Oscar Predictions

By Steve Warren

This year's Best Picture nominees range from the biggest commercial success, Black Panther, the first superhero movie to be so recognized, and wildly popular musicals A Star Is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody, to the uncompromisingly arty Roma and The Favourite. In between are BlacKkKlansman, Green Book and Vice, three dramedies based on true stories that span half a century of American politics and culture, all entertaining and with middling success at the boxoffice.

Being best has never been the sole determinant of Academy Award winners. Sentiment plays a big role, honoring legendary performers who have gone Oscarless for decades. This could help Glenn Close, five of whose seven Oscar nominations were in the 1980s.

More important these days are politics, especially of the #metoo variety, which a year ago probably cost James Franco a Best Actor nomination. Controversy didn't hurt Green Book at the Golden Globes but the Academy could be a different story.

African Americans had a good year at the movies, as reflected in the nominations. Women behind the camera didn't fare so well, and despite major boxoffice success, Crazy Rich Asians was ignored by the Academy. It's a shocker that the year's most popular documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor? didn't get nominated.
I predict divergent outcomes for this year's most-nominated (10 each) films, Roma and The Favourite. Often a film with a boatload of nominations goes away empty-handed, and I think that will be The Favourite's fate. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz will cancel each other out in the Supporting Actress category, and everything else about the picture will prove a little too weird when it comes down to voting.

Contrary to many experts, I don't believe Roma will walk away with Best Picture and Best Director, as The Shape of Water (also by a Mexican director, but in English) did last year. Alfonso CuarĂ³n's directing trophy is probably the surest bet there is this year, and Roma should take Best Foreign Language Film; but Best Picture will go to something with more mass appeal.

Despite the SAG Ensemble award, I think Black Panther will be limited to technical Oscars. It did an awesome job of creating a hybrid African culture with touches of past, present and future in costumes, scenery and music. Americans assume England hasn't changed in 500 years, so to shoot The Favourite they just had to pick a castle, do a little dusting, and start filming.

The 91st Academy Awards will be handed out on February 24.

BEST PICTURE:
Green Book

BEST DIRECTOR:
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

BEST ACTOR:
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

BEST ACTRESS:
Glenn Close, The Wife

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Mahershala Ali, Green Book

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
RBG

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Roma (Mexico)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly, Green Book

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Barry Jenkins
, If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST FILM EDITING:
BlacKkKlansman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
"Shallow," A Star Is Born

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Black Panther

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Black Panther

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
Vice

BEST SOUND EDITING:
A Quiet Place

BEST SOUND MIXING:
Bohemian Rhapsody

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Avengers: Infinity War

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:
Lifeboat

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM:
Weekends

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM:
Skin

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