Final Oscar 2019 Predictions
It's happening. The Oscars are here. I don't have a ton to say at this point, but I'll have a lot of choice words to share by this time tomorrow. Check out my final predictions for Oscar winners below.
Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice
Winner: The Favourite
Commentary: Optimistic experts are predicting Roma, pessimistic experts are predicting Green Book. I'm predicting The Favourite because it's been loved by everyone in the industry. With the preferential voting system, that gives it the win. Call me a realist.
The Favourite does meet both the artistic and social importance needs that I've set for a best picture winner. (What's important about it? The relationship between three women taking centerstage with politics as the backlight, highlighting every turn in the relationship. It's a fantastic beginning to the Time's Up era of awards.) Roma also meets the standards and has gained more than enough traction to win, but I think there's enough resistance to the slow pace and, of course, Netflix in general amongst Academy voters that it'll be screwed over by the preferential voting system. That said, if it manages a win, I'd be thrilled because I loved it and think it's the most deserving of this year.
BlacKkKlansman is the dark horse in this race. Its win would be shocking because it hasn't won any of this season's biggest awards thus far, but I don't think anyone could argue it's undeserving.
Black Panther isn't going to win, which will cause backlash (especially if The Favourite is what nabs top prize), but that was expected from the time the Academy decided to include it in this category.
Bohemian Rhapsody is a poorly constructed film with truly stellar concert scenes and acting, but that's it. It didn't deserve to be here, and I'm still scratching my head over its Golden Globes win. Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are both too caught up in controversy to win with the Academy. (Not to mention Green Book is boring as hell and has too soft an approach to racism to truly meet the social importance requirement.)
A Star Is Born... I've been criticized by peers for my disdain, but I really don't see what was special about this movie. I think Bradley Cooper did an excellent job directing it considering it's his directorial debut, but come on. It's an updated version of an updated version of an updated version of a movie about balancing fame/personal branding and personal conviction. I can watch this play out whenever I want on Twitter or YouTube.
Vice just kind of exists in this race. It was going to be included in the category as a way to stick it to conservatives, but no one actually thinks it's fair enough to win.
Nominees: Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Adam McKay (Vice)
Winner: Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Commentary: There's a small chance Spike Lee could slip in, and I wouldn't be that mad about it considering this is his first Academy nomination. As I said in October, though, this is Cuarón's category to lose.
Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Winner: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Commentary: I knew it when I first saw the Bohemian Rhapsody teaser, and now it's happening! If I may call back to an old meme, SHE (Rami Malek) HAS THE RANGE. I wish this script gave him the support needed to show just how great that range is, but it gives us enough of a glimpse to know that Malek is something special. If only people had listened to me when I said he should be cast as Boris in The Goldfinch (November 2019). (Nina Jacobson, if you're reading this, it's not too late for you to read my college thesis on how to best adapt Donna Tartt's book.)
Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Winner: Glenn Close (The Wife)
Commentary: I've been pleasantly surprised to see Hollywood shift from giving awards to Lady Gaga to Glenn Close. Even though many are doing this for her body of work rather than just The Wife, I still think her performance was the strongest of the year.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Winner: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Commentary: This one will be closer than expected between Mahershala Ali and Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?). Ali really should have been considered for the Leading Actor race, but I know how the leading/supporting split goes. In many ways, Grant's performance is similar to Ali's in Moonlight for which he previously won this very award. It's truly a supporting role in that he's not there for the majority of the film, but his screen time leaves a real impact that is felt throughout.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Marina de Tavira (Roma), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Winner: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Commentary: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) was my favorite performance of this bunch, but I'm okay with King finally getting Academy recognition here. King's one stand-out moment in Beale Street has to be when she gives KiKi Layne's character a look that says, "You don't have to say it, I know,"at the beginning of the movie. Other than that, I didn't think this was her best role. We're giving out Oscars for accumulated work in our Actress categories this year.
Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: The Favourite, First Reformed, Green Book, Roma, Vice
Winner: The Favourite
Commentary: Roma could pull through here, but I think this is The Favourite's most certain bet. The Favourite is intelligent and funny. I've read more than one interview that used the word "delicious." People love the story and it's execution.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, BlacKkKlansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born
Commentary: This was supposed to be If Beale Street Could Talk's category, but BlacKkKlansman has gained enough momentum recently to breakthrough.
Best Animated Feature
Nominees: Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Commentary: Spider-Verse has rightfully been unstoppable this season. It would be a huge shock if anything else took the trophy home.
Nominees: Free Solo; Hale County This Morning, This Evening; Minding the Gap; Of Fathers and Sons; RBG
Winner: Free Solo
Commentary: I'm still reeling from the exclusion of Won't You Be My Neighbor? here. I've seen RBG, but none of the others, so I don't know why, but Free Solo seems to be the most widely accepted winner.
Best Foreign Language Film
Nominees: Capernaum (Lebanon), Cold War (Poland), Never Look Away (Germany), Roma (Mexico), Shoplifters (Japan)
Winner: Roma (Mexico)
Commentary: Roma is up for Best Picture, so this is a no brainer.
Nominees: Cold War, The Favourite, Never Look Away, Roma, A Star Is Born
Commentary: Alfonso Cuarón has been picking up this award left and right all season, so this is also just another highly anticipated win.
Best Production Design
Nominees: Black Panther, First Man, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma
Winner: Black Panther
Commentary: I've always had trouble with this category, and this year's nominees aren't making this any easier for me. The easiest nominee to cast out is Mary Poppins Returns. First Man is also not a likely winner. The Favourite, though, has received praise for its intricately detailed sets. Many have lauded Roma for its recreation of 1970s Mexico. Black Panther, has been criticized for looking too set-like and using CGI more than the other nominees, but it's also the expected winner here, according to most experts.
Best Film Editing
Nominees: BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book, The Favourite, Vice
Commentary: Vice wins here because, like The Big Short, the editing style it employs is unique and brings energy to the film.
Best Costume Design
Nominees: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Black Panther, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Queen of Scots
Winner: Black Panther
Commentary: The Favourite has neat, intricate costumes, but Black Panther deserves this win. The range of costumes it features is fantastic.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Nominees: Border, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice
Commentary: I thought Mary Queen of Scots had amazing makeup and hairstyling, but Vice really wouldn't have been anywhere nearly as effective without its MUAHS team.
Best Visual Effects
Nominees: Avengers: Infinity War, Christopher Robin, First Man, Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story
Winner: First Man
Commentary: We've seen most of the effects used in Infinity War and Solo in every movie that came before in their respective franchises. Ready Player One was a great movie, but I don't know that its video game-quality (necessary to the film, obviously) will be able to overcome First Man's realism.
Best Sound Editing
Nominees: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, A Quiet Place, Roma
Winner: First Man
Commentary: I've said it before and I'll say it again (and again and again): space movies win the sound categories. Both sound categories often go to the loud, action-oriented films because most voters aren't equipped with the technical knowledge to go with something that isn't sound-heavy. But when space, that soundless void that we associate with some of the loudest sounds in the world, is an option, it becomes the savvy choice.
Best Sound Mixing
Nominees: Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, First Man, Roma, A Star Is Born
Winner: First Man
Commentary: Ditto the above. There's a small chance Bohemian Rhapsody could come through here because of their incredible mixing of Rami Malek and Freddie Mercury's voices.
Best Original Score
Nominees: BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, Isle of Dogs, Mary Poppins Returns
Commentary: I think this should go to If Beale Street Could Talk, but the consensus seems to be that it's going to Terence Blanchard (BlacKkKlansman) for his body of work.
Best Original Song
Nominees: "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)
Winner: "Shallow" (A Star Is Born)
Best Animated Short
Nominees: Animal Behavior, Bao, Late Afternoon, One Small Step, Weekends
Commentary: Bao has the most money behind it.
Best Documentary Short
Nominees: Black Sheep, End Game, Lifeboat, A Night at the Garden, Period. End of Sentence.
Winner: Black Sheep
Commentary: This one is tough. Lifeboat might come in for the win as the more daring film, but Black Sheep is the best crafted.
Best Live Action Short
Nominees: Detainment, Fauve, Marguerite, Mother, Skin
Commentary: I wouldn't be surprised if Marguerite won because it's the only uplifting one of the bunch. Mother is beautifully shot, but Skin is the only one that walks the line between importance and hopelessness.