This year's Academy Awards telecast is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CST on Sunday, February 24, with no one serving as the ABC broadcast's host for the first time since the largely disastrous 1989 ceremony that opened with a musical duet for Rob Lowe and Snow White. The mind boggles at what we might be in store for this time around.

Among the front-runners for this year's Best Picture Oscar are a previous Academy Award winner's loving salute to his childhood nanny; a period bio-pic about revered music icons; a feel-good dramedy in the vein of Driving Miss Daisy; and Spike Lee's cinematic confrontation with the Ku Klux Klan that ends with searing indictments of the 2017 rally/riot in Charlottesville, Virginia, and, by extension, the president of the United States.

Guess which of these films, at present, is the least controversial.

Not two weeks ago, in What Men Want, Taraji P. Henson suffered a conk on the noggin and woke with the ability to hear men's secret thoughts. Now, in Isn't It Romantic, it's Rebel Wilson who's accidentally knocked unconscious, awakening to find her formerly grim world turned into a sunny, sprightly romantic comedy. As trends go, this one's a little disturbing: Just how much cranial damage must our female stars endure for the sake of high-concept popcorn entertainment?

Hollywood unveiled a quartet of new releases over the weekend – a comedy-hit reboot, a high-concept horror flick, a fourth franchise installment, and a Liam Neeson revenge thriller – and the only thing that seemed to link them was that they were all examples of types of movies that generally aren't good. But surprise! They were actually all good, if of undeniably varying levels of goodness.

Culled from more than 100 hours of documentary footage from more than 100 years ago, Peter Jackson's World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old is an almost unquestionably astounding achievement – and not merely because what began as a two-day special engagement in December made so much money, and was so beloved by patrons, that it's currently enjoying a full, and fully deserved, theatrical run.

I haven't had living grandparents for many years now, but if I did, I'd immediately guide them toward the wonderful new Laurel-and-Hardy bio-pic Stan & Ollie. Is there any way, even if you're not a grandparent (or great-grandparent) yourself, that I can instead guide you toward it?

It's easy, on Oscar-nomination morning, to be surprised and/or upset about names and titles not cited, and this morning, when the nominees for the 91st Annual Academy Awards were read by Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross, there were certainly omissions that some might find surprising and/or upsetting. (Okay, that I might find surprising and/or upsetting: No mention of the Mr. Rogers doc Won't You Be My Neighbor?!? Come on!) But before diving too deeply into who's not there, let's take a paragraph-long moment to appreciate who is – more specifically, who finally is.

M. Night Shyamalan has publicly stated that there won't be any sequels to Glass, the auteur's quasi-comic-book thriller that is itself a sequel to 2000's Unbreakable and 2017's Split, and I have no reason to doubt the man. Yet I'm hoping Shyamalan might at least consider a prequel or two, because as of now, I'm not quite ready to be done with James McAvoy's electrifying, disarmingly jovial performance(s) as Kevin Wendell Crumb, the conflicted serial killer who, in Split, made life hell for a trio of kidnapped teens. I wouldn't even mind if those prequels were as messy and overwrought as Glass, just so long as they were equally entertaining.

Will a comic-book movie finally be nominated for Best Picture? (Probably!) Will a Grammy-winning pop star be nominated for Best Actress? (Almost certainly!) Will the ceremony ever find a host? (At this point, I couldn't care less!)

Regardless, it's prediction time, Oscar hounds! Nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards are scheduled to be announced at 7:22 a.m. CST on Tuesday, January 22, with me no doubt burying my face in prognostic embarrassment at roughly 7:40. The boldface names and titles below are my predicted nominees, non-boldface denotes runners-up, and predictions are in order of probability.

Kevin Hart is probably in the mood for some good news right about now. So allow me to congratulate The Oscar Host Who Wasn't on his new buddy comedy The Upside landing at the top of this past weekend's box-office charts, officially ending the three-week dominance of Aquaman. As an added bonus, The Upside isn't as dispiritingly crummy as that superhero blockbuster. But it's close.

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