Another year, another Academy Awards show. Or, should that be: Another year, another highly controversial and problematic several months leading up to an award show that seems determined to say and do as many of the wrong things as possible as frequently as possible?

Between the host snafu, the Best Popular Film category’s birth and rapid demise, and the catastrophic attempt to shorten the broadcast by presenting some awards off-camera, the 2019 Oscars have already been one for the books. Controversies aside, this year also marks several notable firsts that could reshape the Oscars in years to come. I’m speaking, of course, about the first ever superhero film to receive a nomination for Best Picture, Black Panther, and the first Netflix Original Film to attain the same distinction, Roma. 

How these particular films perform has yet to be seen, but their inclusion in the Academy’s most sought after category hints at the fact that the organization may be ready to evolve, and just maybe salvage the relevance they once had.

Alfonso Cuaron’s black-and-white, semi-autobiographical drama Roma and Yorgos Lanthimos’ darkly comedic period piece lead the pack with 10 nominations apiece. Black Panther trails closely with seven. All three films are nominated for Best Picture.

Keep your finger on the refresh button, as I’ll be updating this page live as results start rolling in. Below, you’ll find a list of the nominees for each category, my predictions for what will win, and my personal choice for each award.

Winners will be denoted in *red*

The Nominees:

Best Picture:

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
*Green Book*
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Actor in a Leading Role:

Christian Bale –Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
*Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody*
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

 

Actress in a Leading Role:

Yalitza Aparicio –Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
*Olivia Colman – The Favourite*
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

 

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams – Vice
Marina de Tavira – Roma
*Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk*
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

 

Actor in a Supporting Role:

*Mahershala Ali – Green Book*
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice

 

Directing:

BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee
Cold War – Paweł Pawlikowski
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos
*Roma – Alfonso Cuarón*
Vice – Adam McKay

 

Adapted Screenplay:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs –Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
*BlacKkKlansman – Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee*
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born – Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

 

Original Screenplay:

The Favourite – Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed – Paul Schrader
*Green Book – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly*
Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
Vice – Adam McKay

 

Foreign Language Film:

Capernaum – Lebanon
Cold War – Poland
Never Look Away – Germany
*Roma – Mexico*
Shoplifters – Japan

 

Animated Feature:

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
*Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse*

 

Original Score:

*Black Panther*
BlacKkKlansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

 

Original Song:

“All the Stars” – Black Panther
“I’ll Fight” – RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
*“Shallow” – A Star Is Born*
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Documentary Short:

Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
*Period. End of Sentence.*

 

Cinematography:

Cold War – Lukasz Zal
The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel
*Roma – Alfonso Cuarón*
A Star Is Born – Matthew Libatique

 

Best Documentary Feature:

*Free Solo*
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

 

Production Design:

*Black Panther*
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

 

Sound Mixing:

Black Panther
*Bohemian Rhapsody*
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

 

Costume Design:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
*Black Panther*
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

 

Film Editing:

BlacKkKlansman
*Bohemian Rhapsody*
The Favourite
Green Book
Vice

 

Sound Editing:

Black Panther
*Bohemian Rhapsody*
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

 

Animated Short Film:

Animal Behavior
*Bao*
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

 

Live Action Short:

Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
*Skin*

 

Makeup and Hairstyling:

Border
Mary Queen of Scots
*Vice*

Visual Effects:

Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
*First Man*
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

 

 

Predictions:

 

Best Picture:

*Okay. So… WHAT??? I mean sure. But… WHAT??? Hot hell. That was the last film I expected to win. My goodness. What?? I mean…

 

What???*

My Prediction – This year plays host to one of the most contentious Best Picture races in recent memory. By any metric, Black Panther has a great deal of heat in the popular opinion, and a win would be a huge boon for Marvel as well as a cultural milestone. Still, the film faces an uphill battle following the multitude of awards that have been heaped on Roma since its debut, the 10 nominations for The Favourite, and the high-profile successes of both Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book over the last several months.

It could honestly be anyone’s game, but I’m going to give Roma an edge. It has a beautiful, deeply personal story, phenomenal production standards, and cultural significance to spare. The biggest hurdle for Cuaron’s project is potential bias against the streaming behemoth Netflix, who distributed the film. Whether or not the Academy is ready to welcome original content from non-traditional sources may make or break Roma‘s chances, but I’d say things are looking positive.

My Pick – If I’m being 100% honest, none of the nominees this year affected me like those last year, so I find myself at somewhat of an impasse. I respected Black Panther for embracing diversity in Hollywood and using it to tell an authentic, important story. I thought BlaKkKlansman was equal parts hysterical and terrifying, and nothing if not insightful. I enjoyed The Favourite tremendously, and something about Yorgos Lanthimos’ eccentric style never fails to tickle my fancy. A Star is Born was far better than I expected it to be, but the presentation can’t quite match the work of Cuaron, Lee or Lanthimos. Vice was entertaining and illuminating but lacked the same vitality as McKay’s previous film, The Big Short. Both Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book were competent films, but I didn’t find them any more remarkable than something like You Were Never Really Here, which received a total of zero nominations.

If I have to toss my hat into the ring, I’ll side with The Favourite. It might be a long shot, but it was a bizarre little gem of a film, and I would gladly see it honored.

 

Lead Actor:

*I have loved Rami Malek for a long time, and regardless of my opinion of the film, his performance was remarkable and well deserved.*

My Prediction – All signs point to Rami Malek taking home the award with relative ease after claiming the prize at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, and the SAGs. With that much precedent, I’ll say his turn as Freddy Mercury may earn him the Oscar as well.

My Pick – While Malek’s performance in Bohemian Rhapsody was spot-on and genuinely remarkable, it’s Christian Bale who should walk away with the trophy. His portrayal of Dick Cheney was not only transformative in that signature Bale way, it was so entirely believable that it might be the best showing of his storied career.

 

Lead Actress:

*Yes! Vindication for The Vavourite! Her humility has humbled me, and I cannot wait to rewatch her film.*

My Prediction – After seven nominations, a win at the Golden Globes and the SAGs, and a tie at the Critics Choice Awards, the prevailing theory is that Glenn Close will edge out Lady Gaga for the Oscar.

My Pick – As much as I enjoyed Olivia Coleman and Lady Gaga in their respective roles, my personal vote has to go to Yalitza Aparicio for Roma. Her timidity was pitch-perfect for Cleo, and when she let loose her full emotional range, it was powerful and moving. Aparicio elevated an already stellar film to new heights with her performance, and even though she’s not a front-runner, I believe she deserves recognition.

Supporting Actress:

*I was right! How about that?? Also, this is my first whiff of the evening vis-a-vis personal picks. Oh well, I’m sure there are more to come.*

My Prediction – This one will be tight. Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Regina King, and Marina de Tavira all turned in stellar showings this year, and all have been getting plenty of love from their supporters. I suspect that the race will come down to King and Weisz, with King pulling ahead in the final tally.

My Pick – I might be biased due to my fondness for Emma Stone’s other work, but I found her character in The Favourite to be the perfect combination of intelligence, insight, and ruthlessness. She knew when to play dumb, weak, or needy. She also knew when to push her chips forward and take command of a situation, and Emma Stone embodied all of these traits effortlessly.

Supporting Actor:

*Mr. Ali deserves the award. He is perhaps one of the most talented actors currently living, and it is a breath of fresh air to see him recognized not just once, but twice.*

My Prediction – If there’s one thing Mahershala Ali has (other than talent), it’s heat. He’s dominated the majority of awards so far this season and shows no sign of slowing down. I suspect we’ll see him head home tonight with another little gold man to adorn his shelf.

My Pick – While Ali was undeniably endearing in Green Book in a role that tackled some valuable social issues, I can’t help but pull for another Sam Rockwell win. When I first heard that he would be portraying George W. Bush in Vice, I couldn’t imagine what the casting directors were thinking. Once I saw the film, I understood perfectly.

 

Directing:

*I love Yorgos Lanthimos, but Mr. Cuaron deserves this honor. Congratulations, Sir.*

My Prediction – It’s going to be Alfonso Cuaron, no question.

My Pick – While it frustrates me to shrug off a painfully under-awarded director like Spike Lee (whose recognition is long overdue) as well as the auteur behind the profoundly personal and exquisitely executed Roma, I just love Yorgos Lanthimos too much not to put myself in his corner. Lanthimos is easily one of the most unique voices in filmmaking today (as evidenced by The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer, if nothing else), and I want to see his bizarre sensibilities brought into the limelight.

 

Adapted Screenplay:

*Spike Lee deserves this. Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott deserve this. BlacKkKlansman deserves this. Hell yes.*

My Prediction – The Academy is unlikely to overlook Spike Lee twice in the same evening, and the script for BlacKkKlansman was energetic and tight. I suspect he and co-writers Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott will have something to celebrate tonight.

My Pick – Even as anthology TV shows are seeing a resurgence, the anthology film is still something of a rarity. If The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is any indication of potential, then I hope more filmmakers begin to dabble in the style. It’s not easy to outwrite the Coen Brothers, and in my mind, it’s the sharpest script on the list, no doubt.

 

Original Screenplay:

*Oh my god. Oh my god. Oh my god, I called it. I’m not supposed to be good at this! Oh my god. I. Called. It.*

My Prediction – I suspect that this race will be tighter than anyone expected. Green Book took home the award at the Golden Globes, Roma is on fire, and The Favourite is unconventionally delightful. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any of the above take the cake, but my guess is that Green Book will pull the rug out from under both Roma and The Favourite.

My Pick – In case you couldn’t tell by my description of The Favourite as “unconventionally delightful,” I’m pulling for Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara’s odd, but seamless work to bring home the prize.

 

Foreign Language Film:

*Who could have guessed?*

My Prediction – Roma. To discuss this anymore would be a waste of your time and mine.

My Pick – See above.

 

Animated Feature:

*There is, it would seem, some justice in this world.*

My Prediction – If there’s any film that can topple Pixar’s track record of domination in this category, then it’s Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse. Boasting more wins than its competitors, a brilliant animation style and superb voice acting, this film has what it takes to win.

My Pick – If Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse doesn’t win this award, there is no justice in this world. I love Wes Anderson, and Isle of Dogs was very good, but Spiderverse is the best film on the list, no questions asked.

 

Original Score:

*It would seem that I was wrong. It was the latter, not the former. Regardless, it was well deserved.*

My Prediction – This category will likely come down to a show off between If Beale Street Could Talk and Black Panther. After listening to both, I believe that the former will come out as the Academy’s favorite.

My Pick – Coincidentally, it’s my favorite too. I’m listening to it at this very moment as a matter of fact.

 

Original Song:

*I was planning to make a snarky joke, but Lady Gaga’s speech done shut me up. Remarkable. Thank you. I hope to follow your advice.*

My Prediction – This is a joke. it’s “Shallow.” Everybody knows it’s “Shallow.”

My Pick – I’m not going to lie, I would love to see “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” win, if for no other reason than it’s just so hysterically bizarre. It’s entirely unlike the other songs on the list (partially because the song was intended as a punchline to the story of Buster Scruggs), and if I didn’t choose at least one underdog I’d feel like I was playing things too safe.

 

Documentary Short:

*OH! I actually didn’t know that’s what the film was about! That’s incredible. I absolutely cannot wait to find and watch this film.*

My Prediction – Here we go again. I’m ashamed to say that not only have I seen none of the nominees, I’ve heard of exactly as many. I’ll go with Period. End of Sentence. because I like the name, and my computer is likely to yell at me for, ironically, needing to put a period in the middle of my sentence in order to accommodate that title.

My Pick – Black Sheep make black sweaters, and that sounds cozy given how windy it is outside of my home at the moment.

 

Cinematography:

*Roma is a stunning film, and Cuaron’s camerawork is an enormous part of that. Well done.*

My Prediction – Another relatively easy call; Roma should walk away with this one handily. The camera work is intimate and steady but still manages to give each scene an extraordinary amount of depth and life.

My Pick – I hate to keep going down the path of contrarianism, but there was absolutely nothing ordinary about the way The Favourite was shot, and I loved every second of it. Between the brilliant tracking shots and the unconventional use of fisheye lenses, The Favourite stands alone as a unique and stunning achievement.

 

Documentary Feature:

*I’m thoroughly pumped to have gotten these two right! Maybe now I’ll try climbing a mountain without restraints. Probably not, though.

My Prediction – Yet again, my simple self has seen none of the nominees, but I’ve heard absolutely nothing but rave reviews for Free Solo, and I intend to give it a view as soon as possible.

My Pick – I’ll go with Free Solo if for no other reason than that I’m fairly confident in the choice and I want to bump up my success ratio for these personal picks.

 

Production Design:

*Yes, Black Panther deserves this award. Yes, I’m happy with the result!*

My Prediction – Black Panther has demolished the competition for this award among the critics and guilds associations, so it seems like more or less of a sure thing.

My Pick – Yes, Black Panther looked fantastic. Yes, Roma was stunning. Yes, I’ve picked The Favourite for a disproportionately high number of awards. Yes, I’m doing it again. Just look at those hallways, libraries, and bedrooms though!

 

Sound Mixing:

*Ayyy! Got one!*

My Prediction – Based on my understanding of the differentiation between sound mixing and sound editing, the prevailing opinion (of multiple sound guilds, among others) is that Bohemian Rhapsody will take this one home with little competition.

My Pick – Even though I found Bohemian Rhapsody to be a superficial and substandard biopic, I do recognize that the work done on the audio mix was exceptional, and should be recognized.

 

Sound Editing:

*Welp.*

My Prediction – A Quiet Place is a film that hangs its entire premise on the execution of the sound editing, and it just so happens that it managed to pull it off with talent to spare. It’s possible that First Man could pull off an upset, but unlikely.

My Pick – Putting my issues with the film’s consistency and characters aside, the soundscape was easily the best part of A Quiet Place, and it deserves the win.

 

Costume Design:

*The costumes of Black Panther were exceptional, and have earned a well-deserved award.*

My Prediction – While Black Panther has received acclaim for its costumes, it’s far more likely that the Academy will award The Favourite, given that they have an affinity for period pieces and something of a difficult relationship with superhero movies.

My Pick – I’m sorry to do this again, but The Favourite just looked so damn good.

 

Film Editing:

*Does that make me half right? 1/3?*

My Prediction – The front-runner for this award is Bohemian Rhapsody, but I posit that BlacKkKlansman will hit us all with an upset and pull off a win for its innovative split-screen sequences.

My Pick – I… I’m sorry. I absolutely adored the hard cuts between chapters and the way text appeared on screen aligned with opposite margins in The Favourite. I can’t help it.

 

Animated Short:

*You know, I’d love to have predicted this one for a less embarrassing reason, but I’ll take it!*

My Prediction – I strongly suspect that Pixar will walk away from the Oscars with at least one win tonight, for Bao. If not for their pedigree with the Academy, then for just how charming and heartfelt this short is.

My Pick – Bao, but then again this is the only nominee I’ve actually seen so I could be missing a great deal of valuable information.

 

Live Action Short:

*I really, REALLY need to make a better effort to watch live action shorts. This looks remarkable. Well done Skin*

My Prediction – Welp. Care to take a gander at how many of these I got around to watching this year? Let’s just say Detainment and call it a day.

My Pick – I’ll go with Mother because it reminds me of my outspoken appreciation for Darren Aronofsky’s mother!

 

Makeup and Hairstyling:

*Well deserved. Extraordinary work, the team absolutely deserves it.*

My Prediction – Due almost exclusively to the fact that makeup is bundled in with hairstyling, this award will go to Vice, hands down. The prosthetics the team used to transform Christian Bale into Dick Cheney were brilliant, and the Academy can rarely resist a good transformation.

My Pick – Vice as well. The makeup was just too well executed to ignore.

 

Visual Effects:

*Woah! An upset! I’m thrilled to see this film finally earn some recognition.*

My Prediction – Odds are this one will fall to Avengers: Infinity War for sheer scale as well as impressive facial capture technology. That having been said, it isn’t uncommon for the Academy to lean towards more subtle implementations of CGI, so Christopher Robin could be the dark horse of the pack.

My Pick – I’ll be happy with any result as long as it isn’t Ready Player OneIt’s not that I hated the movie, more that I can’t imagine why on earth anybody would celebrate making audiences spend two hours in the uncanny valley. If I need to pick one, I’ll go with Avengers, despite that uncomfortable sequence with a very large, very animated Peter Dinklage.

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5 Comments

  1. I only have two predictions for the Oscars tonight.

    Prediction 1: During the “People We Lost in 2018” video, the clip for Stan Lee will be him saying, “You know, one person CAN make a difference!” From SPIDER-MAN 3.

    Prediction 2: I will cry when this happens.

    Liked by 1 person

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