CREDIT: Carlos Somonte/Netflix

Here’s my final rundown of who I will think will be taking home the little gold men on Sunday, February 24, 2019, and whom I would vote for if I had a ballot.

Best Picture

Prediction: Roma is tied for the most nominations, and it’s won the most noteworthy precursor awards.
Preference: BlacKkKlansman is absolutely electric, a quality that is all too rare in Best Picture winners.

Best Director

Prediction: Expect Alfonso Cuarón to continue the recent Mexican dominance in this category.
Preference: A win for Spike Lee would have lifetime achievement oomph, and it would also be deserved in particular for BlacKkKlansman.

Lead Actor

Prediction: Everyone loves Freddie Mercury, and a lot of people love Rami Malek bringing him to life.
Preference: At Eternity’s Gate is ambitiously avant-garde, which means that Willem Dafoe gives an absolutely fascinating performance as Vincent van Gogh.

Lead Actress

Prediction: Most signs point to it finally being Glenn Close‘s time.
Preference: Melissa McCarthy has never given a bad performance, but it’s been a while since she’s given one as good as she does in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Supporting Actress

Prediction: Despite the lack of recognition from SAG and BAFTA, Regina King looks poised to take it.
Preference: In The Favourite, Emma Stone was truly unlike anything she had ever been before.

Supporting Actor

Prediction: There might be a late surge from Richard E. Grant, but the safe bet is Mahershala Ali.
Preference: Richard E. Grant gives the kind of performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? that makes you want to hang out with him all the time.

Original Screenplay

Prediction: You could make a case for just about all of the Screenplay nominees, but the strongest one would be for The Favourite.
Preference: First Reformed‘s screenplay laid out a case for what humanity must reckon with in the 21st century.

Adapted Screenplay

Prediction: BlacKkKlansman‘s best chance for a trophy is in Screenplay.
Preference: Every plot twist and bit of dialogue in BlacKkKlansman pops with energy and conviction.

Original Score

Prediction: Could Black Panther composer Ludwig Göransson become the latest Community alum Oscar winner? He’s got a very good chance.
Preference: I would love it if Terence Blanchard’s guitar licks from BlacKkKlansman started following me around all day.

Original Song

Prediction: It’s looking like A Star is Born is going to have to settle for just a Song win for “Shallow.”
Preference: “All the Stars” is probably the best of the bunch, but I would love to see a song sung by Tim Blake Nelson take it, so go, “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”!

Cinematography

Prediction: The images of Roma have entranced a lot of people.
Preference: But for my money, the most gorgeous black-and-white compositions in 2018 were in Cold War.

Animated Feature

Prediction: Everyone is under the spell of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Preference: Into the Spider-Verse is satisfyingly unique when it comes to superhero films, animated films, and films in general.

Costume Design

Prediction: This should come down to the elaborate frippery of The Favourite and the Afrofuturism of Black Panther. I’ll give the edge to Wakanda.
Preference: There’s a reason why Black Panther has inspired so many Halloween outfits.

Film Editing

Prediction: I wouldn’t be shocked by any winner here, so I’ll just predict the one I like the most and say BlacKkKlansman.
Preference: Remember when I called BlacKkKlansman “electric”? A lot of that is accomplished in the editing.

Makeup and Hairstyling

Prediction: Darkest Hour won last year, so how about Vice making it two in a row for jowly politician transformations?
Preference: I haven’t even seen all of Border, but based on the clips I have seen, it looks like quite the Makeup triumph.

Production Design

Prediction: If you love Wakanda, then you love Black Panther‘s production design.
Preference: Black Panther deserves its praise most for its design elements.

Sound Editing

Prediction: Voters have really seemed to understand the difference between Sound Editing and Mixing lately, which actually bodes well for A Quiet Place.
Preference: Ironically, A Quiet Place knew how to create the best sounds.

Sound Mixing

Prediction: Mixing often goes to a musically inclined film, which would seem to favor A Star is Born, but it actually looks like Bohemian Rhapsody has the edge.
Preference: A Star is Born has an utterly enveloping soundscape.

Visual Effects

Prediction: Avengers: Infinity War‘s ashy death scene was probably the most iconic VFX moment of the year.
Preference: Christopher Robin‘s effects are more low-key than its fellow nominees, but that’s part of the charm.

Documentary

Prediction: I’m guessing voters are impressed (if that’s the right word) by Alex Honnold enough to vote for Free Solo.
Preference: Free Solo is kind of straightforward in its cinematic construction, but it doesn’t need to be crazy to make its profoundly risk-taking subject pop.

Foreign Language Film

Prediction: If Roma is the Best Picture favorite, logic would dictate it’s also the Foreign Language favorite.
Preference: There’s something hypnotic about Cold War that has lingered with me for months.

Animated Short

Prediction: Pixar does it again with Bao!
Preference: Bao made me hungry and appreciative of my family – always a winning formula!

Live Action Short

Prediction: I suspect voters will gravitate towards Marguerite as the only one of the bunch that has anything resembling a happy ending.
Preference: Skin, about a unique strategy for revenge against a violent crime, wins my admiration for its boldness.

Documentary Short Subject

Prediction: Documentary Short can be a tough nut to crack. Perhaps Lifeboat will resonate with its chronicle of the plight of refugees?
Preference: Consisting of archival footage of a 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden, A Night at the Garden is eye-opening and unforgettable.

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