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2019 Oscars at a Glance: Early Critic’s Choice Awards Nomination Predictions

Which movies at the Critic's Choice Awards may be in with a shout of success before the big one comes around?

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The Critics’ Choice Awards is the one awards show that just sneaks up on me every year. Maybe that’s on me, but I always put them toward the bottom when it comes to predictions and how much staying power they have in affecting the Oscar race. For example, in both 2015 and 2016, they announced their nominations in the very beginning of December, to my recollection, over a week before the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild announced their nominations, and in 2016, they held their awards show just ten days after the nominations were announced.

Now, we could go into a discussion on why that was a terrible idea, but it seems the organization has learned from its mistakes. Last year they went back on track with nominations announced at relatively the same time as the Globes and SAG and had their award show between the two others in January. I understand why they want to stand out with the early showing, and it will definitely stand out, especially if they disagree heavily with the other precursors. However, I get the impression that they see themselves as an organization that wants to fit in with the other precursors, not become the black sheep that always gets things wrong. So with all of that kept in mind, I wanted to offer up my early predictions for the top eight categories, and their ensemble category as well.

 

Best Ensemble

The SAG Award’s top honor is the Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and it’s the big award they lead up to all evening on their program. On the polar opposite of that, you’ve got the Best Ensemble Award at Critic’s Choice, which is usually one of the first prizes handed out. It’s really just a “here, you were great” award that will not come up again except at SAG. There are five nominees here, and my predictions right now are that The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, BlacKkKlansman, and Vice will make it in. Remember, the order listed is arranged from most likely to be nominated to least likely. Some other possible contenders here are A Star is Born, Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, and Green Book.

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

What’s odd about Critics’ Choice is also the number of nominees in each category. Best Picture has 10 nominees (unless there’s a tie), the acting and directing categories have six nominees, but ensemble, screenplay, and the tech categories all have five nominees. Again, this is one way to stand out, but a little consistency would be nice. Given those parameters, my five picks for Adapted Screenplay are BlacKkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, Can You Ever Forgive Me, A Star is Born, and Widows. A couple others that have a shot are Crazy Rich Asians, First Man, The Hate U Give, and Black Panther.

 

Best Original Screenplay

This category is starting to shape up as the easier way to determine who the five nominees will be, not just here, but at all the other awards shows where the screenplay categories are split between adapted and original. My five are The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, Vice, and First Reformed. A couple rogue possibilities are Eighth Grade, A Quiet Place, and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

One thing that I can take back from a few months ago is a phrase I wrote about this category in general this year: it seems easy. Now the competition is starting to heat up. It helps to widen the field to six nominees here, because, for the most part, these will be the six to choose from at the other award shows coming up. My nominees in this category are Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, Claire Foy for First Man, Emma Stone for The Favourite, Rachel Weisz for The Favourite, Amy Adams for Vice, and Nicole Kidman for Boy Erased. I stand by my comment that the six who get in here are probably the only six that can also be nominated at the Oscars, but that doesn’t happen to be true every time. For example, in this category alone, we’ve seen Leslie Manville, Octavia Spencer, Laura Dern, Sally Hawkins, and Jackie Weaver land Oscar nominations without help from Critics’ Choice. So some possible names we might add to that list include Natalie Portman for Vox Lux, Michelle Yeoh for Crazy Rich Asians, and Margot Robbie for Mary Queen of Scots.

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

This category isn’t so cut and dry either. I feel confident in the six fellows I have getting in, but there’s a lot that can happen between now and December 10th. My six are Sam Rockwell for Vice, Mahershala Ali for Green Book, Timothee Chalamet for Beautiful Boy, Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me, Sam Elliott for A Star is Born, and Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman. A few other names you shouldn’t sleep on include Daniel Kaluuya for Widows, Michael B. Jordan for Black Panther, Hugh Grant for Paddington 2, and Brian Tyree Henry for If Beale Street Could Talk.

 

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Ah, we’ve arrived at the most competitive category. For now, I’m glad this category supports six nominees, because these six ladies are all honing in on a spot at the Oscars, and very few of them are absolute locks at this stage. Right now, I think they’ll all easily land nominations here. If any of these six ladies miss, we’ll know that this crowded field is even more crowded. They are Glenn Close for The Wife, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me, Viola Davis for Widows, Lady Gaga for A Star is Born, and Yalitza Aparicio for Roma. A few other possible names are Saoirse Ronan for Mary Queen of Scots, Nicole Kidman for Destroyer, and Felicity Jones for On the Basis of Sex.

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Another category where the competition remains stiff is Best Actor, and again, having six nominees here helps cut down the field. There are a lot of names that can be announced on the morning of the 10th that can change this race. My six are Christian Bale for Vice, Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born, Viggo Mortensen for Green Book, Ethan Hawke for First Reformed, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate, and Ryan Gosling for First Man. That leaves out Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody, Lucas Hedges for Boy Erased, John David Washington for BlacKkKlansman, Robert Redford for The Old Man and the Gun, and Steve Carell for Beautiful Boy. Again, any one of them being included here really helps their case moving forward.

 

Best Director

As with with the acting categories, having six nominees for Best Director gives us a better understanding of where we’ll go from here in determining the five nominees at the Oscars. For my six, I have Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Alfonso Cuaron for Roma, Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite, Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk, Peter Farrelly for Green Book, and Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born. A few directors who could break in include Damien Chazelle for First Man, Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, Marielle Heller for Can You Ever Forgive Me, and Adam McKay for Vice.

 

Best Picture

Remember that at the Oscars, up to ten films can be nominated, so having ten nominees here, ideally, showcases what those up to ten films can be. Again, though, there are lots of examples in the past few years of nominees who make it here but lose steam and miss out at the big dance. For now, the ten films I have receiving honors as nominees this year are Roma, The Favourite, Green Book, A Star is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk, BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Vice, First Man, and Can You Ever Forgive Me. A couple other big threats here include Widows, First Reformed, Crazy Rich Asians, and The Hate U Give.