February 24, 2019

2019 Oscar predictions

First things first. Fuck the Academy for shunting cinematography, film editing, live-action shorts, and makeup/hairstyling to the commercials. People in these departments are critical to a movie's success and to deny them the opportunity to share their joy and triumph with the world is a dick move, especially in a year where there's not even a host to deliver an un-funny monologue for 20 minutes at the beginning of the telecast.

So in defiance of what they've determined to be "important" categories, I've decided to do a full roster of predictions, even in categories where I haven't seen any of the nominees. (This is, of course, an especially terrible year for me as I've seen less movies than any of the previous years, due to personal circumstances.) But I forge on anyway.

Reminder: my predictions are what I think will win, not what I want to win.

Update: the Academy wisely reversed their decision (after A LOT of backlash), but I'm keeping my full scorecard anyway. Feel free to post your picks in the comments and see if yours are better than mine!

Best Picture predicted winner: Roma



Look, I know I didn't get to all the Best Picture nominees. It's not my finest year. I battled illness in the weeks up to the Oscars, severely limiting my stamina and ability to sit through movies. So some just fell by the wayside. That doesn't affect my choice not to watch Green Book, or the fact that I'm picking Roma to win. From the ones I watched, The Favourite was by far my ahem, favorite, but I know the Academy likes things with gravitas, and I have a feeling The Favourite is a bit too comedic to pull down the ultimate award.

  • Black Panther: A big barrier was broken when this superhero movie was nominated for Best Picture. I do not think voters are ready to crown a superhero movie Best Picture yet.
  • BlacKkKlansman: This is a good alternative from Green Book for a white Hollywood that wants to pat itself on the back for being "woke," but even while this movie plays it a bit safe, it's still too risky to win
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: With fresh allegations against director Brian Singer for child molestation, there's no way anyone in Hollywood wants to draw any more attention to this movie.
  • The Favourite: This season's underdog, for sure. While pretty universally acclaimed, it's also just really weird. (Though just to note, not weirder than love story with a fish-man, but the Academy has never held consistent standards)
  • Green Book: Nope nope nope-ity nope. I've read the description. I've read the statements from Don Shirley's family. I'm not interested in supporting this movie, even to review it.
  • Roma: This is totally on me, especially considering it's free on Netflix. But sometimes when something is so readily available you put it off in favor of other things, meaning to get around to it, before you finally run out of time. Or maybe it's just me. Either way, I know what the story is about and I think it sounds like a movie voters would see as Best Picture material. It also lacks a lot of the controversy many of the other nominees have.
  • A Star Is Born: I'm not super interested to watch this one either, but I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually.
  • Vice: Just didn't have the opportunity. *shrugs*

Best Director predicted winner: Alfonso Cuaron

I found the inclusion of Pawel Pawlikowski to be sort of shocking, especially considering Cold War wasn't nominated for Best Picture, but it's an exciting twist on a normally straightforward Best Director race. And Spike Lee is loooooong overdue for recognition, but I don't think it's going to happen this year.

Best Actress predicted winner: Glenn Close



I actually think this is a two-person race between Glenn Close and Olivia Coleman and that it could really go either way. But while I'm pulling for Coleman, I have a sinking feeling they're going to give it to Close, which is a shame because The Favourite is a better movie in every which way. And honestly, disability doesn't get nearly the platform it deserves.

  • Yalitza Aparicio, Roma: Hope this is launches her career, despite the thinly veiled racist efforts to derail her happening in Mexico. =(
  • Glenn Close, The Wife: Her performance was good, sure, but not nearly as complex as the movie wanted us to believe. 
  • Olivia Coleman, The Favourite: She was a delight. Absolutely brilliant.
  • Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born: Did you know that in a room of 100 people, you only need one to vote for you? Of course, you won't win an Oscar that way, but I'm sure Gaga is happy just to nominated.
  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Her acting made the movie, which is what Best Actress should be about, but this performance isn't going to outshine the frontrunners.

Best Actor predicted winner: Rami Malek


  • Christian Bale, Vice: Did you know Christian Bale even has the same birthday as Dick Cheney? That's commitment to character. ;)
  • Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born: Look, I know I didn't see the movie, but I just want to comment on the fact that all the previews make me want to dump a bucket of soapy water on his head. Like, did he not shower for the entirety of the shoot?
  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity's Gate: Sorry, Willem. I just didn't make it to your movie. And from the people I've talked to, neither did a large swath of the population. *shrug*
  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody: He should win solely for talking with those eff-ing false teeth. And he will.

Best Supporting Actress predicted winner: Regina King


  • Amy Adams, Vice: Amy Adams is always great, but there's been virtually no buzz surrounding her performance.
  • Marina de Tavira, Roma: No comment.
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk: Considering Regina took home the Golden Globe, I'm betting on her to win here. Also, since she was the only nomination for the movie, I think voters are going to want to reward it where they can.
  • Emma Stone, The FavouriteFor the first time ever, I endorse the nomination of more than one actor from the same movie in the same category
  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite: But...I still think Rachel Weisz was better


Best Supporting Actor predicted winner: Mahershala Ali


  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book: It's unfortunate to earn accolades for a movie that Ali himself seems to be cringing about now (see this face when it won at the Golden Globes), but he seems to be the clear favorite in this category.
  • Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman: This might be the first time I didn't want to punch Adam Drive in the face. So there's that. But like, how is his performance deemed better than John David Washington's, who didn't garner a nomination?
  • Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born: I still think of Tombstone when I see him and I probably always will. Whether that has anything to do with the movie I have no idea. 
  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?: He should win just based on his video reaction to finding out he was nominated.
  • Sam Rockwell, Vice: No one wins it two years in a row. They just don't. 


    Best Original Screenplay predicted winner: Green Book


    • The Favourite: Splitting Best Picture from Screenplay, I think this should be the winner. But I also don't think voters are smart enough to pry themselves away from the racist train-wreck that is Green Book
    • First Reformed: Another one I missed.
    • Green Book: If you don't know the story (and controversy) behind this one by now, you're not paying attention.
    • Roma: Since I'm picking this to win Best Picture, I think voters will kick the Screenplay award to someone else.
    • Vice: I find Adam McKay to be a genius in turning otherwise undesirable subjects into engaging movies and I don't doubt this is any different, so this would be my runner-up pick.


    Best Adapted Screenplay predicted winner: A Star Is Born




    This might be the closest we have to an honest-to-God toss up. Each of these scripts is unique and though some were more commercially popular than others, the only one I can safely eliminate with confidence is the Coen brothers one, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Not because the Academy doesn't love the Coen brothers (they do), but because it has the lowest profile of the nominated movies and therefore is the least likely to have been watched by voters. Maybe that's unfair, but there's a reason more nominations usually equals more wins. I don't make the rules, I just play the odds.

    That being said, I think Can You Ever Forgive Me? was the most interesting in that it took what is otherwise not a super interesting story and stretched it into a full length feature worth watching. But BlacKkKlansman stayed very true to its source material (which I think should be rewarded). Ultimately, I'm cynical and think the Academy voters can't wait to give A Star Is Born an Oscar for something while simultaneously depriving Spike Lee of ever winning anything, so I'm not willing to bet that the best screenplay will actually win here.


      Best Makeup & Hairstyling predicted winner: Mary Queen of Scots


      Best Costume Design predicted winner: Black Panther

      I'm still a little miffed that Colette didn't get a nomination for this.

      Best Cinematography predicted winner: Roma


      Best Original Song predicted winner: "Shallow," A Star Is Born

      • "All the Stars," Black Panther: I expect Black Panther to clean up on all the "minor" categories, but not this one.
      • "I'll Fight," RBG: Uh, I watched this movie and I could not for the life of me tell you when this song occurred. 
      • "The Place Where Lost Things Go," Mary Poppins Returns: TBH this wasn't even my favorite song of the movie
      • "Shallow," A Star Is Born: Honestly, I'm not a fan of a song that draws out a 2-syllable word into 4 when it could have just inserted another word to compensate, but I dunno, people are crazy over this so I assume it'll win
      • "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings," The Ballad of Buster Scruggs: This movie doesn't appeal to me, on any level. I assume it really only got watched by voters because of the Coen brothers name.


      Best Original Score predicted winner: Mary Poppins Returns

      I mean, it's a musical. It feels like it would be hard to top a musical for this category.


      Best Documentary Feature predicted winner: Minding the Gap

      • Free Solo
      • Hale County This Morning, This Evening
      • Minding the Gap
      • Of Fathers and Sons
      • RGB

      Best Animated Feature predicted winner: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

      I did watch Incredibles 2. I swear I did. I just didn't feel motivated enough to write about it after watching it, which I think says something. I think it says this is the year Disney gets de-throned, even with 2 offerings in the mix. I don't know a single person who watched Spiderman and didn't love it. Not one. And damn it, that means I'm going to have to reverse me strict NO MORE SPIDERMAN MOVIES rule.
      • Incredibles 2
      • Isle of Dogs
      • Mirai
      • Ralph Breaks the Internet
      • Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

      Best Foreign-Language Film predicted winner: Cold War

      • Capernaum (Lebanon)
      • Cold War (Poland)
      • Never Look Away (Germany)
      • Roma (Mexico)
      • Shoplifters (Japan)

      Best Sound Mixing predicted winner: Bohemian Rhapsody


      Best Sound Editing predicted winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

      Ok, to be honest, I just assume the same movie wins for both of these categories. I know it's lazy, but c'est la vie.

      Best Production Design predicted winner: Black Panther

      Best Visual Effects predicted winner: Avengers: Infinity War

      • Avengers: Infinity War: Yes, yes, I realize I'm probably the only person in the world who hasn't seen this movie, but I've read all the spoilers on the Internet (unavoidable), so I feel informed anyway?
      • Christopher Robin: I was more impressed by Ewan McGregor's acting, knowing the visual effects were added later, but the animals themselves didn't blow me away. Pooh definitely could have been cuter.
      • First Man: Too realistic and it'll feed the rumors that the moon landing was faked! LOL
      • Ready Player One: It certainly looked like the inside of a video game, which I suppose is a triumph, but nothing about the movie felt special.
      • Solo: A Star Wars Story: From what I heard, literally no one liked this movie, so...

      Best Film Editing predicted winner: BlacKkKlansman

      This isn't normally the category I pay the most attention to (because frankly, you really only notice it when it's really bad), but considering it was one of the categories the Academy tried to boot into the commercials, I especially wanted to take the time to highlight it. Also because of all the tings Bohemian Rhapsody did right, film editing was NOT one of them. So I'm optimistically going with what I thought was the best that I saw, which was BlacKkKlansman. But the Academy has a way of always letting me down, so I'm sure I'll be wrong.

      Best Animated Short predicted winner: Bao

      • Animal Behaviour: Ah. Where to start. I could probably write an entire entry on this one there was so much going on, but I will just say that while it was clever, I was so turned off by the animation style I could barely watch it. I really hate ugly animation and this is very crude drawing.
      • Bao: Oh man, I cried so much watching this. This was far and away my favorite. I liked it better than the movie it preceded in the theaters, even. (Incredibles 2)
      • Late Afternoon: Annoyingly, the "Oscar shorts" package I rented on Comcast didn't include this one, so I didn't manage to see it.
      • One Small Step: This had the most straightforward plot of all the entries (without speaking to the one I didn't see, I suppose), but it was still enjoyable. Clean animation, easy story that yes, maybe manipulated the heartstrings a little too easily, but I still enjoyed it.
      • Weekends: This one was odd. The animation was very pretty and the story invoked a lot of visceral reactions, but was a bit scary and I found the ending a bit unsatisfying.

      Best Live-Action Short predicted winner: Marguerite

      I'm guessing completely blind on a few of these categories, not having seen any of the entries. It's like March Madness, but in February!
      • Detainment
      • Fauve
      • Marguerite
      • Mother
      • Skin

      Best Documentary Short predicted winner: End Game

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


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