2019 Oscars at a Glance: Third Oscar Nomination Predictions
As we head into October, the Oscars loom a little closer. Now that the New York Film Festival is underway, and with a few higher up Oscar prospects (A Star is Born and First Man) entering wide release in the next couple of weeks, it’s time to look at the big Oscar categories and see what changes, if any, I’d like to make. Again, keep in mind that there’s a lot of time left for things to go really right for some contenders and really wrong for others. And another note, the order I list the films in is, from my perspective, most likely to be nominated to least likely.
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Before heading into the categories one by one, a couple of quick updates. First off, Vox Lux has officially slated a December 7th release date, so that will count for this year. Next up, Adam McKay’s new project, Backseat, has changed titles. Now it’ll be titled Vice, and they’re dropping their first trailer this week (if it hasn’t already dropped by the time you’re reading this). Lastly, Clint Eastwood is entering back into the Oscar race this year with The Mule, where he stars as a drug runner in his 80s while being pursued by the feds, led by Bradley Cooper. That also is looking at a December release date from Warner Brothers. All right, now we’re ready to go.
Best Adapted Screenplay
I’m pretty happy right now with the five films I have predicted here: If Beale Street Could Talk, BlacKkKlansman, First Man, Widows, and Can You Ever Forgive Me. A few experts at this stage are predicting A Star is Born to be nominated, but I’m not on that train yet, especially since a few reviews I’ve read say the story is old hat, and it’s the performances and direction that stand out. In this category, I’d also look out for Beautiful Boy, Boy Erased, and Mary Queen of Scots to possibly sneak into a slot.
Best Original Screenplay
Changes: Eighth Grade in, Buster Scruggs out
Even though The Ballad of Buster Scruggs picked up a prize at Venice for its screenplay, I’m going back to Eighth Grade to fill in the fifth slot of this race. The other four nominees will be The Favourite, Vice, Roma, and Green Book. This doesn’t mean the Coens are out of the race yet, though. We always have to watch out for them. Also look out for Bohemian Rhapsody, Isle of Dogs, and Peterloo, which come from previous screenplay nominees.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Still going strong in this category with Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk, Margot Robbie for Mary Queen of Scots, Claire Foy for First Man, Amy Adams for Vice, and Emma Stone for The Favourite. Now, there is some category confusion at this stage about Amy Adams. She could be a lead role, but there’s little to go on at this time. Once we see that trailer, though, I think we’ll have a better idea of how large a role she plays in Vice. There is also some confusion on Olivia Colman, who is in The Favourite. She has first billing according to the posters and cast list, but I’m seeing her name pop up for some predictions in Supporting Actress. Having not seen the film myself, I was under the impression that both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz would be campaigning in supporting while Olivia had lead. We’ll have to hear what Fox Searchlight says about which category they want to campaign everybody in. This category does have some room to be broken into, by the way, with Weisz also a competitor here, as is Nicole Kidman for Boy Erased, Michelle Yeoh for Crazy Rich Asians, and Sissy Spacek for The Old Man and the Gun.
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The only real change here is the order of who’s more likely to be nominated. I have Sam Rockwell for Vice out front, followed by Timothee Chalamet for Beautiful Boy, Mahershala Ali for Green Book, Daniel Kaluuya for Widows, and Richard E. Grant for Can You Ever Forgive Me. However, I’m starting to keep my eye on Stephan James for If Beale Street Could Talk, and judging from that last trailer, he looks like he does an excellent job in the film. Also in the mix are Sam Elliott for A Star is Born, Russell Crowe for Boy Erased, and Steve Carell for Vice. But this is a pretty fluid category, so we’ll keep tabs on it.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Changes: Felicity Jones out, Lady Gaga in
I’m jumping on the bandwagon on this one with Lady Gaga. I now see her getting a nod for her work on A Star is Born, but I currently have her in fifth. I have Saoirse Ronan out front for Mary Queen of Scots, then Viola Davis for Widows, Olivia Colman for The Favourite, and Melissa McCarthy for Can You Ever Forgive Me. I’m bumping Felicity Jones in On the Basis of Sex because the film is so far out at this point and there’s not a ton of buzz on it for the moment. I could change my mind later, and from the trailer it looks like Jones has a winner of a performance, but that’s where I stand right now. A few people may be yelling at me for not predicting Glenn Close for The Wife, and they may have a point. Close has been nominated six times before by the Academy, and The Wife started out slow at the box office, but has been picking up steam in the last few weeks. A couple more growing favorites here include Kiki Layne for If Beale Street Could Talk, Yalitza Aparicio for Roma, and Nicole Kidman for Destroyer. It’ll be difficult this year to keep tabs on this category.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
Changes: Bradley Cooper in, Rami Malek out
This category, like Supporting Actor, seems to be pretty fluid at the moment. One minute I’m convinced these are the five, but then I see four of them plus a new one, and all the different variations that leads to. At the moment my five stand thus: Christian Bale in first for Vice, followed by Ryan Gosling for First Man, Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born, Viggo Mortensen for Green Book, and Lucas Hedges for Boy Erased. I’m kicking out Malek just to make room for Cooper, who’s looking at his fifth Oscar nom if he makes it here (and could add three more in different categories) and I think Hedges and Viggo will be more likely than Malek, who’s looking at his first nomination for Bohemian Rhapsody, whereas everyone else has been nominated at least once before. Now for the back-ups, Malek is still very much an option, as is Robert Redford for The Old Man and the Gun, Willem Dafoe for At Eternity’s Gate, Steve Carell for Beautiful Boy, and Hugh Jackman for The Front Runner.
My five for this category stand firm, and in this order: Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman, Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk, Damien Chazelle for First Man, Alfonso Cuaron for Roma, and Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite. I’m not ready to say Bradley Cooper in this category yet, but with the record of actor-turned-directors getting nominated on their first try (Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Kevin Costner, Orson Welles, Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele) I might change my mind soon, but for now I’m not comfortable dropping any one of these five. Also keep in mind there are a few other directors out there hoping to break through: Peter Farrelly for Green Book, Ryan Coogler for Black Panther, Steve McQueen for Widows, Adam McKay for Vice, and Marielle Heller for Can You Ever Forgive Me. Another fluid race here.
Just a few ranking changes here, which is worth talking about. The past couple of articles I’ve listed First Man as my pick for Best Picture frontrunner, but I’ve changed my mind. After that If Beale Street Could Talk trailer, I’m switching to that as the frontrunner, then the rest of the field goes like this: First Man, BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, Roma, Green Book, A Star is Born, Widows, Black Panther, and Vice. On the outside looking in, I have Can You Ever Forgive Me, Beautiful Boy, Boy Erased, Mary Queen of Scots, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Crazy Rich Asians.
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