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Oscar voting has begun. Do we have a winner?

The cast of "Everything Everywhere All at Once" smiles and laughs onstage at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
The cast of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” celebrates its ensemble win at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
(Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times)
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Yosemite is snowed in. The Happiest Place on Earth briefly turned into a winter wonderland. And a weird movie sporting googly-eyed rocks, hot dog fingers and weaponized dildos is about to win the Oscar for best picture.

I’m Glenn Whipp, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of The Envelope’s Friday newsletter and the guy randomly driving around these days just to look at those magnificent, snow-capped mountains. Talk about a driving distraction!

Oscar voting just started. Let’s take a look at the news ...

‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ takes guild trifecta

Between winning the top honors at the Directors Guild Awards and the Producers Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards this past weekend, the “Everything Everywhere All at Once” crew met at NeueHouse Hollywood on Saturday for one last Los Angeles academy screening of their trippy, sci-fi family drama.

The film’s star, Michelle Yeoh, slumped on a sofa in the lobby, having just arrived from London. Stephanie Hsu and Ke Huy Quan embraced, trading stories about the freakishly cold L.A. weather. And the indefatigable Jamie Lee Curtis walked right up to me, squeezed my hand and, not letting go, introduced herself as a “weapon of mass promotion” and then spent the next hour backing up her boast with charming — and almost alarming — force.

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“It’s a movie for a generation,” Curtis told the audience during the post-screening Q&A, comparing the response to “Everything Everywhere All at Once” to how her era felt about “The Graduate.” “It’s literally the best movie for a generation.” The room eats this up. “The more times you say the word best — best, best, best, best — is a good thing to be saying at this moment in time.”

Curtis isn’t the only one saying it. Over the weekend, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” became the 10th movie to sweep the Producers, Guild, Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild awards, establishing it as the overwhelming favorite to win the best picture Oscar on March 12. Of the nine previous films to hit that awards season trifecta — a list that includes “Birdman,” “No Country for Old Men” and “Argo,” only one, “Apollo 13,” failed to go on to win the Oscar.

Is the best picture Oscar in the bag? What about the acting awards? I pondered these questions in a column while watching the Screen Actors Guild Awards — a column that included a bagel sighting during that last “Everything Everywhere All at Once” event in Hollywood.

a large cast all dressed up and holding awards poses on the red carpet
The “Everything Everywhere All at Once” ensemble celebrates their SAG Awards cast award.
(Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times)

Three Oscar voters share their super-secret ballots

Oscar voting began Thursday and, as all the responsible citizens reading this know, you’re not always entirely prepared when you come face to face with that ballot. Film academy members, including the three sharing their picks with me in a recent column, sometimes end up making their choices on a whim and end up looking back on their selections with a mixture of bewilderment and regret.

In other words: Oscar voters ... they’re just like us!

Our trio this year — an actor, a producer and a director — are united on two fronts: They’re happy with the nominated films and performances and they’re feeling a little overwhelmed because of the difficult choices the ballot requires them to make. Read on to see what they were thinking on the eve of voting.

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illustration of an Oscar statue wearing an "I Voted" sticker
Oscar voting is underway. How are academy members leaning?
(Lehel Kovács / For The Times)

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There should be gold in them ‘Tár’ hills

While considering potential titles for this item, I toyed with “Justin Chang’s four-Tár Oscar ballot,” but my friend and colleague only went for Todd Field’s masterful drama in three categories, so I scrapped that and went with “them Tár hills,” which, of course, comes straight from Justin. But if you know him or have read his delightful wordplay over the years, you already knew that.

Justin is not a member of the academy, but he does have thoughts — plenty of them! — about the movies and performances the Oscars should be rewarding this year, as well as what should have been included. Like him, I’m still mourning the absence of Park Chan-wook’s romantic noir “Decision to Leave.”

a woman has her legs up in a chair and smiles
Cate Blanchett, star of “Tár.”
(Alex Harper / For The Times)

Feedback?

I’d love to hear from you. Email me at glenn.whipp@latimes.com.

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.

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