A Definitive (and totally biased) Guide to the 2019 Oscars

Bridget Flaherty ’21

Features Editor

This insane, confusing, strange awards season is coming to a close on February 24 with the most anticipated ceremony of them all — the Oscars. This is simply a movie superfan’s guide to the ceremony, specifically these five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.  

If you know me at all, you know that I’m rooting wholeheartedly and unapologetically for “A Star is Born.” The blockbuster’s consistent snubs is one of the strangest narratives this season. Nobody can fathom the lack of love for what is (objectively) a stunning, moving, wonderful film. It earned eight nominations this year, including Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor. It’s my personal pick for Best Picture, because I firmly believe it was the best picture of the year. Recently, the Academy has chosen to award smaller, lesser known films for Best Picture, thus leading to minor criticisms and speculation that the lack of popular films awarded are the reason for low viewing of the ceremony. “A Star is Born” is both critically acclaimed and popular, thus making it the epitome of Best Picture. I’m hoping voters will see the Oscars as an opportunity to finally award this spectacular film that has been wrongly overlooked this awards season.

Rami Malek is the season’s frontrunner for Best Actor for playing Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I have so many problems with this situation, mostly because I believe that there are other actors that are way more deserving of recognition.  Malek is a bit of a dark horse this awards season and many were shocked that he edged out his competition for the SAG award for Best Actor. I’ll refrain from elaborating on the Best Actor mess by simply quoting a text I received from my mother after Malek beat Bradley Cooper for the SAG award: “I’m so upset for Bradley yet proud of him. He stood up and hugged that dude whose name I don’t even know. Rhami?” My personal picks for Best Actor are Bradley Cooper and Christian Bale. Cooper gives one of the best performances of both the year and his career as a fading musician, addicted to drugs and alcohol who falls hard for a rising star. His performance is an emotional knockout that affects you long after you leave the theater. Bale, on the other hand, delivers an impressive and entertaining portrayal of Dick Cheney in Vice, and — you can quote me on this — somehow makes Cheney kind of hot. I’m holding out for a BCoops win, but I’ll settle for Bale. As for Rami? No comment.

Bradley Cooper in “A Star is Born”
Photo Courtesy of Spin.com

It is pretty clear that Glenn Close will win Best Actress, beating Lady Gaga in her emotional first film performance and Olivia Colman in her funny, nuanced portrayal of Queen Anne in “The Favourite.” These three women were all spectacular, but Close has had a stellar career and deserves to finally win an Oscar.

Mahershala Ali has swept the Best Supporting Actor category in every major awards ceremony thus far, thus making him a clear Oscar favorite. However, considering Ali won this exact award in 2017, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Academy chooses to honor someone else. My pick is Sam Elliott from “A Star is Born” (duh), an incredible character actor with a long career who earned his first Oscar nomination this year. The Academy likes the opportunity to honor older actors with outstanding careers. Therefore, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Elliott win.

In my opinion, Best Supporting Actress is one of the best races to watch. It is stacked with incredible performances from wonderful actresses. Regina King won the Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award, but wasn’t even nominated for the SAG Award. To make matters even more interesting (and confusing), Emily Blunt won the SAG Award for her impressive performance in “A Quiet Place,” but isn’t nominated for the Oscar. In my opinion, this category boils down to King, Amy Adams, and Rachel Weisz. (I am an Emma Stone warrior, but I’m sticking to these top three.) King has a slight edge, but Adams, who suffers from always-a-bridesmaid-never-a-bride syndrome, is on her sixth Oscar nomination. Many see her as long overdue for some recognition. Weisz is the category’s dark horse, offering a spectacular performance in “The Favourite” that is arguably the core performance of the film. “The Favourite” is one of the most nominated films this year and has yet to receive much recognition, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she nabs the trophy.

“The Favourite”
Photo Courtesy of Vulture

This year’s ceremony is sure to be one of the most entertaining, brow-raising, and potentially disastrous shows in a long time. Personally, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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