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Oscar Predictions - 2019


Oscar Predictions by FilmZ and rumor in his own time, Guy S. Malone, Researcher

The 91st Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Oscars will air live on ABC at 8 p.m. ET.

We have been making these predictions for seven years.  (Before this blog existed, we published in a local newspaper that went out of business--not our fault.)  Over that time, we have averaged 20 out of 24 correct--drat those short subjects--but this year could be our toughest.  The Academy has added many young, minority, and international members, resulting in some truly surprising nominations.  Those same folks who nominate also vote for the Oscar winners, so expect the unexpected.

Even the industry guilds can't agree on which is the Best Picture:
PGA (Producers Guild of America) -- Green Book,
DGA (Directors Guild of America) -- Roma,
SAG (Screen Actors Guild) -- Black Panther,
ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) -- Cold War,
WGA (Writer's Guild of America) -- Can You Ever Forgive Me and Eighth Grade,
ACE (American Cinema Editors) -- Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite.
Furthermore, SAG ignored Roma altogether, the film many see as the frontrunner for Best Picture.  So, in case you are counting, the six major guilds selected eight different films, three of which were not even nominated for Best Picture.

So, without further ado, let's get to it.  Below, we list all of the candidates in each category with our choice of who will win, who we believe should win, and then the also-rans in order of their chances to win.  There is also the rationale behind those choices, accompanied in some cases by Guy Malone, Researcher's customary whining.  Enjoy:

BEST PICTURE
Funny thing, our least liked film in this category is Roma, yet it is the critical favorite, backed up by many precursor awards in its pocket, and it tied in Academy Awards nominations with The Favourite, a movie we loved.  We also very much liked BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, Vice, and Black Panther, and, heck, even Bohemian Rhapsody was fun.

Will Win:
Roma

Should Win:
The Favourite
Green Book

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
A Star is Born
Vice
Bohemian Rhapsody

__________________________________________________________________________

DIRECTOR
Again, Alfonso Cuaron, by acclamation, is most likely to win, but Spike Lee has made the best film of his esteemed career and he ought to win.

Will Win:
Alfonso Cuaron - Roma    

Should Win:
Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman   

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite 
Adam McKay - Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War

_____________________________________________________________________________

ACTRESS
I was all in for Olivia Coleman until I saw The Wife.  I still wouldn't squawk if Coleman won, but Glenn Close gave her best performance ever.  I love Lady Gaga, but hers was a cut below these two; in fact, Melissa McCarthy gave her best performance to date, but GaGa has been getting a lot of love, even leading the pack for awhile.

Will Win and Should Win:
Glenn Close - The Wife  

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Olivia Colman - The Favourite
Lady Gaga - A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Yalitza Aparicio - Roma

_____________________________________________________________________________

ACTOR
Had this vote taken place in early January, the Oscar would belong to Christian Bale.  Since then, both Bohemian Rhapsody and Rami Malek have come on like gangbusters.  All nominees put in excellent performances: Cooper's singing and directing, Mortensen's convincing mobster-driver with a heart, Dafoe's haunted artist struggling with insanity.

Will Win:
Rami Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody 

Should Win:
Christian Bale - Vice 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
Viggo Mortensen - Green Book
Willem Dafoe - At Eternity's Gate
_________________________________________________________________________________

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Regina King is another critical favorite who stood out in Beale Street with two riveting scenes, but Amy Adams' Lynn Cheney, as compelling at a college sweetheart as she was as a Lady Macbethian matron, was tops, in our opinion.  Stone and Weisz (BAFTA winner) split votes here.

Will Win:
Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk 

Should Win:
Amy Adams - Vice

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Rachel Weisz - Favourite
Emma Stone - The Favourite
Marina de Tavira - Roma

_____________________________________________________________________________

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Every performance in this category is worthy of the Oscar.  Ali is truly a co-lead in Green Book, and for that reason, he will win.  There will be sympathy for both Sam Elliott and Richard E. Grant; Adam Driver is drolly magnetic, and Rockwell quite simply was "W".

Will Win and Should Win:
Mahershala Ali - Green Book 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Elliott - A Star is Born
Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman
Sam Rockwell - Vice

_____________________________________________________________________________

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY - (five nominees)
Spike Lee adapted Ron Stallworth's memoir into a film that is, at times, preachy but is also hugely entertaining and memorable.  Beale Street and Can You Ever Forgive Me? are its closest threats.  The Coen's episodic Buster Scruggs vacillates between brilliant and weird.  The serial remake of A Star is Born is an adapted, adapted, adapted screenplay.

Should Win and Will Win: 
BlacKkKlansman 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
If Beale Street Could Talk 
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
A Star is Born

___________________________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Favourite screenwriters Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara provided a twisted historical piece that both complemented Director Yorgos Lanthimos surreal vision and leavened the excesses of his previous works, creating the most original film of those nominated.

Will Win and Should Win:
The Favourite

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Green Book 
Roma 
Vice
First Reformed
_______________________________________________________________________________

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The runaway frontrunner here is Alfonso Cuaron for his black and white labor of love.  We prefer Robbie Ryan's fish-eyed enhancement of the surreal period piece, The Favourite.  And the Cinematographer's Association awarded Lukasz Zal's work in Cold War.

Will Win:
Roma 

Should Win:
Cold War (or)
The Favourite

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
A Star is Born
Never Look Away

_____________________________________________________________________________

EDITING
In a stacked category, Adam McKay's cuts in Vice from past to present, from plot to exposition to diversion are seamless.  We give it an edge, but again, we won't complain if another film wins.  Bohemian Rhapsody has been coming on strong and could easily win.

Will Win and Should Win:
Vice 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Bohemian Rhapsody
BlacKkKlansman 
The Favourite
Green Book

___________________________________________________________________________

PRODUCTION DESIGN
The dusky corridors, the expansive grandeur of the ballroom and chambers, the 18th-century furnishings in regal shades; there's nothing like a period piece to win this one.

Will Win and Should Win:
The Favourite  

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Black Panther 
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma 
First Man

____________________________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL SCORE
Classic jazz and bluesy soul perfectly set the time, place, and atmosphere, greatly enhancing the experience of Beale Street.

Should win and Will Win:
If Beale Street Could Talk 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Black Panther 
Mary Poppins Returns
BlacKkKlansman
Isle of Dogs

______________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
The Oscars might honor the esteemed Supreme Court Justice, but Free Solo's stunning high-wire act is where art and science converge.

Will Win and Should Win:
Free Solo

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
RBG
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons 
Hale County This Morning, This Evening

_____________________________________________________________________________

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The category where Roma belongs

Will Win and Should Win:
Roma

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Cold War 
Capernaum
Shoplifters 
Never Look Away

____________________________________________________________________________

ORIGINAL SONG
Does anyone really think Lady GaGa's "Shallow" might not win?

Will Win and Should Win:
"Shallow" - A Star Is Born  

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
"The Place Where Lost Things Go" - Mary Poppins Returns 
"All The Stars" - Black Panther 
"I'll Fight" - RBG
"When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" - The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

____________________________________________________________________________

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Another Competitive year, but Spidey has a fresh take on what could have been a hackneyed story.  Vivid, with wild panels, like a comic book, but a story with real heart.  In another year, any of the others could win.

Will Win and Should Win:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 

Others(descending order in odds of winning):
Incredibles 2 
Isle of Dogs 
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mirai

_____________________________________________________________________________

COSTUME DESIGN
For the ladies' attire in The Favourite, Sandy Powell chose a palette consisting of only Oxford blue and white, a bold but striking decision that probably will win the Oscar.  Mary: Queen of Scots and Mary Poppins were beautiful but not daring; in fact, the main rival here is Black Panther.

Should Win and Will Win:
The Favourite 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Black Panther 
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots 
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

______________________________________________________________________________

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Christian Bale became Dick Cheney; Sam Rockwell became George W. Bush; Amy Adams became Lynne Cheney; ...  Though make no mistake, uglying up Margot Robbie took some doing.

Will Win and Should Win:
Vice

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Mary Queen of Scots
Border

_____________________________________________________________________________

VISUAL EFFECTS
Infinity War's astounding effects will make it the first Marvel movie to win this category, and it is well deserved, though we must admit, First Man made us think we were in that rocket, and Solo is an underrated entry into the Star Wars universe.

Will Win and Should Win:
Avengers: Infinity War 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
First Man 
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Ready Player One 
Christopher Robin

_____________________________________________________________________________

SOUND EDITING
Conventional wisdom here has First Man favored, or else Black Panther, but we feel A Quiet Place upset.

Will Win and Should Win:
A Quiet Place

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
First Man
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Roma
_________________________________________________________________________________

SOUND MIXING
Another minor upset: the last-minute rush of Bohemian Rhapsody overtakes A Star is Born and First Man for the gold.

Will Win and Should Win:
Bohemian Rhapsody 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
A Star Is Born 
First Man
Black Panther
Roma

____________________________________________________________________________

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
Who knows?

Will Win:
Black Sheep 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Period. End of Sentence 
End Game 
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden

____________________________________________________________________________

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Ideas, anyone?

Will Win:
Bao 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
One Small Step
Animal Behaviour 
Weekends 
Late Afternoon

____________________________________________________________________________

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Anyone?

Will Win:
Marguerite 

Others (descending order in odds of winning):
Skin 
Mother
Detainment 
Fauve

Heresy! Charlatan! -- Roma v Bohemian Rhapsody


Differing with Critics -- a brief essay by Guy S. Malone, Researcher

[Disclaimer:  What follows is not the opinion of management (FilmZ), lest any sensitive cinephiles out there get the vapors in a fit of pique.  I take full responsibility for its contents.  GSM,R]

To put things in context at the beginning:
Roma is tied with The Favourite for the most Academy Awards nominations with ten, including Best Picture, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Actress, and Actress in a Supporting Role.  It enjoys a 96 (out of 100) from Metacritic--an aggregate score of some of the best critics in the US.
Bohemian Rhapsody has five Academy Awards Nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor.  But it scored an anemic 49 on Metacritic.

I saw Roma and Bohemian Rhapsody on consecutive days, and I liked Bohemian Rhapsody more.

Reflective researcher that I am, I asked myself, what is more important in judging a film, how much  we appreciate it or how much it entertains us?  Ideally, both; at least there should be some balance.
A funny thing happened as I watched these particular movies.

Several critics urge fans to see Roma in the theater (rather than Netflix) to get the most out of the visual experience.  I can tell you another reason: if you watch it in the comfort of your home, say, in a recliner with a cup of cocoa, you are likely to doze off.  Lucky for me, FilmZ and the Czarina were there to rifle jujubes at my face whenever I faded.  Roma is auteur Alfonso Cuaron's lyrical autobiographical paean to his childhood maid and his reminiscence of a fractured family in the Roma section of Mexico City in the early-1970s.  Make no mistake, Cuaron is a brilliant, two-time Oscar winner and multiple nominee who has directed films as wildly divergent as the sci-fi Gravity, the dystopian Children of Men, the coming of age Y tu Mama Tambien, and my favorite Harry Potter entry, The Prisoner of Azkaban.  He has earned our respect.  True, I was mesmerized by Roma: the black and white photography; the slow, dreamlike camera pans, like the one that shows the protagonist hanging the family wash on the roof that reveals other maids doing the same thing on rooftops across the neighborhood; the vignettes that play out like our own nostalgia--little moments like a sunburn at the beach as well as big ones like a family tragedy; the artsy touches like the reflection in the wash water of the jet soaring overhead.  A worthy tribute to a beloved woman.  My conclusion: For a slow, quiet, drama, give me Debra Granik's pensive Leave No Trace.

I had avoided Bohemian Rhapsody as long as I could.  When it was first released, few critics had anything good to say, and even acquaintences said it was like a VH-1 production, the only selling points being Rami Malek's performance as Freddie Mercury and the fabulous music.  Further damping our desire was the director, Bryan Singer; the less said about him the better.  Then came the Golden Globes nominations, then the wins, then the Academy Awards nominations.  We could resist no longer.  FilmZ, the Czarina, and I headed out to the local third-run theater (a place reminiscent of Shelob's lair).  And then something strange happened. A good cast, including Lucy Boynton (Mary, love of Freddie's life), Gwylim Lee (lead guitarist Brian May), Ben Hardy (percussionist Roger Taylor), Joe Mazzello (bassist John Deacon), Allan Leech (sleazy manager Paul Prenter), and Tom Hollander (ethical lawyer Jim Beach) convincingly parlayed the hackneyed dialogue and Cliff Notes plot into somethng we cared about.  It didn't hurt that the music took us back decades on our own nostalgia trip, and we cared that these brilliant guys got together to form Queen, that the synergy of their talents would create a singular sound.  We wished Freddie would not hurt Mary or his family or his bandmates; that he would pursue happiness instead of self-destruction.  We truly were moved and thrilled, and in the end, we mourned the loss of Freddie, but, damn, that last performance.  Sometimes, I think the big-time critics get together at a bar and agree whether or not a movie is good.


 
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