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Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2018

See below for a list of the films that just missed making it onto our list of the best films of 2018, followed by our contributors’ individual ballots.

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Slant’s Top 25 Films of 2018
Photo: Grasshopper Film

From Chuck Bowen’s introduction to Slant Magazine‘s Top 25 Films of 2018: “Film critics find themselves in an exhilarating and frustrating situation: Cinema keeps getting better—more formally adventurous, auto-critical, and responsive to the chaos of the society that yields it—but at the price of being less and less seen. This was a banner year for cinema, but how many of the films below have been able to penetrate Disney’s essential monopoly on the mainstream populace’s adulation? Yet perhaps this widening gulf between artisan films and pop culture at large is benefiting the former. With a certain portion of studio filmmaking that’s essentially incapable of losing money in place, and with streaming sites that are voraciously in need of ‘content,’ other films are emboldened to be themselves and to follow their creators’ obsessions into increasingly wild-and-wooly places.” Click here to read the feature and see if your favorite films of the year made our list. And see below for a list of the films that just missed making it onto our list, followed by our contributors’ individual ballots.

26. A Bread Factory: Parts One and Two
27. Shoplifters
28. El Mar La Mar
29. Leave No Trace
30. Milla
31. Madeline’s Madeline
32. Bodied
33. Claire’s Camera
34. Isle of Dogs
35. The Rider
36. Minding the Gap
37. Caniba
38. November
39. Unsane
40. Jeannette: Childhood of Joan of Arc
41. First Man
42. Amazing Grace
43. Let the Corpses Tan
44. Before We Vanish
45. Araby
46. A Star Is Born
47. The Death of Stalin
48. Cold War
49. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
50. Notes on an Appearance

Chuck Bowen
1. Monrovia, Indiana
2. First Reformed
3. The Other Side of the Wind
4. Bisbee ‘17
5. Zama
6. Golden Exits
7. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
8. Claire’s Camera
9. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
10. Let the Sunshine In

Honorable Mention: A Bread Factory, Burning, Gavagai, The Green Fog, Isle of Dogs, Leave No Trace, Notes on an Appearance, Sollers Point, Unsane, Werewolf

Pat Brown
1. Burning
2. Bisbee ‘17
3. First Reformed
4. Shoah: Four Sisters
5. The Favourite
6. 24 Frames
7. Cold War
8. Let the Sunshine In
9. Western
10. If Beale Street Could Talk

Honorable Mention: 306 Hollywood, The Day After, The Death of Stalin, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Eighth Grade, The Green Fog, I Am Not a Witch, Minding the Gap, November, Of Fathers and Sons

Jake Cole
1. Milla
2. 24 Frames
3. First Reformed
4. Zama
5. Burning
6. The Day After
7. Prototype
8. If Beale Street Could Talk
9. Madeline’s Madeline
10. Let the Sunshine In

Honorable Mention: Annihilation, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Bisbee ‘17, A Bread Factory: Parts One and Two, The House That Jack Built, The Other Side of the Wind, Paddington 2, Roma, Support the Girls, Western

Greg Cwik
1. The Other Side of the Wind
2. First Reformed
3. The House That Jack Built
4. Prototype
5. Golden Exits
6. The Favourite
7. Let the Sunshine In
8. Monrovia, Indiana
9. Claire’s Camera
10. Shoplifters

Honorable Mention: Before We Vanish, The Day After, The Green Fog, Hereditary, Isle of Dogs, Notes on an Appearance, Ready Player One, A Star Is Born, Support the Girls, Western

Clayton Dillard
1. Burning
2. The House That Jack Built
3. First Reformed
4. Mrs. Hyde
5. Before We Vanish
6. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
7. Western
8. Tyrel
9. El Mar La Mar
10. Bodied

Honorable Mention: Blindspotting, Claire’s Camera, Isle of Dogs, Let the Sunshine In, Private Life, A Quiet Place, The Rider, Scarred Hearts, Summer 1993, Suspiria

Peter Goldberg
1. Zama
2. First Reformed
3. Dead Souls
4. If Beale Street Could Talk
5. The Other Side of the Wind
6. 24 Frames
7. Milla
8. Minding the Gap
9. Support the Girls
10. A Bread Factory: Parts One and Two

Honorable Mention: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Bisbee ‘17, Burning, The Day After, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Hale County This Morning, This Evening, I Am Not a Witch, Let the Sunshine In, The Rider, Western

Ed Gonzalez
1. First Reformed
2. BlacKkKlansman
3. Do You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
4. Bisbee ‘17
5. Monrovia, Indiana
6. Paddington 2
7. Bodied
8. The Day After
9. The Green Fog
10. Let the Sunshine In

Honorable Mention: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Before I Wake, Claire’s Camera, Isle of Dogs, Leave No Trace, The Other Side of the Wind, Unfriended: Dark Web, Unsane, Western, Wild Boys

Christopher Gray
1. Let the Sunshine In
2. First Man
3. First Reformed
4. Zama
5. If Beale Street Could Talk
6. Minding the Gap
7. Bisbee ‘17
8. The Rider
9. Western
10. Leave No Trace

Honorable Mention: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Burning, El Mar La Mar, Happy as Lazzaro, Monrovia, Indiana, The Other Side of the Wind, A Quiet Place, Shirkers, Shoplifters, Unfriended: Dark Web

Wes Greene
1. Bisbee ‘17
2. Amazing Grace
3. Araby
4. A Bread Factory: Parts One and Two
5. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
6. Support the Girls
7. The Green Fog
8. First Reformed
9. Happy as Lazzaro
10. Roma

Honorable Mention: BlacKkKlansman, The Day After, Gavagai, The Grief of Others, I Am Not a Witch, Let the Sunshine In, Notes on an Appearance, Paddington 2, Unsane, Zama

Carson Lund
1. Let the Sunshine In
2. 24 Frames
3. Monrovia, Indiana
4. First Reformed
5. The Other Side of the Wind
6. El Mar La Mar
7. Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
8. Shoplifters
9. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
10. Unfriended: Dark Web

Honorable Mention: Classical Period, The Day After, Distant Constellation, Golden Exits, The Green Fog, Prototype, Roma, Support the Girls, Unsane, Zama

Sam C. Mac
1. The House That Jack Built
2. Dead Souls
3. Blind Detective
4. Golden Exits
5. Prototype
6. Isle of Dogs
7. A Star Is Born
8. The Other Side of the Wind
9. Shoplifter
10. Support the Girls

Honorable Mention: Before We Vanish, Bodied, Burning, Claire’s Camera, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, Ismael’s Ghosts, Let the Corpses Tan, Notes on an Appearance, Revenge, Stranger in Paradise

Paul O’Callaghan
1. Roma
2. First Reformed
3. Burning
4. Custody
5. Leave No Trace
6. Madeline’s Madeline
7. You Were Never Really Here
8. Shoplifters
9. Sorry to Bother You
10. Vox Lux

Honorable Mention: BlakKklansman, Cold War, The Favourite, The Green Fog, Hereditary, Minding the Gap, Monrovia, Indiana, A Star Is Born, Suspiria, Sweet Country

Niles Schwartz
1. First Reformed
2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
3. Burning
4. The Other Side of the Wind
5. Let the Sunshine In
6. Zama
7. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
8. Unsane
9. The Rider
10. Roma

Honorable Mention: The 15:17 to Paris, BlacKkKlansman, Bodied, At Eternity’s Gate, The Favourite, Isle of Dogs, Leave No Trace, Mandy, Ready Player One, You Were Never Really Here

Diego Semerene
1. Shoah: Four Sisters
2. 24 Frames
3. Happy as Lazzaro
4. Burning
5. Western
6. Loveless
7. Caniba
8. The House That Jack Built
9. Of Fathers and Sons
10. Vice

Honorable Mention: Cold War, The Death of Stalin, Distant Constellation, A Fantastic Woman, The Favourite, If Beale Street Could Talk, Lover for a Day, Monrovia, Indiana, November, Tehran Taboo

A.J. Serrano
1. Mandy
2. First Reformed
3. The Rider
4. If Beale Street Could Talk
5. Hale County This Morning, This Evening
6. The Other Side of the Wind
7. Paddington 2
8. Burning
9. Roma
10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Honorable Mention: 306 Hollywood, The Favourite, Infinite Football, Isle of Dogs, Private Life, Support the Girls, Suspiria, They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, Unsane, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Derek Smith
1. First Reformed
2. Zama
3. Burning
4. If Beale Street Could Talk
5. BlacKkKlansman
6. Prototype
7. El Mar La Mar
8. November
9. The House That Jack Built
10. Let the Corpses Tan

Honorable Mention: 24 Frames, Bisbee ‘17, Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?, First Man, The Green Fog, Happy as Lazzaro, Leave No Trace, The Other Side of the Wind, Paddington 2, Shirkers

Keith Watson
1. The Other Side of the Wind
2. Paddington 2
3. The House That Jack Built
4. Caniba
5. Support the Girls
6. Madeline’s Madeline
7. Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
8. The Death of Stalin
9. First Reformed
10. Let the Corpses Tan

Honorable Mention: 24 Frames, Bodied, A Bread Factory: Parts One and Two, Distant Constellation, Infinite Football, Milla, November, Prototype, The Road Movie, Sorry to Bother You

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Awards

2019 Oscar Nominations: The Favourite and Roma Lead Field, Bradley Cooper Snubbed for Director, & Cold War Surprises

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced today and The Favourite and Roma led the way.

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The Favourite
Photo: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning. Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite and Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma led the nomination count with 10, followed by Adam McKay’s Vice and Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born with eight, Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther with seven, and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman with six.

Cold War made a strong showing, with Pawel Pawlikowski claiming his first nomination for best director. Notably snubbed in the category was Bradley Cooper and Peter Farrelly, whose Green Book is considered the favorite to win best picture after its victory at the Producers Guild Awards. Elsewhere, Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) had to make way for Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born) in best supporting actor, while Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate) snagged a spot in the best actor race thought to be reserved for John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman).

See below for a full list of the nominations.

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

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

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?)

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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

Best Animated Short
Animal Behaviour
Bao
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

Best Live-Action Short
Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
Skin

Best Film Editing
Barry Alexander Brown, BlacKkKlansman
John Ottman, Bohemian Rhapsody
Yorgos Mavropsaridis, The Favourite
Patrick J. Don Vito, Green Book
Hank Corwin, Vice

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

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

Best Documentary Short Subject
Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence.

Best Foreign-Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Production Design
Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart, Black Panther
Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton, The Favourite
Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas, First Man
John Myhre and Gordon Sim, Mary Poppins Returns
Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez, Roma

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

Best Cinematography
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel, Never Look Away
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Matty Libatique, A Star Is Born
Lukasz Zal, Cold War

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

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

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

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

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

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WATCH: Stylish Queer Short Film Stay Makes Its Online Premiere

Brandon Zuck’s sexy and stylish gay thriller Stay debuts for free online.

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Stay
Brandon Zuck

Writer-director Brandon Zuck’s sexy and stylish gay thriller Stay made its premiere on the film festival circuit back in 2013, but the L.A.-based filmmaker is finally debuting it for free online. The short film, which Zuck claims is loosely based on events from his past, follows Ash (Brandon Harris) and his ex-boyfriend, Jacks (Julian Brand), on a road trip to the Florida Keys where the pair get mixed up in a fatal drug deal.

“I think maybe I was holding onto the film because it’s such a part of me,” Zuck says about his decision to release Stay on YouTube, which has been criticized by queer creators and organizations like GLAAD for ever-changing content guidelines that appear to target content made by and for LGBT people.

“YouTube started age-restricting my other LGBT films and—to be totally honest—I got furious. YouTube is this faceless behemoth and there’s nothing someone like me can do to fight any of it directly. Really the only thing I could think of was just putting more queer content out there. And Stay was sitting right there on my desktop where it’s always been. So I just hit upload. And it got age-restricted. C’est la vie. Next.”

Watch Stay below:

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Awards

2019 Oscar Nomination Predictions

How has Oscar royally screwed things up this year? Let us count the ways.

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Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

How has Oscar royally screwed things up this year? Let us count the ways. The hastily introduced and unceremoniously tabled (for now) “best popular film” Oscar. The impending commercial-break ghettoization of such categories as best cinematography and best film editing, but most certainly not best song and best animated feature. The abortive attempts to unveil Kevin Hart as the host not once, but twice, stymied by the online backlash over years-old anti-gay Twitter jokes and leading AMPAS to opt for George Glass as this year’s master of ceremonies. The strong-arming of its own membership to deter rank-and-file superstars from attending competing precursor award shows. If these end up being the last Oscars ever, and it’s starting to feel as though it should be, what a way to go out, right? Like the floating island of plastic in the Pacific, the cultural and political detritus of Oscar season has spread far beyond any previous rational estimates and will almost certainly outlive our functional presence on this planet. And really, when you think about it, what’s worse: The extinction of mankind or Bohemian Rhapsody winning the best picture Oscar? In that spirit, we press on.

Picture

Vice

There will be plenty of time, too much time, to go deep on the many ways Green Book reveals the flawed soul of your average, aged white liberal in America circa 2019. For now, let’s just admit that it’s as sure a nominee as The Favourite, Roma, and A Star Is Born. (There’s snackable irony in the fact that a movie called The Front Runner became very much not an Oscar front runner in a year that doesn’t appear to have a solid front runner.) And even though few seem to be predicting it for an actual win here, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman has an almost spotless precursor track record, showing up almost across the board among the guilds. Predicting this category would’ve been easy enough when Oscar limited it to five films, but it’s strangely almost as easy this year to see where the line will cut off between five and 10. Adam McKay’s Vice may be without shame, but you don’t have to strain hard to see how people could mistake it for the film of the moment. Bohemian Rhapsody is certainly lacking in merit, but, much like our comrade in chief, Oscar has never been more desperate for people to like and respect him, and a hit is a hit. Except when it’s a Marvel movie, which is why Black Panther stands precariously on the category’s line of cutoff, despite the rabid enthusiasm from certain corners that will likely be enough to push it through.

Will Be Nominated: BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, and Vice

Closest Runners-Up: If Beale Street Could Talk and A Quiet Place

Should Be Nominated: BlacKkKlansman, Burning, First Reformed, Let the Sunshine In, and Zama

Best Director

Yorgos Lanthimos

Everyone can agree that Bohemian Rhapsody will be one of the best picture contenders that doesn’t get a corresponding best director nomination, but virtually all the other nominees we’re predicting have a shot. Including Peter-flashing Farrelly, whose predictably unsubtle work on Green Book (or, Don and Dumber) netted him a widely derided DGA nomination. The outrage over Farrelly’s presence there took some of the heat off Vice’s Adam McKay, but if any DGA contender is going to swap out in favor of Yorgos Lanthimos (for BAFTA favorite The Favourite), it seems likely to be McKay. As Mark Harris has pointed out, Green Book is cruising through this awards season in a lane of its own, a persistently well-liked, well-meaning, unchallenging throwback whose defiant fans are clearly in a fighting mood.

Will Be Nominated: Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Alfonso Cuarón (Roma), Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), and Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)

Closest Runners-Up: Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk), and Adam McKay (Vice)

Should Be Nominated: Lee Chang-dong (Burning), Claire Denis (Let the Sunshine In), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Lucrecia Martel (Zama), and Paul Schrader (First Reformed)

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio

Had Fox Searchlight reversed their category-fraud strategizing and flipped The Favourite’s Olivia Coleman into supporting and Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone into lead, the five best actress slots would arguably have been locked down weeks, if not months, ago, unless Fox’s bet-hedging intuits some form of industry resistance to double female-led propositions. As it stands, there are four locks that hardly need mention and a slew of candidates on basically equal footing. Hereditary’s Toni Collette has become shrieking awards show junkies’ cause célèbre this year, though she actually has the critic awards haul to back them up, having won more of the regional prizes than anyone else. The same demographic backing Collette gave up hope long ago on Viola Davis being able to survive the Widows collapse, and yet there by the grace of BAFTA does she live on to fight another round. Elsie Fisher’s palpable awkwardness in Eighth Grade and winning awkwardness navigating the Hollywood circuit have earned her an almost protective backing. But we’re going out on a limb and calling it for the rapturously received Roma’s Yalitza Aparicio. Voters could, like us, find it not a particularly great performance and still parlay their good will for her into a nomination that’s there for the taking.

Will Be Nominated: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Closest Runners-Up: Toni Collette (Hereditary), Viola Davis (Widows), and Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade)

Should Be Nominated: Juliette Binoche (Let the Sunshine In), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Regina Hall (Support the Girls), and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Actor

John David Washington

Take Toni Collette’s trophies thus far in the competition and double them. And then add a few more. That’s the magnitude of endorsements backing First Reformed’s Ethan Hawke. And his trajectory has the clear markings of an almost overqualified performance that, like Naomi Watts’s in Mulholland Drive, cinephiles decades from now will wonder how Oscar snubbed. If Pastor Ernst Toller and Sasha Stone are right and God is indeed watching us all and cares what the Academy Awards do, Hawke’s nomination will come at the expense of John David Washington, whose strength in the precursors thus far (SAG and Globe-nominated) is maybe the most notable bellwether of BlacKkKlansman’s overall strength. Because, as with the best actress category, the other four slots are basically preordained. Unlike with best actress, the bench of also-rans appears to be one solitary soul. A fitting place for Paul Schrader’s man against the world.

Will Be Nominated: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Closest Runners-Up: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Should Be Nominated: Yoo Ah-in (Burning), Ben Foster (Leave No Trace), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Meinhard Neumann (Western), and John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Supporting Actress

Emily Blunt

Every Oscar prognosticator worth their bragging rights has spent the last couple weeks conspicuously rubbing their hands together about Regina King’s chances. The all-or-nothing volley that’s seen her sweep the critics’ awards and win the Golden Globe, and at the same time not even get nominations from within the industry—she was left off the ballot by both SAG and the BAFTAs—are narrative disruptions among a class that lives for narratives and dies of incorrect predictions. But despite the kvetching, King is as safe as anyone for a nomination in this category. It doesn’t hurt that, outside the pair of lead actresses from The Favourite, almost everyone else in the running this year feels like a 7th- or 8th-place also-ran. Except maybe Widows’s Elizabeth Debicki, whose fervent fans probably number just enough to land her…in 7th or 8th place. Vice’s Amy Adams is set to reach the Glenn Close club with her sixth Oscar nomination, and if she’d only managed to sustain the same loopy energy she brings to Lynne Cheney’s campaign-trail promise to keep her bra on, she’d deserve it. Which leaves a slot for supportive housewives Claire Foy, Nicole Kidman, and Emily Blunt. Even before the collapse of Mary Poppins Returns, we preferred Blunt’s chances in A Quiet Place.

Will Be Nominated: Amy Adams (Vice), Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), and Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Closest Runners-Up: Claire Foy (First Man), Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased), and Margot Robbie (Mary, Queen of Scots)

Should Be Nominated: Sakura Ando (Shoplifters), Zoe Kazan (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Rachel McAdams (Disobedience), and Haley Lu Richardson (Support the Girls)

Supporting Actor

Timothée Chalamet

The same people who’re curiously doubting Regina King’s nomination chances seem awfully assured that Sam Elliott’s moist-eyed, clearly canonical backing-the-truck-up scene in A Star Is Born assures him not only a nomination but probably the win. Elliott missed nominations with both the Golden Globes and BAFTA, and it was hard not to notice just how enthusiasm for A Star Is Born seemed to be cooling during the same period Oscar ballots were in circulation. Right around the same time, it started becoming apparent that BlacKkKlansman is a stronger draw than anyone thought, which means Adam Driver (who everyone was already predicting for a nod) won’t have to suffer the representationally awkward fate of being the film’s only nominee. Otherwise, the category appears to favor previously awarded actors (Mahershala Ali and Sam Rockwell) or should have been previously awarded actors (Chalamet). Leaving Michael B. Jordan to remain a should have been previously nominated actor.

Will Be Nominated: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Closest Runners-Up: Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born) and Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)

Should Be Nominated: Timothée Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Hugh Grant (Paddington 2); Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Steven Yeun (Burning)

Adapted Screenplay

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Get beyond the best picture hopefuls BlacKkKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk, which seem deservedly locked, and A Star Is Born, which is even more deservedly iffy, and you’ll see the screenwriters’ branch deciding just how seriously to take themselves this year, and whether they’re feeling like spiritually reliving the moments that found them nominating Bridesmaids and Logan. If so, then expect Crazy Rich Asians and Black Panther to factor in here. If they most definitely don’t feel frisky, then maybe the foursquare First Man has a shot at reversing its overall downward trajectory. If they’re seeking that “just right” middle ground, then Can You Ever Forgive Me? and The Death of Stalin are in.

Will Be Nominated: BlacKkKlansman, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, The Death of Stalin, If Beale Street Could Talk, and A Star Is Born

Closest Runners-Up: Black Panther, Crazy Rich Asians, and First Man

Should Be Nominated: BlacKkKlansman, First Man, Leave No Trace, The Grief of Others, and We the Animals

Original Screenplay

First Reformed

It’s not unusual for some of the year’s most acclaimed movies whose strength isn’t necessarily in their scripts to get nominated only in the screenwriting categories. First Reformed, which even some of its fiercest defenders admit can sometimes feel a bit like Paul Schrader’s “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” greatest-hits package, stands to be another of them. But it’ll be a close call, given the number of other equally vanguard options they’ll be weighing it against, like Sorry to Bother You, which arguably feels more urgently in the moment in form, Eighth Grade, which is more empathetically post-#MeToo, and even Cold War, which had a surprisingly strong showing with BAFTA. Given the quartet of assured best picture contenders in the mix, First Reformed is going to have to hold off all of them.

Will Be Nominated: The Favourite, First Reformed, Green Book, Roma, and Vice

Closest Runners-Up: Cold War, Eighth Grade, and Sorry to Bother You

Should Be Nominated: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Bodied, First Reformed, Sorry to Bother You, and Western

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