Why I fear real stars of this year’s films WON’T get Oscars
THERE are always a few iron- clad certainties about the Oscars, and so it is this time round: it is the surest of sure things that Will Smith’s infamous slap at the ceremony last March will not go unmentioned.
Hollywood loves to show that it can laugh at itself and the gag writers have doubtless been working overtime to squeeze in ‘ hilarious’ references to Smith’s bizarre attack on last year’s host, Chris Rock.
As for Sunday’s actual awards, the certainties are slightly fuzzier. Until recently, I thought that Cate Blanchett was a rocksolid bet for Best Actress, for her outstanding performance as a revered conductor whose predatory sexual behaviour catches up with her in the compelling Tar.
But the momentum has shifted in favour of Michelle Yeoh (who admittedly is terrific in the over-long, over-praised Everything Everywhere All At Once), and whose status as the only ‘openly’ Asian actress to be nominated (Merle Oberon, shortlisted in 1936, kept her Sri Lankan antecedents secret and used chemicals to whiten her skin) might prove irresistible to voters in this day and age.
Anyway, here are my predictions and preferences for the 95th Academy Awards; where the coveted gold-plated statuettes will go, where they might go, and where they should go.
THE absurdist comedy Everything Everywhere All At Once has emerged as the clear favourite and I think it will win, although it might be pipped by All Quiet On The Western Front.
Either would be a travesty, in my view. For me, The Banshees Of Inisherin is the standout movie of the past 12 months.
THIS is a hard one to call. Bafta and Golden Globe winner Austin Butler will probably be anointed for his exhilarating performance as the king of rock ’n’ roll in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. If anyone beats him, it will be Brendan Fraser (splendid as an obese recluse in The Whale).
But a career- best Bill Nighy, heartbreakingly brilliant as a dying civil servant in Living, would be the most deserving winner.
IT LOOKS like Yeoh will win. But Blanchett might, and Blanchett emphatically should.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
KE HUY QUAN (Everything Everywhere All At Once) will win. If anyone beats him it could, and once again should, be Bafta winner Barry Keoghan, so wonderful as the perceived ‘village idiot’ in The Banshees Of Inisherin.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
A TOSS-UP between Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All At Once), Hollywood royalty yet never nominated before; and Angela Bassett, the royal matriarch in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
But I’ve nailed my colours to the mast now. My pick would be Kerry Condon, just lovely as the smart, doughty sister of Colin Farrell’s slow- witted farmer in The Banshees Of Inisherin.
THE strong favourites are ‘ the Daniels’: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, who together wrote and directed Everything Everywhere All At Once. But Hollywood’s bottomless capacity for sentimentality might see the great Steven Spielberg step up for his autobiographical charmer The Fabelmans. And that would be fine by me.