She is beautiful and sings. He has long elegant fingers that caress the piano and he looks at her with love that should make anyone jealous. Their love story takes us through war and communism. Best director nominee Pawel Pawlikowski
(Cold War) deserves to win this category even though Alfonso Cuaron and Spike Lee deserve to win for Roma and BlacKkKlansman. VIDEO
Speaking of love, the animated short that hits you hard right where your fist-sized heart is meant to be and takes your breath away is here. It’s an old fashioned stop-motion animation that made believe even more in how love makes the world go round. It’s called
Lost And Found and it’s on the shortlist that could win it an Oscar. VIDEO
When it comes to families,
Roma makes you wring your hands in despair and yet, it is such a masterpiece, you want to call your mum and ask after the maid who fluffed your pillows telling your eight-year-old self that beating the pillows first will knock bad dreams out of them.
So turn up your nose to anyone who says
Roma is just another art film about a maid. The director Alfonso Cuaron makes black and white so delicious you want to reach into the screen and touch the freshly washed sheets drying in the sun, you want to pull up a chair and join the family for dinner and you cringe and you cringe hoping the car is not going to scrape across the sides when she drives it into the garage space. Roma should win.
But there’s a gem of a film about a dead grandpa and his French family made me smile and made me share the link with my sister and we both giggled when we remember a
chachi who has been animated brilliantly in this shortlisted film called Pepe Le Morse. Watch it here: VIDEO
Unless Spike Lee’s
BlacKkKlansman works some kind of wicked magic on the academy members, Roma should win the best picture. Yes, Wakanda is forever, but the best picture for Black Panther? The best fight sequence yes, best picture for a mass appeal superhero film? I think not.
Shallow is a great song and Lady Gaga makes
La vie en rose sounds sexier than it is, but A Star Is Born could not win, could it? The Favorite is least of my favourites simply because it is nothing but women behaving badly in costumes.
Speaking of ‘behaving badly’, tell me you about a big guy with a temper. With so many fliers flying with pets because they need emotional support, it was time they needed help too. Here’s
Animal Behaviour. It’s shortlisted and totally delicious. VIDEO
And Glenn Close will win hands down best actor (female) in and as
The Wife. The role is written for her. A wife of a famous man who is more than just a background support figure. The only person who could overtake her is Yalitza Aparicio for her role in Roma. The scene where her boyfriend shows off his martial art talent as she’s in bed is perhaps even better than her sitting outside the movie theatre, slowly realising, that he’s not going to come back to her.
If animated figures could win best actor awards, I would offer it to the woman who has baby
Bao. Yes, the film is here: VIDEO
The Oscar for best actor (male) is a tough call. Rami Malek is so amazing as Freddie Mercury in
you want him to win, but not having watched Willem Dafoe in Bohemian Rhapsody At Eternity's Gate, it becomes a tough call to make. And Christian Bale makes you so angry to see him as the manipulative Dick Cheney, you know he’s doing a great job in Vice.
But if you wish to rule the conversation this weekend, then here is a treasure trove curated just for you. Unlike real life, here are three animated shorts that look at age with kindness:
Late Afternoon is all about fading memories, Age Of Sail is about finding inspiration from a young person, and One Small Step shows beautifully how dads can inspire their children. VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO
If you are like me, you’d be up early Monday morning, watching the beautiful people gather to celebrate the art of telling stories. Stories that move you even if they speak a different language. Stories that keep you from checking your messages on the phone. Stories that make you believe in the innate goodness of this world. Stories you watch on different screens that make the nine to five bearable.
Manisha Lakhe is a poet, film critic, traveller, founder of Caferati — an online writer’s forum, hosts Mumbai’s oldest open mic, and teaches advertising, films and communication.