Foreign language film
The nominees are • "Land of Mine" (Denmark), "A Man Called Ove" (Sweden), "The Salesman" (Iran), "Tanna" (Australia), "Toni Erdmann" (Germany).
What will win • The uproar over Donald Trump's travel ban, and how it will keep Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from attending the Oscars, has turned "The Salesman" into a cause celebre — and the favorite to win.
What should win • It's a shame that the "protest vote" sentiment with "The Salesman" will outweigh the movie's real artistry. That said, my vote tips slightly toward the wildly unpredictable and winning comedy of "Toni Erdmann." (Both movies are now playing at the Broadway Centre Cinemas.)
Animated feature film
The nominees are • "Kubo and the Two Strings," "Moana," "My Life as a Zucchini," "The Red Turtle," "Zootopia."
What will win • "Zootopia," with its timely message of inclusiveness, will win here.
What should win • The mythic beauty and technical brilliance of the stop-motion "Kubo and the Two Strings." (By the way, "The Red Turtle" opens this Friday at the Broadway; "My Life as a Zucchini," which played at Sundance, will arrive at the Broadway on March 17.)
The nominees are • "Fire at Sea," "I Am Not Your Negro," "Life, Animated," "O.J.: Made in America," "13th."
What will win • "O.J.: Made in America," Ezra Edelman's 7-1/2-hour dissection of the O.J. Simpson murder case and what it says about race relations and celebrity culture, is running away from the competition like a Ford Bronco on an L.A. freeway. (ESPN has it available, free, on its on-demand service, and other streaming services are also offering it.)
What should win • A hard choice, especially with three compelling docs about racial tensions in America. My pick would be Ava DuVernay's "13th," which raises uncomfortable issues about prisons, politics and profits. ("13th" can be seen on Netflix.)