Count me as one who will stay up until the very end of Sunday’s Academy Awards because while greatly flawed it is the Super Bowl of awards shows even if it’s not nearly as relevant as it was years ago.

From the late 1980s through 2000 the telecast would consistently draw more than 40 million viewers with a record 57 million watching in 1997 which was the year of Titanic.  In comparison last year only 26 million watched and the best picture was The Shape of Water which I have not and will never bother watching.

In the wake of the Kevin Hart controversy there will not be a host this year which may or may not be a plus because many of the recent ones have fallen short in my opinion.  Billy Crystal who last hosted in 2011 and has done so nine times is by far the best of the somewhat recent group but I guess his hosting days are over.

The show is too long although in an attempt to cut down on the length of the live broadcast four awards will be presented during commercial breaks for Cinematography, Editing, Makeup & Hair and Live Action Short.  Don’t shed too many tears over this.

There are two reasons for me to watch until the end. That’s when the biggest Oscars are awarded and I want to know right away because I’m planning to make some legal wagers on my William Hill App which frankly I’m excited about. I have not seen all the major movies and nominees but here are my favorites and predictions in the three major categories:

Best Picture-  I really liked A Star Is Born and Green BookRoma is the favorite and I think grossly overrated unless you like watching people clean up dog crap.  All the critics all love it so I guess it will win but should not, a more deserving candidate for the Best Foreign Language Film.

Best Actress-  Glenn Close was brilliant in The Wife and this is her 7th nomination without an Oscar win.  She’ll get it this time and is deserving as is Lady Gaga who was great in A Star Is Born but will have to settle for Best Original Song (Shallow).

Best Actor-   It’s a two-man race between Christian Bale for Vice and Rami Malik who played Freddie Mercury brilliantly in Bohemian Rhapsody.  I loved both Bradley Cooper and Viggo Mortensen but Rami walks away with Oscar.


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