Much like the chaotic mess that is this year's host-less Oscars, predicting them has been equally tumultuous. It's going to make for some great drinking games, and some not stunning upsets since there are fewer clear categories than in past years.
Unfortunately at this point I think "Green Book" will win because it's the the easiest for the majority of the Oscars voting body to select. If it wins I think in a few short years we will look back upon it with "Crash"-esque disdain.
Upsets I'd like to see? "Black Panther" or "BlackKklansman"
Upsets I dread? "Bohemian Rhapsody" or "A Star is Born"
What wouldn't be a shocking upset is "Roma"
"Black Panther" - As I said, I would be delighted to see a superhero film win in this category. We haven't had a popular blockbuster win since... 2004's "Return of the King".
"BlackKklansman" - Equally deserving.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" - I was gobsmacked when this won at the Golden Globes, and remain confused as to how it got classified as a drama. That being said I don't think Fox's ad spend is going to quite tip a victory. [Bohemian Rhapsody Interview]
"The Favourite" - The steam for this one seems to have fizzled.
"Green Book" - Again, do I think this deserves it? No. It's an okay movie. I was also surprised that Nick Vallelonga's anti-Muslim tweets didn't hurt the film's campaign more (which is particularly ironic considering that star Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for acting for his role in "Moonlight"...) [Green Book Interview]
"Roma" - If anyone could somehow lead a Netflix distributed film to victory at the Oscars, it's Alfonso Cuaron.
"A Star is Born" - I will continue to protest this film's inclusion.
"Vice" - Also this one. I did finally see it and while it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, any film that tries to humanize Dick Cheney isn't alright by me (even if it's just a bit).
Actor in a Leading Role
After the Golden Globes I was left even more confused, and none of the awards shows since have helped make this category feel any clearer. It's likely down to Bale and Malek. I'm going to say Malek takes it.
Christian Bale, "Vice" - Less transformative than many of his other roles, I see him losing this one.
Bradley Cooper, "A Star is Born" - I will flip a table if he somehow wins.
Willem Dafoe, "At Eternity's Gate" - Still haven't seen it, but still unlikely for it to win.
Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Ugh I guess, but seriously did everyone watch the same movie as me? It was fineeeeee but really the music is what carried it. [Bohemian Rhapsody Interview]
Viggo Mortensen, "Green Book" - I still maintain that his and Mahershala's nominations should have been swapped (Leading vs Supporting). [Green Book Interview]
Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala has been sweeping the awards, he is also a delightful human being so even though I don't love the movie I don't begrudge him any accolades. He was also the strongest part of "Green Book" and in a year where there wasn't a ton of competition I think it's fine for him to take home the gold.
Mahershala Ali, "Green Book" - It's his to lose. [Green Book Interview]
Adam Driver, "BlackKklansman" - This is the only person I could see Mahershala losing to...
Sam Elliott, "A Star is Born" - No thanks.
Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" - A charmer for sure but I think it'll be "an honor to be nominated" situation. [Richard E. Grant Interview]
Sam Rockwell, "Vice" - NO.
Actress in a Leading Role
Originally I was convinced that "The Favourite" was going to sweep all the actress awards this season - please do not confuse this with me thinking it deserved to do so. That being said it looks like this is Glenn Close's year.
Yalitza Aparicio, "Roma" - Good for her for snagging a nomination! No way she wins though.
Glenn Close, "The Wife" - Congrats? Though I still haven't seen the film...
Olivia Colman, "The Favourite" - Sorry Olivia, but at least your countrypeople honored you with the Bafta?
Lady Gaga, "A Star is Born" - A possible dark dark dark horse, but quite unlikely.
Melissa McCarthy, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" - .... It's an honor to be nominated? Also will help her down the line break out of the comedy only roles.
Actress in a Supporting Role
Come on Reginaaaaaaaa. I'm banking on "The Favourite" splitting it's own votes to snag Regina the win.
Amy Adams, "Vice" - We'll see Amy again, I'm not worried about her.
Marina De Tavira, "Roma" - I don't know if we'll see Marina again in this category so I hope she is basking in all the perks of being a nominee. She was great in the film but there's still a lot of work to do in terms of highlighting internationally spearheaded films in major categories.
Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk" - Fingers crossed. She was a powerhouse.
Emma Stone, "The Favourite" - Please, no.
Rachel Weisz, "The Favourite" - If it has to be one of the two of them I guess Weisz would be acceptable.
Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), Peter Parker (Jake Johnson), Spider-Gwen (Hailee Steinfeld), Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage), Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and Spider-Man (John Mulaney) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation's SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE. PHOTO BY: Sony Pictures Animation
Animated Feature Film
My commentary from the Golden Globes remains largely unchanged in this category.
"Incredibles 2" - Sorry Pixar peeps. Maybe next time.
"Isle of Dogs" - Kekkou desu.
"Mirai" - Still want to see this, but don't see it dethroning Spidey.
"Ralph Breaks the Internet" - As far as sequels go, if "Incredibles 2" isn't going to take home the prize, "Ralph 2" most certainly isn't.
"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" - Well deserved.
Short Film (Animated)
This category has me super torn and so proud of all of the Asian representation. Also did I do way more crying than I expected to while watching these? Yes.
Ultimately I think the distribution power of Pixar's "Bao" (plus Asian female director) probably gives it the edge. By the way all the shorts but "Bao" are now available on The Academy's YouTube Page.
"Animal Behavior" - The only light-hearted one of the group, also runs a bit too long.
"Bao" - <3 This one hit so close to home for me and I am fully willing to admit bias. [Bao Interview]
"Late Afternoon" - Sad but not sure if the artistry can dethrone the others.
"One Small Step" - I'm not crying, you're cryingâ¦. Damn it people. (Also Bobby, if you're reading this congrats!)
"Weekends" - A little more existential than some of the others but also visually distinct.
Now that they're actually televising this category again, we'll actually get to see who wins, and I am assuming the winner will be Cuaron.
Lukasz Zal, "Cold War" - Again sorry, haven't seen it.
Robbie Ryan, "The Favourite" - There were some quasi-interesting things they did with this but they felt more gimicky than his other films.
Caleb Deschanel, "Never Look Away" - I got nothing.
Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma" - One wonders if being nominated in so many categories would hurt his chances, but considering his generally universally recognized talent I'm guessing Alfonso wins.
Matthew Libatique, "A Star is Born" - Pass.
I guess congrats are in order for Sandy Powell, who will likely defeat herself and others with "The Favourite" - that being said I have seen the "Black Panther" costumes up close and they are majestic. Plus there's something to be said for how impactful they were socially. However when has the Oscars ever given a damn about pop culture?
âMary Zophres, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" - I guess it's nice that Netflix is getting someeee love?
Ruth Carter, "Black Panther" - Personally I find this the most deserving but the Academy does love a period piece.
Sandy Powell, "The Favourite" - Not the most innovative, but not unexpected.
Sandy Powell, "Mary Poppins Returns" - This one however, there was nothing special about. Why not give it to another deserving film?
Alexandra Byrne, "Mary Queen of Scots" - There can be only one period piece winner...
A weaker category for me in terms of what I saw. I was surprised "Won't You Be My Neighbor" or even "Three Identical Strangers" didn't make the cut this year. While I think we NEED "RBG" right now, there's a chance the lack of outright politicism for "Free Solo" might give it the edge.
"Free Solo" - I may lose my betting pool by not picking this.
"Hale County This Morning, This Evening" - A blank or me.
"Minding the Gap" - I've heard excellent things but haven't had a chance to see this yet.
"Of Fathers and Sons" - Another blank.
"RBG" - I found this inspiring and much needed, but political fatigue might hurt the doc's odds.
Documentary (Short Subject)
Full disclosure on this one: I'm just guessing based off the internet.
"A Night at the Garden"
"Period. End of Sentence."
Surprised "Roma" didn't make it in to this category. While I personally think "BlackKlansman" is the most deserving of these nominees, it hasn't been getting a ton of love. There's a surprising sentiment that "Bohemian Rhapsody" will win since the editing helped salvage the multiple director shot footage. Since everything is gibberish this year I'm just going to go with that.
Barry Alexander Brown, "BlackKklansman" - Sigh.
John Ottman, "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Extra sigh.
Yorgos Mavropsardis, "The Favourite" - Shrug?
Patrick J. Don Vito, "Green Book" - That is the most mafia name I've seen in a while.
Hank Corwin, "Vice" - Could be the longest of long shot upsets?
Foreign Language Film
As per usual I was remiss about this category (except for "Roma") which I am betting on to win. At the end of the day I think the Academy is more comfortable giving a film not in English this award than Best Picture, no matter how deserving.
"Cold War" (Poland)
"Never Look Away" (Germany)
Makeup and Hairstyling
Goran Lundstrom and Pamela Goldammer, "Border" - I was surprised this didn't make it in to foreign film. I don't think it had enough reach to win the category.
Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks, "Mary Queen of Scots" - While normally I'd say period piece for the win, the Oscars love a fat suit on a character actor, which leads us to...
Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney, "Vice" - Christian Bale + Fat suit = win?
Music (Original Score)
Everyone seems stumped by this one, there are some veterans in the group but I'm going to go with "pity award" for "Black Panther"
Ludwig Goransson, "Black Panther" - Honestly, I'm kinda guessing, but it was a great score.
Terence Blanchard, "BlackKklansman" - Also a great score, could upset?
Nicholas Britell, "If Beale Street Could Talk" - Good score but not as marketable?
Alexandre Desplat, "Isle of Dogs" - He's already got one, he'll be fine.
Marc Shaiman, "Mary Poppins Returns" - It's possible he could make more progress towards the EGOT with this, but seems like a long shot.
Music (Original Song)
As much as I didn't like the remake of "A Star is Born" there is no denying Lady Gaga knows how to make a song.
"All the Stars", "Black Panther"
"I'll Fight", "RBG"
"The Place Where Lost Things Go", "Mary Poppins Returns"
"Shallow", "A Star is Born"
"When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings", "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
"Black Panther" - Should win, but I don't think the voters will understand there's still production design in CG heavy films.
"The Favourite" - Plus they love them period pieces.
"First Man" - Meh.
"Mary Poppins Returns" - Why does this keep getting nominated? Was this year really this pathetic?
"Roma" - Understated in this category doesn't win you an Oscar.
Short Film (Live Action)
This prediction also brought to you by: the internet!
Usually the next two categories go hand in hand, but there are some discrepancies in the nominations this year which could lead to some upsets... or the fact that no one quite knows the difference between the two could lead everyone just to go with the music oriented movie as clearrrrllllyyy that would have to include both, right?
Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker, "Black Panther" - I don't have super strong feelings one way or another about this particular entry into the category. I can see why it's here but don't think it can dethrone some of the other nominees.
John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone, "Bohemian Rhapsody" - Ugh, I guess.
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan, "First Man" - This could upset, the Academy does love whatever Damien Chazelle does with his movies and weird sound was a big part of "First Man"
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, "A Quiet Place" - Honestly if anything this should win, the whole damn movie is about sound!
Sergio DÃaz and Skip Lievsay, "Roma" - One of the few categories I don't think "Roma" will take.
Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin, "Black Panther"
Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali, "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Jon Taylor, Frank A. MontaÃ±o, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis, "First Man"
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and JosÃ© Antonio GarcÃa, "Roma"
Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow, "A Star is Born" - Interesting that it got nominated for this and not the other category, I suppose the mixing of the music played more into it than the editing?
I will be PISSSSEEED if "First Man" takes this home, but there's a strong feeling it might. Also surprising that "Black Panther" got snubbed in this category.
Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick, "Avengers: Infinity War" - Think of all the CG characters they had to balance!
Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould, "Christopher Robin" - These creations were monstrosities, as is this nomination.
Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm, "First Man" - The least in your face of all the VFX. I could see voters rebelling against. ... mainstream movies? And voting this in.
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk, "Ready Player One" - Also a contender as the movie is basically all CG.
Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" - Don't reward this abomination of a Star Wars film.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
They gotta give Spike something, right? Interesting that Netflix gets a nod here.
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" - Progress is progress, right? At least this pretty much streaming only film got a few nods.
Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee, "BlackKklansman" - So. Good.
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" - More performance based than script based. It's an honor to be nominated?
Barry Jenkins, "If Beale Street Could Talk" - Sad that Barry is up against Spike. If they weren't pitted against each other I could see this winning easily. However it's hard to compete with Spike's long lived career.
Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters, "A Star is Born" - Did I mention table flipping?
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Like I said earlier there's a chance that Vallelonga's personal actions may have impacted the vote. This category is a toss up for me but I'm going to once again go with pity vote but this time for "The Favourite."
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, "The Favourite" - Pity vote.
Paul Schrader, "First Reformed" - Wouldn't it be bonkers if this won.
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, "Green Book" - Ugh, this could take home the prize as well.
Alfonso Cuaron, "Roma" - I'm guessing a sweep isn't going to happen, and the visuals and sound are such a large part of this film.
Adam McKay, "Vice" - A long shot, if there was some sort of vote split this could surge ahead but I doubt it.
The latest interviews, reviews, and opinions on film by Dana Han-Klein. Thoughts and opinions are entirely my own and not reflective of my employer or any third parties.