It’s that time of the year again where rich privileged people give each other awards and pat each other on the back for the popularity of their films and how much money they put in their campaign that propelled them to the awards. This time around, the award season has been a bit odd. There have been some odd nominations and odd snubs, though I do think that the Oscar nominations are slightly better than the ones of the Golden Globes. Nonetheless, they’re still quite weird. Add to that a bunch of stupid decisions by the Acadamy leading up to the award show, like deciding to hand out some awards during the commercial breaks (Cinematography and editing – what?!), and then suddenly deciding against it, the eventually canceled Popular Film Award, and the idea to only let Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar perform their songs.
Evidently, I have not seen all of the films that are nominated, since quite a few films still have to be released over here, therefore I’ll base my predictions on the films that I’ve seen and on the things I’ve heard about the films that I have yet to see. Also, something quick about the “snubbed” films. These are only the films that I’ve seen and that I thought were worthy of a nomination, even though they might not have been eligible to be nominated or if the studio didn’t do an Oscar campaign for it. You also might notice that Under the Silver Lake is not mentioned in the snubbed films, but this is because I didn’t count this one as a 2018 release, but as a 2019 one, since that’s the year it’ll be released in the US.
Black Panther (Kevin Feige)
BlacKkKlansman (Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele, Spike Lee)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Graham King)
The Favourite (Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Yorgos Lanthimos)
Green Book (Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga)
Roma (Gabriela Rodriguez, Alfonso Cuarón)
A Star Is Born (Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper, Lynette Howell Taylor)
Vice (Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick)
Snubbed? Burning, The Sisters Brothers, Eighth Grade, Widows, First Reformed, You Were Never Really Here, Hereditary, Annihilation
Starting things off with the Best Picture category, there are already quite a few films that do not belong here. For starters, Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Panther. I think that these two films are average at best and are certainly not deserving of an Acadamy Award. I did, however, quite like BlacKkKlansman with its relevant message, but I don’t think that it’ll win the academy award. As for the other films, I have not seen Vice, and Green Book, so I can’t really be the judge of them, but if I have to go of critical reception, The Favourite, A Star is Born and Roma seem to be above these two films by quite a bit. I was a big fan of A Star is Born, though the film’s certainly not flawless, and it falls in the shadow of the other two. That’s why I think that either The Favourite or Roma will win. My best guess is that The Favourite will win Best Picture, as chances are high that Roma will already take home the prize of Best Foreign Film. I really hope that Black Panther or Bohemian Rhapsody don’t win, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them ends up doing so.
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Snubbed? John C. Reily’s performance in The Sisters Brothers, Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in either Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot or You Were Never Really Here, Ethan Hawke in First Reformed, Yoo Ah-in in Burning, Lily Franky in Shoplifters
I do not really have any complaints about the nominees in this category. Sure there were quite a few performances snubbed that were better than the ones they’ve nominated, but the ones that they’ve nominated are also quite good. I thought that Bradley Cooper was absolutely fantastic in A Star is Born, and I have heard loads of good things about Willem Dafoe in At Eternity’s Gate and about Christian Bale for his role in Vice. People seem a bit divided as for Mortensen’s performance in Green Book, but I haven’t seen it. However, a film that I have seen is Bohemian Rhapsody, and if there’s one Oscar win that that film deserves, it’s for Rami Malek‘s fantastic performance as Freddie Mercury. Personally, I prefer Cooper’s performance over the one of Malek, though I’m fine with Malek winning.
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Snubbed? Elsie Fischer in Eighth Grade, Viola Davis in Widows, Toni Colette in Hereditary, Charlize Theron in Tully, Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Kindergarten Teacher
Again, quite a few great performances, though also a few great ones that they missed out on. While I did like Lady Gaga’s performance in A Star is Born, I feel like she is the least likely to win the award, together with Yalitza Aparicio for her performance in Roma. Gaga was most likely nominated because the majority of us were surprised that she could act in the first place, just like how Melissa McCarthy is probably nominated because, as I’ve heard, she gave a performance unlike the one that we’re used to getting from her, and I think that it’s the surprise factor that plays part in her nomination. I do not think that this surprise factor will carry her far enough to an actual win, though. This means that we’re now down to two nominations: Glenn Close for The Wife and Olivia Coleman for The Favourite. Out of these two, Glenn Close will probably win, though I’m really hoping for Olivia Coleman. Personally, I think that she gave the best performance of the year. She was incredibly hilarious and managed to be ridiculous without becoming a caricature. But yeah, just like with the Golden Globes, it’ll probably go to Glenn Close, as it will serve more like an honorary award.
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice
Snubbed? Daniel Kaluuya in Widows, Steven Yuen in Burning, Jonah Hill in Don’t worry, He won’t Get Far on Foot
I’m really glad to see that Sam Elliot is nominated for A Star is Born. He was absolutely brilliant, and probably my personal pick out of the bunch. Ali and Rockwell were supposedly great as well, and I liked Driver’s performance in BlacKkKlansman, though I wouldn’t call it Oscar-worthy. However, just like with the nominations for Best Actress, I’m guessing that Richerd E. Grant will win. I’m sure he did a great job, though I also think that it’ll serve as an honorary award, just like with Glenn Close.
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Snubbed? Elizabeth Debicki in Widows, Jun Jong-seoin Burning, Rooney Mara in Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot
This is a hard pick. I’m quite sure that it’ll go to The Favourite, though it’s hard to decide which one of the two actresses deserves it the most. Both were incredible, but since Emma Stone recently won an Oscar for La La Land, I’m guessing that it’ll go to Rachel Weisz, with which I’ll be happy.
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice
Snubbed? Damien Chazelle for First Man, Lynne Ramsey for You Were Never Really Here, Lee Chang-dong for Burning, Hirokazu Kore-eda for Shoplifters, Paul Schrader for First Reformed, Ari Aster for Hereditary, Christopher McQuarrie for Mission Impossible: Fallout
Quite odd that they nominated Adam McKay for his directing in Vice, as I don’t really feel like he did something unique with it. Then again, I have not yet seen it, but going of the critical reception, the trailers, and his last directorial efforts, I think it’s safe to say that it would not have been that special. It’s quite cool that they’ve nominated Pawlikowski, as I really loved his previous film, Ida, and thought that he had a really cool, minimalistic style that called back to an older era of filmmaking. In that film, he also played quite a lot with camera movements and steady cam as opposed to hand-held. I’m curious to see if he also applied that same style to Cold War, and if he did, then he’s certainly deserving of a nomination, though I can’t say for sure since I haven’t seen it yet. It’s also been a while since Spike Lee has been nominated as Best Director, so it’s fun to see that he’s finally gotten the recognition he deserves. However, I personally think that it’ll come down to Yorgos Lanthimos and Alfonso Cuarón. I’d love for Lanthimos to win, but I’m guessing that Cuarón will win. I’ll be happy either way.
The Favourite, written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, written by Paul Schrader
Green Book, written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly
Roma, written by Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, written by Adam McKay
Snubbed? Eighth Grade, written by Bo Burnham
It’s such a shame that they snubbed Eighth Grade, as it was able to capture the teenage behavior so incredibly well. Still, there are quite a few great nominations here. I’m glad to see that First Reformed got nominated, though there’s just a slim chance that it’ll win. My bet is that it’ll be between The Favourite and Green Book. I’ll be disappointed if it goes to Green Book, but I won’t be surprised if it will; It seems to be the Academy’s cup of tea. The Favourite’s screenplay was hilarious and made for three interesting main characters. The script played with how you perceived these characters at the start of the film compared to how you did at the end, which made for a fun and interesting viewing experience. However, since Green Book already won the Golden Globe for best screenplay over The Favourite, I’m guessing that it’ll, unfortunately, win the Oscar for it as well.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, written by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, written by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, written by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, written by Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, written by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters
Snubbed? The Sisters Brothers, written by Patrick DeWitt, Jacques Audiard, and Thomas Bidegain, You Were Never Really Here, written by Lynne Ramsay and Jonathan Ames
I have absolutely no clue which one will win in this category. I don’t think that Can You Ever Forgive Me? or The Ballad of Buster Scruggs will win. BlacKkKlansman’s screenplay was pretty good, balancing drama and comedy well, but I don’t think that that’ll be sufficient enough to earn the film an Academy Award. A Star is Born had a marvelous screenplay with very realistic dialogue and well-developed characters, and I’m guessing that If Beale Street Could Talk has that as well. It’s a toss-up, though I think that A Star Is Born will eventually win since it’s already such a big critical darling.
Incredibles 2 by Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs by Wes Anderson
Mirai by Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet by Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman
If Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse doesn’t win, then I sure hope Isle of Dogs does. Both were great films, but I prefer Into the Spider-Verse over Isle of Dogs. It had a very interesting and original visual style, a funny and creative screenplay, and great vocal performances. Isle of Dogs had that as well, though Into the Spider-Verse was even more novel. I haven’t seen Mirai and Ralph Breaks the Internet, but the latter very much feels like something that’ll be dated within the next year. Incredibles 2 was okay, though it had nothing really spectacular going for it outside of the animation itself. That’s why I’m guessing that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will win.
Capernaum (Lebanon), by Nadine Labaki
Cold War (Poland), by Pawel Pawlikowski
Never Look Away (Germany), by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Roma (Mexico), by Alfonso Cuarón
Shoplifters (Japan), by Hirokazu Koreeda
Snubbed? Burning (South-Korea), Dogman (Italy), Utoya – 22 July (Norway), Donbass (Ukraine)
Well, it’s quite obvious that Roma will win, as it’s the best-reviewed film of 2018 and people have deservingly been gushing about it ever since it came out. However, I’m quite disappointed that Burning wasn’t even nominated, as it’s my favorite film of the year and I doubt that’s going to change anytime soon. It’s a brilliant film in practically every regard, though even if it was nominated, Roma would’ve won either way.
Cold War, shot by Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, shot by Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, shot by Caleb Deschanel
Roma, shot by Alfonso Cuarón
A Star Is Born, shot by Matthew Libatique
Snubbed? First Reformed shot by Alexander Dynan, The Sisters Brothers shot by Benoît Debie, First Man shot by Linus Sandgren, Burning shot by Hong Kyung-pyo, Shoplifters shot by Ryûto Kondô
All are well-shot films, though Roma is certainly the standout. The cinematography was some of the best I’ve seen in years, and I’d be very surprised if it didn’t win. If it doesn’t win, then The Favourite is my second pick, as it used natural lighting to great effect. I’m a bit confused why A Star is Born was nominated since I didn’t think that the cinematography was the film’s strongest suit. Sure it looked nice, but the cinematography was effective because of the camera placement, which I think was more thanks to Bradley Cooper than to the cinematographer.
BlacKkKlansman, edited by Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, edited by John Ottman
Green Book, edited by Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, edited by Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, edited by Hank Corwin
Snubbed? First Man, The Other Side of The Wind
I can’t quite understand why First Man was left out, as I thought that it was a pretty guaranteed pick for best editing. Out of the remaining few films, I’d only really be happy if The Favourite won, though BlacKkKlansman had some great editing as well. I really hope that Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t win, as the editing was atrocious in it. It would’ve been no better if they’d had nominated Mile 22 instead. So, yeah, I’m rooting for The Favourite on this one.
Black Panther, done by Hannah Beachler
First Man, done by Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, done by Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, done by John Myhre and Gordon Sim
Roma, done by Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enrı́quez
Snubbed? The Sisters Brothers, Shoplifters, Burning
My personal pick would either be First Man or The Favourite, but I would not be mad or surprised if Black Panther won this one. First Man’s attention to detail in its sets and costumes to give us the most realistic portrayal of how it actually was, was really impressive. The Favourite‘s production design was great as well, and everything that was real in Black Panther was also really well-done. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m guessing it’ll go to First Man.
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, done by Mary Zophres
Black Panther, done by Ruth E. Carter
The Favourite, done by Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, done by Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, done by Alexandra Byrne
Snubbed? The Sisters Brothers
The Favourite should win this one, but, again, if Black Panther ends up doing so, I won’t really be mad. The Favourite used black and white brilliantly in its costuming, but also in its sets, that felt both meaningful and authentic. Black Panther used elements of different African cultures in its costuming, which I also thought was quite cool. I’m not really sure, but I’m guessing it’ll go to The Favourite.
Border, done by Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots, done by Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks
Vice, done by Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia DeHaney
I haven’t seen any of the nominated films, but I’m positive that Vice will win. It’s the The Darkest Hour of 2018; two great actors put into a ton of make-up delivering a great performance, while the film itself isn’t anything particularly stellar. As for what I’ve seen of Vice, they did an excellent job in the make-up department, not only in making Christian Bale look like Dick Cheney but the make-up on the rest of the cast looks realistic as well.
BlacKkKlansman, composed by Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, composed by Ludwig Goransson
If Beale Street Could Talk, composed by Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, composed by Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, composed by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Snubbed? You Were Never Really Here, The Sisters Brothers, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Annihilation
This is another Oscar that might end up going to Black Panther, though I have a feeling that it won’t. BlacKkKlansman had a surprisingly great score, but again, I don’t think that it isn’t good enough to earn that Award. The score for Isle of Dogs was great and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the score from If Beale Street Could Talk. I’m really hoping that Beal Street wins at least one Oscar, so for that, I think that If Beale Street Could Talk might win in this category.
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar and SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren and 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 mean, there’s not really any competition. It’s pretty much guaranteed that Shallow will win, and it certainly deserves to do so. It’s not my favorite song of the film, though it’s a good one nonetheless, and also one that I regularly come back to. So yeah, Shallow will win, to no one’s surprise.
Black Panther by Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, and Peter J. Devlin (mixing), and by Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker (editing)
Bohemian Rhapsody by Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali, (mixing) and by John Warhurst (editing)
First Man by Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis, (mixing) and by Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan (editing)
Roma by Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and José Antonio García, (mixing) and by Diaz, and Skip Lievsay (editing)
A Star Is Born by Tom Ozanich, Dean A. Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steven Morrow (mixing only)
A Quiet Place by Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl (editing only)
Snubbed? Mission Impossible: Fallout
I’m guessing that the film that wins for sound editing, will also win for sound mixing, as was the case last year, which is why I’m combining this category into one. I didn’t really think that the sound mixing or editing was anything special in Bohemian Rhapsody, and I thought that it was quite obvious that Rami Malek didn’t actually sing the songs. It felt dubbed, and that isn’t particularly a good thing, especially compared to A Star Is Born, where the sound was handled brilliantly and made you feel like you were there. During the performance of Shallow, I got chills because of how good it sounded. Roma too was extremely rich in sound and I think that the experience would’ve only been enhanced if I got the chance to see the film in a Dolby Atmos Theater rather than on my tv. It’s incredible how they managed to create a 3D space with sound, where you were able to pinpoint exactly where something was coming from. First Man‘s sound was fantastic as well and the spacecraft scenes basically completely supported on the quality of the sound to have you immersed. It’s also because of how good that the sound was, that made these scenes as thrilling and gripping as they were. Another film of which sound formed an important aspect, was A Quiet Place. The film would’ve been a whole lot worse if the sound hadn’t been as good as it was, though now it made for an extremely intense experience. It’s quite a hard decision to make, though I’m guessing that the two awards will go to Roma in the end, or that A Quiet Place will win for editing and that Roma will win for mixing.
Avengers: Infinity War by Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Daniel Sudick
Christopher Robin by Chris Lawrence, Mike Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould
First Man by Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm
Ready Player One by Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk
Solo: A Star Wars Story by Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Dominic Tuohy
While the CGI for Thanos was incredible, there was also some lackluster CGI and special effects in Avengers: Infinity War. Every time they cut to Mark Ruffalo in the hulkbuster-suit, it was painfully obvious that they added in his head in post, and some of the backdrops also felt like greenscreens rather than real environments. I have not seen Christopher Robin, Ready Player One, or Solo: A Star Wars Story, but I doubt that they’ll be able to surpass First Man in its visual effects. In that film, I didn’t even notice that they used any; everything felt so incredibly real. So that’s why my best guess is that First Man will win, but it depends on how important the Academy finds this category because if they do not find it that important, I wouldn’t be surprised if Infinity War won.
And those are my predictions for a few of the Oscar categories. According to my predictions, Roma will come out as the biggest winner, taking home 5 awards, followed by The Favourite, with 4 awards and A Star is Born with 2. The actual winners will be announced on the 24th of February.