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2019 Oscar Predictions: Let's Get It Over With.
by Peter Sobczynski

My predictions for tonight's awards.

Well, this year's Oscars could have been worse--imagine the chaos that might have ensued if ''Life Itself'' had caught on like people assumed it would right up until the moment when it began screening.

Nevertheless, this Oscar season, which feels as if it has lasted for approximately 16 years at this point, is finally coming to a merciful end following months of bad ideas, boneheaded handling of those bad ideas and a number of supremely awful movies doing surprisingly well in both the nominations and the precursor awards. In fact, the only fun aspect to this year’s show that still remains is that since there is no clear front-runner in most of the categories, there is still some degree of suspense about who might win. To that end, I offer my guesses as to who those winners might be and while there are only a few that I am truly confident about, I have managed to convince at least myself that these are the one who will triumph tonight.

Oh, and if the show fails to mention the recent passings of Dick Miller and Stanley Donen at some point, either in the annual death reel or elsewhere, there will be hell to pay.


PICTURE

BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice


Will Win: Although there is no clear front-runner and a legitimate case could be made for the chances for ''A Star is Born,'' ''The Favourite'' and even ''Black Panther,'' the prize will most likely go to the stirring and eminently deserving “Roma.” Who knows--it might even inspire people to actually watch it at some point.


DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuaron--Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos--The Favourite
Spike Lee--BlackKkKlansman
Adam McKay--Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski--Cold War


Will Win: Although a win for Spike Lee would single-handedly make up for most of the missteps this Oscar season and an upset by Pawlikowski would warm my heart to no end, Alfonso Cuaron should win here as well.

ACTOR

Christian Bale--Vice
Bradley Cooper--A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe--At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek--Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen--Green Book


Will Win: In a not especially inspiring lineup--Dafoe's performance is probably the best of the bunch but virtually no one saw his turn as Vincent van Gogh--Christian Bale should win for giving a very good performance in what was an otherwise infuriatingly bad movie.

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?


Will Win: Although I would happy to see any of her competition snag the prize (even though I am still of the belief that Colman actually belongs in the supporting category), the closest thing to a sure thing in the major categories is that Glenn Close will finally end her long losing streak with an award that will be more of a tribute to her career than anything else in much the same way that Al Pacino won his Oscar for tricking ''Scent of a Woman.''


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


Will Win: The odds seem to favor Ali, who was the best part of the insulting and insufferable ''Green Book.'' However, the supporting categories have often tended to throw a curveball into the mix and I have a sneaking suspicion that Richard E. Grant will triumph for his deliciously entertaining performance as Melissa McCarthy's partner in crime in a film that should have done better in the nomination count than it did.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams--Vice
Marina de Tavira--Roma
Regina King--If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone--The Favourite
Rachel Weisz--The Favourite


Will Win: Even though I am not as big of a fan of ''Beale Street'' as many of my colleagues, even I was surprised by the paltry number of nominations it received. I think voters may feel the same way and they will honor it here by awarding King, whose performance was the best thing in it.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Favorite
First Reformed
Green Book
Roma
Vice


Will Win: Astonishingly, this is only the first time that Paul Schrader has ever been nominated in a long and illustrious career that saw him penning the screenplays to the likes of ''Taxi Driver''and ''Raging Bull,'' to name just a few. While ''First Reformed'' is one of his finest works and more than deserving of winning--it would be the front runner in an ordinary year--the prize will most likely go to the audacious and bizarrely hilarious script for ''The Favourite.''

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BlacKkKlansman
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born


Common sense suggests that the prize will go to ''A Star is Born'' in order to ensure that Bradley Cooper, who co-wrote it, doesn't go home empty-handed. However, I am taking another long shot by guessing that ''BlacKkKlansman'' will win and give Spike Lee, who co-wrote it, his long-overdue first competitive Oscar.


CINEMATOGRAPHY

Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
Roma
A Star is Born


Will Win: While ''Roma'' and ''The Favourite'' were both hailed for their distinct visual styles, I think that they may split voters and the equally gorgeous and haunting look of ''Cold War'' may end up carrying the day instead.

COSTUME DESIGN

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots.


Will Win: Although there is a possibility of ''Black Panther'' pulling off a surprise win for its distinct outfits, this award is almost certainly going to ''The Favourite,'' the one overtly traditional element in that otherwise outrageous film.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG


Will Win: All five contenders are more than deserving of the award (and the one-time presumed winner, ''Won't You Be My Neighbor?,'' didn’t even make the final cut) but the most popular one of the bunch, ''RBG,'' should win, if only to set Fox News aflame with outrage. The possible spoiler is ''Free Solo,'' the hair-raising mountain climbing documentary that has gained a lot of traction in recent months.

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period, End of Sentence


Will Win: All of the nominees in this category are strong and I would be down with any of them winning. I am picking ''Period, End of Sentence'' to win because it is both a good movie and because the subject manner--a project developed by a Los Angeles school to give women in remote villages in India the ability to create their own feminine hygiene products--is an undeniably noble one to boot.


EDITING

BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Vice


Will Win: While I would be satisfied with any situation in which the incredibly sloppy ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' goes home empty-handed in this category, I think that the exciting and energetic ''BlacKkKlansman'' will win out in the end.

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Capernaum
Cold War
Never Look Away
Roma
Shoplifters


Will Win: Under normal circumstances, “Roma” winning this category would be the surest bet of the night. It will probably still take the prize but I have an odd feeling that voters will decide that they have amply rewarded it elsewhere and give the prize to the equally deserving ''Cold War'' instead.

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice


This category often goes to films that transform actors into hideous creatures, so it seems logical that turning Christian Bale into Dick Cheney will earn ''Vice'' the prize this year.

ORIGINAL SCORE

BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns


A case could be made for all the nominees here--maybe not so much for ''Mary Poppins Returns''--but i predict this will be the category that this will go to the stirring music composed for ''Beale Street,'' a score that felt like a living and breathing element of the story being told and not just something added on afterwards.

ORIGINAL 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


Will Win:Although I do love the ''Buster Scruggs'' song, the easiest call of the night is that Lady Gaga will take home the Oscar for the song that managed to be both the emotional and dramatic center of the film it was featured in and a massively popular hit to boot.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma


Will Win: Another fairly competitive category but I predict that for bringing the fantastical land of Wakanda to life while seamlessly integrating it into the real world, ''Black Panther'' will win the award.

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Animal Behaviour
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends


Will Win: I will be brutally honest--when I first saw the Pixar short ''Bao'' when it played in front of ''Incredibles 2,'' it creeped the hell out of me for any number of reasons. Nevertheless, many felt differently than I did to it and it should win here, if only because it is the only one of the nominees that you can be certain that everyone voting has probably seen.

ANIMATED FEATURE

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


Will Win: While there is no outright dog in the category nor one that got in there solely because it made a ton of money, the winner will be ''Spider-Man,'' a work as creatively ambitious as it was compulsively entertaining, even to those who do not live or die by superhero cinema.

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
Skin


Will Win: The nominees in this category are a fairly grim lot--''Skin'' centers around an avowed racist and ''Detainment'' is a controversial recreation of the police interviews with the two 10-year-old British boys who were charged and convicted of kidnapping, torturing and murdering a two-year-old kid. My guess is that the prize is going to the comparatively lightest of the lot, ''Marguerite,'' which tells the touching story about the friendship that develops between a nurse and the elderly woman in her care.


SOUND EDITING

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma


Will Win: Although ''A Quiet Place'' and ''First Man'' made far more ingenious use of sound, ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' will win for essentially containing the most sound of the five.

SOUND MIXING

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star is Born


Will Win: Second verse, same as the first as ''Bohemian Rhapsody'' takes this award as well. Bet the winners here don't thank Bryan Singer either.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story


Will Win: Although logic would suggest that an effects-heavy extravaganza like ''Avengers'' or ''Black Panther'' would win, I am picking ''First Man'' for its incredibly convincing and detailed recreation of the first moon landing.


link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=4162
originally posted: 02/25/19 03:19:40
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