It’s been a strange awards season and will no doubt be an even stranger Academy Awards tonight. Sadly I’ve not been able to spend quite the time I like to spend on these but I couldn’t let the Oscars go by without making my predictions. So here they are, rushed and last-minute, but here nevertheless…
BEST PICTURE: Roma
With the preferential ballot, Best Picture seems constantly difficult to predict these days and a surprise win from GREEN BOOK, THE FAVOURITE, BLACKkKLANSMAN or even BLACK PANTHER would be no surprise at all. But ROMA still feels like the clear and beautiful winner – as long as enough voters have actually watched it.
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron
There is a chance Spike Lee could take this particular crown but Alfonso’s beautiful passion project encapsulates not just the director’s vision but also the very origins and influences of one of Hollywood’s most revered directors. So a second win for him seems certain.
BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close
Glenn Close sealed the deal with her surprise win at the Golden Globes and a fantastic speech that put her top of everyone’s list. Nominated multiple times without a win, this looks to be the year the Academy finally chooses to crown her. If there’s an upset, my money’s on Olivia Colman who – until the Golden Globes – I would have predicted as the winner. And she could well still win.
BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek
Racking up the wins including SAG and BAFTA, Rami Malek looks to be one of the only dead certs on Oscar night. In many ways a pretty controversial choice but Rami Malek’s involvement in firing director Bryan Singer seems only to have added to his credentials and boosted his chances.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King
Tricky one. Regina King wasn’t even nominated for a SAG award or a BAFTA but she still feels like she has the edge in this race. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz look set to split the vote. Amy Adams is brilliant but VICE doesn’t seem to have the traction that could propel her to victory. If there’s an upset? I would say it’s most likely to be Marina de Tavira for ROMA.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali
Mahershala feels like a dead cert for his second Oscar. But that’s not to rule out Richard E. Grant whose performance in CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? is getting a lot of buzz and whose enjoyment of the awards season circuit is sure to curry favour with voters. So watch this space for a surprise.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
Both ROMA and COLD WAR are exceptionally beautiful and it’s sad that in multiple categories COLD WAR is set to lose out to the ‘other’ black and white foreign language film. But ROMA is a visual feast and the stunning motifs throughout, along with the steady sweep of Cuaron’s camera, point to an easy win for the Academy-Award winning director.
BEST EDITING: Vice
Interesting one. And a big award that looks set to buck the trend of tying with Best Picture. Could it be BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, a film that lost its director and was therefore made in the edit? Could it be the well-loved BLACKkKLANSMAN? I’m going for the fun and dynamic VICE.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: BlacKkKlansman
Now logic dictates opting for the WGA winner in this category, which would bring CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? to the fore. But I don’t think this script was strong enough to take the award and, with all the love for BLACKkKLANSMAN, I think Spike Lee could easily take this. As he did at the BAFTAs. I can see the Academy wanting to award Spike Lee and if ROMA’s to take the big prizes this could be the perfect place to give him a nod.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The Favourite
I would be shocked if THE FAVOURITE didn’t take this. It’s a fresh twist on period with sharp dialogue and female politics delivered in a nuanced and scathing way – it’s all about the dialogue. And a story revolving around three fully-characterised lead women seems sure to register with voters. I reckon this is a lock.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Roma
I’d quite like COLD WAR to take this one, given Roma’s set to take the big prize. But then it would be absurd not to give the best film of the year an award for best film in this category as well.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Free Solo
Shamefully, I haven’t watched any of these this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if RBG took this but I’m opting for FREE SOLO.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Favourite
Difficult. THE FAVOURITE or a chance for the Academy to award BLACK PANTHER? Hmm. I’m going for The Favourite.
BEST HAIR & MAKE-UP: Vice
I could see MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS easily winning in another year but … Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. VICE should take this.
BEST COSTUME: The Favourite
Another category where I can imagine BLACK PANTHER receiving a nod as recognition. But a Sandy Powell win for these elaborate costumes seems more likely.
BEST SCORE: If Beale Street Could Talk
I’m going for BEALE STREET because I think it’s a stunning score. But I feel like BLACKkKLANSMAN could take this.
BEST SOUND EDITING: A Quiet Place
I’m finding this one very difficult this year. The favourite seems to be FIRST MAN and one shouldn’t rule out the musicals. But a well-loved film that is all about sound feels like a natural choice so I’m risking it and going for A QUIET PLACE.
BEST SOUND MIXING: Bohemian Rhapsody
I’m stumped on this one too. I’d say it’s between the musicals so that’s either A STAR IS BORN or BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Ordinarily I’d go for A STAR IS BORN which feels like the more classic choice. But the blend of Rami Malek with Freddie Mercury’s voice could be what tips the balance so I’m going for that.
BEST SONG: Shallow – A Star Is Born
Surely Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s for the taking.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
Seems like a lock.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Avengers: Infinity War
FIRST MAN could take this. Space and all. But a big and brash Marvel film feels like the more obvious choice so I’m going for that.
Let’s see how it goes…