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Never, have I been so challenged in picking my “winners”; it was a year of wonderment and wallowing wholeheartedly in a myriad of futuristic realms, historical accuracies, biographical revelations and haunted, hunted psychological evaluations, resulting in delightful, delicious confusion. With the exception of “Avatar: The Way of Water” (“Finding Nemo” is a more satisfying aquatic experience), every film touched a legitimate cord on my filmic lodestar; in conclusion I cast my vote for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” for “Best Picture”; its complicated audacity, strikingly hilarious temper, unfathomable characters, and heart-wrenching metaphors took my breath away;  Michelle Yeoh and Daniel Kwan/Daniel Scheinert are my choices for “Best Actress” and “Best Directors”. (Personally, “Tarred” out). To complete the picture, Jamie Lee Curtis should garnish the “Best Supporting Actress” Oscar.

Colin Farrell’s most devastating performance of his blazing career earns the “Best Actor Award” for “The Banchees of Inisherin” along with Brendan Gleeson as “Best Supporting Actor” (besting Judd Hirsch’s catastrophic role in “The Fabelmans”).

My priority pick in the “Best Foreign Film” category is Poland’s “EO” (Auteurs Jerzy Skolimowski & wife Ewa Piaskowska) luminous tale of a donkey, and to quote Peneflix, “elevating the benign to the extraordinary; their vision is revelatory, astounding, remarkable in the filmic genre.” 

“ALL the Beauty and the Bloodshed” captures the “Best Documentary”; photographer Nan Goldin’s story, focusing on the “power of one” to fell the Goliath of pharmaceutical companies, resulting in the fall of the Sackler Family. Director Laura Poitras’s portrait is brilliantly raw and wise.

Whimsically wonderful, Guillermo del Toro’s “Pinocchio” soars with enchantment, devilment, trickery, and the lusciousness of imaginative tales; searingly, one of the “Best” animated films of all times.

“Best Cinematography” will be “All Quiet on the Western Front”. James Friend. But would clap for joy if Mandy Walker, “Elvis” grabbed the Golden Guy.

“Best Sound” was heard from “Elvis” and “Makeup” Oscar goes to the bloated, tumefied “Whale”.

My Subscribers (almost 16 years) know of my abysmal record in “Oscar Guessing”; I cannot do a “will/or should” game; trying with as much objectivity as I can muster, I have never recanted my decisions, oftentimes disappointed, but rising on Monday morning, refreshed, and raring for another year of magical diversion; promenading to a theatre close or far from home.


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