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Oscar 2002 Winner Predictions

Number crunching is in this year at the Academy Awards and it’s not just those pesky accountants.

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Oscar 2002 Winner Predictions

Number crunching is in this year at the Academy Awards and it’s not just those pesky accountants. Whoopi Goldberg is back for the fourth time as Oscar hostess and for his performance as happy-go-lucky mathematician lunatic John Nash, Russell Crowe could take home Oscar gold two years running. Baz Luhurmann didn’t make the cut but his Moulin Rouge! did—it’s the first musical to be nominated for Best Picture since All That Jazz in 1979. 77-year-old Golden Globe winner Robert Altman earned his fifth nomination for Best Director. Will the Academy go for his Gosford Park or something heavy on the Opie? With 13 nominations, though, Peter Jackson’s hobbits and wizards offer the kind of epic swing Oscar finds difficult to resist. Here are Slant Magazine’s predictions for who will arrive at the after-show parties with Oscar on their arm and who will show up empty-handed.

ACTOR: Tom Wilkinson’s performance in In the Bedroom is so under the radar it just about cancels out Sean Penn’s over-the-top I Am Sam turn. Crowe’s Golden Globe win for A Beautiful Mind is especially difficult to assess when looking at recent Globe-to-Oscar turnover rates. Crowe (The Insider) lost the 1999 Globe to Denzel Washington (The Hurricane) but Kevin Spacey (American Beauty) took home the Oscar. Tom Hanks (Cast Away) snagged last year’s Globe but Crowe won the Oscar for his Gladiator turn. Damien Bona, co-author of the seminal awards book Inside Oscar and author of its recently-published sequel Inside Oscar 2, concedes: “Hanks’s second victory seemed like an inevitability. There is certainly not an air of inevitability with Crowe this year. Last year when he won for Gladiator, it was mainly as a mea culpa, the Academy seemingly having decided that on second thought his performance in The Insider was more deserving than Kevin Spacey’s Oscar-winning work in American Beauty. There’s also a feeling these days that The Hurricane’s Denzel Washington, too, was better than Spacey, and that he got shafted because of the controversy regarding his movie. Therefore, many Academy members will undoubtedly cast their ballots this year with an eye to giving Denzel his make-up award.” Any chances of a Washington win, however, may have been dashed when Will Smith snagged one of the category’s two wild card spots from Billy Bob Thornton and Gene Hackman. A mixed blessing in disguise, could the category’s two African-American nominees cancel each other out? Still, with A Beautiful Mind packing so much sentimental steam, Crowe could very well join Hanks and Spencer Tracy in that elite two-in-a-row Best Actor club—that is, assuming Crowe’s BAFTA bad behavior hasn’t already nixed those chances. If Crowe looses the SAG award, Washington will likely make room for his second Oscar.

Will Win: Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind)

Should Win: Denzel Washington (Training Day)

ACTRESS: Thanks to Miramax, Renée Zellweger snagged the wild card spot that should have gone to Naomi Watts—as if Charlotte Rampling (Under the Sand) had a chance! Judi Dench earns her spot but not without a price: with four nominations in five years and one win for her cameo role in Shakespeare in Love, she’s the perennial presence still two or three nominations away from snagging Oscar number two. Halle Berry may now have industry cred but she still had to get naked to get Oscar’s attention; for her sake, let’s hope Academy members haven’t seen Swordfish. Sissy Spacek may be a virtual lock for a win but that hasn’t stopped Vegas odds-makers from putting her in a dead heat with Nicole Kidman. After a not-so-clean divorce from Tom Cruise, Kidman has sympathy on her side but Bona believes that any correlation between Vegas odds and actual wins are purely coincidental. “The Vegas odds-makers are clueless and have no feel for how Hollywood thinks. Spacek’s main competition, in my opinion, is Halle Berry, who had a far more dramatic role than Kidman and does more overt ’acting.’” Also, with ardent fans of Kidman’s other performance likely to vote elsewhere, this is Spacek’s award to lose.

Will Win: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom)

Should Win: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Papa Jolie snags his first Oscar nomination since 1985’s Runaway Train but his Howard Cosell from Michael Mann’s Ali will likely be seen as nothing more than a really snazzy impersonation. Voight rode Will Smith to an Oscar nod—ditto Ethan Hawke, who snags his first nomination for playing Denzel Washington’s white chump in Training Day. Bona, however, disagrees: “Hawke did no campaigning—in fact, in terms of his attitude to Hollywood glitz and awards, he can be thought of as the anti-Sally Kirkland. Academy members saw the film, loved Hawke’s subtle, gutsy and extraordinarily affecting work and voted for him simply because of the quality of his performance—which given all the time and money spent on soliciting Oscar voters is something rare and quite wonderful.” Academy members too frazzled by the expletives in Ben Kingsley’s Sexy Beast cockney accent will likely join the ranks in voting for Ian McKellen or Jim Broadbent. Sir Ian has The Fellowship of the Ring’s popularity on his side but Broadbent’s touching turn as Iris Murdoch’s grieving husband in Iris seems virtually unstoppable after its Golden Globe victory. A win for Broadbent may also be the closest thing to Oscar recognition for Moulin Rouge!, which is likely to fall short in a slew of technical categories.

Will Win: Jim Broadbent (Iris)

Should Win: Jim Broadbent (Iris)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Without a doubt the screwiest category of them all. So shocking was Marisa Tomei’s 1993 win over favorite Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives) that conspiracy theorists have yet to let up. Tomei is back, this time for her performance as a grieving hussy in Todd Field’s In the Bedroom. “Her role was too secondary,” claims Bona. “And because of her ever-changing accent, you didn’t know if her character was supposed to be from Maine or Queens. The main thing for Tomei is that this second nomination ends her reign as Oscar’s biggest joke.” For her charming, if not wholly memorable, turn as the young Iris Murdoch, Kate Winslet snags her third bridesmaid nomination. Helen Mirren and Maggie Smith are the chosen Gosford Park dames. Mirren gives the Altman film its heart but Smith’s stiletto-tongued performance lends it pizzazz—both should cancel each other out. With Jennifer Connelly doing most of the grunt work in A Beautiful Mind, a win for Crowe seems unlikely without her. For those betting the house on this one, here’s a few notable losers from this category’s past: Kate Hudson, Gloria Stuart, and Lauren Bacall.

Will Win: Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind)

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Should Win: Jennifer Connelly (A Beautiful Mind)

ANIMATED FEATURE: Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius shocked pundits when it squeaked past Waking Life for a nomination in this newbie category. Shrek’s glib, postmodernist antics may have nothing on the heart-warming awe of Pixar’s Monsers, Inc. and while only a mere $15 million separates both films on the all-time box office chart, DreamWorks’s adult-skewing toon still feels like the biggest film of 2001. DreamWorks launched their aggressive marketing campaign back on Halloween with trick-or-treat baskets filled with chocolates, popcorn and a Shrek DVD. Since then, more “for your consideration” solicitations: DVD screeners, endless Academy screenings and a copy of the film’s screenplay. This kind of persistence should go unpunished.

Will Win: Shrek

Should Win: Monsers, Inc.

ART DIRECTION: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is a long shot here, its relatively banal art direction likely to bore rather than excite most Academy members. Amélie may be seen as the cinematographer’s wet dream while Moulin Rouge! will likely fare better for its costumes. Recent winners Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Sleepy Hollow suggest the spoils could go to the minimalists and Goths. There’s a reason why The Fellowship of the Ring enters the Oscar race with 13 nominations. Jackson’s visualization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth should be enough eye-popping splendor to sneak past the Gosford Park ultra-classy Brit sets.

Will Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

CINEMATOGRAPHY: With his rep and critical nods, five-time nominee Roger Deakins, this year’s AFI and ASC winner for Best Cinematography, would normally be a lock for a win. Then again, his nomination is for the Coens’ possibly too-subtle The Man Who Wasn’t There. His fellow nominees are all first-timers so a win for Deakins would end an egregious losing streak. Slavomir Idziak (Black Hawk Down), Bruno Delbonnel (Amélie) and Donald McAlpine (Moulin Rouge!) are long shots but could all benefit from a possible vote split. Andrew Lesnie, the color wheel behind Babe and Babe: Pig in the City, could ride The Fellowship of the Ring fever straight to the podium. A win for Deakins, though, would be the most difficult class act the Academy could pass up.

Will Win: The Man Who Wasn’t There

Should Win: The Man Who Wasn’t There

COSTUME DESIGN: The best thing about The Affair of the Necklace was the bodices, courtesy of two-time winner Milena Canonero. Jenny Beavan, a past winner for A Room with a View, fares better—her film (Gosford Park) has the critical kudos and box office bucks. Two-time nominee Judianna Makovsky’s dusty garbs for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone should go unnoticed. Catherine Martin’s husband couldn’t snag a nomination for directing Moulin Rouge! yet she and co-designer Angus Strathie could pose a threat to The Fellowship of the Ring’s Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor. This three-horse raise is one of the more difficult ones to pinpoint. It’s also one of three likely trips Taylor will make to the Oscar podium—he’s also nominated for his makeup and visual effects work on the Jackson film.

Will Win: Moulin Rouge!

Should Win: Moulin Rouge!

DIRECTOR: After his surprise Golden Globe win, Robert Altman was seemingly situated as the director to beat on Oscar night. Indeed, with four previous losses in this category, a win for the 77-year-old maverick seemed like a sure thing. Once DGA nominations were announced, however, a major blow was dealt to pundits: no nomination for Altman. Someone who did make the cut was Ron Howard, who won the DGA award back in 1996 (for Apollo 13) despite losing his Oscar spot to men with grittier works (Tim Robbins and Mike Figgis). The DGA can be screwy but a win with them usually means a win with Oscar. Assuming the same folks accountable for Howard’s Apollo 13 snub are still active with the Academy, Opie might have to settle for the joy of nailing his first nomination. With Lynch and Ridley Scott out of the equation (their films failed to snag Best Picture nods), Howard and Jackson will have to ride their respective film’s runaway popularity in order to beat Altman. “Altman himself is highly respected rather than beloved,” says Bona. “The only way he can be expected to win is if support for Gosford Park is so overwhelming that it takes Best Picture. He has bad-mouthed Hollywood too much and for too long for Academy members to split their votes and give him the Best Director Oscar while voting for The Fellowship of the Ring or A Beautiful Mind for Best Picture.” Until the DGA award sheds more light on this one, there’s enough critical and popular hysteria behind The Fellowship of the Ring to help Jackson squeak past the veteran director.

Will Win: Peter Jackson (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Should Win: David Lynch (Mulholland Drive)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: In Christian Frei’s War Photographer, James Nachtwey morphs the chaos of war into fabulous, haunting photographs. Murder on a Sunday Morning tells the story of 15-year-old Brenton Butler, who was falsely accused in the shooting death of 65-year-old Mary Ann Stephens in Jacksonville, Florida. LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton, an award-winner at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, explores the legacy of slavery in the Mississippi Delta while B.Z. Goldberg’s Promises follows seven Israeli and Palestinian children around Jersusalem, chronicling their fractured identities and hopeless worldview. Edet Belzberg’s Children Underground, also a Sundance winner, transcends exploit by subtly indicting the homeless plight of Romanian youth on Ceausescu’s ignorant legacy. In an unusual move, the Academy’s documentary committee has failed to nominate a film with a Holocaust theme. With America currently in anti-terrorist mode, the spoils should go the most topical document. The Legacy of Cotton and War Photographer may be too subtle for the Academy while Murder on a Sunday Morning should go unnoticed by members who have, in the past, rejected such films as 4 Little Girls and Paradise Lost. In this battle of the children, Edet Belzberg’s grueling, masterful Children Underground will have a difficult time defeating the timelier Promises.

Will Win: Children Underground

Should Win: Children Underground

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Sarah Kernochan, whose credits include the story for What Lies Beneath and the screenplays for Sommersby and 9 1/2 Weeks, won an Academy Award back in 1973 for her documentary feature Marjoe, the rise-and-fall story of child evangelist Marjoe Gortner. Kernochan’s Thoth follows 47-year-old Stephen Kaufman through Central Park’s tunnels and fountains, celebrating the street performer’s colorful, uniquely schizoid solo operas. Thoth had a brief run in New York one month after the World Trade Center disaster and is now part of Art for America, a national fundraiser for the Twin Towers Fund. While certainly a tough act to pass up, Thoth might be a little too quirky for the Academy’s tastes. Jessica Sanders and Freida Lee Mock, five-time nominee and winner for 1994’s Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision, offer the more accessible Sing! while Lianne Klapper McNally’s Artists and Orphans: A True Drama could be irresistible with its inspirational story of a theater troupe visiting a Tbilisi orphanage.

Will Win: Thoth

Should Win: Thoth

FILM EDITING: At three hours, The Fellowship of the Ring may not move fast enough for some Academy members. Mike Hill and Daniel P. Hanley, Oscar winners for 1995’s Apollo 13, might have equipped Howard’s A Beautiful Mind with a tad too many fade-outs to make much of an impression with the Academy’s editor’s branch. And while Dody Dorn spliced and diced the film with the most editing brio, just how much of Memento’s pacing and structure was already laid out by Christopher Nolan’s precise, narrative template? This category’s results could determine whether Black Hawk Down will go back to its studio empty-handed. Pietro Scalia is hot off his nomination in this category for last year’s Gladiator but until the American Cinema Editors announce their awards on February 24th, Jill Billcock is packing enough heat from her AFI win to give her hyper-paced Moulin Rouge! the edge.

Will Win: Moulin Rouge!

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: In any other year Harvey Weinstein could have bet his Miramax house on an Amélie win. Beloved by many though certainly not without its critics, Amélie has $25 million box office bucks on Danis Tanovic’s No Man’s Land but no Golden Globe on its side. The Foreign Press Association showed class by praising Tanovic but who’s to tell if Academy members will feel just as humanitarian when choosing between French fantasy and Bosnian satire. Norway’s Elling and classy Argentinian entry Son of the Bride will sit this one out while four-hour, international mega-hit Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India could benefit from a possible vote split. With Weinstein cramming his expensive French drug down voter throats, No Man’s Land will likely be eating its own dust.

Will Win: Amélie

Should Win: Son of the Bride

MAKE-UP: Colleen Callaghan and Greg Cannon, an eight-time nominee and two-time winner for 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire and 1992’s Dracula, are unlikely to take A Beautiful Mind’s age makeup to the Oscar stage. Still, with Cannon’s cred, his film’s hokey last act make-up extravaganza gives A Beautiful Mind the edge over Aldo Signoretti and Maurizio Silvi’s work on Moulin Rouge!. But for anyone whose seen the many faces of Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring, a win for Peter Owen and Richard Taylor seems like a no-brainer.

Will Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

SCORE: Next to Angelo Badalamenti’s subversive, haunting soundscape for Mulholland Drive, none came better than Hans Zimmer’s awesome tribal-techno score for Black Hawk Down—neither man was nominated for his work. Hollywood score whore John Williams rakes up his fortieth and forty-first nominations for A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Williams’s haunting A.I. score will likely be nulled by his lighter Harry Potter tunes. With Randy Newman still the Susan Lucci of the Oscars, a win for Monsers, Inc. would be as earth-shattering as a, um, win for Susan Lucci. James Horner’s cutesy, tinkly score for A Beautiful Mind seems to have its fans but first-time nominee Howard Shore’s epic beats for The Fellowship of the Ring will be difficult to overcome.

Will Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

SONG: Diane Warren knows how to market her schmaltz but with her Pearl Harbor anthem hardly a crossover hit on the Billboard charts, six-time nominee Warren will likely continue her losing streak. Randy Newman’s “If I Didn’t Have You” from Monsters, Inc. doesn’t have the hakuna matata the Academy prefers from their Disney tunes. Vanilla Sky certainly had the songs right and a nomination for Paul MaCartney has to count for something even when the film did not. Enya scored another hit album with A Day Without Rain but her “May It Be” for The Fellowship of the Ring doesn’t hold a candle to her hit single “Only Time.” The Golden Globes are especially good at predicting the Best Song category so a win for “Until” tune Kate & Leopold seems likely for Adult Contemporary favorite Sting.

Will Win: Kate & Leopold

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

PICTURE: They may have their critics but backlash fever has yet to strike Howard’s A Beautiful Mind and Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring. While PGA winner Moulin Rouge! once seemed poised to reap the rewards of a possible vote split, late-in-the-game critical accolades for Gosford Park have made Robert Altman’s Brit dramedy the likelier upset victor. This year’s Miramax-bought spot goes to In the Bedroom but without a nomination for director Todd Field, Weinstein and his gang will have to sit this one out with Baz Luhrmann. Since the Academy’s top prize typically goes to the film with the most nominations, a win for mega-epic The Fellowship of the Ring seems most plausible. A win for A Beautiful Mind, however, is certainly not out of the equation. Howard’s glossy, TV-movie take on John Nash’s insanity has the market cornered: Crowe has set female heart’s afire while the film’s morally-questionable, trick narrative has corralled Hollywood old-schoolers. In this nailbiter battle between heart and soul, the epic-swing of The Fellowship of the Ring seems to have the upper hand.

Will Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

ANIMATED SHORT: Ruairi Robinson and Seamus Byrne’s outstanding Fifty Percent Grey tells the gruesome story of a futuristic sergeant who awakens in a desolate environment with only a widescreen TV as his companion. This ironic, visually-arresting short packs an existentialist wallop but its suicidal theme may be too bloody for some Academy members. Cathal Gaffney’s Give Up Yer Aul Sins wonderfully combines sound with old-fashioned animated footage to create a charming tale of one Irish girl’s potent Dublin identity. Strange Invaders, Cordell Barker’s first film since his awesome 1988 Oscar-nominated short The Cat Came Back, tells the kooky story of a childless couple sent into a panic when a strange child pays them a surreal, nighttime visit. This vastly uneven short is nowhere near as compact and bouncy as The Cat Came Back and is likely to leave many Academy members annoyed rather than entertained. Philip Holahan’s cute but minor Stubble Touble, a 1999 Sundance winner, is the claustrophobic story of a claymation couple in the shape of human feet. Sadly, the Academy will honor Monsers, Inc. in a roundabout way when it throws a bone at Pixar’s For the Birds, the adorable short that preceded Monsters, Inc. in theaters.

Will Win: For the Birds

Should Win: Strange Invaders

SHORT: LIVE ACTION: Ray McKinnon’s absurd, quaintly stylized The Accountant seems too quirky for Academy tastes while Copy Shop, the story of a copy shop worker who copies himself until he fills the whole world, may be too much Kafka for one night. Kalman Apple’s Speed for Thespians takes Anton Shekhov’s The Bear onto a New York City bus; it has absolutely nothing to do with crystal meth, which should tire any member still hoping for a Moulin Rouge! Best Picture win. Slawomir Fabicki’s A Man Thing (Meska Sprawa) tells the story of a 13-year-old trying to hide the fact that his father beats him. At 26 minutes, it might pack enough tragedy to win over weepier members. Based on premise alone, though, Johannes Kiefer’s Gregor’s Greatest Invention screams Oscar. Winner of the Brooks Pharmacy Positive Lifestyle Award and Best Short Comedy at the Burbank International Children’s Film Festival, Invention is the story of a man who invents a floating balloon device for his invalid grandmother.

Will Win: Gregor’s Greatest Invention

Should Win: The Accountant

SOUND: Amélie has its colors, Moulin Rouge! its songs and The Fellowship of the Ring its vistas. For blowing things up, the Oscar should go to one of two Bruckheimer war films: Black Hawk Down or Pearl Harbor. Two wins for the Bay film may be too much for some to handle but the fact that the film also shows up in the Sound Effects Editing category suggests the film’s sound designers have their fans.

Will Win: Pearl Harbor

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

SOUND EDITING: While the Academy was able to come up with five films for its Best Sound category, the lonely race for Best Sound Effects Editing pits Pixar against Bruckheimer. Noticeably absent here is Black Hawk Down. Twelve-time nominee Gary Rydstrom shares his Monsers, Inc. nod with first-time nominee Michael Silvers. Christopher Boyes, who is nominated in the Best Sound category for his work on The Fellowship of the Ring, should have no problem riding Pearl Harbor to Oscar victory. Boyes won in this category back in 1998 for his Titanic sound editing.

Will Win: Pearl Harbor

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

VISUAL EFFECTS: The visual effects mavens behind A.I. Artificial Intelligence have tackled everything from Star Wars and Flashdance to Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. The most notable member from the Pearl Harbor group is Eric Breving, who won the Oscar back in 1991 for his work on Total Recall. Still, it would take a minor miracle to defeat The Fellowship of the Ring in this category. Richard Taylor, who is also nominated in the make-up and costume design categories, could leave the Kodak Theatre a little weak in the jaw.

Will Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

Should Win: The Fellowship of the Ring

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: With Steve Buscemi missing from the supporting actor race, it’s a small miracle that Daniel Clowes and Terrry Zwigoff’s delicate screenplay for Ghost World made the cut. Todd Field and Robert Festinger’s subtle In the Bedroom adaptation will make just as small of an impression on the Academy. Those still confused by Shrek’s nomination in this category (Academy President Frank Pierson says “it’s a real story”) might even forget that the film is even nominated. Two-time Razzie nominee Akiva Goldsman won the Golden Globe his screenplay for A Beautiful Mind but will the Academy vote for a writer whose previous credits include Batman & Robin and A Time to Kill? With controversy still circulating around A Beautiful Mind’s selective recollection of John Nash’s life, Goldsman may be at a disadvantage. Nonetheless, the Academy loves solo jobs so a win for Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson’s The Fellowship of the Ring screenplay could mean too many writers on one stage.

Will Win: A Beautiful Mind

Should Win: Ghost World

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: No nominee in this category can quite rival what Wes Anderson does with The Royal Tenenbaums. His is a nuanced story of fairy-tale characters seeking entrance to fairy-tale kingdoms—it’s so good that a win with Oscar could be the classiest choice of the night. Milo Addica and Will Rokos’s screenplay for Monster’s Ball will surely fly under the Oscar radar and while Audrey Tautou’s two facial expressions (happy and sad) just about defined the whole of Amelie, Guillaume Larant and Jean-Pierre Jeunet still managed to snag a spot for their screenplay. This category affords the Academy the chance to award edgier, splashier work that fails to make an impression in other categories. Past winners include The Piano, The Crying Game, The Usual Suspects, Good Will Hunting and Pulp Fiction. Julian Fellowes could take it with his WGA-winning Gosford Park screenplay but a win for Christopher Nolan’s twisty noir thriller Memento would be an obvious pat on the back to a rising talent.

Will Win: Memento

Should Win: The Royal Tenenbaums

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Awards

2019 Tony Nominations: Hadestown and Ain’t Too Proud Lead Field

Both shows were joined in the Best Musical category by Beetlejuice, The Prom, and Tootsie.

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Hadestown
Photo: Matthew Murphy

Nominations for the 73rd Tony Awards were announced this morning, with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King and actors Bebe Neuwirth and Brandon Victor Dixon revealing the nominees in the top eight categories. Leading the pack with 14 nominations Hadestown, followed by Ain’t Too Proud—The Life of the Temptations with 12. Both shows were joined in the Best Musical category by Beetlejuice, The Prom, and Tootsie.

See below for a full list of the nominations.

Best Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations
Beetlejuice
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie

Best Play
Choir Boy by Tarell
The Ferryman
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ink
What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
The Boys in the Band
Burn This
Torch Song
The Waverly Gallery

Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

Best Book of a Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice, Scott Brown and Anthony King
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Bob Martin & Chad Beguelin
Tootsie, Robert Horn

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Be More Chill, Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice, Eddie Perfect
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird, Adam Guettel
Tootsie, David Yazbek

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Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
André De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bunny Christie, Ink
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Jan Versweyveld, Network

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
David Korins, Beetlejuice

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Clint Ramos, Torch Song
Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, Hadestown
William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long, Tootsie
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show
Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Ink
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Bradley King, Hadestown
Peter Mumford, King Kong
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, Ink
Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fitz Patton, Choir Boy
Nick Powell, The Ferryman
Eric Sleichim, Network

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
Peter Hylenski, King Kong
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Terrence McNally
Rosemary Harris
Harold Wheeler

Special Tony Awards
Jason Michael Webb
Sonny Tilders
Marin Mazzie

Regional Theatre Tony Award
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Judith Light

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Broadway Inspirational Voices
Peter Entin
Joseph Blakely Forbes
FDNY Engine 54

Tony Nominations by Production
Hadestown – 14
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations – 12
Tootsie – 11
The Ferryman – 9
To Kill a Mockingbird – 9
Beetlejuice – 8
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – 8
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus – 7
The Prom – 7
Ink – 6
Network – 5
Choir Boy – 4
Kiss Me, Kate – 4
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons – 3
Burn This – 3
The Cher Show – 3
King Kong – 3
Bernhardt/Hamlet – 2
The Boys in the Band – 2
Torch Song – 2
The Waverly Gallery – 2
What the Constitution Means to Me – 2
Be More Chill – 1
Hillary and Clinton – 1
King Lear – 1

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Oscars 2019: Complete Winners List

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS.

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Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS. Which isn’t to say that the ceremony wasn’t without its surprises. For one, whoever decided to capture Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born in one single take that would end with the pair sitting side by side, rapt in each other and framed in Bergman-esque repose, should hereby be responsible for every Oscar ceremony moving forward.

For some, though not us, Green Book’s victory for best picture came as surprise. As our own Eric Henderson put it in his prediction: “Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.”

In the end, the awards went down more or less as expected, with the only real shock of the evening being Oliva Colman’s stunning upset over Glenn Close in the best actress race. (Glenn, we hope you are on the phone right now trying to get that Sunset Boulevard remake to finally happen.) Black Panther proved more indomitable than expected, winning in three categories (none of which we predicted), and Free Solo pulling a victory over RBG that was the first big sign of the evening that, then and now, AMPAS members vote above all else with their guts.

See below for the full list of winners from the 2019 Oscars.

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

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

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

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

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

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

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

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

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

Documentary Feature
Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (WINNER)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding the Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
RBG, Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2, Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman (WINNER)

Cinematography
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (WINNER)
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

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

Production Design
Black Panther, Hannah Beachler (WINNER)
First Man, Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre and Gordon Sim
Roma, Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enrı́quez

Original Score
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson (WINNER)
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Original Song
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice (WINNER)
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

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

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War, Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Daniel Sudick
Christopher Robin, Chris Lawrence, Mike Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould
First Man, Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm (WINNER)
Ready Player One, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Dominic Tuohy

Sound Mixing
Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali (WINNER)
First Man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and José Antonio García
A Star Is Born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow

Sound Editing
Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst (WINNER)
First Man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay

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 (WINNER)

Live Action Short Film
Detainment, Vincent Lambe
Fauve, Jeremy Comte
Marguerite, Marianne Farley
Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Skin, Guy Nattiv (WINNER)

Documentary Short Subject
Black Sheep, Ed Perkins
End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry
Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi (WINNER)

Animated Short
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine
Bao, Domee Shi (WINNER)
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

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Oscars 2019: Who Will Win? Who Should Win? Our Final Predictions

No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them.

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Roma
Photo: Netflix

No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits. Across the last 24 days, Ed Gonzalez and I have mulled over the academy’s existential crisis and how it’s polluted this year’s Oscar race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again. We’re spent, and while we don’t know if we have it in us to do this next year, we just might give it another go if Oscar proves us wrong on Sunday in more than just one category.

Below are our final Oscar predictions. Want more? Click on the individual articles for our justifications and more, including who we think should win in all 24 categories.

Picture: Green Book
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Original Screenplay: Green Book
Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman
Foreign Language: Roma
Documentary Feature: RBG
Animated Feature Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Documentary Short: Period. End of Sentence
Animated Short: Weekends
Live Action Short: Skin
Film Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Production Design: The Favourite
Cinematography: Cold War
Costume Design: The Favourite
Makeup and Hairstyling: Vice
Score: If Beale Street Could Talk
Song: “Shallow,” A Star Is Born
Sound Editing: First Man
Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Visual Effects: First Man

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Picture

The industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again.

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Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

“I’m hyperventilating a little. If I fall over pick me up because I’ve got something to say,” deadpanned Frances McDormand upon winning her best actress Oscar last year. From her lips to Hollywood’s ears. No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits.

But first, as McDormand herself called for during her speech, “a moment of perspective.” A crop of articles have popped up over the last two weeks looking back at the brutal showdown between Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare In Love at the 1999 Academy Awards, when Harvey Weinstein was at the height of his nefarious powers. Every retrospective piece accepts as common wisdom that it was probably the most obnoxious awards season in history, one that indeed set the stage for every grinding assault we’ve paid witness to ever since. But did anyone two decades ago have to endure dozens of weekly Oscar podcasters and hundreds of underpaid web writers musing, “What do the Academy Awards want to be moving forward, exactly? Who should voters represent in this fractured media environment, exactly?” How much whiskey we can safely use to wash down our Lexapro, exactly?

Amid the fox-in-a-henhouse milieu of ceaseless moral outrage serving as this awards season’s backdrop, and amid the self-obsessed entertainers now wrestling with the idea that they now have to be “content providers,” all anyone seems concerned about is what an Oscar means in the future, and whether next year’s versions of Black Panther and Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody have a seat at the table. What everyone’s forgetting is what the Oscars have always been. In other words, the industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again, and Oscar’s clearly splintered voting blocs may become ground zero for a Make the Academy Great Again watershed.

In 1956, the Oscars took a turn toward small, quotidian, neo-realish movies, awarding Marty the top prize. The correction was swift and sure the following year, with a full slate of elephantine epics underlining the movie industry’s intimidation at the new threat of television. Moonlight’s shocking triumph two years ago was similarly answered by the safe, whimsical The Shape of Water, a choice that reaffirmed the academy’s commitment to politically innocuous liberalism in artistically conservative digs. Call us cynical, but we know which of the last couple go-arounds feels like the real academy. Which is why so many are banking on the formally dazzling humanism of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and so few on the vital, merciless fury of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

And even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the academy’s new members, there’s that righteous, reactionary fervor in the air against those attempting to “cancel” Green Book. Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.

Will Win: Green Book

Could Win: Roma or BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

After walking back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing here.

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BlacKkKlansman
Photo: Focus Features

Eric and I have done a good job this year of only selectively stealing each other’s behind-the-scenes jokes. We have, though, not been polite about stepping on each other’s toes in other ways. Okay, maybe just Eric, who in his impeccable take on the original screenplay free-for-all detailed how the guilds this year have almost willfully gone out of their way to “not tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film.” Case in point: Can You Ever Forgive Me? winning the WGA’s adapted screenplay trophy over presumed Oscar frontrunner BlacKkKlansman. A glitch in the matrix? We think so. Eric and I are still in agreement that the race for best picture this year is pretty wide open, though maybe a little less so in the wake of what seemed like an easy win for the Spike Lee joint. Nevertheless, we all know that there’s no Oscar narrative more powerful than “it’s about goddamn time,” and it was so powerful this year that even the diversity-challenged BAFTAs got the memo, giving their adapted screenplay prize to Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott. To bamboozle Lee at this point would, admittedly, be so very 2019, but given that it’s walked back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing.

Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.

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Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.

On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)

Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.

As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.

Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.

Will Win: Green Book

Could Win: The Favourite

Should Win: First Reformed

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.

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20th Century Fox
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.

Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: A Star Is Born

Should Win: First Man

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

If it were biologically possible to do so, both Ed and I would happily switch places with A Quiet Place’s Emily Blunt.

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First Man
Photo: Universal Pictures

If it were biologically possible to do so, both Ed and I would happily switch places with A Quiet Place’s Emily Blunt, because we’d much rather give birth in a tub while surrounded by murderous blind creatures than have to once again write our predictions for the sound categories. As adamant as we’ve been that the Academy owes it to the nominees to air every category, which they agreed to after an extended “just kidding,” it might have given us pause had the sound categories been among the four demoted by Oscar. But no, we must now endure our annual bout of penance, aware of the fact that actually knowing what the difference is between sound editing and sound mixing is almost a liability. In other words, we’ve talked ourselves out of correct guesses too many times, doubled down on the same movie taking both categories to hedge our bets too many times, and watched as the two categories split in the opposite way we expected too many times. So, as in A Quiet Place, the less said, the better. And while that film’s soundscapes are as unique and noisy as this category seems to prefer, First Man’s real-word gravitas and cacophonous Agena spin sequence should prevail.

Will Win: First Man

Could Win: A Quiet Place

Should Win: First Man

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Actress

Sometimes it’s important to just step back and pay your respects to a remarkable actress.

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Glenn Close
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Sometimes it’s important to just step back and pay your respects to a remarkable actress for having given a performance that, while not your, um, favourite nominated one, is still deserving of an Oscar victory lap. Now, if only others felt the same. Very early on in the awards season, there was already a sense that this award could become a career-achievement coronation for the six-time losing Glenn Close—and that people were going to have a problem squaring that with the fact that her Oscar would be tied to a film perceived to be a piffle. That’s not an inaccurate perception, but it’s difficult to remember a time when critics have used that as an excuse to not do their homework.

In short, have you seen The Wife? Indeed, until the awards-media system’s attention shifted full time into covering AMPAS’s A Series of Unfortunate Oscar Decisions, it seemed as if every day brought us a new article by some pundit about the Oscar race in which it strangely sounded as if the The Wife was still a blind spot for the writer. Which is shame, because Close gives good face throughout the film. Certainly, few Oscar-nominated films this year are as absurd as The Wife, but I’ll do battle with anyone who thinks Close is getting by on her legend alone. Close’s triumph is recognizing The Wife’s inherent ludicrousness and elevating it, and without condescension, with a kabuki-like verve that seeks to speak to the experiences of all women who’ve been oppressed by their men. It’s a turn worthy of Norma Desmond.

Today, the most reliable Oscar narrative is the overdue performer. And if you take stock in that narrative, then you’ll understand why I texted Eric, my fellow Oscar guru, the following on the morning of November 29: “I think Close is going to Still Alice at the Oscars.” After that morning, when the New York Film Critics Circle officially kick-started the Oscar season (and gave their award for best actress to Regina Hall in Support the Girls), no actress ran the table with the critics and guilds, but most of the cards that matter did fall into place for Close, and much as they did for Julianne Moore ahead of her winning the Oscar for Still Alice.

This was a done deal when Close won the Golden Globe, received a standing ovation, and gave the night’s most impassioned speech, immediately after which Eric conceded that my instincts had been right. Of course, that was no doubt easy for him to admit given that, by that point, the oxygen had already seeped out of A Star Is Born’s awards campaign, leaving only Olivia Colman in Close’s way. Colman has worked the campaign trail in spectacular ways, giving speeches that have been every bit as droll as this, but in the end, she doesn’t have the SAG, and as bold and subversive as her performance certainly is, it isn’t sufficiently big enough to convince enough AMPAS members that Close should continue waiting for Oscar.

Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Could Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Should Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

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Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Film Editing

Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories?

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Bohemian Rhapsody
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories? AMPAS has officially brought more queens back from the brink than this year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. Now that the academy has reneged on its plans to snip four categories from the live Oscar telecast, after first attempting damage control and assuring members that it will still run those four awards as not-so-instant replays in edited-down form later on in the show, we can once again turn our attention to the other editing that’s so vexed Film Twitter this Oscar season. We yield the floor to Twitter user Pramit Chatterjee:

Very fuck! The academy would’ve been shooting itself in the foot by not airing what’s starting to feel like one of this year’s most competitive Oscar categories—a category that seems like it’s at the center of ground zero for the voters who, as a fresh New York Times survey of anonymous Oscar ballots confirms, are as unashamedly entertained by a blockbuster that critics called utterly worthless as they are feeling vengeful against those who would dare call a film they loved racist. Interestingly enough, the New York Times’s panel of voters seems palpably aware that Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is the nominee this year that’s going to go down in history as the “right thing” they’ll be embarrassed for not “doing.” No arguments from this corner. Lee’s film is narratively propulsive and knotty in ways that ought to translate into a no-brainer win here. (My cohort Ed recently mused that he’d give the film the Oscar just for the energy it displays cutting back and forth during phone conversations.)

We’re glad that the academy walked back its decision to not honor two of the most crucial elements of the medium (editing and cinematography) on the live Oscar telecast, but what we’re left with is the dawning horror that the formless flailing exemplified by the clip above might actually win this damned award. Guy Lodge sarcastically mused on the upside of Pramit’s incredulous tweet, “I’ve never seen so many people on Twitter discussing the art of film editing before,” and honestly, it does feel like Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody getting publicly dog-walked like this stands to teach baby cinephiles-in-training the language of the cut as well as any of the myriad montages the show producers intended on airing in lieu of, you know, actually awarding craftspeople. But only a fraction of the voting body has to feel sympathy for John Ottman (whose career, for the record, goes all the way back with Bryan Singer), or express admiration that he managed to assemble the raw materials from a legendarily chaotic project into an international blockbuster. The rest of the academy has their ostrich heads plunged far enough into the sand to take care of the rest.

Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

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