2019 Oscar Predictions
My Oscar Predictions for February 24, 2019, have to be put up early, so I can start the trek back to the Midwest for our Annual Oscar Party with friends.
Meanwhile, I’ve had 2 requests from wannabe bloggers to guest post. I asked each of them to prepare a “Predicting the Oscars” piece by today. I have neither Oscar Prediction piece by deadline, so I will give you mine, just prior to our trip back to the frozen wasteland of Des Moines, Iowa, from Austin, Texas.
(Pictures from IMDB)
I think the Best Picture will be “Green Book.”
The nominees are:“Black Panther”
“A Star Is Born”
I have seen all of the nominated films and my top favorites would be “BlackKKlansman” and “Green Book,” with “Bohemian Rhapsody” in third place. I thought the hype for “Roma” and “A Star Is Born” (and, for a while, for “Black Panther”) was Big Studio money talking. I am glad that it isn’t looking like big money will win out, this time.
As for “Vice,” as I said in my review on WeeklyWilson.com, it lacked focus. And “haters gonna’ hate” so the GOP members won’t like it much.
BEST ACTOR (MALE)
I think Rami Malek will win.
For some reason that I cannot explain, neither the much-nominated Viggo Mortensen (3 nominations, including “Eastern Promises,” “Captain Fantastic” and this one) or Willem Dafoe (4 nominations for Oscars, but his first for the lead) ever prevail. Willem Dafoe’s previous Supporting Actor nominations were for “Platoon” in 1987; “Shadow of the Vampire” in 2001; “The Florida Project” in 2017; and this year for “At Eternity’s Gate.”)
I actually saw all four of Dafoe’s nominated films (and all 3 of Viggo’s) and can point to fantastic work with roles in films like “To Live and Die in L.A.” (as the counterfeiter) to bolster my impression that they are reliable actors who always turn in good work. “The Florida Project” was a very low budget film where Dafoe played a landlord managing a run-down motel complex in Florida. It was an odd project, but so was this year’s “At Eternity’s Gate.” If you needed any further convincing that Willem Dafoe is a worthy nominee, think about the fact that he and the film’s director Julian Schnabel (“At Eternity’s Gate”) were responsible for all the knock-offs of Van Gogh paintings used in the film (about Van Gogh’s life). It was a truly unusual film; at various points, the screen would simply go black. [The director of “The Bell Jar,” Julian Schnabel, strikes again].
I can’t imagine why Viggo and Willem, with 7 Oscar nominations between them, are always the groomsmen and never the groom. I think Rami is going to beat out Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Willem, Viggo, and Christian Bale in “Vice” (even though Christian Bale took home one of the prestigious awards, saying, as he did so, that he looked to Satan for inspiration in playing Dick Cheney in the George W. Bush administration bio-pic helmed by Adam McKay).
BEST ACTRESS (FEMALE)
Nominees are Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma;” Glenn Close in “The Wife;” Olivia Colman in “The Favourite;” Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born;” and Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
First of all, WHY would the Academy think it “fitting” to give such a prestigious award to an actress in her very first outing as a leading lady? That reference applies to Yalitza Aparicio, (who isn’t even an actress, usually), and Lady Gaga. Then we have “The Favourite,” in which Olivia Colman plays the Queen, and my own personal favorite, Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” I truly enjoyed McCarthy’s dramatic turn, but Glenn Close has been nominated 7 times.
If there ever was a sure thing this year, Glenn Close is it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MALE)
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlackKKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”
Mahershala Ali should nail this down for “The Green Book.” He’s already won almost all of the awards from other groups and he is doing some great work in “True Detective” on television right now. Again, I don’t know enough about the concerns of the family of the pianist whom Ali portrays to say that he is not represented properly onscreen, but even if “Green Book” is a work of semi-fiction, it was a heart-warming audience favorite in both Toronto and Chicago. It was the only film I took my husband to, after the Chicago International Film Festival was over, telling him I thought he’d probably want to take it in before Awards season began. The year prior (2017) that distinction went to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and that turned out to be a dark horse late in the game.
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”
I would like to see Amy Adams win, but I think Regina King will emerge victorious.
With 800 new members recently inducted into the Academy, many of them minorities or women, it is time.
Amy Adams may join the ranks of Viggo and Willem as “Most Likely to Be the Bridesmaid but Never the Bride.” Amy has been nominated with great frequency (6 times), beginning in 2005 with “Junebug,” for Best Supporting Actress (the only nomination for her that I have not seen). She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress again, in 2008, for “Doubt,” and again in “The Fighter” in 2010 and again for “The Master” in 2013 and again in “American Hustle” in 2014 and now, this year, her sixth nomination for an Oscar. All but “American Hustle” were in the category she is nominated in this year, Best Supporting Actress.
The nomination of both actresses from “The Favourite” will split that vote. I honestly don’t think non-actresses in a black-and-white film chronicling Alfonso Cuaron’s childhood days in Mexico deserve to be nominated in their first outing. We watched it on Amazon; underwhelming. Lots of money spent promoting this one. Much ado about nothing, for me, but I wasn’t that keen on Cuaron’s “Birdman,” either. (“Gravity” was better.)
Spike Lee, “BlackKKlansman”
Pawel Pawilkowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”
Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
I keep being told how much I should like the black-and-white “Roma.” I have not been a huge fan of Cuaron’s other films. I found the drumming in “Birdman” annoying, while others hailed it as brilliant.
You can pretty much eliminate Pawel Pawilkowski (which you’ll all have to see on television on Amazon or Netflix, probably, as I did “Roma”) and, while I did enjoy “The Lobster” by Yorgos Lanthimos” and thought his work on “The Favourite” was impressive, I think it is time for Spike Lee to win, don’t you? It’s been THIRTY YEARS, people, since “Do the Right Thing.” So, do the right thing.
If I were working with my students in class to help them “win” a predicting contest, this is one where I would tell them to “wheel the horses.” That is, fill out ballots with Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) and Spike Lee as their Director picks. I think it is between those two men, and I, personally, think Spike really deserves it for his entire body of work and for this film, in particular. It was easily one of my very favorite films of the year and we all got to see Denzel’s son, John Davis Washington, break out.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
Let Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” win for Best Foreign Language Film.
As for the other categories, I’m thinking that “Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse” has the best current “buzz,” but Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” may have the director’s name recognition on his side. (It premiered at SXSW last year).
I, personally, liked “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” enough to award it a best adapted screenplay award, but James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” adapted by Barry Jenkins might be difficult to beat.
For an original screenplay, many old-timers like the idea of giving it to Paul Schrader for “First Reformed,” after his long career of excellent work (“Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull.”) But there are other good original screenplays in this category, including “The Favourite” (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara;) “Green Book” with Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Petr Farrelly, “Roma” with Alfonso Cuaron; and “Vice” with Adam McKay.
The latest word is that the Oscars will have NO host and that awards such as Cinematography and Editing will be given off-screen during the commercials. Not a fan of that idea. The other sure thing this night will be Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” (with Mark Ronson and Anthony Rossomando) will be Best Song. (The question mark, right now, is whether Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will duet on it onstage.)
Why were there only THREE nominations for Make-up and Hair? (“Border,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” and “Vice”). Why wasn’t “The Favourite” nominated, as well?
As far as acting nominations that were overlooked, Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”) and Lukas Hedges (“Boy Erased” and “Ben Is Back”) were robbed of rightful nominations. I also thought Charlize Theron (“Tully”) and Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) and Emily Blunt in “A Quiet Place” did work that was Oscar-worthy and should have potentially been nominated.
My own “don’t miss them” list for movies of this year, [for films that were entertaining and should have done better at awards time] would include “First Man” with Ryan Gosling; “The Front Runner” with Hugh Jackman; and “A Quiet Place,” with an acting nomination for Emily Blunt.