This year’s nominees include everyone from newbies to veterans and comediennes to British breakouts. Glenn Close will be contending for her incredible performance in The Wife; this will be her seventh nomination. Glenn is currently the living actor with the most Oscar nominations without a win. Also in contention are first-time nominees Lady Gaga (a previous nominee for Best Original Song in 2016) and Yalitza Aparicio for their formidable turns in A Star Is Born and Roma, respectively. For her first leading performance in a primarily dramatic film, Melissa McCarthy picked up a second Oscar nomination for Can You Ever Forgive Me? Finally, Olivia Colman is looking to take home an Oscar on her first nomination for her absolutely incredible performance in The Favourite. In my humble opinion, Olivia Colman delivered the best performance of the year. Her witty and nuanced depiction of Queen Anne in The Favourite was a joy to watch. Glenn Close also delivered what was easily one of the top three performances of her career in The Wife. Every leading lady in this category gifted us with beautiful and rich performances, and any would be a worthy winner. Nevertheless, with a combination of the overdue narrative and truly moving performance, I think Glenn will take this home.
Should Win: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Should Have Been Nominated: Toni Collette (Hereditary)
Will Win: Glenn Close (The Wife)
Spoiler: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Four out of five nominees in this category are based on real people. Clearly, the Academy has an affinity for biopics and based-on-a-true-story films. Half-surprise nominee Willem Dafoe is nominated for a fourth time for his portrayal of Vincent van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate. Rami Malek scooped up his first ever Oscar nomination for his role as Freddie Mercury in the blockbuster Bohemian Rhapsody. Viggo Mortenson is looking to finally win on his third go around for his work as Tony Vallelonga in Green Book. Lastly, Christian Bale is seeking a second Oscar, and first for a leading role, for his turn as former Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice. Finally, Bradley Cooper is contending for an acting Oscar for the fourth time. He is nominated for his performance in A Star Is Born in which he played the troubled musician, Jackson Maine. Bradley’s performance has been severely underrated this season; he’s lost every major award for this role so far. I don’t think Viggo or Willem have enough momentum to pull off a win. Bradley and A Star Is Born have continuously lost momentum ever since the Golden Globes. With Malek winning the Globe, SAG, and most likely the BAFTA as well, my money is on him for the win.
Should Win: Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Should Have Been Nominated: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Will Win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Spoiler: Christian Bale (Vice)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
This may be one of the most confusing Oscar races in recent memory, so bear with me. Regina King was the presumed frontrunner for her role as a grieving mother in If Beale Street Could Talk. She swept the regional critics’ awards and won the Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Awards. And then she hit a snag, she was not nominated at the SAG awards or the BAFTAs. Instead, Emily Blunt won the SAG award for Best Supporting Actress award (for A Quiet Place), and she isn’t even nominated for the Oscar. Instead, the nominees are Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite), Marina de Tavira (Roma), and Amy Adams (Vice). I would be more inclined to give Adams the edge here since she is on her sixth nomination with no wins so far. Nevertheless, she failed to win at any of the major precursor awards. de Tavira was not even mentioned by any critics or awards bodies before her jaw-dropping Oscar nomination. Roma leads the field with 10 nominations, so there is clear support for all aspects of the film, but I don’t think that will take her to the finish line. I expect Weisz (she will probably win the BAFTA) and Stone to split votes as they’re from the same movie and both already have Oscars at home. That leaves us with King, who will be one of the best Oscar winners this decade if she does prevail.
Should Win: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Should Have Been Nominated: Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place)
Will Win: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Spoiler: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Going into awards season, Mahershala Ali who plays Don Shirley in Green Book, seemed to be the frontrunner. As we near closer to the big show, it seems that he will take home a second Oscar in just three years (he won this award for his role in Moonlight in 2016)! The other nominees include Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born), Adam Driver (BlackKklansman), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Rockwell (Vice). The only actor that could convincingly pull off an upset is Elliott. After 50 years in the business, this beloved actor has finally scored his very first Oscar nomination. Not to mention, despite his minute amount of screen time, he is simply a force of nature in A Star Is Born. Grant and Driver just don’t have enough passion and support to bring home the gold, and Rockwell just won this award last year for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, so I doubt he’ll win again so soon.
Should Win: Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Should Have Been Nominated: Brian Tyree Henry (Widows)
Will Win: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Spoiler: Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Honestly, I have no clue what could win Best Picture. There’s a convincing narrative for any of these films to win. First, Green Book. After a sweeping the Golden Globes (four wins) and being recognized at every industry awards show, guild awards show, and critics awards, Green Book is a legitimate threat. Despite the understandable, and warranted, controversy about the white-washing and homosexuality-erasing of Don Shirley in the movie, statistically, Green Book is in the best position to win the big prize. Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Favourite and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma lead the field with ten nominations apiece. Both films also have nominations in acting, editing, writing, and directing. The only thing standing in Roma’s way is that it is a black-and-white foreign language film produced and distributed by Netflix. Nevertheless, with ten nominations including that surprise nod for Marina de Tavira, clearly, there is real support and passion for this film. On the other hand, The Favourite would be a glorious winner, but after losing every award at the SAGs and winning just one at the Golden Globes, it seems that the support is there, but it may not be enough.
Next up, we have a film that suffered an unfortunate late-season tumble. Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born had all the components of a Best Picture winner. A celebrated actor’s directorial debut that made $400 million+ at the box office, featured a stunning performance from a singer-turned-actress, successfully pulled off a third remake of a classic film, and spawned an original hit song. At the Golden Globes, A Star Is Born competed in the Drama categories as opposed to the Comedy/Musical category; the risk backfired and the film won just a single award: Best Original Song for “Shallow.” That shocking night caused the film to lose a lot of momentum. Bradley has yet to win a major award for either directing or acting and Gaga has only won one major award for her acting. As the ceremony draws closer, it seems that Star will only walk away with one award. Spike Lee’s BlackKklansman is in a similar position. Spike has never won a competitive Oscar and this film was regarded as his best work in decades. Despite getting nominated everywhere, the movie has yet to secure a win to start any momentum. Although, if Spike does upset Alfonso Cuaron and win Best Director at the Directors’ Guild Awards, things could change.
And then there’s Green Book. Peter Farrelly’s film has supernaturally weathered through every controversy imaginable and it still looks like it could take top honors at the Oscars. With wins already most secured in Best Supporting Actor and possibly Original Screenplay, Green Book is in the perfect position to take it all. There’s an inexplicable general love for this film, so don’t be surprised if this takes it home. Then there are the two big blockbusters to think about: Bohemian Rhapsody and Black Panther. The former, starring Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury, became the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time, and the latter became the third highest-grossing film of all time. Bohemian Rhapsody has a lot of love due to the universal adoration of Queen, but the controversy swirling around Bryan Singer (who directed half of the film before leaving production) and the erasure of Mercury’s queerness is causing the film to lose traction. Nevertheless, with that coveted SAG nomination for Best Ensemble and that win at the American Cinema Editors Awards, this movie could still take it home. On the topic of Black Panther, while it is probably the most universally-loved film in this category, it still has an uphill battle to face. The superhero movie made history with nominations for Best Drama Film at the Golden Globes and a stunning win for Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards. This doesn’t excuse the fact that Panther is lacking in wins and key nominations in the writing, directing, and acting categories. One thing to remember is that Best Picture is voted on a numerical ballot where voters rank their favorite films. This could be a situation where a few passionate votes and enough top five votes could surprise in a win.
Lastly, there’s Vice, the Dick Cheney biopic starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Sam Rockwell. The movie has sneakily strong support. The three aforementioned performers were all nominated for Oscars, director Adam McKay scored nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, and the movie also scored nominations for Makeup & Hair Styling and Film Editing. In spite of all of this, I think this film has the lowest chance of winning Best Picture, they haven’t secured any important wins so far.
Should Win: anything except Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book
Should Have Been Nominated: If Beale Street Could Talk
Will Win: Roma
Spoiler: Green Book OR BlackKklansman OR Black Panther