Oscar Noms: Rex’s Predictions

It’s that time again! Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow and LW’s Oscar expert, Rex Okpodu, is making predictions about who will be chosen. Here’s his analysis of the major categories:


It is now the norm for 5 to 10 films to be picked as nominees for best picture using the Academy’s preferential balloting system. After a pre-nomination season without a clear frontrunner, this weekend’s Producers Guild Award (PGA) win by Green Book might indicate its emergence as the film to beat on Oscar night. This is because the PGA winner has matched best picture more frequently than other precursors in the past decade owing to its use of the same preferential balloting system as the Academy. Here is the list of contenders likely to be mentioned tomorrow morning.

Green Book
A Star Is Born
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Black Panther
Mary Poppins Returns


At the start of the season, Viggo Mortensen was a contender until he was unfairly maligned with talk of a racist comment on social media. (He apologized.) Previous Oscar winner Christian Bale plus Rami Malek have emerged as frontrunners after their recent victories at the Golden Globes. Bale subsequently added a win at the Critics Choice Awards. The list of nominees is expected to be:

Christian Bale, Vice
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman


Three actresses have emerged as frontrunners in the precursors. Six-time nominee Glenn Close won the Globe for dramatic actress, Olivia Colman won for comedy actress while Lady Gaga won joint best actress with Close at the Critics Choice Awards. The three go head-to-head at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and are predicted to be joined by the two below. Whoever emerges victorious at SAG becomes the Oscar frontrunner.

Glenn Close, The Wife
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Alternate: Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns


Mahershala Ali, a previous best supporting actor winner (“Moonlight”) has swept the precursors and is expected to do the same at the Oscars. His list will be:

Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born


This is turning out to be an interesting race as Amy Adams, a five-time Oscar nominee, is overdue for a win. Regina King won the Globe but was not nominated for SAG or BAFTA (whose membership overlaps with AMPAS), which hurts her chances for an Oscar win. With that in mind, a victory for Adams at SAG will put her in front. These two, and the three others below, will duel down to the wire.

Amy Adams, Vice
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots


Alfonso Cuaron (a previous Oscar winner for Gravity, in 2013) is the surefire favorite to win this category at the Oscars. The question is: will the Academy give him best picture as well? (Gravity lost best picture to 12 Years a Slave). Cuaron is expected to be joined by a list that echoes that of the Directors Guild (DGA). Expect someone to be replaced, however, as the Academy rarely matches the DGA five for five.

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Adam McKay, Vice
Alternate: Torgos Lathimos, The Favourite


First Reformed
The Favourite
A Quiet Place
Green Book


If Beale Street Could Talk
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Leave No Trace
A Star Is Born

Roma – Mexico
Cold War – Poland
Shoplifters – Japan
Capernaum – Lebanon
Burning – South Korea

Your Weekend: Selective Guide

Movies: “Glass,” with Samuel Jackson and directed by M. Night Whatshisname, is the weekend’s blockbuster. TV/Streaming: Season 5 of “Grace and Frankie” is now available on Netflix. On Friday, PBS brings us Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of Gluck’s “Orphee.” Music: Will the death of Carol Channing bring her recordings back to the best-seller list? Books: It’s that time of winter when I hibernate with Tolstoy and Chekhov…What? You still haven’t read Michelle Obama’s “Becoming”? Sports: My love of Philadelphia brings me more and more to becoming a 76er fan. Finally: What are you doing to celebrate MLK Day?

When Carol Channing Did LSD

The New York Times obituary made Miss Channing seem almost dull. Not the case with The Guardian, which reminded us of obscure bits like her participation in the movie “Skidoo!” She did a strip tease while under the influence of LSD.

Spielberg Addresses “West Side” Concerns

At a town hall with University of Puerto Rico students and faculty, the director, flanked by screenwriter Tony Kushner, said his remake of the musical will strive for authenticity. Critics say the problems go deeper than that. Details.

Fiction Biopic About Gerhard Richter

Never Look Away, the latest film from the German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, based on German artist Gerhard Richter, doesn’t need sensational manifestations of creative genius to carry its water. It has some of the darker hours of history on its side, along with the redemptive power of art—the film’s actual subject. Before reaching that point, von Donnersmarck makes pit stops at sex and evil, and not just for fun.

Carol Channing: A Naughty Story

She told me this when I once had dinner with her. “You know, Brendan, that shortly after Charles” — her husband of 42 years, Charles Lowe — “and I were married I decided that he could use a little help in the love-making department. I sent him to a lady of the evening who was expert in such things. The next morning, the woman called me and said the situation was hopeless. ‘Why?’ I asked. ‘Because Charles is gay,’ she replied. ‘Oh,’ I said. ‘I guess that explains all the muscle magazines.'”


No point posting about her passing without photos or video — and being unable at the moment to post photos or video is part of my tech problem. To be solved soon, I hope. In the meantime, God is at the pearl (Pearlie?) gates and saying: “Hello, Dolly! You’re back where you belong.”