Congratulations Vidor Nosce.  You got 17 out of 23 awards correct!!!  (74%)

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After the slap seen round the world, and the more shocking non-censure from the Academy, I gave up on the Oscar Awards. Pretty much like knowing Russia has invaded a country but there is no outright direct action, just sanctions. Or despite absence of proof, people still are election deniers.  Or despite inflation, people still spend like there’s no tomorrow. Or people expecting a huge tip simply because they delivered food someone else cooked and prepared.

What is wrong with the world? There is a bigger disconnect between the norm based on reason and expectation, and what passes for the new normal. Case in point, most of this year’s nominated films are not exactly what I would consider to be Best Picture material. Prodigious, boring, long and pandering to some esoteric subject. Aggravated by the almost complete absence of feel-good movies, those that make us laugh or cry without having to think too much.

 Sure, the Oscars are but another award among several others is given each year. Supposedly to highlight films that really stand out and bring them into the mainstream conversation. Yet, esoteric and obscure films abound, recently aided by shameless lobbying. Blockbusters are often ignored to highlight lesser-known great films, but it amounts to snobbery, or elitism, or a pretended disdain for commercialism, because it is the esteem and prestige that matters most. Film is Art, not a business. Barf!

But the Oscar Awards are still here; I have to deal with it like an acne flare up, until I stop doing it.

Given all the lackluster choices, mine is not to ask why, but to predict how voters will deal with such paltry choices. So here, is the shortest Fearless Forecast, ever.


All Quiet on the Western Front—a nod to a classic, why remake it?  Avatar: The Way of Water—visually pleasing, but is it a movie or travelogue? The Banshees of Inisherin—way too seriously weird like Brexit. Elvis—has left the building  but is still King. Everything Everywhere All at Once—metaverse weird, perfect for those with short attention spans, so it wins. The Fabelmans—Speilberg’s family life does not really compare to his commercial hits, so we ignore it.  Tár—an esoteric, mostly boring film about an abusive conductor’s obsession with Mahlers’ Fifth. Top Gun: Maverick--millions loved this, but will they admit it and vote?  Triangle of Sadness—a  Swedish satire not for the IKEA crowd.  Women Talking—repressed Mennonites, anyone? 



Cate Blanchett, Tár—outstanding, but in too rarified a film;  she already has two Oscars. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once has been crouching and hidden all these years. Time for an Oscar for her laundromat spin-cycle of a story.   Ana de Armas, Blonde—Another MM story;  yawn.  Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie—who are you,  why were you nominated?  Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans— she was unfaithful, but we refuse to believe that of Speilberg’s mom, so we block her.



Austin Butler, Elvis—from those locks to those hips, he wins this.  Second bet: Brendan Fraser, The Whale—but honored more for the triumphant comeback, not the acting. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin—subdued and nuanced, in some remote island; more BAFTA than Oscar.  Paul Mescal, Aftersun –did any one ever see this?  Bill Nighy, Living—another obscure one. Sorry.



Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever—All bow to Queen Ramonda in all her glory, but Jamie Lee Curtis, in Everything Everywhere All at Once with her hotdog fingers, and skilled foot-playing of Claire De Lune is wonderfully wacky. Like!  Hong Chau, The Whale—the minnow to the Whale. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin—loved her, but not enough extravaganza for an Oscar wind.  Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once—the most grounded in the metaverse, i.e., boringly normal.



Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin—please, I will not talk to you again, so stop chopping off your fingers.  Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway—Sorry did not see this; did anyone?   Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans— the ancient great-uncle that inspires Spielberg; nice to meet you.  Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin—the younger, brooding guy who ends it all; what a waste.  Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once—finally employed after Temple of Doom and Goonies; deserving as the beleaguered husband and father.



Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio—scaringly good.



All Quiet on the Western Front



Catherine Martin for Elvis.  Second bet: Shirley Kurata for Everything Everywhere All at Once.



Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinet. Everything Everywhere All at Once.



Navalny—Russian survivor of poisoning by Putin’s thugs. 



The Elephant Whisperers

Second bet: The Martha Mitchell Effect—remember Watergate?



Everything Everywhere All at Once—the multiverse had to be hyper-edited.

Second bet: Top Gun: Maverick.  



All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany)—a remake based on the book, directed, produced, and starring Germans.






Top Gun: Maverick—synaptic layering of breathing, jet noise, air whooshing, and all that aerial drama.

Second bet: All Quiet on the Western Front.




Second bet: All Quiet on the Western Front



“Naatu Naatu” from RRR a Tollywood global phenom.  “Dance, Dance”  is annoyingly hard to ignore. Bearded duo will perform during the ceremonies. That’s 28.57% of BTS with better dance moves.  

Next bets ranked:

“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever--Rihanna.

“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick—Lady Gaga.

“This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere  All at Once—movie’s popularity may lift the song to win.

 “Applause” from Tell It like a Woman—Diane Warren, again. Will she finally win? They already gave her an honorary Oscar, so guess not.



Florencia Martin (production designer), Anthony Carlino (set decorator) for  Babylon.

Next bets, ranked: 

Avatar: The Way of Water.


All Quiet on the Western Front

The Fabelmans.



The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.



Le Pupille.—Alfonso Cuaron is producer.



Avatar: The Way of Water—dazzling but so natural.

Next bet: Top Gun: Maverick.



Women Talking, Screenplay by Sarah Polley, Based upon the Book by Miriam Toews.

Should win: All Quiet on the Western Front –the movie’s anti-war message is not lost in translation.



Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinet. Everything Everywhere All at Once.


That’s it.  Thank You and Good Night.

Our guest contributor  - Vidor Nosce

Vidor describes himself as a Filipino 'transplant' working as a tax research attorney in the US. He is an art, architecture and film enthusiast.  The pandemic hasn't stopped him from watching movies.

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