After what feels like the longest award season in history, we have reached the pinnacle. The Academy Awards (or Oscars as they are known as) are set to air this weekend. Following months of issues and controversies within the show, Hollywood’s biggest stars are ready to honor the years best films. This year will be the first since 1989 to not have a host. After previously announced host Kevin Hart was dropped when past homophobic tweets surfaced. Rumors also surfaced of categories like cinematography and editing being pushed to commercial breaks instead on the actual telecast, Oscar producers have stated this is false. So for one last time this year let us take a look at the nominees from some of the biggest categories and who should be leaving with a gold statue and who will be leaving with one come Sunday.
A Star Is Born
Should Win: Black Panther
Ryan Coogler and Marvel Studios Black Panther is the first comic book film to be nominated for Best Picture. The cast already picked up the SAG for Best Cast which has typically been a precursor for Oscar gold. After being the highest grossing and most talked about movie of 2018, it seems only right to reward a film that not only entertained but also did so much for representation.
Will Win: Roma
Roma has been slowly gaining steam all award season. With director Alfonso Cuaron picking up the Golden Globe and Directors Guild award earlier this season, Roma is on course to take the Oscar as well. The implications of Roma winning would be huge, first it would be the first foreign language film to ever win Best Picture and would also be the first film from a streaming platform (in this case Netflix) to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortenson – Green Book
Should Win: Bradley Cooper
With his directorial debut, Bradley Cooper took a story now on its 4th adaption and made it feel refreshing and new. His performance and depiction of mental illness are nothing short of remarkable. Also being snubbed in the Best Director category, Cooper should get some reward for his work.
Will Win: Rami Malek
After taking home the Golden Globe and the SAG, Malek looks well on his way to an Oscar this Sunday. Completely becoming rock legend, Freddie Mercury, Malek chewed up the scenery every chance he got. With vocal performances to match, Malek is a shoe-in for the award.
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
Glenn Close – The Wife
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady GaGa – A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Win: Lady GaGa
In her first starring role on the big screen, pop icon and television actress Lady GaGa proved that she has what it takes to be a crossover star. In A Star Is Born, GaGa tears down the house not just with her acting but her phenomenal musical ability as well. She is a two time nominee this year, also being nominated for Best Song. It would not be impossible to see GaGa walk away with two Oscars come Sunday.
Will Win: Glenn Close
After being nominated six times, the seventh nomination feels like Glenn Close’s time. With a career spanning decades and one of the best resumes of any actor working today Close is more than deserving of the gold. Her performance in The Wife shows that this actress just gets better with age.
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Adam Driver – BlackKklansmen
Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell – Vice
Should Win: Richard E. Grant
A highly regarded stage actor, Grant has been acting for decades. The Oscars have a history of rewarding working actors that might not be as well known as others. Grant’s career and performance proves that hard work can eventually pay off.
Will Win: Sam Elliott
Being snubbed by the Golden Globes is not all bad when the Oscars decide to nominate you. Elliott has proved himself for decades to be an actor at the top of his trade. From comedy to drama to westerns the man has done it all. In A Star Is Born, Elliott is beyond perfection. His chemistry with fellow stars Bradley Cooper and Lady GaGa is undeniable and it adds layers to his tough performance. Elliott has more than earned his time for recognition, come Sunday he should have it.
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
Should Win: Regina King
After years of supporting roles in smaller films to establishing herself as a top television actress, Regina King is finally where she deserves to be. Even though she did not receive a nomination in this category at the SAG awards earlier this year, King has more than made up for it. With several wins this season including the Golden Globe, she is poised to take the statue Sunday. Even in one of the most stacked categories, King will most likely be the Queen this Sunday.
Will Win: Regina King
If King loses here it truly will be the travesty of the night.
Alfonso Cuaron – Roma
Yorgios Lanthimos – The Favourite
Spike Lee – BlackKklansmen
Adam McKay – Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War
Should Win: Spike Lee
Spike Lee has been long overdue for Oscar recognition. As a prominent voice in film, Lee has done so much for African American filmmakers, there would be no Barry Jenkins or Ryan Coogler if Spike Lee never existed. The Oscars have a real chance to honor a director of color who is also more than deserving.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron
This year has been Cuaron’s year. Roma is nothing short of a masterpiece in directing. A previous winner already, Cuaron continues to push his artistic eye giving audiences a look at how the other half lives. Roma is a stark contrast to his previous winning film, Gravity. Alfonso is proof that directors who take chances are the ones that come out on top.
Best Animated Feature
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks The Internet
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Should Win: Into The Spider-Verse
Visually stunning, wonderfully written, and packing tons of heart, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is a perfect film. Taking a character audiences already are familiar with and diving deeper into who they are made this film standout. Visually one of the most original films to come out in recent memory, Spider-Man should snag the gold come Sunday.
Will Win: Into The Spider-Verse
Spider-Man > Everything
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
Should Win: “All The Stars”
Kendrick Lamar and SZA delivered a song that not only fit the film Black Panther perfectly but also had commercial appeal. Featured in numerous ads this year, the song was a massive hit. For a film like Black Panther to be nominated at the Oscars, any win would be appreciated. But after Kendrick Lamar’s hard work on the album and critical love for him, the Oscars might be inclined to give the hip-hop star his first Oscar and cement him as one of the greatest of all time.
Will Win: “Shallow”
After being robbed of the award in 2016, Lady GaGa’s hit song “Shallow” is the one to beat here. The song which was #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for 5 weeks is a stellar rock anthem that has generational appeal. The loss in 2016 was a fluke that the Oscars cannot afford to make again when it comes to GaGa. One way or another Lady GaGa WILL leave Sunday with an Oscar.