TEMPE, AZ — When it comes to Best Picture, our expert, ASU professor and founder of the Phoenix Film Festival Chris LaMont says, he's got his money on CODA.
"It is such an uplifting, positive film," said LaMont. "It's the kind of film we all need as we are sort of emerging from COVID."
Speaking of CODA, it stars Mesa native Troy Kotsur, who also happens to be LaMont's pick for Best Supporting Actor.
"We are looking at the SAG Awards as the real bell weather here and Kotsur has won that. He has been winning awards all over the place." he added.
West Side Story features LaMont's pick for Best Supporting Actress, Ariana DeBose.
"She has such life. She is so enthusiastic and she brings so much to that role. She really stood out in that film." said LaMont.
He raps, he stars in sitcoms, and he can handle the dramatic roles, too -- Will Smith will also take home his first Oscar Sunday night, says LaMont, in the Best Actor category.
"Will Smith in King Richard as Richard Williams...that film showing how he worked with Venus and Serena and the driven passion of that character. Will Smith is all in for that movie." he added.
Best Actress is a category LaMont says is harder to predict this year, but his pick is Jessica Chastain, who starred as the unforgettable Tammy Faye Baker in "The Eyes of Tammy Faye."
"She wanted that role. That was a role she wanted for 20 years and she basically takes that role makes it her own," he stated.