features

2019 Oscar Predictions

Margaret Flaherty ’20

Features Editor

The 91st Academy Awards are set to air this upcoming Sunday, February 24th, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The show will be the grand finale to an awards season that has seen more disorganized chaos than my dorm room during finals week. There are a notable amount of snafus I can mention in anticipation of the show – its hostless-ness and the social media uproar over cutting out certain awards from the live broadcast, to name a few – but I will instead focus on the awards at hand.  Here is a guide to the big awards of the night, and my well-educated predictions on them all (thanks, Santa, for my AMC gift card).

Best Picture:

Nominees: “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,”  ″The Favourite,” ″A Star Is Born,” ″Vice,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Green Book”

Who Will Win: Green Book

Who Could Win: Roma

Should Win, in my esteemed opinion: A Star is Born

The Best Picture award is wide open. If you consider a film’s long-term impact both commercially and critically, then the only two contenders should be “A Star is Born” and “Black Panther”.  However, the awards season has been kind to neither popular film – and the academy wonders why audiences no longer watch the ceremony. Critically panned films, like the problematic “Green Book” or the choppily edited (but admittedly fun) “Bohemian Rhapsody” seem like they can slide in and win this category.  “Green Book” won the Golden Globe award for Best Comedy or Musical and the producers guild award for Best Picture. Netflix’s “Roma” won the BAFTA and Director’s Guild Award, but I’m not sure the academy will award the streaming service with a prestigious win just yet.

Best Director:

Nominees: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”; Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”; Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”; Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”; Adam McKay, “Vice”

Who Will Win: Cuaron

Who Could Win: Lanthimos

Should Win, in my esteemed opinion: Lanthimos

Cuaron is a great director. (Fun fact, he directed the last couple of Harry Potter movies)

Best Actress:

Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”; Glenn Close, “The Wife”; Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”; Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”; Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Who Will Win: Close

Who Could Win: Gaga

Should Win: They all deserve it honestly

I’m serious. They’re all really great performances it’s hard to pick but I wouldn’t be surprised if Colman split the Gaga/Close vote for her turn as Queen Anne in “The Favourite”.

Best Actor:

Christian Bale, “Vice”; Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”; Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”; Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Who Will Win: Malek

Who Could Win: Bale

Should Win: Cooper

HOT TAKE ALERT: Christian Bale is hot as Dick Cheney

HOT TAKE ALERT #2: Malek is just lip-syncing Queen songs I do that getting ready for class every day. Just kidding — kind of — he’s great as Freddie, but other performances in this category are much more nuanced and multi-layered.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams, “Vice”; Marina de Tavira, “Roma”; Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Emma Stone, “The Favourite”; Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Who Will Win: King

Who Could Win: Weisz

Should Win: any of aforementioned, or Emma Stone

King should win, and I hope she does. Yet “The Favourite” boasts two great performances from Weisz and Stone that arguably make the movie. My favorite – get it! – scene from a 2018 movie was Weisz’s heartbreaking plea to Queen Anne at the climax of the film, and Stone’s performance arguably carries the entire narrative arc of the movie.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”; Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”; Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”; Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Who Will Win: Ali

Who Could Win: Elliott

Should Win: Elliott

HOT TAKE #3 OF THIS ARTICLE: MY SISTER THINKS SAM ELLIOTT IS HOT SO I AM PUTTING HIM DOWN AS AN UNDERDOG FOR HER

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara; “First Reformed,” Paul Schrader; “Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly; “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron; “Vice,” Adam McKay

Who Will Win: The Favourite

Who Could Win: First Reformed

Should Win: The Favourite

Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade” was shockingly snubbed by the Academy this year, and I think that could have won this year; in its stead, “The Favourite” was heartbreaking, funny, and provocative. The guy who wrote “Taxi Driver” also wrote “First Reformed” so maybe the Academy will toss Paul Schrader some love.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Joel Coen , Ethan Coen; “BlacKkKlansman,” Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee; “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty; “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Barry Jenkins; “A Star Is Born,” Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

Who Will Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me

Who Could Win: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Should Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me

The Academy loves the Coen brothers, so Buster Scruggs could squeak out a win, but Melissa McCarthy’s drama about forger Lee Israel deserves it.

DOCUMENTARY

“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi; “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross; “Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu; “Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki; “RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Who Will Win: RBG

Who Could Win:  Minding the Gap

Should Win: RBG

A doc about RBG deserves some love, need I say more?

ANIMATED FEATURE

“Incredibles 2,” ″Isle of Dogs,” ″Mirai,” ″Ralph Breaks the Internet,” ″Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,”

Who Will Win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Who Could Win: Incredibles 2

Should Win:  “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
    A Spider-Verse win seems almost inevitable at this point, and it should be — the most recent iteration of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger is a game-changer for both the animated feature category and the superhero genre. Fun fact – A Spider-Verse win would be the first for Sony Pictures animation. The only potential contender  is Incredibles 2, and that win would be a major upset considering Spider-Verse’s critical and commercial acclaim.

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