The Oscar nominations are next week, and if the past is any indication, the final selections are going to be as annoying as Pinkfong’s “Baby Shark” song.
There’s always so many worthy nominees who get left out in the cold, and, on the flip side, there’s often a bunch of selections that have us like “what the?” Take The Blind Side getting a Best Picture nod so many moons ago. In any event, this year is a major toss-up. There’s no clearcut Best Picture frontrunner – though Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, a film this dude feels is super overrated – seems to have an edge, and many of the acting nominees seem to be a lock. Glenn Close is destined to receive a nomination and likely win for her turn in The Wife. Is it a good performance? Sure. Is this likely an unofficial Lifetime Achievement honor coming her way? You better believe it. The only huge question marks is whether or not the Academy will show a whole lotta love for A Star is Born (no clue why I went for a Led Zep reference there), and whether they’ll shut down the Bohemian Rhapsody freight train that somehow proved victorious at the worst Golden Globes ceremony I’ve ever seen. Speaking of which, can I just say BR is essentially a love letter to Brian May and Roger Taylor and plays out like a Lifetime movie with an Oscar-caliber performance by Rami Malek? Why thank you. Look for that film, by the way, to score Best Pic and Best Actor and little else.
Anyway, with all that snark aside, here’s my stab at the Oscar predictions (in the major categories). The announcement arrives Jan. 23. I write this before the SAG Awards which come this weekend which could really shake up the race.
Best Picture: I’m going to say they’ll be nine total nominees. If there’s a tenth, I’d say Crazy Rich Asians, which doesn’t deserve it, slips in. If there are nine, here’s my take: Roma, A Star is Born, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, BlackkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Favourite, Black Panther, and Vice. Two cents: If there are eight nominees, I’d say Vice gets left out. BTW, I really don’t think Green Book or Bohemian deserve spots here. Just sayin’.
Best Actress: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star is Born), and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) These are what I’m thinking. Two cents: I think Aparicio will ride the Roma love and displace Emily Blunt for Mary Poppins Returns. If they want to honor Blunt, they can toss her a mulligan and nominate her in the supporting actress category for A Quiet Place. Or, if the Academy wants to make headlines for all the wrong reasons they can snub Gaga here so everyone can write headlines like “GAGA SNUBBED! or play off one of her song titles for a lame head. Doubtful though.
Best Actor: This is looking like Christian Bale’s to lose here – especially if he wins the SAG this weekend. That said, Rami Malek can win it. Personally? Give it to Bradley Cooper. The guy learned to sing, play, perform live, directed his movie, and co-wrote songs and the script. C’mon! But, the Academy doesn’t usually give awards to super hunky men. Think about it. Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, and so many others don’t have statues for Best Actor. It took Leo ages to win. Anyway, here’s my picks: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), and John David Washington (BlackkKlansman). Two cents: I think Hawke picks up the nom that everyone is expecting to go to Viggo Mortensen. I also think it’s possible that Viggo unseats JDW but unlikely.
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams (Vice), Claire Foy (First Man), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite). Two cents: I think it’s possible Adams and Foy get displaced by Emily Blunt and Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased). The latter two had strong years for multiple films and this would be a perfect category for honoring them.
Best Supporting Actor: This field is wide open with Mahershala Ali looking like the frontrunner for the second time in three years. The Green Book star seems poised to take home his second Oscar but will face some stiff competition from these four nominees I’m predicting will get nominated: Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlackkKlansman), Sam Elliott (A Star is Born), and Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) Two cents: I think Grant has a shot at winning the Oscar, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I think it’s quite possible Chalamet and/or Driver get unseated here for Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther) who is long overdue for recognition. Last year’s winner Sam Rockwell also has a shot for Vice.
Best Director: I think the Roma train is unstoppable so count Cuarón as the frontrunner here. Bradley Cooper should also be a shoo-in as is Spike Lee for BlackkKlansman. The remaining two slots are a toss-up. I can’t see Peter Farrelly getting nominated for Green Book. Sorry, just can’t see the guy getting a nod. He got a DGA nomination, but this is the guy who comes from such a raunchy comedy background that I think it’s going to hurt him. His movie also has some backlash so I’m saying The Favourite’s Yorgos Lanthimos is getting his spot. I’m going to say Barry Jenkins slides in for Beale Street over other favorite Adam McKay since Vice has critics and audiences so split. But, that latter battle is a toss-up. Personally, I’d love to see Ryan Coogler slide in for Black Panther.
The rest and random:
I think Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham) has a real shot for a Best Original Screenplay nod especially since Green Book has some backlash.
Look for Roma to be the most nominated picture with A Star is Born, Black Panther and BlackkKlansman behind it.
“Shallow” from A Star is Born will receive a nomination quite easily (it’s going to win) along with a tune or two from Mary Poppins Returns. The latter film is going to score a bunch of nominations in the tech categories.
Look for First Man, a one-time Oscar-buzzed film, to also compile a bunch of nods in the tech categories.
Expect a very popular documentary category with Three Identical Strangers, RGB and Won’t You Be My Neighbor? all getting nominated.
If there’s no host, look for the night to start with “Shallow” live.