I have seen a lot of movies this year, and many of them were outstanding.  So my Oscar picks for this awards season was a bit tricky.  I definitely have some favorites.

BEST MOVIE:

I saw all the Best Movie nominations this year except Roma and Vice.  I actually tried Roma but for some reason I could not stay with it to the end.  Very quiet and slow, but that is just my opinion.  Many major news outlets have pegged it to be the winner this year.  For me it comes down to three films:  Black Panther, Blackkklansman, and Green Book.  The latter movie was just terrific and was a true story that dealt with race relations in the South during the Jim Crow era.  Spike Lee's Blackkklansman was also based on a true story and was so excellent.  But I am voting for Black Panther.  I saw it almost a full year ago and it has stayed with me all year long.  Just a beautifully filmed flick.  It is a tight race for me between these three movies but I give Black Panther "four meatballs," my highest rating.

BEST ACTRESS:

Wait, Meryl Street?

Lady Gaga' brilliant debut turn in A Star is Born gets my voice.  She was natural, easy to watch, had great songs and matched veteran Bradley Cooper scene for scene.  What a debut.  Smart money seems to be on Glenn Close for "Wife," and it is satisfying to see comic actress Melissa McCarthy nominated for a serious role.  She is definitely a "winner in the future."  But I am voting for Lady Gaga.

BEST ACTOR:

Granted it would be great to see Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga walk away with awards from the same movie (A Star is Born), but I don't think so this year.  For me the standout acting role for a male this year is Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.  He became the singer and essayed the role to a heartbreaking degree.  The concert scenes were outstanding.  This is always one of the most hotly contested categories of the year but I am voting for Rami Malek.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR and ACTRESS

While I was not a big fan of the movie The Favourite overall, the acting was superb.  And two actresses are nominated for Best Supporting Actress from the flick:  Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz.  I like Amy Adams (Vice), and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) looks like the lead among experts right now, but I think the surprise of the night here could be Rachel Weisz.  Her role was meatier and darker than Stone's was and I think this could be the upset of the night.  I am voting For Rachel Weisz.

Best Supporting Actor is, in my opinion, the toughest category to pick a winner of.  All the actors are fantastic.  Mahershala Ali could very well have been nominated for best actor for Green Book.  Adam Driver had hte role of his career in Blackkklansman.  Sam Rockwell as President Bush was great in Vice.  But if ever there was a year for the popular actor Sam Elliott, this is it.  I vote for Sam Elliott as Bradley Cooper's brother in A Star is Born for Best Supporting Actor this year.