Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Oscar Predictions - Part Two

Tonight is the big night, and so come the final predictions for the biggest awards in Hollywood. The uncertainty follows from the first half, as the question marks become bigger as to who really will take the statue home.

Here are the rest of the predictions for Oscar night:

Animated Feature
Thankfully there are no lackluster films nominated this year as there was last year, but there are still films that should win over the others. There was a time that it would’ve been easy to pull for Ralph Breaks the Internet, a makeup for overlooking the first film in favor of far inferior film in 2012. And then Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was given to the world, and nothing else in the Animated realm mattered. The film perfectly captures the tone of its characters and the feeling of a comic book, and it should, in theory, run away with this award.

Prediction: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller
Possible Spoiler: Incredibles 2 – Brad Bird, John Walker & Nicole Paradis Grindle

Documentary Feature
Once again, the Documentary branch snubs the yearlong favorite to win it all entirely. This year that happened to be Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the heart-warming and touching look at Mister Rogers. Of course, without this awards juggernaut in play, the race opens up completely. The only question that remains is if the Academy will go for the technical prowess displayed in Free Solo, or will they look at the more emotional and subdued Minding the Gap? From a pure filmmaking standpoint, Free Solo seems undeniable, but it’s hardly a safe bet.

Prediction: Free Solo – Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes & Shannon Dill
Possible Spoiler: Minding the Gap – Bing Liu & Diane Quon

Foreign Language Film
A category that should absolutely be a lock on paper, Best Foreign Language Film could only get tricky if the voters seek to award a film not named Roma just so it can be recognized in some way. If that’s the case, and you’re looking for that big upset to help your Oscar ballot, look for Cold War to be the film instead. However, Roma seems to have too much support across the board to lose here.

Prediction: Roma (Mexico) – Alfonso Cuarón
Possible Spoiler: Cold War (Poland) – Paweł Pawlikowski

First of all, let’s all be thankful that the Academy reversed their decision to not air this award in the live telecast. Second of all, let’s embrace a category full of potentially worthy winners. And yet, the statue will likely only go to two possible winners, Łukasz Žal (Cold War) or Alfonso Cuarón (Roma). Cuarón is a heavy favorite here, however, a director has never won an Oscar when serving as his own DP, an obstacle that could certainly get in the way. But again, it’s hard to see a world where the support Roma has from the majority of the branches suddenly vanishes.

Prediction: Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
Possible Spoiler: Cold War – Łukasz Žal

Adapted Screenplay
The toughest and tightest race of the twenty-four by a wide margin, Best Adapted Screenplay could feasibly go to any of the five nominees and no one would bat an eye. Throughout the entirety of awards season, the frontrunner role has been filled by numerous films, with the exception of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and no film has really solidified its position in its time in the lead. Logically, it would seem the Academy would want to provide a competeitive Oscar to Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, but a late push from Can You Ever Forgive Me? puts this in question as well. This is a toss-up category if there ever was one.

Prediction: BlacKkKlansman – Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Possible Spoiler: Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty

Original Screenplay
There are three potential scenarios for Best Original Screenplay, each with a different message for the remainder of the awards. First, it could go to The Favourite, a stellar screenplay and arguably the best in the bunch, and signal more possible above the line wins coming. Second, it could go to Green Book, a poor screenplay written by the son of its subject matter, and signal a potentially horrid Best Picture result. And finally, it could be a third film in Roma, a subtle screenplay but a respectable one, that would almost guarantee it takes home the big prize at the end of the night.

Prediction: The Favourite – Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara
Possible Spoiler: Green Book – Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie & Peter Farrelly

Supporting Actress
Another tremendously strong with numerous potential outcomes each with plenty of logical thinking to back it up. The perceived frontrunner all season has been Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), but misses at some major precursors puts her status in question. The ladies of The Favourite are both well liked and extremely deserving, but the vote splitting that will likely happen creates a big hurdle. And all of these question marks could leave a road for Roma and Marina de Tavira to sneak in for another win. With so much uncertainty at the Oscars this year, it feels as though there will be at least one major shock in the big categories, and this is where it could fall.

Prediction: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Possible Spoiler: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Supporting Actor
On paper, this is an award destined for Mahershala Ali (Green Book). The actor has swept all of the major precursors and seems like one of the easiest picks of the night, with the only potential roadblock being his first win only a few years ago. A recent push from Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) makes the race marginally more interesting, but it seems Ali has this in the bag.

Prediction: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Possible Spoiler: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The strongest top to bottom category of the year, Best Actress features five women that would all make sense as winners. The lead narrative is giving the career award to Glenn Close (The Wife) that she has deserved for years. Despite the film not being great by any means, Close’s performance elevates it beyond its lackluster story. At this point in the season, the only feasible upset that could happen is from Olivia Colman (The Favourite). She has done some tremendous work on the campaign trail, when she isn’t busy shooting The Crown season three, and delivered the one of the year’s most memorable performances.

Prediction: Glenn Close, The Wife
Possible Spoiler: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

And this may just be the weakest category of the night from top to bottom. Only two of the nominees even feel worthy of a nomination, let alone a win, and yet neither will likely be the one to take the Oscar. Instead, it was decided that a halfhearted impersonation through bad fake teeth and a sanitized story would be the runaway winner this year. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) has been completely bulletproof this season, dodging scandals related to the criminal director and the twisting of Freddie Mercury’s story, emerging as an unlikely frontrunner that no one can even touch. Never did anyone believe that Christian Bale (Vice) would be everyone’s last hope.

Prediction: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Possible Spoiler: Christian Bale, Vice

Despite many other better options being available for nominations, we have another year of all male directors nominated. All are somewhat deserving of a nomination, besides Adam McKay (Vice), but they’ll all likely play second fiddle to Alfonso Cuarón (Roma). Outside of pushing Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) to a win for a stellar career, it’s hard to see a world where the director of the year’s most artistic and well-made film won’t win.

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Possible Spoiler: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Here it is. The most widely open Best Picture field in years. As it stands, only one film feels entirely out of it in terms of winning, that film being Vice, and even that isn’t certain. The films that feel the most like a potential Best Picture winner are Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Green Book or Roma. All have a path to the big prize in some way or another, and they all have obstacles to get there as well. In the end though, I have to trust my gut and go with the most respected film of the bunch Roma.

Prediction: Roma
Possible Spoiler: Green Book

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