This could well be the dullest year in Oscar History, with Roma sweeping in the awards and a lot of disappointed faces. I don’t see that. In years like this, history tells us there is one movie shut out (I pick The Favourite) and the rest get spread out a lot. I am just going with my gut.
I am looking forward to Gaga and Cooper but nothing more than Spike Lee’s acceptance speech.
Here are my predicted winners with a brief commentary on each category and why I am making the pick. This is based on research from about 12 different reliable pundit websites and blogs as well as my own gut in a few areas.
The race is wide open enough that none of these 8 would shock me.
This is probably the most open category and there was a great deal of late campaigning from a lot of movies. Roma is the favourite, but by no means a lock. I could see BR, The Favourite, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman or Black Panther winning. None would surprise me. Vice and A Star is Born both seem to be out of the race. All that said, Best Picture is voted with a very convoluted ranked ballot system which can produce unexpected results. (Moonlight, Spotlight). Also, there are rumblings that the Academy is not very fond of Netflix and sees them as a disruptive force. Still, the love is gushing all over Roma. If I had money on it, I would go with Roma. Green Book and BlacKkKlansman seem to be next on the list.
Who will win : Roma
It stuns me that in a year with 8 best picture nominees, we have a Best Director nomination that is not on the best picture list. This appears to be a two-horse race between Spike Lee and Alfonso Cauron. Cauron has a win (Gravity) and Lee is way overdue. Cauron is getting wide praise for the extent of his work so my thought is that this will be the 5th year in the last 6 with a Mexican director taking home the big prize. A Spike Lee would not startle me, his film is very good and decidedly Anti-Trump.
Who will win: Alfonso Cauron, Roma
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Bradley Cooper is the only one here playing a fictional character. L to R Bale as Dick Cheney. Cooper as Jackson Maine. Dafoe and Van Gogh. Malek as Freddie Mercury. Mortensen as “Tony Lip’
Rami Malek? I have a tough time with and Oscar win for a role of exaggerated prosthetic teeth and lip syncing. (I viewed Bohemian Rhapsody as a historically inaccurate train wreck with some very good concert scenes, only one of which actually happened). Four of the five nominees this year are playing real life characters. Willem Dafoe (love him), Bradley Cooper and Viggo Mortensen, the nomination is the award. The pundits and predictors show a two-way race between Rami well in the lead over and Christian Bale for Vice. Rami is not a mortal lock but certainly the odds-on pick. I call a minor upset. (Even though last five years all acting categories have gone to the favourites). Final note, do NOT count out Bradley Cooper. Well loved 7 time Oscar nominee with a massive marketing machine behind him, and he sang his own music.
Who will win: Christian Bale, Vice
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Glenn’s year this year.
Lady Gaga was the front-runner in this category for a long time, until awards season actually started and Glenn Close came to the forefront. This her 7th nomination and she has done a brilliant job voicing Homer’s long-lost mother on the Simpsons. It seems to be her year in a close race with Olivia Coleman. Close should have an Oscar now for her unforgattable role in Fatal Attraction but lost to Cher in Moonstruck.
Who will win: Glenn Close, The Wife
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Green Book has faced a mountain of criticism and deflected it all and done extremely well on the awards circuit. Mahershala Ali is close to a lock. But would it not be great to see Sam Elliot win an Oscar. I can dream, can’t I?? Adam Driver was excellent in Spike Lee’s film but not enough put him over the top. If there is an upset here, it’s the wonderful Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me. I saw it on a plane but it was still a great performance! Plus he a very well liked.
Who will win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Likely the year’s strongest category, the fact that Regina King was overlooked for a nomination from The Screen Actors Guild makes it far more of a race than it may seem.
Regina King has wiped the slate clean in awards season, but that said she was not nominated for a SAG award. SAG members make up about 2/3 of the Academy voters. So, this is not the lock that it seems. Both Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone received wide acclaim for The Favourite as did six-time nominee Amy Adams for Vice.
This, this s King’s to lose.
Who Will Win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Writing awards are often viewed as a Best Picture Consolation Prize. Original Screenplay is wide open this year with four of the five nominees a possible winner. The Writer’s Guild picked Eighth Grade which was not even nominated. Paul Shrader has written some extraordinary movies (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull to name but two) and has his first nomination this year for First Reformed. It seems to be a two-way race between The Favourite and Green Book. Co-writer Nicolas Vellelonga is the son of the character “Tony Lip” played by Viggo Mortensen.
Who Will Win: Nicolas Vellelonga, Peter Farrelly, Brian Hayes Currie for Green Book
BEST ADAPTED SCREEN PLAY
Best movie of the year and arguably the best poster too.
Barry Jenkins has already won for Moonlight. Spike Lee, mortal lock. As silly as the Oscars are, there is always on award this per year that makes me jump out of my chair, this is it.
Who will win: David Rabinowitz, Charlie Watchell, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman.
The Runner-Up Prizes
BEST FILM EDITING
In past years, this award always went with best picture, not so much lately. There is no clear fave here and no long-term Academy stalwarts running. Most are first time Editing nominees. There is a lot of editing in Bohemian Rhapsody but its not good.
Who will win: Hank Corwin, Vice
The voters will love the fact that Alfonso Cauron filmed his own movie in black and white. If there is an upset here it could be Lukas Zal in Cold War
Who Will Win: Alfonso Cauron, Roma
BEST ART DIRECTION
Usually goes with costume design. Not this year. Hard to call this one. You have Best Picture nominated Period Piece in the Favourite which usually wins here. I think it goes for the recreation of 1970s Mexico City.
Who will win: Eugenio Callebrero & Barbara Enriques, Roma
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Sandy Powell is a legend. She has 14 nomination in this category (including 2 this year!) and three wins (The Aviator, Young Victoria and Shakespeare in Love).
Five movies. 4 nominees. A combined 25 career nominations and 4 wins.
This is a category full of veterans with multiple nominations and wins. I am going against conventional wisdom (period piece) for the first African American winner here.
Who Will Win: Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther
I can’t see this going any other way. Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will perform together and later Gaga will accept the award. If there is upset, maybe 10-time nominee Dianne Warren for “I Will Fight” from RBG.
Who will win: “Shallow” from A Star is Born
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Noteworthy: This is Alexandre Desplat’s 10th nomination since 2007! This award tends to go to a Best Picture nominee. That narrows it down to two.
Who will win: Ludwig Garrosan, Black Panther
THE “OTHER KINDS OF MOVIES”
Note : This is were the academy has the ill-conceived, silly, unnecessary and immediately withdrawn idea for Best Achievement in Popular Film. If you want a new category, how about the Stunt Crew?
BEST ANIMATED FILM
Hyper-kinetic, original and just pure fun.
The Incredibles 2 is a heavyweight movie from heavyweight Pixar. I loved it. Isle of Dogs is without a doubt the weirdest movie I have ever seen. But this year, its gonna be Spidey, a movie that should have nominations in sound, screenplay and best picture and probably editing too.
Who will win: Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
This could get weird. Roma is the odds on for Best Picture so it may get overlooked here. This has another very strange balloting system and produces odd results. In 2006, the amazing Pan’s Labrynth had 6 nominations and 3 wins but did not win here. Cold War has three nominations.
Who Will Win: Cold War (Poland)
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
RGB is a sentimental favourite but the reviews called it more Hero Worship than true documentary. The year’s most acclaimed documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbour” was not nominated.
Who Will Win: Free Solo
Vice. Marking Christian Bale into a convincing Dick Cheney.
BEST SOUND MIXING
Bohemian Rhapsody. Concert Scenes were exciting and entertaining.
Bohemian Rhapsody – see above
Avengers Infinity War – Since Black Panther for some baffling reason is not nominated.
SHORT FILMS (EDUCATED GUESSES)
Boa (going with Pixar)
Black Sheep (pundit consensus)
Live Action Short
Margeruite (pundit consensus)
Dan’s Overall Predictions
The Favourite gets shut out
No runaway winner
This year’s very possible WOW moment : Black Panther for Best Picture
Count by Movie….
Roma – 4
Black Panther – 3
Bohemian Rhapsody – 2
Green Book – 2
Vice – 2
Let’s be honest, this is a weird weird year with a relatively weak set on nominees. I could very much be eating my words Sunday Night.