Oscars 2019 predictions: make your picks against our panel
It’s shaping up to be one of the most wide-open Best Picture races in Oscars history. The supposed frontrunner, Roma, is a foreign language film, and a non-English film has never won at the Oscars. Its top competition, Green Book, has been panned by critics. And while at this point the field is usually funneled down to a few possibilities, seven of the nine nominees could win and I wouldn’t be surprised (only BlackKklansman or Vice would shock me).
Into this free-for-all I venture to make my predictions along with friends of the site Peter Coutu and Audrey Altmann. And this year, I’m adding response options for you as well: make your bets for each category and I will post the leaderboard results after the Feb. 24 ceremony. Let’s get to it.
The Big Six Categories
JS: Rami Malek
Fun fact: of the past 25 Best Actor winners, four have played musicians (Geoffrey Rush in Shine, Adrien Brody in The Pianist, Jamie Foxx in Ray, and Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart) and five have played politicians (Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland, Sean Penn in Milk, Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, and Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour). Expect Malek to even the score.
PC: Rami Malek
A quick non-Oscars note: I’m riding an unreal hot hand against Jake this year for our box office betting, so I’m basically a lock to win this. For all my picks here, I used a combination of three factors to make the call — my own judgment of the movie*, betting odds and what previous awards picked, like BAFTA and SAG awards. I’ve got to think this comes down to Rami Malek, Christian Bale and maybe Bradley Cooper. Malek seems to be cleaning up so far, and I didn’t feel strongly about any of the other picks — so voilà, there’s my pick!
*Only applicable for the movies I saw
AA: Rami Malek
My picks for last year’s Oscars were truly abysmal. I fully expect that my choices this year will likely be the same because I’ve proven to be a bad picker. I might be guilty of sometimes choosing the people or movies that I want to win a category (or think should win) instead of what the Academy actually likes. When Jake and Peter wipe the floor with me again, I’ll use that as my excuse for my continued losing streak! That being said, I haven’t seen most of the movies of the actors in this category, so I’ll go with media favorite Rami Malek.
JS: Glenn Close
First of all: Glenn Close is this year’s Gary Oldman, an esteemed older actor inevitably on her way to an Oscar because she has never previously won. But we all know who we want to see delivering an acceptance speech.
PC: Glenn Close
I visited Jake in Washington for a weekend last fall and we made a trip to Landmark’s E Street Cinema. It was a lovely little theatre downtown. It’s a shame the experience was ruined because Jake made me see The Favourite, a dreadful film. Because of this, I have refused to pick it for any major awards! I give the award to Glenn Close by default. Plus, she has been nominated six other times for either Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress and has yet to win one.
AA: Olivia Colman
As Jake already said, I really just need another speech by Colman like from her wins at the Globes and the BAFTAs. On top of that, she did deliver a spectacular performance in The Favourite and the Academy historically loves a British royalty film.
Best Supporting Actor
JS: Mahershala Ali
Ali is a near-lock, so I’ll just say here that Michael B. Jordan got robbed for his performance as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther, the best movie villain of recent memory.
PC: Mahershala Ali
I feel like Mahershala Ali is a MASSIVE favorite here so I don’t really have much to say. He won both the SAG and BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actor already and is -1,429 to take home an Academy Award as well.
AA: Mahershala Ali
Picking anyone else would be pretty foolish, so I won’t even try. However, this is the only award for Green Book that I would feel even remotely OK about. Ali is too good for this film.
Best Supporting Actress
JS: Rachel Weisz
Live coverage of Weisz leaping over Regina King as the front runner for Best Supporting Actress:
(This one is reallllllly close.)
PC: Regina King
This, I feel, is one of the few toss-ups in the big awards. It doesn’t look like Regina King was even nominated for the BAFTA or SAG awards? Maybe for some technicality. I still thought she was the best of the bunch, so I’m sticking with my pick.
AA: Emma Stone
For those who have seen The Favourite, Emma Stone’s snort had me cracking up in the theater. That alone is enough to win her the Oscar in my book. But, this category is extremely close so I wouldn’t be surprised if any of the women nominated take home the award.
JS: Alfonso Cuarón
Spike Lee is a threat for a lifetime achievement award Oscar win, but he’s already likely to take home a prize for Adapted Screenplay. Cuarón might not have done the best directing (yes, I wasn’t as high on Roma as the rest of the world), best he certainly did the most directing. His craftsmanship is undeniable, and he will probably win.
PC: Alfonso Cuarón
This seems like a pretty easy choice. Right before finalizing my picks here, I just finished reading an interview Alfonso Cuarón did with The Atlantic, where he discussed the absence of men in both his films and his life. It’s a really lovely piece that explains the director’s backstory a bit more and makes me appreciate both the film and Cuarón even more. Also, he won for Gravity five years ago, and this is a better effort than the 2013 film and it's against weaker competition.
AA: Alfonso Cuarón
Roma is another movie that I didn’t see, but it’s swept multiple categories at both the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs. This is another category that would be foolish for me to pick anyone except Cuarón.
It’s starting to shape up as a Roma vs. Green Book race down the stretch, and this really comes down to my feeling stupid if I didn’t pick Roma. It’s so overwhelmingly critically beloved, and the glut of Oscar nominations it received tells me the film won’t have an anti-Netflix bias working against it.
A lot of people love Green Book, which scares me. But while people opine about how it could be this year’s Crash or Driving Miss Daisy they ignore something quietly happening with the Academy: they are drifting more toward critical darlings in recent years, and there is a 27-point gap between the Metascores of Roma and Green Book. That might just be wishful thinking, but I do believe Roma will become the first foreign language film to take home the Oscars’ top prize.
Fun fact about this movie: The first time I tried to watch it, I didn’t realize the volume was muted and thought the entire film was silent. (I sadly got about 20 minutes in before I realized I had messed up.) (Editor’s note: Jake was the one who pointed out to Peter while he was watching Roma that the film was not silent. Baffling.) I tried again with the sound on and enjoyed it immensely. I think it is the favorite to win the Oscars’ top award, but, I believe, only ten foreign language films have ever even been nominated before. So while I think it should win, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t.
AA: Black Panther
I fully expect this pick to be wrong. But, it’s my favorite from the nominations. I’m a superhero-movie lover, so wouldn’t it be cool if it won? I also believe that Ryan Coogler should have been nominated for Best Director, so here’s a chance for him to get some well-earned recognition.
I’m begging you, just don’t give it to Green Book.
The Other Categories
Animated Feature Film
JS: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
PC: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Jake told us only to write blurbs for the main six but this was actually the best movie of the year so I feel like it also deserves a paragraph or so.
AA: Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse
JS: Black Panther
PC: The Favourite
AA: The Favourite
JS: Free Solo
AA: Free Solo
JS: Period. End of Sentence.
PC: Black Sheep
AA: Black Sheep
PC: Bohemian Rhapsody
Foreign Language Film
Makeup and Hairstyling
JS: If Beale Street Could Talk
PC: Black Panther
AA: Isle of Dogs
I’m also breaking Jake’s blurb rule simply to say, "Ahhh-AH-Ah-ah-ahhhhh-Ahhhhh-ahhhhh, ahh-Ah-ahh-ah-AHHHHHH!"
JS: The Favourite
PC: The Favourite
AA: Black Panther
Live Action Short
JS: First Man
PC: First Man
AA: A Quiet Place
JS: Bohemian Rhapsody
PC: A Star is Born
AA: Bohemian Rhapsody
JS: Avengers: Infinity War
PC: Avengers: Infinity War
AA: Avengers: Infinity War
AA: If Beale Street Could Talk
JS: First Reformed
Just kidding. First Reformed has no chance. I’m picking Green Book. *Sigh.*
PC: The Favourite
Again, please let it be anything but Green Book.