Let’s face it, whomever is running the 2019 Oscar ceremonies is totally crapping the bed. Similar to what a down year for cinema in 2018 was. No host and multiple categories being given out during commercial breaks before a huge backlash from industry workers to include them in the show again is beyond an example of how to screw up the most watched television event around the world. Still, there were some very excellent performances riddled in between the consistent mediocrity that deserve to be recognized. Here are my predictions for who will win, possible upsets and who deserves to win in the top ten categories.
Best Supporting Actor:
With “True Detective” season 3 currently going and a previous win for “Moonlight” this one feels like Mahershala Ali‘s statue to lose for his work as the classical pianist Dr. Don Shirley during racial tensions of 1960’s American society in “Green Book”. Perhaps the only thing that could prevent Ali from taking home the trophy is the fact that the film was directed by Peter Farrelly whom many still associate as the director of “There’s Something About Mary” with a movie poster that features Cameron Diaz with sperm in her hair (which is still hilarious if you ask me). Sam Elliott could also possibly swoop in with his performance in “A Star is Born” for the simple fact that the beloved character actor has never taken home a statue.
Will Win: Mahershala Ali – “Green Book”. Should Win: Sam Elliott – “A Star is Born”. Upset: Elliott.
Best Supporting Actress:
This one was a done deal from the moment “If Beale Street Could Talk” began to hit the festival circuit. A well respected actress who had to endure 9 awful roles for every 1 quality piece, Regina King is sensational as a desperate mother doing everything she can to free her son who has been wrongfully imprisoned for being black (or has he?). King was not nominated at the SAG awards, but that doesn’t mean much historically. Remember when Johhny Depp won best actor for “Pirates of the Caribbean”? Tack on the fact that “Beale Street” was directed by recent best picture winner Barry Jenkins and you’ve got yourself a shoe in.
Will and should win: Regina King – “If Beale Street Could Talk”. Upset: Nobody.
Best Animated Feature:
Obviously this is “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. Certainly a different take on the superhero genre, “Spider-Verse” was a huge hit with both critics and audiences. I thought it was overrated but; the fat old Peter Parker, Nicolas Cage‘s ridiculous voice as Spider-Man noir was great to laugh at, and it is cool that they are bringing the black incarnation of Spidey as the main character on the big screen. For me “Isle of Dogs” was head and shoulders the best in this category. It has hilarious side political jokes for adults and what kid doesn’t love their pets. If that exact same movie had been CGI and had the name Illumination on it that would be the winner. It is great to see that Disney/Pixar has two films nominated, both sequels, and have no shot.
Will Win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”. Should win: “Isle of Dogs”. Upset: Nothing
A two horse barn burner in this category. Matthew Libatique is highly respected and a two time former nominee for his work with long time collaborator Darren Aronofsky. He brings elegance to what for most would be a standard rock pic in “A Star is Born”. The other hand holds Alfonso Cuaron for Roma (he will be mentioned again shortly). Libatique’s work with first time director Bradley Cooper is exceptional, but Cuaron’s cinematography is the stuff that belongs in museums. The question is, will the academy really give a black and white film this award ever again? This could be Libatique and “A Star is Born’s” consolation prize.
Will Win: “Roma”. Should Win: “Roma”. Upset: “A Star is Born”.
Best Original Screenplay:
“The Favourite” has this locked up in my guesstimation. Tied with “Roma” for the most nominations with 10, the screenplay awards have historically been the popular pat on the back category. Plus the writers guild award winner “Eighth Grade” (deservedly so) is not even nominated. Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara will be taking this home to my chagrin as I found the film completely full of itself but I am in the minority. Unless “Green Book” or “Roma” go on a crazy run that some producer paid millions for you can stamp and mail in “The Favourite” taking home this one.
Will Win: “The Favourite”. Should Win: “Roma”. Upset: “Green Book”.
Best Adapted Screenplay:
Look, “BlacKkKlansman” is a very good and complexed movie. But it is not great. “A Star is Born” is the most honest portrayal of success, addiction and failure I have seen in years. “If Beale Street Could Talk” is also a poetic look at racism that has several moments of brilliance. The other two nominees have no shot. Always a more competitive category than original screenplay, I’m going with “BlacKkKlansman”. Not because it is the best (it is a very good script), but because Spike Lee will throw such a whiny baby fit that he did not go home with a piece of metal that actors and actresses will not hear the end of it for a minimum of his next three films because that is who he is. “Beale Street” could be the upset having missed a best picture nomination.
Will Win: “BlacKkKlansman”. Should Win: “A Star is Born”. Upset: “If Beale Street Could Talk”.
I truly hope Rami Malek takes this one home for his portrayal of Freddy Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Not because the movie is great, it’s just ok, but Malek goes all in to the point where I do not recognize the actor. However, director Bryan Singer’s sexual misconduct allegations backlash and the timid nature of Malek’s personality in public could hurt him. All four other actors nominated could swoop in for the win. None of the other four nominees have won a best actor award and all have been deserving throughout their careers. Christian Bale seems like the most logical spoiler with the political climate in “Vice” but he is the only one to have previously won in the supporting category. Do not count out Viggo Mortensen if, again, “Green Book” goes on a run.
Will Win: Rami Malek – “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Should Win: Malek. Upset: Christian Bale – “Vice”.
A month ago I was certain Glenn Close had this in the bag as a lifetime achievement award of sorts for her portrayal of a fed up and under appreciated woman in “The Wife”. Then more awards were given out and both Lady Gaga and Olivia Coleman began to pick up steam. I stress this to people with Gaga constantly. She was absolutely perfect for that particular role. But she is not acting, she’s playing Gaga! Does she have the influence with younger Academy members to win? Glenn Close is solid in “The Wife” but there are a dozen roles in her illustrious decades long career more deserving than here. Coleman should win this as she is the best part of the most overrated film of the year. Tough one to call.
Will Win: Glenn Close – “The Wife”. Should Win: Olivia Coleman – “The Favourite”. Upset: Lady Gaga – “A Star is Born”.
After winning the DGA award, the most accurate guild award that translates to Oscar gold in history, this one has to be Alfonso Cuaron. With the Bradley Cooper snub for a nomination I do not see a formidable opponent in this group. It is encouraging to see three of the five directors nominated are foreign born and made films outside of the American Hollywood system, a first in Oscar history and a fourth is African-American. Adam McKay could pull a shocker upset with his second nomination for a politically charged film after almost getting a win for 2015’s “The Big Short”. Plus he is also said to be very well liked by the filmmaking community. The only thing I hope here is a cameraman catches Spike Lee walking out in anger (see best screenplay earlier).
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron – “Roma”. Should Win: Cuaron. Upset: Adam McKay – “Vice”.
For the first time I can remember this one is a total dice roll. If you are a gambling man, avoid the biggest category. “Roma” should and deserves to win. But is Hollywood going to give the top prize to a foreign film for the first time in history that is also produced by Netflix? “A Star is Born” appeared to be a heavy favorite when it shocked critics and audiences as to just how well done it was but lost steam having been released way back in October. Yorgos Lanthimos has been a staple at the Cannes film festival yet does his latest film “The Favourite” have the backing politically to win? “Green Book” is the top feel good movie of the year and very well made but can the film snobs get around the fact that it is completely by the book? “Bohemian Rhapsody” had audiences truly rocking in the stands yet many questioned if it had depth beyond the concert scenes. I am going to close my eyes and go with “Roma” and I have about 20% worth of confidence that the Academy gives it to the actual best film of the year for the first time since 2005.
Will Win: “Roma”. Should Win: “Roma”. Upset: “Green Book”.