2019 Oscars Predictions

2018 was a year full of great movies. It was not until the big-studio fall movies were launched at the Venice and Toronto film festivals back in October that the awards season started crystallizing. For the past few months, many industry insiders and cinephiles have been paying close attention to the usual series of film industry awards that are known precursors to the Academy Awards. It has been a bit of an odd year when it comes to awards, which has left some frustrated. The important thing to remember is that many times the best don’t win, and that is ok.

A Star Is Born

Initially, A Star Is Born seemed to be the front-runner to beat. With a September nation-wide release, A Star Is Born grossed millions of dollars. The reviews and word of mouth were strong, and the combination of Bradley Cooper, beloved by the Academy, and Lady Gaga, a huge star that delivered an incredible performance, made for a formidable contender. It wasn’t until A Star Is Born lost the Best Drama Golden Globe to the very popular but mediocre Bohemian Rhapsody that the pundits started wondering if they had been all wrong about their initial thoughts. Green Book won the Best Comedy Golden Globe award and the Producer Guild Award (PGA), Black Panther went on to win the Best Ensemble Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, and Roma the British Academy Award (BAFTAs) and the Critics Choice Best Picture Award. What is truly surprising is that A Star Is Born went on to lose almost every award people expected it to win, except when it came to Lady Gaga and her hit Shallow.

Unlike the past few years, the 2019 Academy Awards aren’t a close race between two films. In the past few years, we saw: A Shape of Water vs Three Billboards, Moonlight vs La La Land, Spotlight vs The Revenant, and Birdman vs Boyhood. In 2019, the only contender that doesn’t seem to stand a chance given its very polarizing nature is Vice. Note that I am still unwilling to totally dismiss A Star Is Born despite its poor track record with previous awards and its puzzling Best Director nomination snub. The race is still pretty wide-open since even Bohemian Rhapsody could a possible upset at this point – something unlikely to happen without a writing nomination. The main thing to keep in mind is that the Best Picture winner is chosen using a preferential ballot system that favors uncontroversial, consensus picks.

Roma

Roma won most critics awards, and won the BAFTAs and the Critics Choice Best Picture awards, which makes it the front-runner, if there is one. However, the fact that it is a Netflix movie, an artsy black and white foreign language film, and a Best Foreign film contender gives some reasonable doubt. The reason I am predicting Roma is the fact that despite not being the most exciting nominee, it is widely considered a great picture. Despite its challenges and small cast, it could pull a win just like Moonlight and The Artist managed to in the past. Even if the cast is unknown to Academy voters, the film has strong support from the actors who nominated both Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, and Alfonso Cuaron is a previous Oscar winner who rightfully deserves the Best Picture Academy award.

“When was the last time a foreign film garnered two acting nominations?”

Every other movie has a narrative going for them, and some against them. Green Book is the most likely to take the trophy from Roma. Green Book is a feel-good movie and a crowd-pleaser that has faced backlash due to its depiction of race relations between its two protagonists and factual inaccuracies reported by Don Shirley’s relatives. Green Book‘s Producer Guild Award win and Academy Award nominations in key categories (such as acting, writing, and editing) make it one of the top contenders of the Best Picture category. Even if most people disagree that it is the best film of the year, a high number of #2 or #3 Best Picture votes could propel it to snag the price from favorite Roma.

On the other hand, we have Black Panther, which was massively popular, and beloved by many. Black Panther is probably the underdog of the mix since it’s a film that took many years to make, and after meeting a great deal of resistance from the industry, it managed to become one of the highest grossing and most successful films of the year. Its message of unity and progressive themes might have created a narrative that could propel it to win despite its lack of certain key nominations in acting and editing.

The Favourite

Other strong nominees like  BlackKklansman,and A Star Is Born are in similar positions, they are critically acclaimed and both got a respectable number of nominations overall, but the lack of other key Award wins prompts me to question their viability. The Favourite bolsters 10 Oscar nominations and strong support from all the Academy branches, but lacks a narrative that would sway voters to pick it over some of the other contenders and has not managed to win any major awards despite its great critical support and strong ensemble.

Predictions

Best Picture

Will win: Roma

Could win: Green Book

Best Documentary

Will Win: Free Solo

Could Win: RBG

Best Animated Feature

Will win: Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse

Could win: The Incredibles

Best Foreign Film

Will win: Roma

Could win: Cold War

Best Actor

Will win: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Could win: Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born

Best Actress

Will win: Glenn Close – The Wife

Could win: Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born

Best Supporting Actor

Will win: Mahershala Ali – Green Book

Could win: Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actress

Will win: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Could win: Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will win: BlackKklansman

Could win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Original Screenplay

Will win: The Favourite

Could win: Green Book

Best Production Design

Will win: Black Panther

Could win: The Favourite

Best Editing

Will win: Vice

Could win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Cinematography

Will win: Roma

Could win: Cold War

Best Costume Design

Will win: Black Panther

Could win: The Favourite

Best Makeup and Hair

Will win: Vice

Could win: Mary Queen of Scots

Best Original Score

Will win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Could win: Black Panther

Best Original Song

Will win: Shallow – A Star Is Born

Could win: All the Stars – Black Panther

Best Sound Editing

Will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Could win: First Man

Best Sound Mixing

Will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Could win: A Star Is Born

Best Visual Effects

Will win: Avengers – Infinity War

Could win: Ready Player One

Best Animated Short

Will win: Bao

Could win: Weekends

Best Documentary Short

Will win:  End Game

Could win: Period. End of Sentence

Best Live Action Short

Will win: Marguerite

Could win: Fauve

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