2019 Oscar nomination reactions and predictions; Black Panther makes history

There was a lot of buildup and a slew of controversies, but we’ve finally got the 2019 Oscar nominations. Not shockingly, the anticipated frontrunners like Roma and The Favourite gobbled up nominations. While I’m firmly on the hated it side of The Favourite, this result was hardly surprising. 

No Best Popular Film? No problem for Black Panther, which did get a Best Picture nod as well as a few others though none in the acting categories. I also have issue with Director Ryan Coogler or Cinematographer Rachel Morrison not getting nominations, but this is big news for comic book fans as Black Panther is the first comic book film to be nominated Best Picture.

As usual there were some slights — how did Bradley Cooper get snubbed for a Best Director nod for A Star Is Born??? — and surprises namely Pawel Pawlikowski getting the Best Director nod for Cold War. I was hoping the Academy would buck the award season trend of acting like no one saw Michael B. Jordan in Black Panther, but my surefire Supporting Actor contender didn’t get a nomination.

But I’m starting to see the results of the Academy’s effort to expand its membership. The 2019 Oscars won’t be saddled with the OscarsSoWhite hashtag so that’s encouraging. Here’s the nominees along with my first draft predictions. Hey, if Mel Kiper can release multiple NFL drafts, I can do the same.

Best Picture
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
A Star Is Born

Reactions and Predictions: I would have loved to have seen If Beale Street Could Talk among the nominees, but it had an uphill battle knocking out any of the other nominees. I’m thinking Roma is the film to beat here, but Green Book has been a surprisingly strong player. For Black Panther it really is more a deal of just an honor to be nominated.

Best Actor
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

bohemian rhapsody movie review - rami malek as freddie mercury

Reactions and Predictions: I think this is going to Bale, but Malek delivers a hard to look away from performance in the Queen biopic. Cooper has watched most of his fellow nominees claim award after award and I don’t see that trend changing here. It would have been nice to have seen John David Washington get a nod for his work in BlacKkKlansman. The Academy seemed to look favorably on pairings this year as six films had a combination of Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress. BlacKkKlansman is the exception.

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Reactions and Predictions: Lady Gaga was the pick for months, but then Colman started making waves as the (ahem) favorite, but now Close has racked up some recent awards. If pressed, Colman is still my choice for the likely winner though I’d rather see Gaga take the Oscar.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Reactions and Predictions: If you’re curious, I would have happily traded out Grant or Rockwell for Michael B. Jordan. Ali has been so much of a lock in this field it’s hard to see him not walking away with his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar in three years. That’s also the reason I could see the Academy trying to spread the love to one of the other nominees. Maybe Elliott to show some love for A Star Is Born?

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

if beale street could talk movie review - regina king

Reactions and Predictions: Stone and Weisz continue to cancel each other out paving the way for King to add a Best Supporting Actress Oscar to her trophy case. I can definitely see an Ali ‘upset,’ but King is the favorite and should win.



Best Director
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Adam McKay, Vice

Reactions and Predictions: Cooper may have gotten snubbed, but it wouldn’t matter anyway. This one seems a lock for Cuarón, who’s already claimed a Best Director Oscar for Gravity.

Best Original Screenplay
The Favourite (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
Green Book (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
Vice (Adam McKay)

Reactions and Predictions: I’m thinking all of the Green Book controversy keeps Farrelly and company from walking on stage. Maybe this is the win for Vice’s Adam McKay?

Best Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen & Ethan Coen)
BlacKkKlansman (Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
A Star Is Born (Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters)

Reactions and Predictions: This category is filled with some interesting contenders. Jenkins last won in this category for Moonlight and he’s the lone screenwriter for If Beale Street Could Talk. Maybe this is too soon for a repeat, but he’s my pick followed by Holofcener and Whitty, who’s film is likely to be shut out.

Best Cinematography
Łukasz Żal, Cold War
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel, Never Look Away
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Matthew Libatique, A Star Is Born

Reactions and Predictions: It’s a sham and a shame that Morrison didn’t get nominated for Black Panther. Were voters watching their screener through plastic wrap? This paves the way for another Cuarón win.

Best Production Design
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

Reactions and Predictions:  The Favourite will likely get this one.

Best Costume Design
Mary Zophres, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ruth Carter, Black Panther
Sandy Powell, The Favourite
Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne, Mary Queen of Scots

black panther nakia and shuri

Reactions and Predictions: Powell has the distinction of being nominated for two films. That’s impressive, but Carter should be the winner in this one.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Border (Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer)
Mary Queen of Scots (Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks)
Vice (Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney)

Reactions and Predictions: Christian Bale’s transformation into Dick Cheaney wouldn’t work without Vice’s makeup crew, who deserves the win here.

Best Original Score
Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther
Terence Blanchard, BlacKkKlansman
Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns

Reactions and Predictions: Any of the first three could win and I’d be fine. If I had to choose one, I’m thinking Blanchard gets the Oscar.

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 

a star is born movie review - lady gaga and bradley cooper

Reactions and Predictions: This is the fight of two of my favorite original songs from last year. Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s collaboration has always lost out to Cooper and Gaga so I’m thinking Shallow wins over Black Panther.

Best Film Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book

Reactions and Predictions: Bohemian Rhapsody had some impressive editing, but BlacKkKlansman was also strong. I’m betting the Academy goes with The Favourite for this category.

Best Sound Editing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Quiet Place

Reactions and Predictions: If the Queen biopic can’t win this one, what film should?

Best Sound Mixing
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
A Star Is Born

Reactions and Predictions: First Man was expected to be a big time player and barely made a blip. Expect it to get this pat on the head win.

Best Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Reactions and Predictions: The Avengers vs. Thanos should win — we all saw Thanos throw a planet at Iron Man, right? — but with Black Panther getting so many technical awards, I think Ready Player One is a worthy winner here.

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

spider-man into the spider-verse review - miles morales

Reactions and Predictions: Into the Spider-Verse has been an unstoppable force and it’s hard to argue against it taking home the Oscar.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Cold War
Never Look Away

Reactions and Predictions: It’s hard to see Roma winning Best Picture and not taking home this one, right?

Best Documentary Feature
Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons

Reactions and Predictions: Where is Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Were the voters still wiping tears away to remember to add it to their ballot? I’m thinking RBG takes this one.

Those are my picks. Let’s see how they turn out/change over the course of the next few weeks. What’s your take?

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures