WESTPORT, Conn. — There’s a “dark cloud hanging over this year’s Oscars,” movie industry insider and critic Susan Granger of Westport told Y’s Men on Thursday and Sunrise Rotary on Friday during her
annual winner prediction talks.
The all white slates for the acting categories led Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Bruce Isaacs to call herself “heartbroken and frustrated by the lack of inclusion.”
The choices triggered storms of protest that could be brought to a head on Sunday’s show by outspoken host, Chris Rock, who she said is likely to “humiliate winners” over the lack of diversity.
One target for Rock could be that no African-American actor was nominated despite contenders in three strong movies, "Concussion," "Creed" and "Straight Outta Compton," Granger said.
“To be nominated for an acting award, you have to be in a good film,” Granger said, calling "Creed" a “10.” Warner Brothers saw it as a “nice black movie” rather than an engaging father-son relationship film, she said. Star Sylvester Stallone was initially hesitant to join the project.
But he did, and he is Granger’s choice to win best supporting actor.
Will Smith starred in "Concussion," about the pervasiveness of these traumas in the National Football League. But Sony watered the movie down to avoid being sued, making it “mediocre,” and Smith’s performance was only “OK,” she said.
Granger downgraded "Straight Outta Compton" for its profanity and because she doesn’t like its music. But she gave it credit for good marketing.
But Granger believes the night will end on a feel good uptick, with Mexican director Alejandro Iñárritu at the podium, holding the Best Picture award for his gruesome Western, "The Revenant."
And Granger said her choice for Best Picture, "Spotlight," an ensemble story of a Boston newspaper uncovering the priest pedophilia scandal, will go home without a deserved award.
Granger grew up in Hollywood in the “family business.” Her father and stepfather were producers, as are her brother and her son. Her son produced "Saving Private Ryan" and Tom Cruise’s films (and yes, Cruise does his own stunts).
In the late 1960s she became the first woman news anchor at WTNH’s Channel 8. Today, she is syndicated globally.
Granger also predicts:
- Iñárritu will also win best director for "The Revenant,"
- Leonardo DiCaprio, best actor, for "The Revenant;"
- Brie Larson, in "Room," for best actress;
- Stallone, best supporting actor, for "Creed;" and
- Alicia Vikander in "The Danish Girl," for best supporting actress.
Make your own picks, tune in, enjoy. The 88th annual Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. For information on the broadcast, nominees and more, click here . For more of Susan Granger's reviews, click here .
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