Predicting the Winners in the Most Wide-Open Oscars in Years

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone handicaps the nominees for this year's Academy Awards.

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.
Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.
By Ethan Sacks / February 19, 2019 5:00 am

Just a few weeks ago it seemed a virtual certainty that when the envelope was opened next Sunday at the Oscars, Green Book would win best picture. Before that, and for much of award season, the smart money seemed to be on A Star Is Born.

At least that film’s breakout performance would be rewarded with a best actress statuette for Lady Gaga, right? Nope. Now, Glenn Close is the front-runner in that category for her turn in The Wife.

But Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers has an informative column that makes sense of much of the momentum shifting.

On the best picture race, he writes that Roma  should win the top prize for “the simple reason is that Alfonso Cuaron’s poetic odyssey through his childhood in Mexico City stands head and shoulders above any film this year. But is being the best enough? The dialogue in this black-and-white memory piece is spoken in Spanish — and no foreign-language film in 91 years of Academy records has ever won Best Picture. Plus, Roma was released by Netflix, the streaming service that pisses off Hollywood’s big-studio elite, which may clear the field for …

(BlackKklansman as a spoiler).  It gives Oscar a chance to do the right thing and reward Spike Lee, a cinema giant only now getting his first Best Picture nomination. But history can also be made by a win for Marvel’s hugely popular Black Panther, the first comic book movie to ever be nominated as this award and a classic of its kind.

“We’re down with any of these three game-changing possibilities.”

Okay, so maybe the picture around best picture hasn’t been cleared up after all.

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