And the Oscar Goes To…

As we look toward the Academy Awards this weekend, I thought we’d take a break from our regular programming to talk movies. My friend Fran Marincola, founder of Caffe Luna Rosa in Delray Beach, is a movie expert. I am– admittedly– a wannabe; I love the movies but struggle to find the time to see as many as I’d  like. Fran sees them all.  Our friendship started with an argument 18 years ago over parking in which we talked (loudly) until both of our phones died. We charged up and resumed a 20 year debate on a whole range of topics. We even argue when we agree. It’s weird and also good natured. We argue via the phone, in person and via text message. My favorite quote from Fran is: “Don’t interrupt me, when I’m interrupting you.”

I’ve learned a lot and he has terrific stories. In that spirit, I reblog a piece that we just published in The Delray and Boca Newspaper. Here’s a look at our picks from the upcoming Academy Awards. in a future edition we will list our top 100 movies of all time, which we have been working on for several years with a lot of loud discussion.


Here is the list of 2018 Oscar nominations and our picks:


Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”

“Darkest Hour”


“Get Out”

“Lady Bird”

“Phantom Thread”

“The Post”

“The Shape of Water”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Jeff’s pick: My friend Fran is enamored of Three Billboards. I liked it too. But…I think the Academy is going to go for something more inspiring and so I’m going with the Darkest Hour.

Fran: The Shape of Water will win, how Jeff can’t see that is astounding to me.


Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Jeff’s pick: Gary Oldman became Churchill. I don’t think Fran will disagree. But will the Academy reward the retiring Daniel Day-Lewis and why is he retiring anyway?

Fran’s pick: Finally, we agree. Oldman will win. We haven’t agreed on anything since 2002. Mark this down.

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Jeff’s pick: Fran will like Frances because they have same first name. I thought she was good, but one note grumpy. Give me nuance and give me romance and so the envelope will go to Sally Hawkins.

Fran’s pick: Frances McDormand is a lock. And not because we share a name. She was the best period.


Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”

Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”

Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”

Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Jeff’s pick: Again, Fran’s love for Three Billboards will lead him to pick either Woody Harrelson or Sam Rockwell. Will they split the vote and tip it to Christopher Plummer who saved his film by stepping in for Kevin Spacey? Willem Dafoe should win. Sam Rockwell will win.

Fran’s pick: Sam Rockwell will win. Jeff needs a Plummer to unclog his taste.

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”

Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Jeff’s pick: I loved Lady Bird, Mudbound was great but hard to watch, but Allison Janney stole I, Tonya which was hard to do because Margot Robbie was sublime. Fran will be on thin ice here if he doesn’t agree (pun intended). There’s just no skating around that Janney is the best pick.

Fran pick: Allison Janney will win. We agree on two things–I’m stunned.



“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson

“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Jeff’s pick: Please give it to Jordan Peele. Although Greta Gerwig is also deserving. Still, it’s a rare film indeed that wins best picture but not director. Since my pick for best pic is not even nominated, I will go out on a limb and go with Mr. Peele.

Fran’s pick: Guillermo Del Toro, the film got 14 nominations! Jeff ignores this because his knowledge of film is limited to Caddyshack and Stripes. And he thought Lady Bird was about Lady Bird Johnson.


Enjoy the weekend and see you on the red carpet.





  1. Bern Ryan says

    Ask Fran about when he had Bruce play at his bar in Belmar, NJ!!!

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