2018 Oscar Predictions

Oscar-2019Once again, it’s time for me to demonstrate my yearly ineptitude by making my Oscar predictions. As I noted long ago, I don’t pretend to think you should go to Vegas and bet on these predictions, but they are made by an aging criminal defense lawyer who has never been afraid to be wrong. In any event, here we go.

Best Picture: Bohemian Rhapsody

While I think that Vice, Green Book, Roma, and Black Panther will challenge, Bohemian Rhapsody remains my favorite film for the past year. I saw it twice and I have yet to talk to any person, regardless of age or gender, who did not love it.

Best Director: Spike Lee

Given the fact that the overwhelming favorite is Alfonso Cuarón for Roma, I’m probably stepping on my toes with this pick. However, BlacKkKlansman was a magnificent film, and Mr. Lee deserves to finally win this recognition. At least I hope so.

Best Actress: Glenn Close

While I am secretly hoping that Lady Gaga sneaks through and wins this award for her memorable performance in A Star is Born, the fact that the talented Glenn Close has won this award in most of the pre-Oscar ceremonies makes her the likely winner.

Best Actor: Rami Malek

When all is said and done, I can’t help but think that this award will come down to either Christian Bale for his role as Dick Cheney in Vice or Rami Malek for his unforgettable portrayal in Bohemian Rhapsody as Freddie Mercury. This may be a bit of a gamble, but no one will cheer more loudly than myself should Mr. Malek be selected.

Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams

To begin with, I think Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz cancel each other out as nominees from the same film, The Favourite. That leaves the likely choice between the wildly and properly praised Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk and Amy Adams as Mrs. Chaney in Vice. While there is no question that Ms. King’s performance is beguiling in every respect, I really think that Ms. Adams will finally win given her many prior nominations where she has fallen short.

Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant

I remain a big fan of Mahershala Ali, who previously won this Oscar in Moonlight (2016). Additionally, he remains an overwhelmingly favorite to win here for his role in this year’s fantastic Green Book. Regardless, though I respect Adam Driver’s performance in BlacKkKlansman and Sam Rockwell for his portrayal as George Bush in Vice, this award has to go to Richard E. Grant for his captivating performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? He was a stand-out by any definition, and no one would be more delighted than me to see him recognized.

Documentary Feature: RBG

First of all, I still can’t forgive the voters for failing to nominate Won’t You be My Neighbor, the remarkable film about Mr. Rodgers. Though I thought it was the best documentary of last year, Free Solo and RBG are left knocking on the same door. Both are deserving winners, but I don’t think the Academy will ignore RBG, nor should they.

Foreign Language Film: Roma

Write in Roma as a certain lock. Like many, I really like this film, but I am not as obsessed with it as many other far more talented critics circling around Hollywood. Regardless, it outshines all of its competitors.

Makeup and Hair Styling: Vice

This has to go to Vice for the transformation of Christian Bale into Dick Cheney. As Churchill won this same award for its ability to have Gary Oldman look like the British hero, the same thing is accomplished here.

Animated Feature: Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse

It will be hard to beat Incredibles 2 given the historic position of Pixar. Regardless, while I certainly would applaud if Isle of Dogs sneaked through, I believe this award has to go Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse.

Sound Editing and Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody

These are two separate awards that simply have to recognize the significance of Bohemian Rhapsody. As noted above, I saw it twice and loved it each time, and it was the sound that made it special.

Film Editing: John Ottman for Bohemian Rhapsody

This is always a tough pick, but I again think it should go to John Ottman for Bohemian Rhapsody. No one could complain if any of his co-nominees won this award, but Bohemian Rhapsody is the only film that I saw this last year where every viewer that I talked to was entranced.

Production Design:  Black Panther

Black Panther simply can’t go without being recognized, and nothing was more important than the skill of Hannah Beecher in putting this movie together.

Costume Design: Ruth E. Carter for Black Panther

The wardrobe in Black Panther captured your attention from beginning to end, and Ms. Carter deserves this award.

Visual Effects: First Man

Though I may clearly be wrong with this selection, this was another excellent film that deserves to be recognized. No apologies will be necessary if it is given this award.

Adapted Screenplay: If Beale Street Could Talk

If I am wrong about Spike Lee wining the Oscar for Best Director, BlacKkKlansman could sneak in here. And while I also feel that Can You Ever Forgive Me? was one of the year’s most pleasant surprises, Berry Jenkin’s magnificent talent in adapting If Beele Street Could Talk will likely be awarded with this prize.

Original Screenplay: Green Book

From my standpoint, this prize will come down to either Green Book or Vice. That is ironic given that few people have seen Vice while Green Book has had to absorb undeserved criticism. Nonetheless, let’s set those unfounded remarks aside and give Green Book this Oscar.

Cinematography: Roma

Quite frankly, I didn’t think that any of the nominees were nearly as impressive as the cinematography in Free Solo, but it went unrecognized. Thus, forced to choose between Roma and A Star is Born, I’ll pick Roma.

Original Song: Shallow from A Star is Born

Despite the fact that my favorite song was the heartbreaking The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns, Shallow seems to be as much of a certain winner as Roma in the Foreign Film category.

Original Score: Mary Poppins Returns

Smart money would place this award on Black Panther, but Mary Poppins Returns is far too wonderful of a film to be completely ignored. Who could not embrace the music throughout the entire film and I pick it to win this award.

Live Action Short Film: Marguerite

Ironically, four of the five nominated films in this category function as a cinematic trip through hell. Those four movies center on the death of children in a violent fashion, while Marguerite saves the cost of your ticket by focusing on an aging woman who relives missed opportunities in her life with the help of a lesbian caretaker. You learn the sad reality of having lived in a world where religions found homosexuality to be a mortal sin.

Animated Short Film: Animal Behaviour (Canada)

Though it is likely to be challenged by One Small Step and Weekends, Animal Behaviour was the most creative animated short film nominated this year. It tells the story of a hysterical therapy session for animals led by a therapist who happened to be a dog. In the process, you watch animals discuss compulsive behavior as Victor, an ape, wrestles over his anger problems, Cheryl, a Praying Mantis, discussing her anxiety over raising 1,000 offspring and a snail who prefers to face life with a bag over his head. It’s a very engaging film that deserves this award.

 Documentary Short Film:

It didn’t play on the screen here in Indianapolis, so it is impossible for me to speculate on a winner.