The festivals are over, almost all the major releases have come out, and we are getting a clearer picture of what this year’s Oscar race might look like. We are right in the thick of the battle, but it is still a wide-open season, with no true frontrunners as of yet and a few films that could surprise still. Here are my current Oscar predictions.
NOTE – I only focused on the major categories and skipped all the bottom line/technical ones.
1 – A STAR IS BORN
2 – ROMA
3 – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
4 – GREEN BOOK
5 – THE FAVOURITE
6 – BLACKkKLANSMAN
7 – VICE
8 – FIRST MAN
9 – BLACK PANTHER
10 – FIRST REFORMED
ANALYSIS – Green Book just won Best Film at the National Board of Review. Though one of the bigger precursors, they haven’t aligned with the Academy’s Best Picture winner since Slumdog Millionaire a decade ago. I still think it’s a battle between A Star is Born and Roma, especially since Roma just won the New York Film Critics Circle. though it will be interesting to see how the Academy takes towards a Netflix film. I do also think If Beale Street Could Talk could make a late run. Barry Jenkins and his team have been planting the seeds all season, just waiting to sprout. And don’t count out BlackKklansman, which could make some major noise at critics awards. Get ready for a wild ride these next couple months!
1 – BRADLEY COOPER – A STAR IS BORN
2 – ALFONSO CUARÓN – ROMA
3 – BARRY JENKINS – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
4 – SPIKE LEE – BLACKkKLANSMAN
5 – YORGOS LANTHIMOS – THE FAVOURITE
ANALYSIS – The Academy loves actors-turned-directors (see Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood) and I think they’re going to go crazy for Bradley Cooper’s debut. Cuarón is right on his tail though. The Academy has been known to split Picture and Director in recent years (Iñárritu with Birdman and Del Toro with The Shape of Water are the only ones to nab Picture and Director since 2012) and it is a very strong possibility this year. If the Beale Street momentum picks up, Jenkins could easily get in, especially after the way Moonlight lost and then won Best Picture back in 2016. And you can never count out Spike Lee, who isn’t necessarily a favorite of the Academy, but has made one of the most important movies of the year. And could the Black Panther juggernaut bring a nomination to Ryan Coogler?
1 – BRADLEY COOPER – A STAR IS BORN
2 – CHRISTIAN BALE – BACKSEAT
3 – VIGGO MORTENSEN – GREEN BOOK
4 – ROBERT REDFORD – THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN
5 – ETHAN HAWKE – FIRST REFORMED
ANALYSIS – I’m leaning towards a A Star is Born sweep, so I’m picking Cooper for a win here. He used to be a far-and-away front-runner for me, until Christian Bale came in and ruined the party. Bale is more of a 1B than a 2 on this ranking, as his performance as Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s Vice looks simply remarkable. I think it’ll be these two battling until the end, but veterans like Redford, Hawke, and Mortensen could make a push.
1 – LADY GAGA – A STAR IS BORN
2 – OLIVIA COLEMAN – THE FAVOURITE
3 – EMILY BLUNT – MARY POPPINS RETURNS
4 – GLENN CLOSE – THE WIFE
5 – TONI COLLETTE – HEREDITARY
ANALYSIS – Continuing the sweep, I think Gaga has the best chance to win her category out of all the A Star Born categories. Best Actress isn’t the strongest this year, so I think Gaga can get the win. Emily Blunt has joined the game for her performance in Mary Poppins Returns, a role she could easily win for much Julie Andrews did over fifty years ago. I would love to see Toni Collette get some love for Hereditary, and Glenn Close has been waiting decades for her chance to get her long overdue statue and The Wife could get her there.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1 – SAM ELLIOT – A STAR IS BORN
2 – RICHARD E. GRANT – CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
3 – MAHERSHALA ALI – GREEN BOOK
4 – ADAM DRIVER – BLACKkKLANSMAN
5 – TIMOTHEE CHALAMET – BEAUTIFUL BOY
ANALYSIS – Nothing would make me happier than seeing Sam Elliot and his iconic mustache and Southern drawl accept an Oscar. The legendary actor is looking for his first(!) nomination and it could end but as the winner if A Star is Born sweeps. Mahershala Ali is looking strong for Green Book, which for my money is the best part of the film, as is Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me?. I would love to see Adam Driver get a nomination, as it is one of my favorite performances of the year. This category is always tough to predict and can offer up many surprises, so it’s anyone’s game.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1 – REGINA KING – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
2 – AMY ADAMS – VICE
3 – NICOLE KIDMAN – BOY ERASED
4 – RACHEL WEISZ – THE FAVOURITE
5 – EMMA STONE – THE FAVOURITE
ANALYSIS – Another category I believe will be between two. Those two are Regina King and Amy Adams. Two veterans of the game, both of whom should have Oscars already, are given meaty roles by actor-friendly directors. I’m leaning towards Hall now, but Adams could get the sympathy vote after losing five other times. The other women in this category are great, but Hall and Adams are going to duke it out all season.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1 – FIRST REFORMED
2 – ROMA
3 – GREEN BOOK
4 – THE FAVOURITE
5 – EIGHTH GRADE
ANALYSIS – Paul Schrader is a legend, having been in the business for over fifty years and never winning an Oscar (or even be nominated, which is a true crime). Though First Reformed is a small film, Schrader’s screenplay is masterful and should get recognized. Roma, Green Book, and The Favourite are right behind though.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1 – IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
2 – A STAR IS BORN
3 – BLACKkKLANSMAN
4 – CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
5 – WIDOWS
ANALYSIS – Unlike Original Screenplay, Adapted is absolutely loaded with past winners and nominees. This could be an opportunity for the Academy to award a film that isn’t going to win Best Picture, or it could get caught in the sweep of a A Star is Born. I think Jenkins will win his second Oscar in a row here.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
1 – INCREDIBLES 2
2 – SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
3 – ISLE OF DOGS
4 – EARLY MAN
5 – RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET
ANALYSIS – Incredibles 2 was a monster at the box office and is a critical success. It is one of Pixar’s very best films and one of the best films of the year. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse has been getting raves and could be a surprise winner. Brad Bird has yet to lose an Oscar and Pixar is very, very popular at the Academy, so I’ll lean on history for this one.
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