When Kevin Hart backed out of hosting the 91st Oscars this year, many wondered if Hollywood’s biggest awards show could fight through controversy and deliver an entertaining evening.
Stephen Becker, a producer at KERA North Texas, who covers film and the movie industry, says despite the hurdles, he has high hopes for this Sunday’s program.
“If the goal is to tighten up what can be a very bloated broadcast, if you just cut straight to giving out your awards instead of having the 10 or 15-minute monologue at the beginning, that’s a good way to do it,” Becker says.
Among the films up for awards this year, Becker says he was particularly taken by “Roma,” which is nominated for 10 awards, including best picture.
“You’re really given this slice of life in Mexico that has nothing to do with the border stories we normally see every day on the news,” Becker says. “Those are certainly worthwhile stories to tell, but it’s this really vivid and beautiful reminder that there’s so much more to the country of Mexico than just what we see on the news.”
Although no notable Texans are up for awards this year, “Vice,” the story of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s infamous partnership, is a top contender. Becker says Sam Rockwell’s portrayal of President Bush, which earned him a nomination for best supporting actor, is especially impressive.
“It’s really tough to play George W.,” Becker says. “Because he’s been characterized and sent up so many times, whether it’s Will Ferrell on SNL, and on and on down the line.”
Written By Sol Chase.