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My 2019 Oscar Predictions (Now Updated With Winners)

February 24, 2019

By John Corrado

So that’s a wrap on the 91st Academy Awards. I ended up predicting 17 of the 24 categories correctly, which isn’t as much as I had hoped, but is still one better than I got last year. The night ultimately ended with Green Book winning Best Picture over my prediction and preference Roma, which still managed to win Alfonso Cuarón a trio of much deserved trophies for Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Foreign Language Film, the first time that award has ever gone to a film from Mexico.

I really did like Green Book, which also won the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, but I was hoping that Roma was going to come out on top tonight, as it’s the better overall movie. I’m guessing this has a lot to do with the Academy not wanting to give Best Picture to a Netflix film. While I think Green Book is a perfectly good movie, one of the biggest problems with it taking home the top prize is that it’s now going to be met with an even bigger amount of backlash than it already has, and the amount of scrutiny it will face is going to be even greater than if it hadn’t won Best Picture, which is unfortunate.

There were a few other surprises as well. Olivia Colman pulled off a Best Actress win for The Favourite, which I’m delighted about, even if it means that Glenn Close, who I was predicting would finally win on her seventh nomination, still doesn’t have an Oscar. The other acting awards went to Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, Mahershala Ali for Green Book, and Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody. In the most shocking turn of events, the divisive crowdpleaser Bohemian Rhapsody actually turned out to be the biggest winner of the night, taking home four of its five nominations, despite the fact that it was at least partially directed by sexual predator Bryan Singer.

I don’t really have much more to say than what I’ve already said, but I will add that the show actually went really smoothly without a host this year. There was no mediocre opening monologue or cheesy skits to drag things down. It felt way more streamlined, and more importantly they were able to present all of the 24 categories live on-air while still saving time, as opposed to the Academy’s hair-brained idea of a few weeks ago to give out four of the awards during commercial breaks.

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s performance of the Best Song winner “Shallow” was also everything that I needed it to be, and the chemistry between them was real. Below are my full predictions for what I thought was going to win from earlier in the day, including my brief thoughts on most of the categories, now updated to include the actual winners.

Best Picture:

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star is Born

Vice

This is one of the tightest Best Picture races in recent memory. There are cases to be made for why Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody or Green Book could win. At one point in the season, The Favourite and A Star is Born were the frontrunners. But I’m predicting that Roma will ultimately win this, making it both the first foreign language film and the first Netflix production to take home the top prize. It’s also the film that I think should win at the end of the night.

Prediction: Roma

Winner: Green Book

Best Director:

Pawel PawlikowskiCold War

Spike LeeBlacKkKlansman

Yorgos LanthimosThe Favourite

Alfonso CuarónRoma

Adam McKayVice

First off, Bradley Cooper should have been nominated for his directorial debut A Star is Born. Spike Lee has been gaining some momentum, and has surprisingly never won a competitive Oscar, which could give him an advantage. But there’s little doubt in my mind that Alfonso Cuarón will win his second Best Director Oscar for his technically stunning autobiographical masterpiece, and he absolutely deserves it.

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón

Best Actor:

Christian BaleVice

Bradley CooperA Star is Born

Willem DafoeAt Eternity’s Gate

Rami MalekBohemian Rhapsody

Viggo MortensenGreen Book

First off, the fact that Ethan Hawke missed out on a nomination for his career-defining performance in First Reformed is an absolute crime. My vote would personally go to Bradley Cooper, but Rami Malek is the frontrunner by a very wide margin for his admittedly solid impersonation of Freddie Mercury in an otherwise deeply flawed film.

Prediction: Rami Malek

Winner: Rami Malek

Best Actress:

Yalitza Aparicio – Roma

Glenn CloseThe Wife

Olivia ColmanThe Favourite

Lady GagaA Star is Born

Melissa McCarthyCan You Ever Forgive Me?

Olivia Colman could win this, and she would deserve it. But this is Glenn Close’s seventh nomination, and she has somewhat shockingly never won, so I think this will finally be her year. It’s also a masterful, understated performance from the veteran actress.

Prediction: Glenn Close

Winner: Olivia Colman

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala AliGreen Book

Adam DriverBlacKkKlansman

Sam ElliottA Star is Born

Richard E. GrantCan You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam RockwellVice

Richard E. Grant has charmed his way through awards season, and he gave a stunning performance that walked a fine line between comedy and tragedy. But Mahershala Ali has long been the favourite for his co-lead performance in Green Book, and I think he is poised to win his second Oscar for the film. I also think that Timothée Chalamet should have been nominated for Beautiful Boy, over Sam Rockwell’s comic performance in Vice.

Prediction: Mahershala Ali

Winner: Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress:

Amy AdamsVice

Marina De TaviraRoma

Regina KingIf Beale Street Could Talk

Emma StoneThe Favourite

Rachel WeiszThe Favourite

Again, this is a tight race, and I have been going back and forth between Regina King and Rachel Weisz in my predictions. But King has been dominating the awards circuit for her performance, so I’m giving her the edge here.

Prediction: Regina King

Winner: Regina King

Best Original Screenplay:

The Favourite – Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara

First Reformed – Paul Schrader

Green Book – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly

Roma – Alfonso Cuarón

Vice  – Adam McKay

Look, there’s no doubt in my mind that Paul Schrader should win this for First Reformed, which is somehow the veteran screenwriter’s first nomination, and the only nod for one of the absolute best movies of last year. But this is probably down to The Favourite and Green Book, and I’m giving the former the edge for its acid-tongued dialogue.

Prediction: The Favourite

Winner: Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee

Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty

If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins

A Star is Born – Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

A compelling case can be made for why Can You Ever Forgive Me? or If Beale Streat Could Talk might be able to pull off a surprise win in this category. But I think this is Spike Lee’s to lose.

Prediction: BlacKkKlansman

Winner: BlacKkKlansman

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:

Border

Mary Queen of Scots

Vice

They transformed Christian Bale into Dick Cheney. What more can I say?

Prediction: Vice

Winner: Vice

Best Animated Feature:

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Disney and Pixar could continue their dominance in this category with their blockbuster sequel Incredibles 2. But Spider-Verse has emerged as the favourite by a very wide margin throughout the season, and it’s one of the closest things to a consensus pick in any of the categories. It’s also an incredibly impressive and groundbreaking achievement from an artistic standpoint.

Prediction: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Documentary Feature:

Free Solo

Hale County This Morning This Evening

Minding the Gap

Of Fathers and Sons

RBG

With the absence of the expected frontrunner Won’t You Be Neighbor?, which was left off the ballot in one of the most surprising snubs of all time, this category is down to Free Solo and RBG. While the subject of RBG is basically seen as a liberal superhero, which gives that film an advantage, Free Solo is the better movie from a technical standpoint, and has also done quite well at the box office. I’ll be happy if it wins, and I think it will, even if my vote would go to Bing Liu’s masterpiece Minding the Gap.

Prediction: Free Solo

Winner: Free Solo

Best Original Score:

Black Panther – Ludwig Göransson

BlacKkKlansman – Terrence Blanchard

If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell

Isle of Dogs – Alexandre Desplat

Mary Poppins Returns – Marc Shaiman

This category is also surprisingly hard to predict this year, so I’m going with Nicholas Britell’s widely admired score for If Beale Street Could Talk.

Prediction: If Beale Street Could Talk

Winner: Black Panther

Best Original Song:

“All the Stars” – Black Panther

“I’ll Fight” – RBG

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns

“Shallow” – A Star is Born

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

You can engrave the statue now, this is the biggest lock of the night. If Best Song goes to anything other than Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s soaring, unforgettable ballad, it will be one of the greatest upsets of all time. “Shallow” will win this hands down, as it should.

Prediction: “Shallow”

Winner: “Shallow”

Best Foreign Language Film:

Capernaum (Lebanon)

Cold War (Poland)

Never Look Away (Germany)

Roma (Mexico)

Shoplifters (Japan)

Yes, I’m predicting that Roma will ultimately take Best Picture at the end of the night, but there’s little doubt that it will also win here, making it the first film to do so.

Prediction: Roma

Winner: Roma

Best Costume Design:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres

Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter

The Favourite – Sandy Powell

Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell

Mary Queen of Scots – Alexandra Byrne

There is a lot of love for Ruth E. Carter’s Afrofuturistic costumes in Black Panther, and she could win, but period pieces usually win in this category, and Sandy Powell is a double nominee, so I’m thinking she will take this for The Favourite.

Prediction: The Favourite

Winner: Black Panther

Best Production Design:

Black Panther – Hannah Beachler, Jay Hart

The Favourite – Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton

First Man – Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas

Mary Poppins Returns – John Myhre, Gordon Sim

Roma – Eugenio Caballero, Barbara Enriquez

My reasoning for The Favourite coming out on top for costume design could easily stand here, and I would love to see Roma take this one, but I’m thinking that the Academy will want to recognize the distinctive production design of Black Panther, which is one of the most memorable aspects of the clearly well liked film.

Prediction: Black Panther

Winner: Black Panther

Best Cinematography:

Cold War – Lukasz Zal

The Favourite – Robbie Ryan

Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel

Roma – Alfonso Cuarón

A Star is Born – Matthew Libatique

Robbie Ryan’s work on The Favourite is spectacular. The way that Matthew Libatique shot A Star is Born‘s concert sequences is thrilling. But this is Alfonso Curón’s to lose for the striking black and white compositions and breathtaking long takes that he brought to the screen in Roma. It’s worth noting that the film was originally going to be shot by his frequent collaborator, multiple Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki, but scheduling conflicts prompted the director to act as his own cinematographer.

Prediction: Roma

Winner: Roma

Best Film Editing:

BlacKkKlansman – Barry Alexander Brown

Bohemian Rhapsody – John Ottman

The Favourite – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Green Book – Patrick J. Don Vito

Vice – Hank Corwin

This is another one of the tightest categories. It could easily go to Vice or BlackKkKlansman, but John Ottman is seen as salvaging Bohemian Rhapsody after director Bryan Singer was fired. Yes, some of the scenes aren’t that well assembled, but I’m thinking it will win for the flashy concert sequences alone, including the impressive recreation of Queen’s performance at Live Aid.

Prediction: Bohemian Rhapsody

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Visual Effects:

Avengers: Infinity War

Christopher Robin

First Man

Ready Player One

Solo: A Star Wars Story

If something else takes this, it would be First Man, for the way that it recreated the moon landing using mostly in-camera effects. But Avengers: Infinity War boasted incredibly impressive visuals, including one of the best villains of last year in Thanos, a stunning digital creation who was brought to life entirely through motion capture technology.

Prediction: Avengers: Infinity War

Winner: First Man

Best Sound Editing:

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

A Quiet Place

Roma

The sound categories are always a toss-up, but one of the many impressive things about Roma is the way that the film used sound to immerse us in the world of Mexico in the 1970s, which was especially apparent when seeing it in a theatre. I’m thinking it will win at least one of these awards.

Prediction: Roma

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Sound Mixing:

Black Panther

Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man

Roma

A Star is Born

The reason why I think Bohemian Rhapsody has a good shot of winning here is because the film’s sound mixing is undeniably impressive. The film does a good job blending music and dialogue, and they even mixed together elements of both Freddie Mercury and Rami Malek’s voices for the song performances.

Prediction: Bohemian Rhapsody

Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Animated Short:

Animal Behaviour

Bao

Late Afternoon

One Small Step

Weekend

I’m already betting against Pixar in the feature category, but I’m not going to do that here with Bao. It will also be incredibly gratifying to see Toronto’s own Domee Shi take the stage to accept the award for this unique short film.

Prediction: Bao

Winner: Bao

Best Live Action Short:

Detainment

Fauve

Marguerite

Mother

Skin

Prediction: Skin

Winner: Skin

Best Documentary (Short Subject):

Black Sheep

End Game

Lifeboat

A Night at the Garden

Period. End of Sentence.

Prediction: Period. End of Sentence.

Winner: Period. End of Sentence.

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