Predicting the Oscar Nominations, 2018

roma oscar predix

There is little for me to say other than here are my predictions. In many ways this feels like an unpredictable year, so here’s hoping that results in good choices and not in a horrible mess.

Best Picture

  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born
  • Vice 

God help me with this ridiculous list of nominees. The fact that Black Panther seems like the most likely of these movies to be left out while Bohemian Rhapsody looks pretty much locked up should tell you everything about how unpredictable and disappointing this Awards Season has been. There can be anywhere from five to ten nominees, I’m predicting the eight above, although I sense If Beale Street Could Talk lingering as a possible ninth.

Director

  • Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  • Alfonso Caurón (Roma)
  • Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
  • Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
  • Adam McKay (Vice)

Most awards-giving bodies have included Peter Farrelly, director of Green Book. The one thing keeping me from surrendering to that cruel reality is the fact that the Academy’s Directors Branch tends to be more high-brow than other groups. I am counting on them seeing through the unremarkable direction of that movie (or on thinking about Farrelly’s past exposures) and favor something a little more idiosyncratic. Last year, for example, they ignored Martin McDonagh’s messy work in Three Billboards in favor of Paul Thomas Anderson’s immaculate Phantom Thread. Of all the arthouse alternatives, I think the most likely is Lanthimos’s unusual period take for The Favourite. 

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
  • Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)
  • Glenn Close (The Wife)
  • Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
  • Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)

This is s tight category. Close, Colman, and Gaga are the locks. Yalitza Aparicio was campaigning really hard, appearing on the magazine covers and taking pictures with all the celebrities right as Roma was solidifying front-runner status, so I think she’s going to make it in. My big gamble here is suggesting that Emily Blunt can get in for a deflated Mary Poppins over Melissa McCarthy, who’s been nominated everywhere for Can You Ever Forgive Me? I’m just taking a chance.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Christian Bale (Vice)
  • Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
  • Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
  • Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
  • Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

I am thinking the overwhelming amount of critics awards won by Ethan Hawke will be enough to help him squeak into this category, which would sadly leave John David Washington from BlacKkKlansman out of the picture.

Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams (Vice)
  • Claire Foy (First Man)
  • Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
  • Emma Stone (The Favourite)
  • Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Regina King has had a wild season. Perceived as the front-runner, she won practically all critics awards before not even being nominated at either the SAG Awards or the BAFTAs. She did manage to win that Golden Globe, which gives me hope that she’ll be able to make the finalists list (and possibly) go on to a win. We shall see.

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)

The one notable omission from my predictions is Timothee Chalamet, who received Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nominations for his work on Beautiful Boy. That being said, who the hell is talking about Beautiful Boy? Actors can get nominated for movies that are unlikely to show up in any other categories, but those people are usually big movie stars like Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Chalamet is a rising talent, but is he famous enough to pull this off?

Original Screenplay

  • Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham)
  • The Favourite (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
  • First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • Vice (Adam McKay)

I’m taking a gamble here, probably foolishly, by keeping Green Book out of my predictions. Perhaps it’s wishful thinking, perhaps it’s the sense that the writers branch is one of the more high-brow constituents in the Academy, and the kind of people who might take into account past anti-Muslim tweets from one of the movie’s screenwriters.

Adapted Screenplay

  • BlacKkKlansman (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty)
  • The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
  • A Star is Born (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

The only bold thing about this prediction is The Death of Stalin, which lest you remember was co-written and directed by Armando Iannucci, creator of the very popular Veep, who got a surprise nomination in this category for In the Loop ten years ago. I think if he could make it then, he can make it now.

Animated Film

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: into the Spider-Verse

I know it’s the front-runner at this point, but I wouldn’t be totally surprised if the incredible Spider-Man is left out. This category is notoriously resistant to pre-existing material. The Simpsons Movie and The LEGO Movie both didn’t get in. Still, Spider-Man has been winning so many awards that I think it will get in, and I’m crossing my fingers it’ll make it to finish line as a winner.

Foreign Film

  • Birds of Passage (Colombia)
  • Capernaum (Lebanon)
  • Cold War (Poland)
  • Roma (Mexico)
  • Shoplifters (Japan)

The Academy has released its shortlist of nine movies which are still in this race. Roma seems like the obvious front-runner here, since it’s a rare foreign-language Best Picture contender. Cold War and Shoplifters have been talked a lot about this season, so I think they’re save. The other two spots… it could be anyone’s game.

Documentary Feature

  • Free Solo
  • Minding the Gap
  • Shirkers
  • Three Identical Strangers 
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor? 

Again, the Academy released a shortlist, this is just a list of that I believe strikes a balance between documentaries that were critically acclaimed, and documentaries that were popular this year.

Cinematography

  • Cold War (Lukasz Zal)
  • The Favourite (Robbie Ryan)
  • First Man (Linus Sandgren)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
  • A Star is Born (Matthew Libatique)

This is the exact same line-up as the American Society of Cinematography Awards, and seems quite likely for the Oscars. If anything was going to surprise, I think it would be If Beale Street Could Talk with its unique and bold use of color, but that movie hasn’t gotten the warmest response from award-giving bodies.

Costume Design

  • Black Panther (Ruth E. Carter)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (Julian Day)
  • The Favourite (Sandy Powell)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell)
  • Mary Queen of Scots (Alexandra Byrne)

Flashy costumes tend to do well in this category. Sandy Powell has been nominated twice in the same year before, and with stellar work in The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns, is likely to double-dip again.

Film Editing

  • BlacKkKlansman (Barry Alexander Brown)
  • First Man (Tom Cross)
  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón & Adam Gough)
  • A Star is Born (Jay Cassidy)
  • Vice (Hank Corwin)

I don’t feel at all confident with this category. I get the sneaking suspicion that Bohemian Rhapsody could sneak into this group, I just don’t know at the expense of which movie it would make its dire entrance.

Makeup and Hair

  • Border
  • Suspiria
  • Vice

This category was also narrowed down to a shortlist of only seven nominees. I just have to say it’s frustrating we only get three nominees this category while we get five in everything else. Every single movie in the world uses makeup and hairstyling. There is absolutely no reason why only three movies should get nominated! That being said, I went with my gut here, since the Academny’s Makeup branch is notorious for throwing out crazy nominations (remember, Suicide Squad won this award a couple years ago).

Original Score

  • BlacKkKlansman (Terence Blanchard)
  • Black Panther (Ludwig Göransson)
  • First Man (Justin Hurwitz)
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell)
  • Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat)

The big gamble here is leaving Mary Poppins Returns out of the nominees. It’s not a prediction I feel incredibly confident about, but the movies listed above all have great scores and I’m thinking voters might leave Mary to compete in the Original Song category instead.

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)
  • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (Mary Poppins Returns)

Mary Poppins Returns has lost quite a bit of steam in the last couple weeks, but it should still be able to get a couple of songs nominated the way Disney musicals tend to do. There tends to be a documentary song nominated every year, and the RBG one seems like the most likely candidate.

Production Design

  • Black Panther (Hannah Beachler)
  • The Favourite (Fiona Crombie)
  • First Man (Nathan Crowley)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (John Myhre)
  • Roma (Eugenio Caballero)

Roma might seem like the most unusual of the nominees here, until you realize that the movie’s production required the building of sets that replicated Mexico City in the early seventies and spanned multiple blocks.

Sound Mixing

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma 
  • A Star is Born

This seems like a pretty safe list to me. A couple weeks ago I started to think two musicals would make this line-up, but was thinking they would be A Star is Born and Mary Poppins Returns. Since then, Bohemian Rhapsody started its reign of terror, and it now seems like an inevitability -especially since what people seem to like most about this movie is its musical sequences.

Sound Editing

  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • A Quiet Place
  • Ready Player One 
  • Roma 

Usually this category overlaps four out of five with Sound Mixing. Musicals don’t tend to do as well here as they do in the Sound Mixing, so I’m thinking the Academy will replace Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star is Born with effects-heavy blockbusters, which are the bread and butter of this category.

Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Infinity War 
  • Black Panther
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One 
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story 

This is the last category in which the Academy narrowed things down to a shortlist of ten candidates. The five I predicted just seem like the most “respectable” mix of movies with the most visual effects in them.

Advertisements

Coco Awards 2018

I was invited, for the second year in a row, to join my friend Rachel over at her podcast and talk about my favorite movies, performances and other individual achievements of 2018. You can listen to the conversation we had above, or you can find it on Youtube or your preferred podcast app.

As for the way we usually do things in Coco Hits New Yorkwell it’s been a busy year, so we’re shaking things up. Here’s the full “2018 Wrap-up” coverage: You can take a look at my Top Ten of the Year. Below are the official finalists for the “Coco Awards”, which are basically a way for me to say what I would vote for if I had an Oscar ballot. Usually, I would write capsules about each of the winners but again, busy year. So if you want to hear me talk more about my favorite performances, movies etc, listen to the podcast! 

Best Director

Best Actress

Best Actor

Best Supporting Actress

Best Supporting Actor

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Best Cinematography

Best Original Score

2018 Golden Globe Predictions

globepredix

There is nothing Golden Globe voters love more than big Hollywood stars, so here’s what I’m expecting: a huge night for A Star is Born. Now let’s get into details.

Best Picture – Drama
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born

There are two things the Golden Globes love more than anything: movie stars and musicals. A Star is Born, then, could very well be the most Globe-friendly movie ever made. Directed and starring one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, featuring the acting debut of a huge popstar and featuring all those songs… It’s a no brainer. Doesn’t matter that this musical is competing in the “drama” category, A Star is Born is going to have a really good night this Sunday.
Will Win: A Star is Born
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman 

Actor in a Leading Role – Drama
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate 
Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased 
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody 
John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman 

At this point, Bradley Cooper should be considered one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. I was surprised to learn he has never won a Golden Globe. That’s about to change big time this year. With A Star is Born bound to sweep the awards, Cooper is bound to sweep with it.
Will Win: Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Should Win: John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman 

Actress in a Leading Role – Drama
Glenn Close – The Wife
Nicole Kidman – Destroyer  
Lady Gaga – A Star is Born  
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?  
Rosamund Pike – A Private War  

This might be the most controversial category when all is said and done. Can you believe Glenn Close has never won an Oscar? The narrative building around The Wife is that this might be the Academy’s last chance to reward Close, a totally believable theory if you ask me. However, as this campaign to get Close an Oscar mounts, you have to consider the Globes are notorious for preferring big stars over seasoned thespians. They have already given Lady Gaga an acting Globe (for the television show American Horror Story: Hotel). Gaga will win another Globe -deservedly so because she’s the clear MVP of A Star is Born-, and people will panic that Glenn will end up losing the Oscar yet again.
Will Win: Lady Gaga – A Star is Born
Should Win: Lady Gaga – A Star is Born

Best Picture – Comedy or Musical
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
Green Book
Mary Poppins Returns
Vice

This category is much more competitive than its “drama” counterpart. I could see almost any of these nominees winning (the one I would have the hardest time picturing at the podium if Crazy Rich Asians). Vice has the most nominations, so a win makes sense. But it’s not like the other nominees didn’t get their share of love at the nomination stage. Globe love could go with Mary Poppins, and the prestige pick would be The Favourite, but ultimately I’m going to predict Green Book, because it reminds me of last year’s big Globes winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But expect a surprise in this tight race!
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: The Favourite   

Actor in a Leading Role – Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale – Vice
Lin-Manuel Miranda – Mary Poppins Returns  
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book  
Robert Redford – The Old Man & the Gun  
John C. Reilly – Stan & Ollie  

This one boils down to Bale vs. Mortensen, since their two movies are the most buzzy of the bunch. I don’t see how Mortensen’s performance as a cartoonish Italian from the Bronx is awards material, but he’s winning some stuff. Bale, however, is playing Dick Cheney under pounds of makeup, which sounds like the kind of capital-A acting that results in trophies.
Will Win: Christian Bale – Vice
Should Win: Robert Redford – The Old Man & the Gun 

Actress in a Leading Role – Drama
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns
Olivia Colman – The Favourite  
Elsie Fisher – Eighth Grade
Charlize Theron – Tully  
Constance Wu – Crazy Rich Asians  

Olivia Colman is the critical favorite here, but my hunch is leaning toward Emily Blunt. Not just because she’s a bigger star (though that’s certainly a factor), but because her achievement as Mary Poppins is much quantifiable than any of the other nominees. We all have the wonderful Julie Andrews performance as a reference, the fact that Blunt manages to evoke that performance without outright copying it is a feat so apparent it will win her the Globe and might even take her to the Oscar.
Will Win: Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns
Should Win: Olivia Colman – The Favourite 

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

It’s a weird year for the animated category, isn’t it? The movies that you’d expect to be front-runners (because their backed by Disney and Pixar) are both hindered by being sequels (and in one case, not very good). Clearly the best animated movie of the year is Spider-Man, but that one is hindered by being both a sort-of sequel and based on pre-existing material. This category prefers originality, and the Globes prefer big-name directors, which makes me think Wes Anderson’s name might be enough to give him the win.
Will Win: Isle of Dogs
Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 

Foreign Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Girl (Belgium)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

One of the big stories of nomination morning was the fact that, because of Golden Globe rules, Roma was not permitted to be nominated in “Motion Picture – Drama”, and was thus relegated to the lower profile foreign film category despite being the most critically acclaimed movie of the year. Whether or not the Globes end up changing their rules I can’t predict, but I know it’s more than likely Roma takes this award.
Will Win: Roma
Should Win: Roma 

Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Timothee Chalamet – Beautiful Boy  
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman  
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?   
Sam Rockwell – Vice  

Two years ago, Moonlight won the “Best Drama” award at the Globes before going on to its shocking Oscar win. You know who didn’t win at the Globes, though? Mahershala Ali, whose critically acclaimed performance lost to, believe it or not, Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals. That’s right, that’s a movie that existed. All I’m saying is that the Globes might feel bad for not awarding Ali when they should, so they’ll make it up by giving it to him this year.
Will Win: Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Should Win: Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams – Vice
Claire Foy – First Reformed   
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk   
Emma Stone – The Favourite    
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite 

If you spend your time in the same corners of Twitter that I do, you know that no matter how the Gaga vs. Close battle shakes out, the category everyone’s focusing on is Supporting Actress. Regina King is the critical (and internet) favorite in this category, but a recent snub from the Screen Actors Guild Award makes it seem like her chances of taking the Oscar would disappear if she didn’t win the Globe. However, she’s going to have an uphill battle against Amy Adams because she is a bigger star and, as I’ve already said many times, the Globes love big stars. Amy Adams is likely to win another Globe in the Television categories (for her performance in Sharp Objects). The hope here is voters will think one award is enough for Amy, and give this one to Regina.
Will Win: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Should Win: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk 

Director 
Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Peter Farrelly – Green Book
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay – Vice 

Alfonso Cuarón is one of the most celebrated directors currently working, who just made the most impressive and critically acclaimed movie of his career. Spike Lee is literally a legendary director who’s never been awarded by the Globes on this level before. And yet, Bradley Cooper is a movie star, and you better believe the Globes won’t be able to resits giving him a Directing award.
Will Win: Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma 

Screenplay
The Favourite 
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Roma
Vice

This is probably the hardest one to call, any of the five nominees seems like a possible winner. I’ve gone back and forth but have finally landed on Vice, because it’s the most obviously “written” of the five. I’m counting on the movie’s most obnoxious qualities to come off as great writing to the voters.
Will Win: Vice
Should Win: Roma 

Original Score
Black Panther
First Man
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place

This is another tough one. Because they’re the only contenders with “Best Picture” nominations, I assume this is between Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns. This might be the place to honor Panther, since it’s unlikely to win anywhere else, but Poppins will be helped by the fact that it is a freaking musical.
Will Win: Mary Poppins Returns
Should Win: Black Panther 

Original Song
“All the Stars” (from Black Panther)
“Girl in the Movies” (from Dumplin)
“Requiem for a Private War” (from Private War)
“Revelation” (from Boy Erased)
“Shallow” (from A Star is Born)

The most obvious win of the night will also be one of the most deserved. Even I, a Star is Born agnostic, has to recognize the narrative power and cultural importance of “Shallow.” We’re off the deep end, and Gaga is winning that Oscar. 
Will Win: 
“Shallow”
Should Win: “Shallow”