We just finished with the Emmys after a long, grueling awards season for TV’s highest honor, but we simultaneously have been into the equally long and grueling Oscar season since early last month when it all started in earnest at Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Although it still seems very early to be making predictions for the big night at the Dolby on February 24 — nearly five months from now. Still, with several contenders yet to be seen, that doesn’t stop Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil, Indiewire’s Anne Thompson and me from engaging in a little internecine warfare here at the PMC studios where their sites reside, along with Deadline.
We survey the landscape and take a bit of a leap in identifying front-runners at this point in the Best Picture Oscar contest (Best Actor and Actress early predix will be coming soon). Thompson makes the case for Netflix’s first real Best Picture hope, the ecstatically received Roma from Alfonso Cuarón. The recent past for Best Picture winners such as Moonlight, Birdman, The Shape of Water, 12 Years a Slave, etc., would indicate she is on to something (not to mention that four of the past five Best Director winners have come from Mexico including Cuarón himself), but I caution that already anointing a black-and-white Spanish-language memoir from Netflix with no known names on screen and mostly non-pro actors, great as it obviously is, might be a tougher sell in the year the Academy has made such a big deal about bringing in popular films to bump up faltering ratings.
Or will that matter at all in an AMPAS membership that has been beefed up sharply with international filmmakers in recent years? A Star Is Born, Black Panther, First Man and Toronto Audience Award winner Green Book are discussed along with others in a conversation that gets heated at times. Lots of questions, but not many answers yet. To check out our video conversation, click on the link above.