My first foray into the Oscar races was January 2017 in a three-part series designated as The Olivers vs The Oscars. Last January, I switched to the worst in a two-part Rotten Olives series. Being changeable as . . the weather, I bring back the Rotten Olives, but more in a Rotten Tomatoes mode. To obtain a Red Tomato, 60% or more of the critics must like a film. To obtain a Green Olive, the film must entertain, be fun, or, at least, educate. Without further ado, my Rotten Olive choices for the Oscars (listed in order of preference):
- Green Book — In a do-over, would American Beauty win Best Picture of 1999? With Kevin Spacey in that picture, the Oscar would go instead to The Green Mile. Far and away the Best Picture of 2018, Green Book meets all my required criteria, and is green to boot. Surely, that is an omen.
- Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born — In a tie, just because I can’t pick a favorite. These two are why we go to movies.
- Black Panther
- Roma and Vice — These two are why we can’t trust critics.
- Bradley Cooper — This is the toughest category for me. Bradley gets the nod because he took a chance. While most wondered if Lady Gaga could act, the money people wondered if he could direct, and more importantly, could he sing. Bravo!
- Rami Malek — Like Christian Bale, he inhabited a well-known character, and he sang. I give a slight edge to Rami.
- Christian Bale — He was terrific, and the dialogue is not his fault. And, maybe Dick Cheney sings in the shower?
- Viggo Mortensen — I would be absolutely delighted if Viggo wins this award. Like Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile, you won’t remember the movie without remembering his performance.
- Willem Dafoe — I did not see this movie.
- Melissa McCarthy — Most of you have not seen this side of McCarthy. This is another actor who took a chance, out of her comfort zone, and delivers an amazing performance. Having said that, she probably has no chance to win the Oscar.
- Lady Gaga — I’d say she can act, and sing. A tour de force.
- Olivia Colman — Much better than her compatriots in The Favourite, just not her year.
- Glenn Close — A fine actress, but nothing special about her in this run of the mill movie. To give her an Oscar is to reward her great career.
- Yalitza Aparicio — As I said, I couldn’t make it through this movie.
- Mahershala Ali — This guy is good, very good!
- Richard E. Grant — Melissa McCarthy’s partner-in-crime is a close second in this category.
- Adam Driver
- Sam Elliott
- Sam Rockwell — Christian Bale tried to look and sound like Cheney, Rockwell was merely a cartoon, thereby putting a blemish on an otherwise fine career.
- Regina King — If Beale Street Could Talk it would say “I got this!”
- Emma Stone — Second best, but not close to first, or even close to Olivia Colman.
- Rachel Weisz
- Amy Adams — She would not be here but for a weak field.
- Marina de Tavira — Roma again, see above.
FYI — Oscar night is Sunday, February 24, 2019 at 8 PM on ABC.