIXING:
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star is Born

Should and will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

SOUND EDITING:
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

Should and will win: Bohemian Rhapsody (First Man might sneak up and win.)

ORIGINAL SCORE:
Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansman – Terence Blanchard
If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs – Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppin Returns – Marc Shaiman

Should and will win: If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell

ORIGINAL SONG:
“All the Stars” from Black Panther
“I’ll Fight” from RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow” from A Star is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Should and will win: “Shallow” from A Star is Born. It’s Lady Gaga’s year.

Thank you for reading! Follow me Sunday night on Twitter @MochaAngels during the ceremony.

Up next: a review of Best Picture nominee The Favourite.

“Roma” (2018)

If you stopped halfway into Roma on Netflix, go back to finish watching the movie. I get it. It got compelling at the 96 minute mark.

The movie is slow. “Slow as molasses” like my mama used to say. Slow like it used-to-take-forever-to-get-on-the-internet-in-the-early-1990s-because-we-only-had-dial-up-modems slow. If the movie was in English, I would have been doing chores while half-watching. Since it’s in Spanish and has subtitles, I had to pay attention. I’m glad I did. Even the slow building beginning is a piece of art. From minute 96 to the end, Roma is cinematic genius.

The movie premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in August 2018 and opened in theaters in November ahead of its Netflix debut in December. Roma has already earned multiple awards and nominations, including three Golden Globe awards, and Best Picture and Best Director at the British Academy Film Awards. Roma is also nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron.

Cleo surrounded by the family she serves. The moment leading up to this group hug is gold.
(Carlos Somonte / Netflix)

Roma tells the story of Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), an indigenous Oaxacan live-in maid for a middle-class Mexican family in Mexico City. Cleo is particularly close to the four children. Their bond is key to the movie’s climactic ending. Roma is set in 1970 and 1971 against Mexico’s political strife. Political and domestic tensions rise together in this movie. There were moments where I couldn’t breathe.

Cleo struggles through an unplanned pregnancy at the same time her employer Senora Sofia (Marina de Tavira) is grieving the loss of her marriage to Senor Antonio (Fernando Grediaga). Protests against the government are also coming to a head. The movie comes to a crescendo while a pregnant Cleo and the children’s grandmother, Senora Teresa (Veronica Garcia), are crib shopping for Cleo’s baby. They are caught in the middle of an anti-government protest and have a gun pointed directly at them by the unlikeliest person.

Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) and Senora Teresa (Verónica García) walking amid student protesters in Roma. (Carlos Somonte / Netflix)

You don’t have to know anything about Mexican politics to understand the film. Watch the movie first, then go here to learn more: http://time.com/5478382/roma-movie-mexican-history/

This movie is director Alfonso Cuaron’s love letter to his childhood maid, Libo. I was happy to see a movie about an indigenous woman and it’s HER STORY told from HER point of view. Yalitza Aparicio is the first indigenous woman to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Actress (and this is her first acting role ever). I think Glenn Close will win that category, but Arparicio deserves her nomination. I know for sure this movie will at least win Best Director at the Academy Awards. It’s a beautiful film.

Nine out of Ten Mocha Angels.

Roma is rated “R” for graphic nudity, some disturbing images, and language.

Up next: My Oscar predictions. Who should win and who will win.

“Coco” (2017)

Miguel wants to sing and play the guitar like his idol, the late Ernesto de la Cruz, a legendary singer. When his dog Dante accidentally shakes the ofrenda and knocks over a photo of Imelda, Coco, and the great-great grandfather with his head ripped away, Miguel sees his relative holding a guitar belonging to Ernesto de la Cruz. Miguel believes de la Cruz is their relative. When Miguel reveals this information and his musical ambition to his family, they do not understand. His Abuelita (grandmother) angrily demands he choose between music and his family. She also destroys Miguel’s own makeshift guitar.

Twelve-year-old Miguel Rivera is the only music-loving person in a multi-generational Mexican family that has banned music from their lives forever. Miguel’s great-great grandfather abandoned his wife Imelda and daughter Coco for a life on the road as a musician. No more music after that. Ancestors are revered and always remembered. Their photos and food are left on the ofrenda (altar). Imelda and all her descendants became shoe-makers. Such is Miguel’s destiny.

Miguel and his dog Dante in the Land of the Dead

Miguel runs away to enter a talent show. He needs a guitar, so he steals de la Cruz’s from the mausoleum dedicated to him. The marigold petals around Miguel light up and suddenly he sees deceased spirits on this Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). No one alive can see Miguel except his dog Dante. Some of Miguel’s relatives escort him to The Land of the Dead, which is more alive than The Land of the Living in many ways.

Miguel finds his great-great grandmother Imelda angry because she cannot travel back to The Land of the Living on this auspicious day. Her picture was knocked off the ofrenda.  The family learns that Miguel has a curse placed on him for stealing a guitar of the deceased de la Cruz, which has turned him into an incomplete spirit. Miguel must leave The Land of the Dead by sunrise or he will turn into a spirit forever.

Only a blessing from a deceased relative can send Miguel back to The Land of the Living. Imelda gives Miguel her blessing on one condition: give up music. He promises to do so. Miguel is transported back to the mausoleum, then immediately takes the guitar. Three seconds later he is back in The Land of the Dead because he broke his promise. Furious, Imelda demands Miguel do what she says. Miguel refuses and runs off to get the blessing of his great-great grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz.

I’m stopping at the point where Miguel leaves for his quest to find Ernesto de la Cruz. This movie is SPECTACULAR. It has every possible fantastic thing going for it, including stunning, colorful animation, beautiful music, and a near perfect story.

Coco also raises the stakes: Miguel MUST return home by sunrise or he is stuck in the spirit world. Hector, his ally, MUST have Miguel place his photo on the ofrenda ASAP or he will fade into nothingness. By the time Miguel, back in The Land of the Living, runs to his Mama Coco, my tears were already falling. The ending is right up there with all three Toy Story movies, which all ended on the perfect note. (Makes me worried about Toy Story 4, so we’ll see.)

The only thing I didn’t like was that I didn’t see the movie in a theater. “Coco” is a film meant to be seen on a big screen.

An enthusiastic Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels.