Each year, as many of you who follow this blog might know, I make my Oscar predictions.
I’m normally pretty good, with a strike rate usually in the mid 90%.
This year it will be more of a guess, because I haven’t seen many of the films, in part because of my living in Mudgee where sadly there is no working cinema – but also very few of the films have compelled me to get in my car and drive 4hrs to Sydney to sit in a cinema and watch them.
Bohemian Rhapsody was one such film, and it was well worth the total of 8hrs driving.
This year will see a seismic shift in the power of Hollywood. The Netflix film Roma will take out Best Picture and a slew of other awards, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron – and deservedly so. His black and white forensic detailing of his early upbringing in Mexico is an exquisite piece of craftsmanship and artistry.
Most punters though, if they’ve even seen the film at all – or had the patience to sit all the way through it – would think it a boring load of crap and wonder what all the fuss was about.
Oscars celebrate the epitome of craftsmanship and cinematic art, not popularity.
So punters – suck it in.
Why a seismic shift?
For two reasons –
Firstly, I think this will be the first time that the Oscars will be host-less. Because of a twitter controversy involving the formerly chosen host, comedian Kevin Hart, both Hart and the Oscar organisers figured it was best he step down from being host.
But the real seismic shift will be the enveloping power of Netflix.
Not only is the streaming giant represented by Roma, but also the Coen Brothers brilliant and crazed metaphysical ode to Death, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Recently Netflix was admitted to the MPAA – the Motion Picture Association of America, an organisation reserved for the traditional movie studios only. This was seen as a huge political move.
Netflix now has a yearly purse of more than $8 billion to spend on production – more than any of the studios. So it’s at the cutting edge of change in Hollywood. And when Roma picks up Best Picture in a few hours, it will give it even more leverage to shift the creaky old power levers of Hollywood.
Thing is – Netflix is producer, distributor and exhibitor of content – and by law none of the studios are allowed to own cinemas to screen their movies. So Netflix has a major advantage. The other advantage is that its long term viability doesn’t depend on the mercurial nature of box office revenues – having hit movies – but on subscription numbers.
It’s a whole new ballgame, and for those of us that relish innovation and change, it’s exciting times ahead.
So, here are my predictions / guesses –
Best Supporting Actor
The Green Book
Best Supporting Actress
Marina de Tavira
Hale County This Morning
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Foreign Language Film
Avengers: Infinity Wars
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born
Makeup & Hair
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Them’s me picks – in part from having seen some of these films, and also based on heat from the respective guilds. Irrespective, it will be seen as a watershed year for the Oscars.