Hello, Williamson County!
It’s Cory Woodroof, Home Page Sports Editor and resident Movie Buff, here to offer my prognostications for this year’s Academy Awards.
Rather than drone on with my nerdy industry speak, I’ll keep things simple and offer you a straight shot at what I think will win, what should win, what should’ve been at the table and just a little insight into why I made those choices.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star is Born, Vice
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: Black Panther
Should’ve Been Here: First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk
The feeling right now amongst Oscarologists is that it’ll be Alfonso Cuaron’s dream-like masterwork Roma going head-to-head with buddy dramedy Green Book for the night’s top award. One is a powerful meditation on the director’s childhood told through the eyes of his beloved caretaker, the other a palatable, if somewhat controversial study of race and class in the 60s through the eyes of a road trip into the South. Roma is the artistic achievement; Green Book the audience pleaser. Though, Netflix’ role in Roma‘s creation and distribution might leave some theater purists a bit nervous in rewarding a film that skipped past the theatrical window. That may give Green Book the momentum it needs to provide quite an Oscar throwback; this was the type of film that played well in the ’80s and ’90s.
Though, for what it meant to the industry, to representation on screen, to the most fiscally-lucrative film genre going now and to the future of movies, this award should go to Black Panther. It’ll be the most remembered of all these films, and stands for the most. Best Picture feels like a symbolic award more than ever now, and what a statement it would be than to honor the most important movie of 2018 with the industry’s most important prize? It could win, but it’s not as likely. Also, for shame that excellent feats of filmmaking like First Man and If Beale Street Could Talk got bumped by a mess like Bohemian Rhapsody.
Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma, Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite, Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman, Adam McKay, Vice, Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Should Win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Should Have Been Here: Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Cuaron has swept through awards season for his masterpiece, and deservedly so. It’s the single best feat of filmmaking from 2018, though his recent win for Gravity, which was just about as good as this film was, makes you wish they’d spread the wealth a little. Lee, still today a fiery, innovative auteur with films of pertinent social relevance and unmatchable zeal, has never won an Oscar outright, and should very much get the nod here for his best film in years. It’d be a great Oscar moment, though no one will be sad to see a talent like Cuaron get the nod. Though, it’s beginning sink in on me what inescapably beautiful, gripping work Heller brings to Can You Ever Forgive Me? It’s not flashy direction, but it’s filling in a way I’ve not seen in quite some time. She directs with a force that is patient and rewards with reflection. It would have been really cool and fitting to see her recognized.
Nominees: Christian Bale, Vice, Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born, Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate, Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody, Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Will Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Should Win: Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Should Have Been Here: Ryan Gosling, First Man; John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman
Malek is a beloved actor with charm and popularity from his television days, though his more-impression-than-performance take on Freddie Mercury feels like an odd fit for an Oscar win. None the matter, he looks poised for a pretty easy walk to the stage to win Best Actor. Though, it shows the Academy’s inability to escape its love of rewarding biopic performances. Cooper’s worn-down, soulful creation of Jackson Maine is far-more deserving, and Malek and Mortensen probably should be the odd men out for Gosling or Washington, who both deliver inspired, focused turns.
Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio, Roma, Glenn Close, The Wife, Olivia Colman, The Favourite, Lady Gaga, A Star is Born, Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife
Should Win: Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Have Been Here: Regina Hall, Support the Girls
There are five wonderful performances honored in this category, so it really can’t go in a wrong direction. The most likely scenario finds the Academy rewarding one of the great actresses without a trophy in Close. She’s a screen legend without a proper recognition, and she’s been nominated seven times without something to show for it, the most of any actor working. She’s splendid in The Wife, though the film is not quite as good as she is. If Malek can escape the litany of issues Bohemian has for a win, Close should coast. But don’t be surprised if Colman pops in and takes it. She’s well-loved amongst her peers and has been a hoot at the lectern when accepting her prizes, and she’s, of course, a powerhouse in The Favourite. It’ll be one of them; my gut says Colman, but my head says Close. I’ll reward my head here, though McCarthy is a revelation as Lee Israel, the type of performance that only gets better over time. Also, your recommendation to give Support the Girls a go, and see the year’s best performance from any actor with Hall.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees: Mahershala Ali, Green Book, Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman, Sam Elliott, A Star is Born, Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Sam Rockwell, Vice
Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Should Win: Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
Should Have Been Here: Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Ali should join Christoph Waltz as the only actor of the last decade to win multiple Oscars pretty easily, and, indeed, he’s very good in Green Book. Grant, though, is a wily, loving personality who seems to adore his work and the process of awards season. That plays a big part; look for him to surprise. Though, how great would it be to see Elliott finally make his way up to the Oscar stage for such a great turn (and after years of bombastic roles)? And how silly is it that Jordan, perhaps the best rising actor of his generation, doesn’t have an Oscar nomination yet? His iconic, villainous turn as Killmonger would’ve been the perfect first.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominees: Amy Adams, Vice, Marina de Tavira, Roma, Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk, Emma Stone, The Favourite, Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Will Win: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Should Win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Should Have Been Here: Gemma Chan/Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians
This category is pretty tough to figure out. King has been the critical favorite, but missed out on a SAG and BAFTA nomination. Weisz won the BAFTA and seems to be the favored performance from the film for voters, but Stone also has her fans. Adams has long been nominated but hasn’t won yet for such a decorated career. De Tavira is in the most beloved movie of the bunch for voters, perhaps. Any of the five feel like they could win (well, maybe not Stone, since she just won two years ago). Let’s say Weisz gets it; people do love this movie. And Chan or Yeoh from Crazy Rich Asians would’ve been a lovely inclusion for the category in my opinion.