"Roma" and "Green Book" lead the Best Picture race at the 91st annual Academy Awards
The 91st annual Academy Awards are shaping up to be the most discussed and notorious ceremony in the show’s lengthy history. Aside from “Bohemian Rhapsody” beating out much worthier candidates in the form of “Widows,” “The Hate U Give,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” or “Eighth Grade,” - The Academy has faced tremendous flack this season for its controversial decisions, all of which have since been reversed.
So far this season this is what The Academy has tried and failed to do:
-Present only 20 categories live on tv while pushing four categories (among them Best Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Editing) to be presented during commercial breaks and then aired later in the broadcast so producers could get the show down to a strict three hour runtime. After numerous industry professionals and guilds pleaded with The Academy to reconsider their decision (save for an all out boycott) The Academy felt the pressure and reversed course.
-Kevin Hart was hired as the host for the broadcast only to quit after online trolls dug up homophobic tweets from his past. Hart stepped down after Academy officials asked he apologize for his action, in which the comedian stated he’s already done that and won’t give in to the backlash. Now The Academy Awards for the first time in over 25 years will go hostless, leaving a batch of presenters to fill the hole.
-Back in August of 2018, The Academy tried to implement a new category: Best Popular Film, as to give more Blockbuster friendly titles like “Black Panther” or “Avengers: Infinity War” a shot at Oscar gold. Except this year alone is the highest grossing batch of Best Picture nominees ever: “Black Panther,” and “A Star Is Born” were box office juggernauts and were good enough to secure a Best Picture nomination - and so after backlash from literally everyone, The Academy rescinded their initial decision.
-And finally, in an effort to trim the runtime, The Academy originally was only going to perform two out of the five songs nominated for Best Originial Song. With only “Shallows” from “A Star is Born” and “All Of The Stars” from “Black Panther” getting the bid for a primetime performance, leaving other fellow nominees in the dust. How is that not biased? After Lady Gaga publicly stated she wouldn’t perform the emotional ballad, The Academy decided it would be best to just stick with tradition and keep the platform as is.
So, as you can see, it’s been a wild few months leading up the Oscars and if this proves anything it's that you can’t mess with tradition.
Now, in news that’s not related to Oscar snafu’s, the predictions.
As if The Oscar season wasn’t crowded enough with no clear frontrunner in sight (save for maybe “Roma”) - nobody truly knows who will walk away with those gold statues, but we can give it our best crack. Here are my predictions in all 24 categories.
Best Picture: ROMA
Could win: GREEN BOOK
This race has come down to two films (sorry “A Star is Born” and “Black Panther”). The crowd pleasing and formulaic “Green Book” and the critically adored Netflix streamer “Roma.” While “Green Book” took home the trophy for Best Picture - Comedy at the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild for Best Picture, “Roma” cleaned up at the BAFTa’s and the Critics Choice Awards (who are the primary indicator for Oscar glory). I’m giving the slight edge to ROMA as it could make history for winning both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language film and thus cementing Netflix's status as a contender for years to come.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Could win: Spike Lee (“Blackkklansman”)
Part of me wants to see Spike Lee win his first Oscar for directing “Blackkklansman” considering Alfonso Cuaron won for “Gravity” in 2014. But the Directors Guild and Critics Choice would lead me to think otherwise. This is one of the safer bets of the evening, but don’t be surprised if Lee’s name sneaks into the golden envelope.
Best Actor: Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
Could win: Christian Bale (“Vice”)
All season long I’ve been saying that it’s Christian Bale’s Oscar to lose for his transformative performance as Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s electric “Vice.” But recently, Rami Malek has been wooing voters with his decent performance in an otherwise crummy “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Except, to Malek’s credit, he does turn in a worthy performance, as he was (and is) the best thing about that film. This is one category I’m torn between, but Malek’s gets the advantage in my opinion.
Best Actress: Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
Could win: Lady Gaga (“A Star is Born”)
When Glenn Close starting sweeping all the awards on the circuit, I questioned how Lady Gaga could be overlooked for her stunning and heartbreaking performance in “A Star is Born” and then I realized that Close, 70, has been nominated over five times and never won. She’s not getting any younger, and I feel as though (much like all the industry pundits do too) it's her time to shine.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Could win: Richard E Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Considering Mahershala Ali is a lead in “Green Book” and being petitioned as a supporting player is what makes this prediction a slam dunk. Universal took a tactic out of Paramount’s playbook when they got Viola Davis an Oscar for “Fences” in the supporting actress category even though she could’ve easily been in the Best Actress race. But the studio doesn’t want Ali competing against his co-star Viggo Mortensen for the top actor prize. Look for Ali to become a two-time Oscar winner in just three years.
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”
Could win: Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
This is likely another sure thing come Oscar Sunday. King has swept every award on the circuit, and the only case you could make is how “The Favourite” is slowly creeping into everyone’s spoiler bracket, but even if that was the case, I wouldn’t bet against King in this race.
THE REST OF MY PREDICTIONS in the remaining categories:
Animated Feature: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
Costume Design: THE FAVOURITE
Documentary Feature: FREE SOLO
Documentary (Short Subject): BLACK SHEEP
Film Editing: VICE
Foreign Language Film: ROMA
Makeup and Hairstyling: VICE
Music (Original Score): IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Music (Original Song): A STAR IS BORN
Production Design: THE FAVORUITE
Short Film (Animated): BAO
Short Film (Live Action): MARQUERITE
Sound Editing: FIRST MAN
Sound Mixing: A STAR IS BORN
Visual Effects: FIRST MAN
Writing (Adapted Screenplay): BLACKKKLANSMAN
Writing (Original Screenplay): THE FAVOURITE
The 91st annual Academy Awards will air live Oscar Sunday (February 24th) at 8pm on ABC