812filmreviews’ 2019 Oscars Predictions

I’m amazed that we’re finally here. For me, it’s been 200+ films and several festivals, but today are the Academy Awards and here are my predictions for the results you’re most likely to see and some in between.

Best Picture:

A Star is Born
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Green Book
The Favourite

There are so many reasons to believe that Roma won’t win Best Picture, which I have outlined here. It goes against a few longstanding stats and some conventional Oscar wisdom. And yet…

Prediction: Roma
Could win: Green Book
No Guts, No Glory: Vice

Best Director:

Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay, Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

This is probably a two-horse race between Cuarón and Lee. As I outlined before, both have the pedigree to do so, and both are well respected in the Academy. I suspect the vote may be closer than some think.

Prediction: Alfonso Cuarón
Could win: Spike Lee
No Guts, No Glory: Pawel Pawlikowski

Best Actress:

Yaltiza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Once again, Best Actress has trumped Best Actor in terms of quality. For that reason, along it being just too gender normative to not do so, I’m listing Best Actress ahead of Best Actor. And as I outlined in my Best Actress rundown, it’s between Close and Colman.

Prediction: Glenn Close
Could win: Olivia Colman
No Guts, No Glory: Yaltiza Aparicio

Best Actor:

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

I hate to sound like a broken record, but this is a two-horse race. As I said here, it’s between Bale and Malek.

Prediction: Rami Malek
Could win: Christian Bale
No Guts, No Glory: Willem Dafoe

Best Supporting Actress:

Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Best Supporting Actress is where there’s the biggest chance of an upset. Regina King is the favorite, for a few reasons. Her biggest competition is coming from everyone except Emma Stone.

Prediction: Regina King
Could win: Rachel Weisz
No Guts, No Glory: Marina de Tavira

Best Supporting Actor:

Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Mahershala Ali has won every single award coming into the Oscars; there’s no reason for him to lose. However, in my rundown I did list a couple of reasons to fear Richard E. Grant.

Prediction: Richard E. Grant
Could win: Mahershala Ali
No Guts, No Glory: Sam Elliott

Best Original Screenplay:

Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly, Green Book
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice

The Favourite has the wittiest use of dialogue in this category by a mile, with its reusage of “cunt struck.” However, Green Book could really take the crown here, if the Academy thinks it might not honor it elsewhere. But really and truly look out for First Reformed. This is Paul Schrader’s first Oscar nomination in a career that includes writing credits for Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.

Prediction: The Favourite
Could win: Green Book
No Guts, No Glory: First Reformed

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Charlie Watchel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmont and Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters, A Star Is Born

This is probably where Spike Lee is winning his Oscar. He’s not a favorite in Best Director and he’d need a lot to go right to win Best Picture. Meanwhile, the ever-lovable Barry Jenkins is there. But if there’s one mystery here, it’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? Anyone who votes for anything has a copy of its screenplay.

Prediction: BlacKkKlansman
Could win: If Beale Street Could Talk
No Guts, No Glory: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Animated Feature:

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

There’s no could win or even a “no guts, no glory” pick in this category. You can book this prediction.

Prediction: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Documentary Feature:

Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons

Best Documentary is the true toss-up category of the night. I’m taking Free Solo because if voters saw it on IMAX, there’s no way they weren’t wow’d.

Prediction: Free Solo
Could win: RBG
No Guts, No Glory: Minding the Gap

Best Foreign-Language Film:

Cold War
Never Look Away

The Academy has set up a nice little puzzle here, and next to Best Actress, this is the strongest category in the Oscars. Roma ‘should’ win. But the Academy likes to spread the wealth and Cold War‘s director, Pawel Pawilkowski, is nominated for Best Director, but the film isn’t nominated for Best Picture. With that theory, the Academy could give this award to Cold War knowing that Pawilkowski can’t win Director and Roma is taking a boatload of prizes home anyways. Then again, Never Look Away also scored a surprise Cinematography nomination. Still….’best not to play this too fancy’

Prediction: Roma
Could win: Cold War
No Guts, No Glory: Never Look Away

Best Cinematography:

Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
A Star Is Born

The Academy went crazy for Foreign-Language films, and for good reason. Here we have Cold War, Roma, and Never Look Away again. There’s so much noise here and it really is prime for an upset. Still, same order (though I feel like I might regret not going all in on Never Look Away):

Prediction: Roma
Could win: Cold War
No Guts, No Glory: Never Look Away


Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book

No one knows what the hell is going on in Editing. No one. Usually, the best rule of thumb is to go with the film with the most cuts (seriously). So…

Prediction: Vice
Could win: Bohemian Rhapsody
No Guts, No Glory: The Favourite

Best Production Design:

Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

This is where Black Panther ‘should’ find its win. However, there are pit falls. For one, The Favourite is very opulent and this is a good spot for a period piece. For another, never doubt the power of a musical (especially one that had as many ardent supporters as Mary Poppins Returns).

Prediction: Black Panther
Could win: The Favourite
No Guts, No Glory: Mary Poppins Returns

Best Costume Design:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Usually, Costume Design is literally tailor made for musicals and period pieces. There could be a legitimate upset here because any one of these films could win, including The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Prediction: The Favourite
Could win: Black Panther
No Guts, No Glory: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

Mary Queen of Scots

There shouldn’t be an upset here. This category is a lock for…

Prediction: Vice

Best Visual Effects:

Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

I know the conventional wisdom is Avengers: Infinity War, just because of the Thanos finger snap scene. But honestly, I’m going with a little bit of an upset.

Prediction: First Man
Could win: Avengers: Infinity War
No Guts, No Glory: Ready Player One

Best Sound Editing:

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place

I expect to First Man to win this award, but people should really look out for A Quiet Place. I’d also look out for Black Panther here, as well. All three created some brilliant soundscapes. Still, First Man was otherworldly.

Prediction: First Man
Could win: A Quiet Place
No Guts, No Glory: Black Panther

Best Sound Mixing:

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Star Is Born

Sound Mixing tends to go to either war films or anything musical. That brings us to Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born.

Prediction: Bohemian Rhapsody
Could win: A Star is Born
No Guts, No Glory: First Man

Best Original Score:

Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

By far, the Best Score here is If Beale Street Could Talk. Now, whether it wins is another story because the Isle of Dogs is a very close second for me. However, BlacKkKlansman had a nice mix of patriotism and militantism in its music.

Prediction: If Beale Street Could Talk
Could win: Isle of Dogs
No Guts, No Glory: BlacKkKlansman

Best Original Song:

“All the Stars,” Black Panther
“I’ll Fight,” RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow,” A Star Is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

This category has been over for months. Since the very first notes came from Lady Gaga’s voice.

Prediction: “Shallow”

Best Live-Action Short:


I’ll be honest, I’m never any good at picking the shorts. The shorts are made with so much heart, it’s nearly impossible to pick what will resonate the most because they all do.

Prediction: Skin
Could win: Marguerite

Best Animated Short:

Animal Behaviour
Late Afternoon
One Small Step

Pixar seems like a heavy favorite here as they’re Pixar, but I wouldn’t completely trust Bao.

Prediction: Bao
Could win: One Small Step

Best Documentary Short:

Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.

I don’t really like guaranteeing a short category, but go watch Period. End of Sentence. on Netflix and you might feel the same way I do.

Prediction: Period. End of Sentence.

And so we’ve come to the end. Once again, thank you to everyone for the past year — a year that saw me become a Rotten Tomatoes certified critic, join CIFCC, cover festivals like the Chicago Critics Film Festival, CIFF, Fantasia, Cinepocalypse, and TIFF, meet many of my cinematic heroes, and see this website grow beyond my wildest dreams. The new Oscar season has technically begun, with Sundance and SXSW, but I’ll remember this one very fondly and all the people who donated anything to my GoFundMe or gave a share, view, or like. And please, go to the movies.



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