At the Movies
And the Awards Will Likely Go to…
By Noah Gittell
In case you haven’t heard, the Oscars telecast has a problem. No, I’m not talking about the long running time or the lack of a host, both of which are causes of significant controversy this year. Rather, the issue is that the suspense is gone. Outside of the thrilling “Moonlight” snafu in 2017, the results of the awards have come to feel rather predetermined. With so many precursor awards’ shows, from the Golden Globes to the Screen Actors Guild to the BAFTAs, there is little doubt which films and artists will walk away with the statuettes on Oscar night.
In other words, what’s the point of a predictions’ column? So, in addition to telling you who/what will win the major awards, I’ll also predict who could win if the favorite somehow misses out. If you don’t want your Oscar pool to end in an 11-way tie for first place, here is the content you need.
Will Win: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Could Win: Christian Bale, “Vice”
Malek has breezed through the pre-cursors, but no one can quite figure out why. His transformation into Freddie Mercury was impressive, but he didn’t even do his own singing. Bale gives a similarly transformative performance, gaining 40 pounds to play the former vice-president, and despite his reputation as his generation’s most talented living actor, he has never won an Oscar in the lead category.
Will Win: Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Could Win: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
With over 30 years in Hollywood in rear-view mirror and no Oscars to show for it, Close seems destined for a make-up Oscar, honoring her performance in a mediocre drama that no one has seen. She is close to a lock, but don’t totally rule out Colman, who gave the most surprising and sensational performance in a film, “The Favourite”, that the Academy loved, garnering ten nominations overall.
Best Supporting Actor
Will Win: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Could Win: Sam Elliot, “A Star is Born”
Ali is headed towards his second Supporting Actor award in three years (following “Moonlight”), despite a series of controversies that have dented the chances of “Green Book” overall. But there has got to be a lot of love out there for Elliot, especially among the male members of the Academy; he has been a gruff and tender father figure onscreen for decades. The film’s Oscar chances have faded like a shooting star, but Elliot could still have a shot.
Best Supporting Actress
Will Win: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Could Win: Amy Adams, “Vice”
This is the one category still up for grabs. King was the early front-runner, but the Academy did not go for “Beale Street” the way many expected, and she was snubbed at the SAG Awards. Adams, who has now racked up six Oscar nominations in her career, is long overdue for a win, and this seems like her best chance yet. Still, this category has gone haywire before – Marisa Tomei, anyone? – so I wouldn’t count any of the nominees out completely.
Best Foreign Film
Will Win: “Roma”
Could Win: “Cold War”
“Roma” is the odds-on favorite for Best Picture, so there is no chance it loses in this category, right? Not so fast. In any other year, “Cold War,” which surprisingly received nominations for Director and Cinematography, would be a lock. Its strong overall support means it has a chance here, regardless of what happens in Best Picture.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Could Win: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Cuaron is predicted to win his second Oscar (after “Gravity”) for his personal epic about a domestic home worker in Mexico City, but I feel a groundswell of support for Lee. This is the legendary filmmaker’s time to be recognized, and while he is expected to win one Oscar for Adapted Screenplay, who is to say he cannot walk away with two? Lee is primarily a director, not a writer, so a win here would make sense.
Will Win: “Roma”
Could Win: “Green Book”
“Roma” has been the front-runner for most of awards season, but its victory is far from assured. There is still significant industry pushback against any film made by Netflix, who insiders suspect is damaging the importance of the theatrical experience. If “Roma” falters, “Green Book” seems most likely to the beneficiary. Its story of individuals overcoming bigotry seems like strong Oscar bait, although it may feel outdated to many of the Academy’s younger voters. We’ll know on Sunday night.