All the major guilds and industry groups have given out their honors. Now all that's left is to roll out the red carpet and hand out the 91st Academy Awards. It could be a wild night! For the first time ever, all those prior prizes went to different films. That's amazing. Here's the list:
- Producer's Guild: "Green Book"
- Director's Guild: Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma"
- Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA: "Black Panther"
- American Cinema Editors: "Bohemian Rhapsody" & "The Favourite"
- American Society of Cinematographers: "Cold War"
- Writers' Guild: "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" & "Eighth Grade"
Critics groups were all over the place, too, meaning a wide-open Oscars and no real front-runner in the Best Picture race. That could keep people sticking around 'til the bitter end when the big envelope is opened. (Not to mention a warped curiosity after the debacle of two years ago.) And what's the show going to be like? There have been so many back-and-forths by the academy, it's enough to get whiplash. (Apologies to the 2014 Oscar-winning film)
First, there was going to be a popular film category. That idea was quickly nixed. Then came Kevin Hart as a slam-dunk host, until old Tweets surfaced and he withdrew. Would there be a replacement? Nope. We're going host-free for the first time in 30 years!
There were rumors tradition would be scrapped and last year's acting winners would not be asked to present to their successors. Another bad plan walked back. Everything's fine now, right? No. In an effort to cut the running time, the Academy decided only two of five nominated songs would be performed. A chorus of naysayers silenced that idea. Then they decided to have four categories awarded during commercial breaks with the winning speeches aired. (Ironically, one of the categories was editing.) A who's who of Hollywood petitioned to trash that 'improvement.' And it was, so we're back to almost square one.
Has all this tarnished the golden statue? Probably not. It just makes you wonder about the people in charge. As a film fan, are you frustrated? exhausted? How about intrigued enough to tune in! That's what ABC is hoping.
Meantime, stay here. I'll break down the major categories in the coming days, and predict the winners. After all, it's an honor just to be nominated, but those nominees really want to win!