91st Academy Awards: Predictions, Round I

Image courtesy of Netflix.

Nominations for this year’s Academy Awards were announced this morning. Here’s a look at who currently appears favored to win:


Film TFW Rating
Black Panther ***
BlacKkKlansman ****
Bohemian Rhapsody * ½
The Favourite **
Green Book *
Roma ** ½
A Star Is Born **
Vice * ½

WILL: As of now, no film has a lock on this category. Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody won big at the Golden Globes, but neither of them received a nomination for Best Director. Meanwhile, Roma won at the Critics’ Choice Awards, but the Golden Globes and Producers Guild both passed it over. Bradley Cooper’s failure to get a nod for Best Director has probably killed A Star Is Born’s chances. And while both The Favourite and BlacKkKlansman have received a slew of nominations during this awards season, neither of them has actually won anything.

As of now, Roma probably has a slight edge. But that could easily change.

SHOULD: None of them. Roma isn’t bad, but it also has significant flaws, and I wouldn’t be comfortable giving it the top prize. (Ditto for Black Panther.) I gave BlacKkKlansman an enthusiastic four-star review back in August, but I’m not so sure I’d give it the same rating today. And the rest of the lineup is frankly disappointing.

SNUBBED: Zama; Leave No Trace; Burning; Monrovia, Indiana; If Beale Street Could Talk.


Director Film
Alfonso Cuarón Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos The Favourite
Spike Lee BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay Vice
Paweł Pawlikowski Cold War

WILL: The Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards both gave this award to Alfonso Cuarón, so he’s the clear favorite.

SHOULD: It’s not as resonant as Ida, but Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War is still a very powerful movie, a historical portrait that doubles as a searing love story. It’s unfortunate that Pawlikowski has no actual chance of winning.   

SNUBBED: Lucrecia Martel (Zama); Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here); Debra Granik (Leave No Trace); Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk); Frederick Wiseman (Monrovia, Indiana); Lee Chang-dong (Burning).


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

WILL: Having won at both the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards, Christian Bale looks set to win his second Oscar. It helps, too, that he had to undergo a major physical transformation for his role – something that Oscar voters have frequently appreciated in the past.

SHOULD: Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of Vincent van Gogh was gripping, heartfelt, and anything but caricatural. (The same can’t be said for the other nominated performances.)

SNUBBED: Daniel Giménez Cacho (Zama); Yoo Ah-in (Burning); Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here).


Actor Film
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: This race looks to be a contest between Glenn Close and Lady Gaga. Close probably has an edge, given that she beat Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes. 

SHOULD: All the nominees in this category have merit. But I’d be inclined to vote for Yalitza Aparicio, whose performance was easily the best thing about Roma. 

SNUBBED: Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace); Helena Howard (Madeline’s Madeline); KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk).


Actor Film
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: Two years after collecting one Oscar for Moonlight, Mahershala Ali is once again the frontrunner in this category – if the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards are any guide.

SHOULD: Grant. But let it be noted that the best supporting performance of the year – Steven Yeun in Burning – was not nominated.

SNUBBED: Steven Yeun (Burning).


Actor Film
Amy Adams Vice
Marina de Tavira Roma
Regina King If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone The Favourite
Rachel Weisz The Favourite

WILL: Regina King has been winning plaudits from critics and awards organizations (Golden Globes, Satellite) alike. At this point, it’s hard to see how anyone else could win.

SHOULD: King was excellent, but hers was hardly the best performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. My vote goes to Emma Stone for her vicious – yet always entertaining – turn in The Favourite.

SNUBBED: Miyu Sasaki (Shoplifters); Molly Parker (Madeline’s Madeline).