Will “Black Panther” get a best picture nod? Will “Roma” be Netflix’s first contender for the Academy’s top prizes? Will “A Star Is Born” rebound from a thumping at the Golden Globes?
All will be revealed on Tuesday morning before dawn in Los Angeles, when the nominations for the Oscars — Hollywood’s most coveted awards — are unveiled, just over a month before they are distributed.
So far, the awards season has been a bit surprising, with prizes sprayed among a variety of films. So Tuesday’s announcement should give the race to the Academy Awards on February 24 a bit more clarity.
One of the most buzzed-about films is “Roma” from Alfonso Cuaron — a black and white ode to his childhood in 1970s Mexico City that took home two Golden Globes, including best director.
The film was produced by streaming giant Netflix, which has come under criticism from its more traditional rivals for its strategy of massive online distribution of original content — and screenings in only a few cinemas.
“Roma” would be the first Netflix film to vie for glory in major Oscar categories.
Also atop the list is “A Star Is Born,” the latest iteration of the classic musical romance led by the powerhouse duo of actor-director Bradley Cooper and pop diva Lady Gaga.
It disappointed at the Globes with only a win for best original song, but Gaga’s best actress win (in a tie with Glenn Close in “The Wife”) at the Critics’ Choice Awards gave the film a bit more momentum.
Civil rights dramedy and surprise three-time Globes winner “Green Book” moved up in the conversation over the weekend when it won best film at the Producers Guild of America awards.
Twenty times out of 29, the PGA award winner has gone on to take the best picture Oscar, including “The Shape of Water” last year.
Also in the mix are a wide variety of films including offbeat royal romp “The Favourite,” Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and superhero blockbuster “Black Panther.”
For many pundits, the thousands of voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are at a crossroads: do they go with Cuaron’s auteur masterpiece, or a quality crowd-pleaser that raked in oodles of money?
“The Oscars have a choice now. Two choices, actually. Adapt or die,” said long-time Oscar watcher Sasha Stone, who runs Awards Daily.
“That adaptation can take them in one direction or it can take them in another direction,” she predicted.
“‘Black Panther’ offers a choice. It ticks off enough boxes to make people feel okay about themselves supporting it,” she said, referring to the Marvel film’s mainly black cast, black director and boffo box-office numbers.
“The other path is pure cinema: to reward the artistic achievement of Alfonso Cuaron’s ‘Roma’… It says that they’re now saying okay to the hybrid cinema future of streaming + theatrical.”