2019 Oscars at a Glance: Films Already Released in the Oscar Race

Eighth Grade movie

In the past couple of weeks, I have been posting about which upcoming films have Oscar chances. But there are still nominations that will come from films released before September 1st. Here’s a few that I think have a shot of being possible Oscar nominees later this year.


Black Panther

Ryan Coogler’s entry into the MCU was not only the highest grossing in Marvel’s universe in the US, but Black Panther also turned into the cultural event of the year at the box office. And some films that are released early in the year stick around for Oscar love, like Get Out, The Grand Budapest Hotel, or even classics like Fargo and The Silence of the Lambs. Best Picture is still on the table for T’Challa and company, as is Best Director for Coogler. While I’m not thinking any of the actors are sure bets yet, the Production Design and Costumes are definitely probabilities. I’d also bet on Best Visual Effects and the sound categories at this stage.


Early Man

The Best Animated Feature category has honored Aardman Animation in the past with the Wallace & Gromit shorts and feature. Even though Early Man flopped at the US box office, it still has a shot for the category.


Isle of Dogs

Wes Anderson is no stranger to the Oscar voters, usually in the Original Screenplay category. Isle of Dogs will have a shot there, as well as the Best Animated Feature category. Anything else is a big question mark at this point.


Ready Player One

Spielberg’s send-up to classic and modern video games was a success at the box office, but a mixed-bag for fans and critics. Still, as someone who enjoyed the film, the Visual Effects and sound branches may honor it later this year, and Alan Silvestri’s score wasn’t bad, either. Also consider the Best Production Design category, too.


Avengers: Infinity War

Marvel movies have done okay being nominated in the Best Visual Effects category over the years, with both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy being nominated in the same year. And with the gargantuan success of Infinity War, Visual Effects, the sound categories, and Original Score may be places to award Marvel’s biggest film yet.



Jason Reitman may have a different Oscar player later this year, the aptly named film The Front Runner. Though we shouldn’t wipe out his other effort, Tully, which garnered acclaimed performances from both Mackenzie Davis and Charlize Theron. Also screenwriter Diablo Cody won Best Original Screenplay for Juno, so consider her a possibility, too.


Solo: A Star Wars Story

Each Star Wars film in the past (except the animated Clone Wars film) has received at least one nomination, so we shouldn’t discount Solo. That being said, it was a big disappointment for some fans, critics, and at the box office. Nevertheless, Best Visual Effects, the sound categories, Original Score, Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup and Hairstyling are all still on the table.


Won’t You be My Neighbor?

This feature length Mr. Rogers doc welcomed many moviegoers to this film, and when a feature-length documentary like this gets the reception it did, the Academy usually nominates it. In fact, due to the response of the film, I’d suspect it’ll be the frontrunner in the category.



A24 has a good history of getting their films nominated, and sometimes winning in shocking upsets (like Ex Machina for Visual Effects and Moonlight for Best Picture). While their horror films don’t usually get good responses from the Academy, everyone was impressed with Toni Collette’s performance in Hereditary, which could end up on the Best Actress list.


Incredibles 2

Disney and Pixar are almost always the winner for the Best Animated Feature category. Since they do also have Ralph Breaks the Internet coming out later this year, they’ll likely want two slots with Incredibles 2 also taking up a slice. And don’t forget, the original film earned a Best Original Screenplay nomination, too. Also, the Academy sometimes gives a nod to animated films in the sound categories, so keep an eye on that.


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

While the first Jurassic World did not even get nominated in the Visual Effects category, the original film was a hit at the 1994 Oscars, taking home three awards. While Fallen Kingdom split the critics and some fans, we might want to keep the original film’s Oscar gold in mind.


Eighth Grade

Bo Burnham’s impressive feature-length directorial debut won over lots of fans this summer. While it’s dangerous to put a lot of odds on summer comedies that are critical darlings (like one of my favorites, The Spectacular Now), we can assume the Academy may like Eighth Grade for a few categories. In particular, Elsie Fisher was a compelling Lead Actress for the film, Josh Hamilton is worthy of a Best Supporting Actor contention, and Burnham himself may end up a nominee for his Original Screenplay. Maybe Best Picture, too.


Mission: Impossible – Fallout

For me, Fallout is the best film I’ve seen all year. Yeah, color me shocked as well. While none of the previous films received any hugs from the Academy, this time may be different for Tom Cruise and company. While I’m not saying anything major for nominations, Visual Effects and the sound categories are definitely possible.



Second to Mission: Impossible, this is the best film I’ve seen all year. And while there are some who have criticized the film, which co-writer and director Spike Lee is no stranger to, I’d say this one has a lot of merit to it. Best Picture is highly possible, as is Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and maybe some love for lead actor John David Washington. And yes, being the son of Denzel Washington may help his case. Also, I’d like to give some love to Topher Grace, who made David Duke one of the more charismatic characters of the whole piece.


Crazy Rich Asians

This film has been making a fortune at the box office, and being a culturally important film helps its case. While I haven’t caught this one yet, some are praising the film with Best Picture chances, as well as a bid for Supporting Actress for Michelle Yeoh. Time will tell if this one gets in the race.

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