Reel Talk: 2019 Oscar Predictions 

82nd Annual Academy Awards - "Meet The Oscars" New York

We’ve reached the end of January, which means it’s time for my annual Oscar nomination predictions. Assuming my thoughts are correct, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are poised to announce some interesting nominations — especially for films which may not have received attention in previous years. Without further ado, these are my picks for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress:

Best Picture

a star is born
Courtesy of The Verge
  1. Roma
  2. Green Book
  3. A Star is Born
  4. The Favourite
  5. BlacKkKlansman
  6. Black Panther
  7. Vice
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. If Beale Street Could Talk
  10. First Man

Potential Spoilers: A Quiet Place, Mary Poppins Returns

The Academy is allowed to nominate up to 10 films in this category, but my gut is telling me that eight will be the magic number this year. Without question, the three locks for this category are Roma, Green Book and A Star is Born. More than likely, the winner will be one of these films (especially considering Green Book is coming off a recent PGA win). Look for Black Panther to finally pave the way for superhero films to be recognized in major categories as well. Rounding out the bottom will likely be Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody, the latter of which gained steam after its Golden Globe win and PGA nomination.

If the Academy decided to recognize 10 films, Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk and Damien Chazelle’s First Man seem like safe bets.

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron
Courtesy of Variety
  1. Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
  2. Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  3. Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
  4. Adam McKay (Vice)
  5. Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

Potential Spoilers: Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)

As of now, this category seems to be a two-way race between Cuaron and Cooper, so they are certain to be nominated. Spike Lee will likely garner his first Oscar nomination for directing (which is hard to believe, given his career path). The final two spots will probably be more of a toss-up, but given recent controversies involving Farrelly, I’ve selected McKay and Lanthimos. However, I could easily see Farrelly and Coogler being announced instead, given that their films are in the conversation for Best Picture.

Unfortunately, this category will likely sidestep any recognition for female directors, despite having admiral candidates in Lynne Ramsey (You Were Never Really Here), Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) and Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?). It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but the awards season landscape thus far hasn’t been encouraging.

Best Actress

glenn close the wife
Courtesy of The Economist
  1. Glenn Close (The Wife)
  2. Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
  3. Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
  4. Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  5. Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)

Potential Spoiler: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)

For the most part, the Best Actress category won’t have too many surprises. The top four in this category are near locks, but if the Academy does deviate from this, it will be to include Aparicio for her mesmerizing acting debut in Roma. However, since Blunt has been nominated for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress at the SAG awards (the latter for A Quiet Place), it seems likely that she’ll nab at least one acting nomination. Since Mary Poppins Returns is the “showier” performance, I’m slotting her here and giving her a slight edge over Aparicio.

Best Actor

Courtesy of Variety
  1. Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  2. Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
  3. Christian Bale (Vice)
  4. Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
  5. Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Potential Spoiler: John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Like the Best Actress category, there probably won’t be too many surprises here— especially considering either Cooper, Malek and Bale are almost certain to pull a win.  I am going with an upset pick in Hawke, because although he hasn’t garnered nominations in major award shows like his counterparts, his turn as the troubled Reverend Toller in Paul Schrader’s First Reformed is too exceptional to be overlooked. Washington is deserving as well, and he’s very likely to slip into the fifth spot, but I’m betting on Hawke as of now.

Best Supporting Actress

Courtesy of CBS News
  1. Amy Adams (Vice)
  2. Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  3. Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  4. Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
  5. Claire Foy (First Man)

Potential Spoilers: Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Linda Cardellini (Green Book)

I pray to the awards gods that this is the year Amy Adams is finally recognized for being one of the best actresses of our time. At any rate, she and Regina King (who won the Golden Globe), are the most likely nominees in this category. I expect First Man to be excluded from most of the major nominations, so Foy will probably be the one to represent the film in terms of acting categories. If not, Blunt has a second shot at a nomination for her work in A Quiet Place.

Should there be an upset, it will probably be Cardellini, considering Green Book seems to be gaining more traction throughout awards season.

Best Supporting Actor

mahershala ali green book
Courtesy of Vulture
  1. Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
  2. Sam Elliott (A Star is Born)
  3. Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
  4. Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
  5. Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)

Potential Spoilers: Sam Rockwell (Vice), Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)

Out of all the major categories, Best Supporting Actor seems to be the most stable, especially when taking the SAG nominations into consideration. Ali has garnered the most hardware out of the potential nominees, a streak which will probably continue at the Oscars. However, Elliott is definitely a strong contender as well.

The least “safe” of the group is probably Driver, who could be bumped in favor of Rockwell or Jordan, the latter of which would mark the sole acting nomination for Black Panther.


Who do you think will earn nominations?

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