My Picks for the 91st Academy Awards

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It’s time to predict the winners from the 2019 Academy Awards.

The Oscars are here, and it’s finally time to make some predictions. Once again, there are some incredible films in the mix, and some tough choices to be made by the voters. Each of the categories will be listed below with all of the nominees. I’ll be picking my favorite as well as predicting the movie I expect to win.

I’ve highlighted the nominations from films I’ve been able to see in green. The remaining films are being judged based on respected critics and trusted friends, as well as my own research and partial viewings.

Actor in a Leading Role

Christian BaleVice
Bradley CooperA Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
Rami MalekBohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen Green Book

It’s hard to stomach Bale receiving a nomination for what might have been one of the worst movies of 2018. Beyond that, I think this is an incredible collection of great performances.

WILL WIN: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody  – SHOULD WIN: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Actor in a Supporting Role

Maherhsala AliGreen Book
Adam DriverBlacKkKlansman
Sam ElliottA Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam RockwellVice
Leaving my feelings about Vice out of it, the remaining four nominees are all deserving of their place in this category. My personal favorite from this list is Elliott, but they’re all solid performances.
WILL WIN: Sam Elliott, A Star is Born  – SHOULD WIN: Sam Elliott, A Star is Born

Actress in a Leading Role

Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
I’ve seen three of the five nominees, and I liked two of the three performances a lot. There wasn’t a clear winner in this category for me.
WILL WIN: Olivia Colman, The Favourite  – SHOULD WIN: Glenn Close, The Wife

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams – Vice
Marina de Tavira – Roma
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite
I think that the The Favourite features the best collection of female performances in recent memory. Hidden Figures is the last film that comes to mind that allows three women to deliver such great complementary performances. Otherwise I wasn’t in love with Vice or Roma.
WILL WIN: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite  – SHOULD WIN: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Animated Feature Film

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I really love Isle of Dogs, and there was a time where I thought it was clearly the best of the bunch. Then I saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and now I’m conflicted. My choices reflect this conflict.

WILL WIN: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-VerseSHOULD WIN: Isle of Dogs

Best Cinematography

Łukasz Żal – Cold War
Caleb Deschanel – Never Look Away
Robbie Ryan – The Favourite
Matthew Libatique – A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
There was a lot to like from the nominated films in this category. The highlight of the otherwise disappointing Roma was the cinematography. Cold War was also visually stunning. The Favourite and A Star is Born also look great.
WILL WIN: The FavouriteSHOULD WIN: Cold War

Best Costume Design

Mary Zophres – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ruth Carter – Black Panther
Sandy Powell – The Favourite
Sandy Powell – Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne –Mary Queen of Scots
So many great choices. Tough choice, but an obvious one in my mind.
WILL WIN: The FavouriteSHOULD WIN: The Favourite

Best Directing

Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Paweł Pawlikowski – Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Adam McKay –Vice
There are three films in this category that I think really deserve to be there. Then there’s Vice and Roma. Truthfully, I’d vote for BlacKkKlansman if I was a voting member of the Academy. My second choice would be Cold War.
WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansmanSHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

Best Documentary (Feature)

Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding The Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
I’m making this prediction based on the advice of others since I’ve been unable to see any of these movies in time for the awards.
WILL WIN: Free Solo – SHOULD WIN: Free Solo

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.
As with the previous category, I’m making this prediction based on the advice of others.
WILL WIN: End Game – SHOULD WIN: End Game

Best Film Editing

Barry Alexander Brown – BlacKkKlansman
John Ottman – Bohemian Rhapsody
Yorgos Mavropsaridis – The Favourite
Patrick J. Don Vito – Green Book
Hank Corwin – Vice
This is an interesting year for editing. I liked many of the nominees, but editing didn’t seem to stand out as I watched them.
WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansmanSHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

Best Foreign Language Film

Never Look Away
I wish I had seen all of the nominated films. In the end I saw one I loved, and one that makes no sense being nominated.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer – Border
Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks – Mary Queen of Scots
Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DehaneyVice
I’m really surprised to see The Favourite left out of this category. This is the only nomination that Vice seems deserving of, and I think it’s a possible win for that team. 

Best Music (Original Score)

Ludwig Goransson – Black Panther
Terence BlanchardBlacKkKlansman
Nicholas BritellIf Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre DesplatIsle of Dogs
Marc ShaimanMary Poppins Returns
There was a lot of great music composed for the films of 2018. It will be interesting to see which movie comes out on top.
WILL WIN: Mary Poppins Returns – SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

Best Music (Original Song)

“All the Stars” – Black Panther
Music by Kendrick Lamar, Mark “Sounwave” Spears and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith;
Lyrics by Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith
“I’ll Fight”RBG
Music and Lyrics by Diane Warren
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
“Shallow” – A Star Is Born
Music and Lyrics by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Music and Lyrics by Gillian Welch and David Rawlings
I have a tough time seeing this one go to any films besides A Star is Born or Black Panther. The rest of the nominees are great, but I think that those two stand out. In the end, I think that Lady Gaga will take it home as an acknowledgment of her music and her acting.
WILL WIN: A Star is Born – SHOULD WIN: A Star is Born

Best Picture

Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
I don’t know how Roma, Vice or Black Panther ended up in this list. Those three films fell way short for me this year. It’s disappointing that some better films weren’t included here. The rest of the nominated works are a collection of interesting and wonderful movies.
WILL WIN: The Favourite – SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

Best Production Design

Black Panther – Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
The FavouriteProduction Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
First ManProduction Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
Mary Poppins ReturnsProduction Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
RomaProduction Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez
I think it’s going to be tough to beat The Favourite in this category. I’d be happy to see any one of these movies take this one home.
WILL WIN: The Favourite – SHOULD WIN: The Favourite

Best Short Film (Animated)

Animal Behaviour

Late Afternoon

One Small Step
This is another category that I didn’t get to see much from.
WILL WIN: Bao – SHOULD WIN: Any of them.

Best Short Film (Live Action)

I wish I had been able to see these for myself. I’ll rely on the opinions of others here.
WILL WIN: Mother – SHOULD WIN: Any of them.

Best Sound Editing

Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker Black Panther
John Warhurst and Nina HartstoneBohemian Rhapsody
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan – First Man
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik AadahlA Quiet Place
Sergio Díaz and Skip LievsayRoma
I think this comes down to a couple films where sound truly makes a difference.
WILL WIN: Bohemian Rhapsody – SHOULD WIN: A Quiet Place

Best Sound Mixing

Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin Black Panther
Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali Bohemian Rhapsody
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. EllisFirst Man
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García Roma
Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve MorrowA Star Is Born
It’s a tough choice between four very good movies.
WILL WIN: Bohemian Rhapsody – SHOULD WIN: First Man

Best Visual Effects

Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould – Christopher Robin
Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. SchwalmFirst Man
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David ShirkReady Player One
Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic TuohySolo: A Star Wars Story
This is another interesting category with some great options.
WILL WIN: Avengers: Infinity War – SHOULD WIN: First Man

Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

The Ballad of Buster ScruggsWritten by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansmanWritten by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me? Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk Written for the screen by Barry Jenkins
A Star Is BornScreenplay by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters
Wow, this is a tough category this year.
WILL WIN: A Star Is Born – SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)

The FavouriteWritten by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First ReformedWritten by Paul Schrader
Green Book Written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
Roma Written by Alfonso Cuarón
ViceWritten by Adam McKay
Another tough one.
WILL WIN: The Favourite – SHOULD WIN: Green Book

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