It almost seems like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is trying to pull one over on usâor, at the very least, sneak one past us while weâre not looking. After years of taking heat for the screwy nominations and screwier winners in categories such as this, all sorts of quality controls were initiated for face-saving purposes, from committees whoâd govern over those wishing to vote in these categories to members needing to validate that theyâve seen all the nominees at screenings before casting their ballots. Then, one day after this yearâs Oscar nominations were announced, while the world was still reeling from a litany of jaw-dropping snubs (Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Jafar Panahi, etc.), AMPAS president Hawk Koch announces that all Oscar voters will be invited to pick the winners in the documentary feature and live-action and animated short categories after being sent screeners of all the nominated films, and all on the Academyâs dime. Which begs all sorts of questions: Why not the documentary short category as well? Hell, why not every Oscar category? Who gets to explain to Eli Wallach what a screener is? If 5 Broken Cameras lands first in Vanessa Redgraveâs DVD player, will she care to see any other nominated film in this category? If a tree fallsâŠ
The Invisible War, Kirby Dickâs documentary about sexual assaults in the U.S. military, certainly doesnât lack for import, yet itâs almost soberingly objective to a faultâso insufficiently incensed that it even caused one of our own to check out while watching it. The finest film in this lot by a country mile, 5 Broken Cameras is an enraged, metaphoric, ballsily crafted document of Israeli aggression toward Palestiniansâand yet, in a bizarre, almost perverse move, some might even say telling, the Israeli government and media over the past month has tried to co-opt the film as their own. If Emad Burnat and Guy Davidiâs film is insufficiently pro-Jewish to score a victory here, so, too, is Dror Morehâs The Gatekeepers, a disquieting overview of the Shin Betâs activities since the Six-Day War featuring a few too many acknowledgements from former operatives of the security agency that Israel has gone too far over the years in its attempts to defend the state. If Bigelowâs snub in the director category even remotely signals that the Academy is suffering from torture fatigue, both documentaries may face an uphill battle.
David Franceâs How to Survive a Plague, one of our top 25 films of last year, is a stirring, poignant, intelligently edited document of AIDS activism in this country. This highly subjective film, which isnât without its lapses in taste, still feels as if itâs been designed largely as a history lesson for those who arenât intimately familiar with the nuances of ACT UPâs heroic struggle to raise AIDS awareness over the years while fighting political inaction in the halls of our American government. Of course, the filmâs power is unmistakable, so powerful in fact that we donât even think voters will care that Franceâs triumph was realized almost entirely inside the editing room, where he distilled over 700 hours of stock footage from the âplague yearsâ down to two. But is it powerful enough to stave off one of the most crowd-pleasing documentaries, Malik Bendjellouâs Searching for Sugar Man, ever nominated in this category?
Confession: Two weeks ago we werenât ready to call this just yet for Bendjellouâs irritatingly money-obsessed documentary about the search for musician Sixto Rodriguez following a long-ago rumored suicide. The film touches on a cornucopia of themes, such as fan worship, and does so in a way that, to quote our own Eric Henderson, âobfuscates so as to build to a heartening finale.â Itâs a popular tactic, sometimes used for less enlivening purposes, that hasnât done docs like Anvil! The Story of Anvil and The Imposter any favors when itâs come to getting the Academyâs attention. Also, it doesnât seem to help that Rodriguez, unlike Philippe Petit or Argo, doesnât exactly want for Hollywood validation. But the film, whose ostensible pleasures I continue to be immune to after two viewings, has been heralded far and wide as an intelligently crafted, audience-involving mystery, and one with an unmistakably happy endingânot to mention an irresistible soundtrack. Our hearts arenât with the film, but given that Searching for Sugar Man has triumphed with awards groups with particularly Oscar-y instincts (namely the National Board of Review and the PGA), to bet against it wouldnât make us very savvy betting men.
Will Win: Searching for Sugar Man
Could Win: How to Survive a Plague
Should Win: 5 Broken Cameras
2019 Tony Nominations: Hadestown and Ainât Too Proud Lead Field
Both shows were joined in the Best Musical category by Beetlejuice, The Prom, and Tootsie.
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 Ainât Too ProudâThe 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.
Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of The Temptations
Choir Boy by Tarell
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
What the Constitution Means to Me
Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Millerâs All My Sons
The Boys in the Band
The Waverly Gallery
Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers & Hammersteinâs 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 Millerâs 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, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammersteinâs 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 OâHara, Kiss Me, Kate
Best Book of a Musical
Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations, Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice, Scott Brown and Anthony King
Hadestown, AnaĂŻs 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, AnaĂŻs 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 JesĂșs, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, Arthur Millerâs 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
AndrĂ© De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Ephraim Sykes, Ainât Too ProudâThe 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 & Hammersteinâs Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammersteinâs 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, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammersteinâs 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, Ainât Too ProudâThe 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, Ainât Too ProudâThe 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, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammersteinâs 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 & Hammersteinâs Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammersteinâs Oklahoma!
Harold Wheeler, Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations
Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories
Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Special Tony Awards
Jason Michael Webb
Regional Theatre Tony Award
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley
Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Broadway Inspirational Voices
Joseph Blakely Forbes
FDNY Engine 54
Tony Nominations by Production
Hadestown â 14
Ainât Too ProudâThe Life and Times of the Temptations â 12
Tootsie â 11
The Ferryman â 9
To Kill a Mockingbird â 9
Beetlejuice â 8
Rodgers & Hammersteinâs Oklahoma! â 8
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus â 7
The Prom â 7
Ink â 6
Network â 5
Choir Boy â 4
Kiss Me, Kate â 4
Arthur Millerâs All My Sons â 3
Burn This â 3
The Cher Show â 3
King Kong â 3
Bernhardt/Hamlet â 2
The Boys in the Band â 2
Torch Song â 2
The Waverly Gallery â 2
What the Constitution Means to Me â 2
Be More Chill â 1
Hillary and Clinton â 1
King Lear â 1
Oscars 2019: Complete Winners List
The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we donât already know about AMPAS.
The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we donât already know about AMPAS. Which isnât to say that the ceremony wasnât without its surprises. For one, whoever decided to capture Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooperâs performance of âShallowâ 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 Bookâs victory for best picture came as surprise. As our own Eric Henderson put it in his prediction: âThose 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 theyâre leaving is better than the one they found? Thatâs, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.â
In the end, the awards went down more or less as expected, with the only real shock of the evening being Oliva Colmanâs 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.
Green Book (WINNER)
A Star Is Born
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso CuarĂłn, Roma (WINNER)
Adam McKay, Vice
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternityâs Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER)
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
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?
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
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
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
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly (WINNER)
Roma, Alfonso CuarĂłn
Vice, Adam McKay
Foreign Language Film
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) (WINNER)
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
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)
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso CuarĂłn (WINNER)
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman (WINNER)
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, Hank Corwin
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 BĂĄrbara EnrÄ±Ìquez
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
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
Iâll 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
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
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
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. MontaĂ±o, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and JosĂ© Antonio GarcĂa
A Star Is Born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow
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, GĂ¶ran LundstrĂ¶m 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)
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
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.
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 showâs recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits. Across the last 24 days, Ed Gonzalez and I have mulled over the academyâs existential crisis and how itâs polluted this yearâs Oscar race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again. Weâre spent, and while we donât 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 CuarĂłn, 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: âShallow,â A Star Is Born
Sound Editing: First Man
Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Visual Effects: First Man
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Picture
The industryâs existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again.
âIâm hyperventilating a little. If I fall over pick me up because Iâve got something to say,â deadpanned Frances McDormand upon winning her best actress Oscar last year. From her lips to Hollywoodâs 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 showâs recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits.
But first, as McDormand herself called for during her speech, âa moment of perspective.â 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 weâve 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, âWhat do the Academy Awards want to be moving forward, exactly? Who should voters represent in this fractured media environment, exactly?â 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 seasonâs backdrop, and amid the self-obsessed entertainers now wrestling with the idea that they now have to be âcontent providers,â all anyone seems concerned about is what an Oscar means in the future, and whether next yearâs versions of Black Panther and Bryan Singerâs Bohemian Rhapsody have a seat at the table. What everyoneâs forgetting is what the Oscars have always been. In other words, the industryâs existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again, and Oscarâs 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 industryâs intimidation at the new threat of television. Moonlightâs shocking triumph two years ago was similarly answered by the safe, whimsical The Shape of Water, a choice that reaffirmed the academyâs 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 CuarĂłnâs Roma and so few on the vital, merciless fury of Spike Leeâs BlacKkKlansman.
And even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the academyâs new members, thereâs that righteous, reactionary fervor in the air against those attempting to âcancelâ 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 theyâre leaving is better than the one they found? Thatâs, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay
After walking back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this yearâs Oscars, thereâs no way AMPAS isnât going to do the right thing here.
Eric and I have done a good job this year of only selectively stealing each otherâs behind-the-scenes jokes. We have, though, not been polite about stepping on each otherâs 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 ânot tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film.â Case in point: Can You Ever Forgive Me? winning the WGAâs 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 thereâs no Oscar narrative more powerful than âitâs about goddamn time,â 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 itâs walked back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this yearâs Oscars, thereâs no way AMPAS isnât going to do the right thing.
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman
Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
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.
You know, if it werenât for the showâs producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the yearâs top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this wouldâve 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 donât 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 Oscarâs 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 Singerâs Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (Thatâs the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Bornâs 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 wasnât even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: âTo the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!â In both his sarcasm and his surprise, itâs safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGAâs 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 âcanât we all just get alongâ appeal by Timeâs 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 itâs just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesnât it seem like The Favouriteâs tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensenâs crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformedâs Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academyâs presumably more vanguard new recruits? Weâll fold our words in half and eat them whole if weâre wrong, but Oscarâs old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
For appealing to votersâ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.
Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, itâs 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 otherâs toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, itâs 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 MisĂ©rables) 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, thereâs 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 votersâ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.
Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: A Star Is Born
Should Win: First Man
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 Placeâs Emily Blunt.
If it were biologically possible to do so, both Ed and I would happily switch places with A Quiet Placeâs Emily Blunt, because weâd 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 weâve been that the Academy owes it to the nominees to air every category, which they agreed to after an extended âjust kidding,â 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, weâve 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 filmâs soundscapes are as unique and noisy as this category seems to prefer, First Manâs real-word gravitas and cacophonous Agena spin sequence should prevail.
Will Win: First Man
Could Win: A Quiet Place
Should Win: First Man
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Actress
Sometimes itâs important to just step back and pay your respects to a remarkable actress.
Sometimes itâs 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 Closeâand 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. Thatâs not an inaccurate perception, but itâs 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 systemâs attention shifted full time into covering AMPASâs 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 Iâll do battle with anyone who thinks Close is getting by on her legend alone. Closeâs triumph is recognizing The Wifeâs inherent ludicrousness and elevating it, and without condescension, with a kabuki-like verve that seeks to speak to the experiences of all women whoâve been oppressed by their men. Itâs 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 youâll understand why I texted Eric, my fellow Oscar guru, the following on the morning of November 29: âI think Close is going to Still Alice at the Oscars.â 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 nightâs 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 Bornâs awards campaign, leaving only Olivia Colman in Closeâs 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 doesnât have the SAG, and as bold and subversive as her performance certainly is, it isnât 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
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Film Editing
Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories?
Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories? AMPAS has officially brought more queens back from the brink than this yearâs season of RuPaulâs 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 thatâs so vexed Film Twitter this Oscar season. We yield the floor to Twitter user Pramit Chatterjee:
People, actual fucking people, are watching scene after scene like this and are saying âbruuuh! best. movie. of. the. yearâ?
This is objectively bad. Someone with no idea about editing will notice it. My brain is on fire thinking that this is an OSCAR NOMINATED MOVIE! FUCK! pic.twitter.com/QVDCxe2iaf
â Pramit Chatterjee đ (@pramitheus) January 26, 2019
Very fuck! The academy wouldâve been shooting itself in the foot by not airing whatâs starting to feel like one of this yearâs most competitive Oscar categoriesâa category that seems like itâs 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 Timesâs panel of voters seems palpably aware that Spike Leeâs BlacKkKlansman is the nominee this year thatâs going to go down in history as the âright thingâ theyâll be embarrassed for not âdoing.â No arguments from this corner. Leeâs film is narratively propulsive and knotty in ways that ought to translate into a no-brainer win here. (My cohort Ed recently mused that heâd give the film the Oscar just for the energy it displays cutting back and forth during phone conversations.)
Weâre 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 weâre 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 Pramitâs incredulous tweet, âIâve never seen so many people on Twitter discussing the art of film editing before,â and honestly, it does feel like Bryan Singerâs 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 Singerâs Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: BlacKkKlansman
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman