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Oscars 2019


Note:  This article has been updated with the list of winners.

The 2019 Oscars will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles this Sunday, February 24th.  The live telecast will air at 5pm on ABC.

There were a lot of great movies in 2018, so I’m really excited to share my thoughts with you.

In addition to listing the eight films nominated for Best Picture, I want to share with you my personal favorites.

Best Picture
Below are the eight nominees for Best Picture, along with a short synopsis:

Black Panther
Prince T’Challa takes over the hidden kingdom of Wakanda but has to deal with a challenger from the country’s past.

An African-American police detective infiltrates the Ku Klux Klan.

Bohemian Rhapsody
The story of Freddie Mercury and rock band Queen.

The Favourite
A frail Queen Anne sits on the throne in 18th Century England, with her close friend Lady Sarah ruling in her place until new servant Abigail charms the Queen.

A year in the life of a middle class family’s maid in Mexico City during the 1970’s.

Green Book – Winner
African-American Pianist Don Shirley embarks on a concert tour in the Deep South in the 1960’s.

A Star is Born
Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers and falls in love with a struggling artist whose career takes off.

The life story of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The front-runners are Roma and Green Book, with experts saying they are neck-and-neck.  Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody are considered longshots.

I saw all eight of the nominated films in various Irvine theatres.  Each movie offered a very different but enjoyable experience, which is why — regardless of the outcome on Sunday — I would recommend seeing each and every one of these outstanding films.

With that being said, my personal favorite film was A Star is Born.  The musical performances and love story were breathtaking.  Unfortunately, the film isn’t considered to be in the running to win Best Picture.  Since my favorite doesn’t seem to be in contention, I am hoping that Green Book wins.  The performances by the two leading men, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, were truly remarkable.

Roma is streaming right now on Netflix, offering an easy option for your viewing pleasure before the awards show on Sunday.  Black Panther is also streaming on Netflix.

Virtually all of the other films are playing in Irvine theaters and nearby.

Major Oscar Front-Runners
Glenn Close is considered the favorite to win Best Actress for her role in The Wife but my pick is Lady Gaga for her amazing performance in A Star is BornIn a major upset, Olivia Colman won for her role in The Favourite.

The favorite for Best Actor is Rami Malek for his role in Bohemian Rhapsody, with Christian Bale for Vice and Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born as the two dark horse candidates.  Malek won.

The award for Best Supporting Actor looks like it will go to Mahershala Ali for Green Book (richly deserved…an amazing performance!).  Ali won.

Regina King’s performance in If Beale Street Could Talk has won every major award, with critics saying she’s going to win Best Supporting Actress on Sunday.  King won.

The Best Original and Adapted Screenplay Oscars are too close to call.  Green Book won for best original screenplay and Spike Lee’s KKKlansman won for best adapted screenplay.

Alfonso Cuaron is favored to take home the Best Director Oscar for RomaCuaron won.

Other Oscar-Nominated Films Available to Watch at Home
Netflix is currently streaming The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Song, and Best Costume Design), and Incredibles 2 (nominated for Best Animated Feature, although Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is the heavy favorite in this category).  Spider-Man wonRBG is available to stream on Hulu and is nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Free Solo won for Best Documentary.

Overall, it was a very entertaining Oscars ceremony. Various celebrities presented awards throughout the night, and kept the flow  going smoothly as the show had no official host for the first time in years. Most of the favorites won in each category, with Olivia Colman being the biggest upset of the night, winning Best Actress for her role in The Favourite. Her genuinely surprised speech was a big highlight of the night, along with long-time filmmaker Spike Lee winning his first Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

For the full list of nominees and winners, click here.

Joel Smith


Irvine, CA
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