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2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Here are our best bets to get past the first heat and maybe earn a few nasty tweets from our new POTUS.

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2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions
Photo: Lionsgate

“While it would be an exaggeration to categorize all this sound and fury about something signifying next-to-nothing ’fun,’ at the very least the hubbub this Oscar year offers welcome respite from the grinding monotony of the presidential race.” So ended the introduction to our Oscar nomination predictions last year. And so ends our collective cautious optimism. Not even Alyssa Edwards’s clicking tongue could summon an exclamation point sharper than the one we now feel reflecting upon the actual stakes of real life amid frivolous, self-congratulating luxury. Unlike we felt when all anyone cared about was getting an Oscar into Leonardo DiCaprio’s hands. Well, we care about a lot more things this year, and so will the Academy. Which means: Expect a lot more films in the Spotlight vein to be nominated, and a lot fewer like Mad Max: Fury Road, with one frivolous exception to the rule that’s going to clearly sing and dance its way to all the wins next month. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Here are our best bets to get past the first heat and maybe earn a few nasty tweets from our future POTUS.

BEST PICTURE

Hidden Figures

La La Land will be nominated.

Those hyperbolically obsessed with identity politics this year, on either side of the debate, can breathe easy that the two films most frantically drawn into the conversation this awards season are mortal locks for nominations. They are Barry Jenkins’s Moonlight, which ticks off every single marginalized checkbox every other film in the hunt this year doesn’t have to, and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. Some people have decided, because it features a straight, white male protagonist, that Manchester by the Sea just ain’t woke enough, but the many encomiums should win out.

And now everyone will get to react to another month’s worth of fresh hot takes in much the same manner as Amy Adams does to all those inky ringworm dispatches in Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival. That film, too, is all but assured a nomination. Even though Oscar has shown a tad more resistance to the burgeoning I Fucking Love Science subgenre than IMDb traditionally has, a film which argues so calmly on behalf of global cooperation and collective betterment feels now like the most imaginative kind of sci-fi.

If we were still in a five-deep best picture epoch (or, as we imagine many of the same demographic who were recently purged from the AMPAS would tag it, the special snowflake period), it would be pretty easy to wrap this up by noting the perfectly timed box-office success of Theodore Melfi’s historically corrective NASA drama Hidden Figures. And to point out, as many others already have, that virtually all things the film valorizes—women, minorities, math, and facts—are the same things our future president systemically rejects. All of this housed within a period piece that allows progressives to queasily bask in the afterglow of the Obama years one last time.

Having only five slots would at least allow us to avoid having to wrestle with the guild over-performance of Tim Miller’s blunt, dazzling, and dumb Deadpool, arguably the first Trump-era blockbuster. But its cheerful anti-P.C. attitude suggests nothing so much as Marvel’s Gran Torino, and neither straight superhero flicks nor Clint Eastwood’s zeitgeist curiosity have moved Oscar’s needle much. There just aren’t enough dirtbag lefties in Hollywood.

Instead, with the exception of Tom Ford’s pulp trashterpiece Nocturnal Animals filling what we’ll just call the Black Swan slot, expect the rest of the slate to be filled with the sort of solemn cinematic kale that will help ensure La La Land’s position as the industry’s feel-good tonic for all that ails us.

Will Be Nominated: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Nocturnal Animals.

Closest Runners-Up: Deadpool, Fences, and Jackie.

Should Be Nominated: Happy Hour, Knight of Cups, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Toni Erdmann.

BEST DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese

Damien Chazelle will be nominated.

And, as with best picture, so will Moonlight’s Barry Jenkins and Arrival’s Denis Villeneuve, a director whose highly ornamental sensibility probably got him yay close at least once or twice before but now benefits from a script that doesn’t force him to feel as though he’s trying to transcend or, worse, rarify material that would be better served up in a more lurid way.

Like the aforementioned three, Kenneth Lonergan does have a DGA nomination in the bag, but we can’t take his impending nomination as a given. Manchester by the Sea’s direction is precise but comparatively invisible, and even the film’s fans probably regard it as more of an actors’ and writers’ triumph. If he can survive the perceptible cooling off surrounding Jackie, Pablo Larraín’s relentless, self-serving stylism stands a good shot at usurping Lonergan or, more likely, fellow DGA honoree Garth Davis (Lion).

Still, we’re betting on the combination of Martin Scorsese’s status as a living legend, the P.R. reminders that Silence was the one, true passion project in the auteur’s career (we’ve heard that before), and the now-expected late release all but ensuring Oscar voters are the only ones who will get to see it before ballots are due. If Bennett Miller can snare a nod for a best picture non-nominee in this expanded slate era, Scorsese can.

Will Be Nominated: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival; Damien Chazelle, La La Land; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea; Barry Jenkins, Moonlight; and Martin Scorsese, Silence.

Closest Runners-Up: Denzel Washington, Fences; Garth Davis, Lion; and Pablo Larraín, Jackie.

Should Be Nominated: Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Happy Hour; Terrence Malick, Knight of Cups; Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea; Barry Jenkins, Moonlight; and Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann.

BEST ACTRESS

Isabelle Huppert

Emma Stone will be nominated.

And so will Natalie Portman for Jackie, because, as Michael Koresky deliciously pointed out, it’s hard to ignore a performance that approximates “South Park’s Cartman mixed with a Marilyn Monroe-impersonating drag queen.” Especially when it’s the latest, grating-est inductee into the Hall of Kabuki Celebrity Impersonations, where you’ll find roughly 40 percent of all winners in this category from the last two decades. (And, given that somewhere between five and 10 percent of all female acting nominations in the last decade have gone to Amy Adams, she’s in as well.)

Awards bloggers everywhere who are convinced that the world turns as a result of the Oscar rivalry between Portman and Annette Bening all currently have their fingers on the buttons of their OhMiBods. But Mike Mills’s 20th Century Women doesn’t exactly allow Bening’s mercurial matriarch the chance to settle into her character’s best self until well into the second half, and this year Isabelle Huppert seems to have the market cornered on, shall we say, complexity. Any doubts we had about Huppert landing a spot when there are subpar performances by great actors in terrible films to take into serious consideration—looking your way, SAG Award nominee Emily Blunt—were alleviated by her refreshingly breathless reaction to her Golden Globe win, one which should even win over a few of those who didn’t warm up to her prickly performance in Paul Verhoeven’s Elle.

The same goes tenfold for Meryl Streep, who was no doubt already a soft lock to net her 20th Oscar nomination for her limburger-and-caviar recital in Florence Foster Jenkins but who unquestionably sealed the deal when she put He Who Shall Not Be Named in his place.

Will Be Nominated: Amy Adams, Arrival; Isabelle Huppert, Elle; Natalie Portman, Jackie; Emma Stone, La La Land; and Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins.

Closest Runners-Up: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women; Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train; Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures; and Ruth Negga, Loving.

Should Be Nominated: Sonia Braga, Aquarius; Margherita Buy, Mia Madre; Mackenzie Davis, Always Shine; Royalty Hightower, The Fits; and Isabelle Huppert, Elle.

BEST ACTOR

Andrew Garfield

Ryan Gosling will be nominated.

And he should thank his lucky city of stars this field isn’t anywhere near as crowded as best actress, because Gosling in “Hey, girl” mode hasn’t curried much favor from Oscar up to this point. In fact, Gosling in any mode hasn’t curried much favor from them. And if the Slumdog Millionaire-like juggernaut that’s La La Land can’t net him his second nod, then nothing will.

Speaking of juggernauts, Casey Affleck’s near-uninterrupted streak of critics’ and industry awards for Manchester by the Sea means he’ll get his second nod too, even if he probably doesn’t have Nate Parker’s support. Denzel Washington’s P.R. campaign and proselytizing on behalf of playwright August Wilson probably means a lot more to most Oscar voters than the fact that the Broadway revival that begat the film version of Fences all but swept the Tonys. Either way, he’s also unquestionably contending.

The remaining two slots are in play, but just barely. Viggo Mortensen has beaucoup support for his role as a survivalist in Matt Ross’s Captain Fantastic, and though he’s out-acted by at least three or four of the six kids with whom he shares the screen, SAG and the Globes gave their endorsements. Joel Edgerton has, like his co-star Ruth Negga, performed solidly so far, but Jeff Nichols’s insistently quiet Loving picked the wrong political year to meekly state its case, and the same goes for Sully’s Tom Hanks, though at least his film could be interpreted as a minor-key variation of draining the swamp. Instead, we’re going with Andrew Garfield, who may be brilliant in Martin Scorsese’s Silence but who in Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge looks like we all feel.

Will Be Nominated: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge; Ryan Gosling, La La Land; Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic; and Denzel Washington, Fences.

Closest Runners-Up: Joel Edgerton, Loving; Tom Hanks, Sully; and Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool.

Should Be Nominated: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea; Adam Driver, Paterson; Andrew Garfield, Silence; Vincent Lindon, The Measure of a Man; and Hidetoshi Nishijima, Creepy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nicole Kidman

The gluten-free woman in La La Land who regularly takes out her deepest frustrations on studio-lot coffee-shop baristas will not be nominated.

In fact, it’s hard to imagine who outside of the five we’re predicting below actually have even an outside shot of getting nominated. Though fans of Lily Gladstone and Janelle Monae everywhere would be delighted to be wrong, this lineup has been encased in carbonite for weeks and weeks now. The placement of Viola Davis’s fine work in Fences has the category-fraud police on high alert. Color us skeptics, but wouldn’t the argument just as strongly apply to Hugh Grant and Dev Patel in the supporting actor race? Washington’s performance is his film’s central role, and every other character orbits around him. So even though watching Emma Stone taking best actress and Meryl Streep heir-apparent Davis settling for supporting actress feels a little bit like a replay of the conversation Octavia Spencer has in the bathroom with Kirsten Dunst in Hidden Figures, hey, Streep’s first Oscar was in supporting too.

Speaking of Hidden Figures, habit may be the only thing to explain why Spencer is getting all the attention when her co-star Monae is arguably as integral to the ensemble’s success, and even throws more shade—you know, for the type of Oscar voters who equate corrective gestures of social righteousness with quality acting, or who couldn’t even be asked to consider whether Dunst’s tightly buttoned form of institutional racism might not also be worthy of at least consideration. But Spencer is hardly without her moments. Nor is anyone else tipped for the nod, for that matter.

Moonlight’s Naomie Harris broke her own rule in playing a crackhead single mother, and managed to engender sympathy without entering a plea for it—well, at least not until the third act. Also not asking for sympathy in a role that could’ve been nothing but: Lion’s Nicole Kidman, whose hushed support isn’t a simple clichéd manifestation of piety, but rather a function of her battle with depression. And then there’s Michelle Williams, who’s given only moments in Manchester by the Sea, and still manages to be equally responsible for one of the year’s most devastating scenes.

Will Be Nominated: Viola Davis, Fences; Naomie Harris, Moonlight; Nicole Kidman, Lion; Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures; and Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea.

Closest Runners-Up: Lily Gladstone, Certain Women and Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures.

Should Be Nominated: Viola Davis, Fences; Lily Gladstone, Certain Women; Nicole Kidman, Lion; Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake; and Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

The photographer in La La Land who knows how he wants Ryan Gosling to pose but most certainly doesn’t know the first thing about real jazz and probably listens to post-Jaco Weather Report will not be nominated.

Another year, another reason we’re irritated that Oscar decided to take care of Jeff Bridges when he had so many more compelling options on either side of the not-so Crazy Heart. As Hell and High Water’s Texas Ranger Marcus Hamilton, Bridges holds court as decisively as anyone in this year’s field. Well, with the possible exception of Michael Shannon, playing another Texas man of the law in Nocturnal Animals and wearing each acting choice like a badge of honor. Shannon looked to be cruising toward the nod for a while, but then a funny thing happened on the way to the Kodak.

Shannon’s co-star, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, instead got the Golden Globe nod for playing the most flea-bitten, grease-smeared rapist ever to also boast a washboard eight-pack. It would’ve felt like a classic glitch from the always-amusing Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but then Taylor-Johnson went and won, and then cemented his status with a truly out-of-leftfield BAFTA nomination (again, at Shannon’s expense). We like this as much as the next gay hipster, but we’re scratching our heads at this development.

Everything else here is business as usual, with Mahershala Ali standing in for Moonlight’s uniformly excellent male ensemble maybe in part because his is the only role that isn’t played by multiple actors, Dev Patel cashing in on the emotional moment Lion sets him up to bear, and Hugh Grant being more agreeably English than whatever Ralph Fiennes was doing in that eminently .gif-worthy scene in A Bigger Splash. As much as it pains us to say it, we’re predicting Manchester by the Sea’s Lucas Hedges to get lost at sea here.

Will Be Nominated: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight; Jeff Bridges, Hell and High Water; Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins; Dev Patel, Lion; and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals.

Closest Runners-Up: Ralph Fiennes, A Bigger Splash; Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea; and Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals.

Should Be Nominated: Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight; Jeff Bridges, Hell and High Water; Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea; André Holland, Moonlight; and Dev Patel, Lion.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Fences

La La Land, despite being a rather thinly disguised mashup of Damien Chazelle’s favorite samples from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Singin’ in the Rain, and One from the Heart, will not be nominated.

That’s only because it’s being categorized as an original screenplay, obviously. Which is probably for the best overall, since this is the more competitive, stacked writing race. Though he’s been dead for more than a decade, the late August Wilson is assured a nomination for Fences. Barry Jenkins will match his best director nomination with another here. But nominations may also come to a few writer-directors who look likely to miss out in the latter category: Theodore Melfi for the aggressively pedestrian Hidden Figures (co-written with Allison Schroeder) and Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals.

Nocturnal Animals, adapted from Austin Wright’s novel Tony and Susan, boasts a “complicated” structure, balancing heightened reality with deadening fiction, which should win over some of those voters who believe, justifiably, that the film itself is more notable for its wounded rough-trade directorial eye than its writerly voice. And the final, and most meta, writing nomination will go to Arrival’s Eric Heisserer, voted most likely among this year’s Oscar nominees to make me think, for a split second, that I myself have been nominated.

Will Be Nominated: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Nocturnal Animals.

Closest Runners-Up: Deadpool, Elle, Lion, and Silence.

Should Be Nominated: Arrival, Elle, The Handmaiden, Love & Friendship, and Silence.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

20th Century Women

La La Land will be nominated.

And this will be one of the categories it’s most likely to lose, since it will also square away against three intricate, carefully crafted pieces of writing…and also Noah Oppenheim’s Jackie. Kenneth Lonergan may be on shaky ground in best director, but he will certainly pull his weight in the writing field. He may well win, too, so long as enough voters remember how deftly he handles the moments of comic near-relief and don’t simply presume it all rests on Casey Affleck’s performance. (At this point, Manchester by the Sea’s Oscar profile feels awfully similar to that of Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, in that both are unfairly being boiled down to their lead performance.)

Mike Mills’s highly autobiographic and diffusely structured 20th Century Women sure feels like the sort of thing that only manages a nomination in the screenplay categories, and so does the plant-and-payoff case study Hell or High Water, written by Sicario scribe Taylor Sheridan. But in a category that’s yielded far bigger surprises, we’re not quite ready to count out the likes of stalwarts Ethan and Joel Coen (whose Hail, Caesar! has unfortunately been rendered otherwise superfluous in the Oscar conversation by La La Land) or Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou’s The Lobster, which used to be pretty weird until the rest of 2016 happened.

Will Be Nominated: Hell or High Water, Jackie, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and 20th Century Women.

Closest Runners-Up: Captain Fantastic, Hail, Caesar!, and The Lobster.

Should Be Nominated: Aquarius, The Fits, Happy Hour, Paterson, and Toni Erdmann.

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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

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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Awards

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

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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