Journal: My predictions for the 91st Academy Awards Feb 21, 2019 11:20:40 GMT -5
Post by StevePulaski on Feb 21, 2019 11:20:40 GMT -5
I regret to inform you, dear reader, that a great deal of my enthusiasm for the Academy Awards has been diminished over the last few months. From one disastrous controversy and reneged decision after another, the Oscars this year feel like they're being put on by individuals who either do not know how to conduct a formal awards ceremony or simply do not care about the long-held ideals and prestige of the Academy.
First, we were going to get a "Best Popular Film" category, as dubious as that sounds, and then we weren't. Kevin Hart was initially going to host the ceremony on February 24th, but low and behold, no he wasn't. And nobody else was going to get a crack at hosting it either. Then, the Academy almost committed to what would've been one of the most atrocious affronts to film as a medium by not broadcasting the winners for cinematography, editing, live action short, and makeup/hairstyling live. What a wonderful way to sideline the worthy winners of those categories, in particular the former two, for without cinematography and editing, there would be no film at all.
But alas, I cannot forgo what has been one of my favorite days of the year and one of my favorite activities pertaining to film — picking and predicting the winners in all 24 categories. Last year, I went 18-6, coming up just short of my all time best (19-5 for the 86th Academy Awards). This year, it's time to secure the bag and go 24-0. Stick with me and I'll help you win your Oscar pool.
Predicted winners will be in bold.
“A Star Is Born”
Man, I was totally convinced even at the start of the year A Star is Born would take this category pretty swiftly. But it didn't take long for Roma and Green Book to usurp that film with the oddsmakers. I'm going with the chalk this year and choosing Roma. I need this, especially seeing as I've gone 0-3 for the last three years at Best Picture (I've been 6-3 in that category since I started making predictions).
Best Lead Actor:
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”
If Rami Malek takes home the prize, the best actor will have really won. This was a transformative performance, not far ahead of Christian Bale's chameleon Dick Cheney, but far enough to push it over the edge. I could see Malek working wonders in a Michael Jackson biopic too.
Best Lead 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?”
I have not seen The Wife, but I distinctly remember watching the trailer back in September 2018 before A Star is Born. I turned to my mother and told her, "Glenn Close is putting on her best Oscar performance." Low and behold, she emerges as the favorite, mostly as a legacy award, I presume, as the film came and went quicker than you can remember all the other Oscars Close was nominated for but didn't receive.
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”
I'd honestly love to see Adam Driver pull a total upset, but his day will come soon enough. Some are going Richard E. Grant here, but I'm going with Mahershala Ali, who won for Moonlight two years ago, and certainly has another one or two Oscar worthy performances in him to come.
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”
While I liked Regina King's performance in the beautiful If Beale Street Could Talk, I wasn't as blown away as everyone else. Nonetheless, when it comes to this category, she will and should win. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are close follow-ups, but King was strong when she needed to be and she will walk away with a statue when all is said and done.
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Every year, the Oscars gives us at least one juicy upset a year. I honestly believe Spike Lee has a solid shot to upset Alfonso Cuarón for this category. I'm playing the card I used for the 85th Academy Awards, when ostensibly everyone picked Steven Spielberg to win for Lincoln and I stood firmly picking Ang Lee for Life of Pi. Look at me now.
Best Animated Feature:
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman
A part of me would like to see Isle of Dogs take it, but for an animated film that's the whole package, presenting an engaging story, great characters, sublime style, and sharp animation, the favorite in this category deserves to win.
Best Animated Short:
“Animal Behaviour,” Alison Snowden, David Fine
“Bao,” Domee Shi
“Late Afternoon,” Louise Bagnall
“One Small Step,” Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
“Weekends,” Trevor Jimenez
I saw "Bao" with Incredibles 2 roughly two weeks before I moved out of my parents' house and I was absolutely, positively not ready to see a short like that at that time.
Best 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
Damn, I've rarely been this indecisive about who I'd rather see win: BlacKkKlansman or If Beale Street Could Talk. I have to say, even though Spike Lee's film was my favorite of last year, I'd love to see Barry Jenkins and James Baldwin get the gold.
Best Original Screenplay:
“The Favourite,” Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
“First Reformed,” Paul Schrader
“Green Book,” Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“Vice,” Adam McKay
“Cold War,” Lukasz Zal
“The Favourite,” Robbie Ryan
“Never Look Away,” Caleb Deschanel
“Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón
“A Star Is Born,” Matthew Libatique
Best Documentary Feature:
“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
It wouldn't be surprising to see Free Solo get it, but I do think given the political climate, the Oscars will pull for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Best Documentary Short Subject:
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi
The shorts: the annual "lucky guess" categories.
Best Live Action Short Film:
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv
Best Foreign Language Film:
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
Mexico apparently has the most films nominated for "Best Foreign Language Film" at the Oscars without ever posting a single win (Israel has the second-most). Expect that to change February 24th.
Best Film Editing:
“BlacKkKlansman,” Barry Alexander Brown
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Ottman
“Green Book,” Patrick J. Don Vito
“The Favourite,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
“Vice,” Hank Corwin
I was surprised to see Bohemian Rhapsody and Vice as the favorites for this category, given the fact that they're both narratively discombobulated, more due to their sloppy screenplays. I'm going way out of left field here.
Best Sound Editing:
“Black Panther,” Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” John Warhurst
“First Man,” Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan
“A Quiet Place,” Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl
“Roma,” Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay
I, for one, enjoyed the sound editing on First Man, but felt the sound mixing was rather off.
Best Sound Mixing:
“A Star Is Born”
I, for one, enjoyed the sound mixing on Bohemian Rhapsody, but felt the sound editing was rather off.
Best Production Design:
“Black Panther,” Hannah Beachler
“First Man,” Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
“The Favourite,” Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
“Mary Poppins Returns,” John Myhre, Gordon Sim
“Roma,” Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez
Best Original Score:
“BlacKkKlansman,” Terence Blanchard
“Black Panther,” Ludwig Goransson
“If Beale Street Could Talk,” Nicholas Britell
“Isle of Dogs,” Alexandre Desplat
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Best Original Song:
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch
I may have been dead-wrong about A Star is Born nabbing the "Best Picture" Oscar with no competition, right out of the gate, but my pick of "Shallow" as "Best Original Song" is unwavering.
Best Makeup and Hair:
“Mary Queen of Scots”
Best Costume Design:
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” Mary Zophres
“Black Panther,” Ruth E. Carter
“The Favourite,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Poppins Returns,” Sandy Powell
“Mary Queen of Scots,” Alexandra Byrne
Best Visual Effects:
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”