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2006 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions

Happy birthday, MTV. You’re 25. A little old to be playing with 12 year olds, doncha think?

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2006 MTV Video Music Awards: Winner Predictions

Happy birthday, MTV. You’re 25. A little old to be playing with 12 year olds, doncha think? But that’s exactly what the premier music channel is doing at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. Now that the Breakthrough Video category is legal (it turned 18 last year), it seems MTV is no longer interested. And, for the first time, the channel is allowing its viewers to help pick the winners at the ceremony. This attempt at appealing to the interactive generation could spell disaster for what’s left of the award show’s credibility: Over the past few years, the VMAs have become more and more like a popularity contest than an acknowledgement of craft in the music video medium, and involving the TRL hyper-voting contingent could feasibly push things over the edge. It also makes predicting winners almost as difficult as naming all of the Pussycat Dolls. So we urge you not to place any bets using our predictions and instead simply bask in the joy of knowing that our picks for who should win are, as always, right on the money.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Will Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

Sal Cinquemani: Unless something goes awry (and it very well could), I’d place my bets on the two pioneers here, Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers. The three other times Madonna has been nominated in this category, the videos have been iconic (“Like a Prayer,” “Vogue,” and “Ray of Light”), so that puts “Hung Up” in nice company but that’s probably the award in and of itself. The video has a serious handicap since it’s the oldest one in all of the categories it’s nominated and it didn’t exactly stage a coup on the U.S. charts. RHCP have never won Video of the Year before, so this could be MTV’s chance to give the band props. Although I should mention that it just doesn’t feel right (this is not their big renaissance) and the video is mediocre at best.

Eric Henderson: Too bad they don’t give out awards for Costume Design, because I might give Christina Aguilera’s video much better odds if it were nominated for even one single tech category. But it was mysteriously snubbed for Director, Editing, Cinematography (dig those John Carpenter-esque horizontal lens flares), and even Art Direction. I’m not a huge fan of it, generally—it’s like a corny, forced version of the cover art for Missy’s The Cookbook—but, I mean, the thing has opening credits, people! I guess because RHCP’s video practically comes with footnotes that all say “rock history,” it’ll have an edge with people who can’t get past the fact that Xtina listens to her 78s on a silvery-sparkled wireless headset.

Ed Gonzalez: Yeah, I can’t get past the silvery-sparkled wireless headset, and if I were Mike D’Angelo, I wouldn’t give any of these videos higher than a 78. Xtina’s video is a po’ woman’s version of En Vogue’s “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” (the slapdash editing is embarrassing, betraying an otherwise attractive old-school vibe). The RHCP clip has none of the wit of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” and none of ecstasy that fueled OutKast’s “Hey Ya!,” but the MTV people seem to love it, and the band seems due for the top prize.

BEST MALE VIDEO

Busta Rhymes f/ Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose, & DMX, “Touch It Remix”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger” (Should and Will Win)

Nick Lachey, “What’s Left Of Me”

T.I., “What You Know”

EH: Remember what I just said about opening credits? Forget I said it. T.I. needs to give screen time to the name of the craft service coordinator, since they were the only ones doing their job on that set. On the other hand, Busta spreads the title card wealth for the entire duration of his video—superimposed, shouted out, worn on T-shirts. “Touch It Remix” even finds time for a funereal homily. More video than the skeletal song merits, but I’ll take any chance to see Rah Digga’s biceps I can get. That they show up in the proximity of a step dancing routine and what looks like a formal homage to the artistry of the ringtone ad just sweetens the deal. Sometimes having no ideas adds up to more than just one.

EG: I’m so bummed that Brooke’s hair doesn’t feature more prominently throughout the Busta video that I have to begrudgingly give my vote to Kanye West. Also, am I the only one who thinks James Blunt commits suicide at least four minutes too late in his video?

SC: It’s between the bling and the Blunt here, and rightfully so: “Gold Digger” and “You’re Beautiful” are the two best videos in the category. I’m surprised “Gold Digger” didn’t score a Video Of The Year nod; the simple red light district/pin-up vibe works well, and any video that downplays Jamie Foxx’s involvement gets my vote. “Touch It” is nice to look at but it doesn’t exactly beg for repeat viewings, and Nick Lachey has no business being here other than MTV making good on his solo reality show that never made it to the airwaves.

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man” (Will Win)

Kelly Clarkson, “Because Of You”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EH: I like the mise-en-scène of this version of “Promiscuous” better than the original.

EG: Madonna’s video almost convinced me that I could touch my toes for the first time in my life without bending my knees, but I like the mise-en-scène of this version of “Hung Up” better than the original.

SC: I prefer this one, but just for the costumes and choreography, not the “mise-en-scène.” Anyway, despite being the artist with the most wins in this category, Madge doesn’t have the greatest track record: this is her 12th nomination for Female Video but she’s only won three times. I think Christina will take this one based on the illusion that it’s original—like the song itself, there seems to be something missing. But she’s become somewhat of an MTV darling and her fanbase is rabid. Foaming at the mouth and all. And are those implants? Looks like baby’s been emulating Mariah a little too much.

BEST GROUP VIDEO

The All-American Rejects, “Move Along”

Fall Out Boy, “Dance, Dance”

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (Should Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (Will Win)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

SC: If the Best Group Video should ideally incorporate the group members in an inventive, compelling way, then The All-American Rejects’ “Move Along” shouldn’t win, but the crafty clip certainly plays to that group’s strength: pretty-boy lead singer Tyson Ritter. It’s between RHCP and Gnarls Barkley, with a possible upset by Panic! at the Disco.

EG: What other things did you learn about Tyson Ritter after Googling his name?

SC: I didn’t Google his name, I got it from the poster on your wall.

EH: I think All-American Rejects are the dark horse in this one, not Panic! at the Disco. Don’t underestimate the sizable voting demographic who call Garden State the best movie ever made.

SC: Yeah, but they’re not watching MTV, are they? And they’re certainly not voting.

EG: True, Panic! at the Disco’s video may be a little too spastic for people trying to match their clothes with the wallpaper in their rooms, but I still think it’s between them and RHCP.

EH: I’ve been officially done with RHCP ever since they left behind George Clinton, so I can’t say I was all that impressed when the Mothership Connection was reduced to a linking device between acid and glam. Especially since the song itself makes “Under The Bridge” sound like “Psychoalphabetadiscobioaquadoloop.”

BEST RAP VIDEO

50 Cent, “Window Shopper”

Busta Rhymes f/ Mary J. Blige, Rah Digga, Missy Elliott, Lloyd Banks, Papoose, & DMX, “Touch It Remix” (Should and Will Win)

Chamillionaire, “Ridin’”

T.I., “What You Know”

Yung Joc f/ Nitty, “It’s Goin’ Down”

EH: The real question is: Who is Fiddy going to threaten in this line-up like he did Fat Joe last year?

SC: Watching two rappers with significant speech impediments (Fiddy and Mase) express frustration while talking to a European sales person during the intro to “Window Shopper” was comical to me, but the video goes downhill from there—and fast.

EG: The Busta and T.I. videos are the only ones that don’t seem to be advertising how much bling these rappers were able to acquire after signing record contracts. The race, though, is probably between Fiddy and Busta. I’ll give it to the latter: He’s never won before, and given the amount of people rapping alongside him, the video is this category’s Crash.

EH: Then which is this category’s Brokeback? The one about goin’ down or the one about ridin’?

SC: The one about shopping.

BEST R&B VIDEO

Beyoncé f/ Slim Thug, “Check on It”

Chris Brown, “Yo (Excuse Me Miss)”

Jamie Foxx f/ Ludacris, “Unpredictable”

Mariah Carey, “Shake It Off”

Mary J. Blige, “Be Without You” (Will Win)

Editor’s Note: We will be abstaining from choosing who should win in this category due to our inability to reach a consensus on which video is “least bad.”

SC: Mimi’s video fails on many levels, not least of which is her Fergie impersonation on the bleachers and that vintage Hollywood long-take that’s reminiscent of Janet’s ode to Touch of Evil in “When I Think Of You,” but it’s probably the best of the sorry lot here. Hype Williams’s clip for Beyoncé’s “Check on It” is a lot like the song itself: nauseating. Some Pepto might be in order.

EG: Just thinking about “Check on It” makes me want to go to the bathroom, only I’m afraid to because I might pee pink. To the video’s credit, the oceans of satin sheets do complement Beyoncé’s gyrations.

SC: The three-bar style worked much better on LL Cool J and J. Lo’s “Lose Control.” In light of the quality of most of these videos, I’m actually surprised that one didn’t get a nomination this year.

EH: “Check on It” may shriek pink, but I can’t get over how much the song sounds like “The Ballad Of The Green Berets.” Another notch in Beyoncé’s already sealed (or, rather, catering 2 u) reputation as the reigning queen of R&B for the epoch of Laura Bush.

SC: Speaking of overzealous dance moves, Chris Brown is like some creepy choreographer/stalker in his video.

EG: That kid is all teeth.

EH: I wouldn’t “next” him or anything, but he’s no Craig David.

SC: I wouldn’t even let either of them get on the Next bus.

EG: Speaking of getting on the back of the bus, Crash almost got as much love from MTV as it did from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Consider a victory for Mary J. Blige a consolation prize for Terrence Howard losing the Oscar.

BEST HIP-HOP VIDEO

Black Eyed Peas, “My Humps” (Will Win)

Common, “Testify” (Should Win)

Daddy Yankee, “Rompe”

Kanye West f/ Jamie Foxx, “Gold Digger”

Three 6 Mafia, “Stay Fly”

SC: Unfortunately, I didn’t see Common’s “Testify” until the nominations were announced. Otherwise, it probably would have made my Top 10 last year.

EH: I’m no more a fan of “Testify” than I am of the album it came from (leave it to Common’s overstated omniscience to make something like Kanye/Foxx’s dapper duo look like a paragon of modesty), and I’d rather see “Gold Digger” win a Pulitzer before seeing one more rhinestone-encrusted quarter land in Fergie’s humpy drawers. Unfortunately, “My Humps” was willed into a hit single by (among others) iTunes customers. So there’s no reason now to lose faith in the perseverance of text message-happy retards on the Internet with too much time on their humps. Democrazy at work.

EG: I don’t know if the Black Eyed Peas song is trying to raise breast cancer awareness, but I would rather have sex with Jerri Blank than feel Fergie’s lump any day.

BEST DANCE VIDEO

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should and Will Win)

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous”

Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg, “Buttons”

Sean Paul, “Temperature”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

SC: Evidently, Snoop Dogg can name all of the Pussycat Dolls, so maybe we should defer to him on who’s going to win.

EG: I feel really close to all 47 members of the Pussycat Dolls: In the past year, I think I’ve seen all of their snatches up close and personal on the pages of Perez Hilton. But, alas, my hips don’t lie, and Madonna’s “Hung Up” has changed the way I look at the grooves in the speakers of my Aiwa stereo system.

SC: Madonna has never won in this category, surprisingly enough. Her two most notable losses were in 1990 (“Vogue” lost to “U Can’t Touch This”!) and 1998 (“Ray Of Light” lost to another Jonas Akerlund-directed clip, Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up”). This would seem to be her one lock (it’s the only true “dance” song, after all), but recent winners have skewed urban.

EH: I dunno, Madonna does hump a Radio Raheem-sized boom box in this one. Which is one of the better things she’s done since Erotica and which might be enough to offset Karen Lynn Gorney’s wardrobe.

BEST ROCK VIDEO

30 Seconds To Mars, “The Kill”

AFI, “Miss Murder”

Green Day, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (Should and Will Win)

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

SC: Back-to-back wins are a frequent occurrence in this category, so Green Day’s mini-movie could score here. Then again, it doesn’t have the multiple nominations that RHCP and Panic! both have.

EG: I suppose MTV, especially Kurt Loder, thinks the Green Day video is really cunning, but I dug it a lot more when I thought the only thing Jamie Bell did to hurt Evan Rachel Wood’s feelings was have sex with her mother.

EH: Wake me up when this category ends.

BEST POP VIDEO

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up”

Nelly Furtado f/ Timbaland, “Promiscuous” (Will Win)

Pink, “Stupid Girls” (Should Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EH: Dullest category, year in, year out. Even though the fact that Shakira’s is the only video nominated in the Viewer’s Choice line-up, portending a possible surge of popular support, it’ll probably just go to the dullest video of the lot.

SC: So…“Promiscuous” then? Pink’s “Stupid Girls” is the only video here not nominated for Best Female Video. I haven’t the faintest idea what that means but don’t be surprised if she’s thrown a bone for her lampooning of all things “pop.”

EH: Yeah, it’s nearly as good as Jessica Simpson’s way with a roller rink ice cream cone.

EG: The video pops all right, but certainly not as much as Nelly Furtado’s song or Shakira’s hips. A vote split could benefit Xtina and Madge, but I’ll give this one to Furtado by a pubic hair.

BEST NEW ARTIST

Angels and Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Avenged Sevenfold, “Bat Country”

Chris Brown f/ Juelz Santana, “Run It!”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” (Will Win)

Rihanna, “S.O.S.” (Should Win)

SC: This isn’t the Grammys, so James Blunt isn’t the shoo-in he’ll probably be with NARAS come winter.

EH: No, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the VMAs don’t follow suit with the Grammys in awarding stuff that’s up for the top prize in lower categories. And, since the moment for “You’re Beautiful” passed when one of Blunt’s former lovers revealed he didn’t, um, measure up, that leaves the field clear for Panic! Six million YouTube hits don’t lie.

EG: Rihanna all the way, because I haven’t been so thrilled by a scene inside a hall of mirrors since Lady in Shanghai.

EH: Nice to see flash done correctly. I haven’t been so thrilled by a masturbation-referencing dance routine involving mirrors since “The Pleasure Principle.”

SC: I was just about to cry foul and say that Rihanna’s technically not a new artist, but her debut wasn’t released in time to qualify for the 2005 VMAs. Incredibly, she’s managed to squeeze out two albums since last year’s ceremony.

BEST DIRECTION

10 Years, “Wasteland” (Director: Christopher Sims)

AFI, “Miss Murder” (Director: Marc Webb)

Common, “Testify” (Director: Anthony Mandler)

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy” (Director: Robert Hales) (Should Win)

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Director: Tony Kaye) (Will Win)

EH: I’ve got nothing against videos with fractured-unto-faux-profound titles like “Former Yugo…SLAVE,” but I feel like Christopher Sims forgot to include a shot of Djimon Hounsou with a graphic reading “Give! Us! Free!”

SC: Since there are no big names here, decisions will either be based on popularity or quality, so it’s a race between Tony Kaye’s rock-through-the-ages homage and Hales’s ink-blot clip, respectively.

EH: There’s really nothing in the Adobe After Effects style of “Crazy” that doesn’t feel completely cliché now that every cable network’s bumper spots use it. But there remains something inherently personal in the program—it’s the laptop equivalent of a mixtape, and coupling that with the Rorschach patterns adds up to a deft if obvious visual accompaniment to the song’s casually tossed-off DSM-IV sentiments.

EG: What he said.

SC: What did he say? I didn’t understand a word of it.

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY

Christina Aguilera, “Ain’t No Other Man”

Madonna, “Hung Up” (Should Win)

Pussycat Dolls f/ Snoop Dogg, “Buttons” (Will Win)

Sean Paul, “Temperature”

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie”

EG: The Pussycat Dolls are all pelvic thrust. This is a good thing, but given all the love for “Hung Up” this year, I imagine MTV’s base would rather have Madonna teasing their cocks. Still, Xtina’s video probably hits the desired overlap of “originality” and craftiness to carry it to victory.

EH: Unless Nomi Malone presents the award this year, in which case both Xtina and Madonna should start worrying about losing this one to the Pussycat Dolls.

SC: Are we still calling Christina Aguilera Xtina just to piss her off? Like calling Madonna the Material Girl?

EG: Yes.

SC: Rules are made to be broken, especially on MTV, but it’s worth noting that it’s been over a decade since the winners in this category and Best Dance Video have aligned. The Material Girl’s update of the Saturday Night Fever dance moves might not be considered original enough, and are crumping and parkour, the other two styles of dance featured in the video, really choreographed?

EH: Okay, I could’ve choreographed “Hips Don’t Lie.” Of course hips don’t lie! How can they when all they’re doing is demonstrating the physics of a fulcrum? The step dance in “Touch It Remix” has more choreography than this whole category.

SC: And Shakira’s disembodied hips could’ve choreographed “Buttons”! It’s just sexy walking. But that Nicole Scherzinger—yes, I named one of the Pussycat Dolls, but I had to call Snoop first—is like a bionic stripper. She should win a Moon Man for those indubitable chair tricks alone.

EH: Well there’s some architecturally pleasing poses thrown in with the Cats’ feigned prowling and one-upmanship. The video’s like an episode of Next directed by Bob Fosse.

EG: Did you know that there are as many “hips don’t lie” jokes and references to Orson Welles films in this article as there are Kubrick homages in this year’s lot of nominees?

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

Angels and Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Beck, “Hell Yes”

Missy Elliott, “We Run This”

Pearl Jam, “Life Wasted” (Should and Will Win)

U2, “Original Of The Species”

EH: There always seems to be a Peter Gabriel video struggling to get out of every Missy Elliot clip. But in a weird twist of fate, Pearl Jam (of all artists) has upstaged Missy’s shtick.

EG: Funny, I thought the Peter Gabriel video was trying to get out of the U2 clip.

SC: And I thought the Peter Gabriel video was rolling its stop-motion eyes, wondering where the fuck the Breakthrough Video category went.

EH: Why wasn’t Beck’s “Hell Yes” nominated for choreography?

SC: It should have been! At the very least, it’s the best video in this category, but it admittedly doesn’t have the best special effects.

BEST ART DIRECTION

10 Years, “Wasteland”

Common, “Testify”

Panic! at the Disco, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Will Win)

Shakira f/ Wyclef Jean, “Hips Don’t Lie” (Should Win)

EH: Does hubris count as art direction? If so, my vote is a tie between Common and the Chili Peppers.

SC: Do little creepy mummy midgets count for art direction? If so, my vote goes to Shakira.

EG: I think Suri Cruise is inside that mummy suit. But seriously, it seems strange that this could be Shakira’s best chance at a victory. The video’s fusion of Latin and Haitian cultural styles is more appealing than Panic! at the Disco’s annoying No Doubt-meets-Deadwood aesthetic, but then there are the RHCP, whose video could sweep.

SC: Yeah, sweep up the trash in the theater after the show.

BEST EDITING

The All-American Rejects, “Move Along” (Should and Will Win)

Angels And Airwaves, “The Adventure”

Gnarls Barkley, “Crazy”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California”

U2, “Original Of The Species”

EH: Though the rhythms of the quicksilver animation in “Crazy” is seamless…um, just that. There are no seams, hence no edits. Odd nomination for a slate that didn’t make room for a single dance-oriented video. Rihanna’s clip, for one, would’ve brightened this dour category up.

SC: “S.O.S.” should have been nominated for Best Lighting. “Move Along” is the obvious pick here, and it probably should win, but MTV has occasionally been known to go with subtler choices in this category.

EG: I’m tired of picking Red Hot Chili Peppers.

EH: I’m wondering if the same might not be true of the voters. You know, those famous MTV attention-spans and all? Maybe this could tip favor to an even more self-congratulatory group rocking their dotage.

SC: You’re talking about Angels And Airwaves, right?

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

AFI, “Miss Murder”

Ashlee Simpson, “Invisible”

James Blunt, “You’re Beautiful”

Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Dani California” (Should and Will Win)

Prince, “Black Sweat”

EH: Prince? Who do the VMAs think they are, the AMAs?

EG: Isn’t it sad that Ashlee Simpson had to cut part of her nose off in order to get a nomination in this category?

EH: Does the nominating committee just take it for granted that “black and white” is congruent with “best”? Simpson’s desecration of Million Dollar Baby, in which the less butch boxette gets the chance to get up from the canvas and finish the job, trashes Clint Eastwood’s carefully coordinated colors schemes (which provide no easy compass for moral alignment) for a video that is black and white in the worst sense of the phrase. RHCP ditch monochrome as a way of signaling progress. As for Prince, the word “ashy” comes to mind.

SC: Okay, fine. RHCP deserve this one, although MTV should take it away from them the following day just because of that Kurt Cobain thing. I would rather have seen them impersonate themselves circa 1994—you know, back when silver body paint was considered a “breakthrough”?

BEST VIDEO GAME SOUNDTRACK

“Final Night Round 3” (Electronic Arts)

“Burnout Revenge” (Electronic Arts) (Will Win)

“NBA 2K6” (2K Games)

“Driver: Parallel Lines” (Atari) (Should Win)

“Mark Ecko’s Getting Up”

EG: Tempted as I was to download these soundtracks, I chose instead to compare their GameSpot scores to determine the victor here. With a scorching 8.8—a 0.4 lead over “Mark Echo’s Getting Up”—this will be “Burnout Revenge”’s award to lose.

EH: I don’t play any other video games aside from The Sims, so I had to turn to Wikipedia to see what songs accompanied these games. “Mark Ecko” has that Nina Simone song other Slant writers can’t get enough of (“Sinnerman”). “Burnout Revenge” has the highest percentage of songs nominated for other VMAs, so it’s got that going for it. But Grandma Henderson dropped the controller long enough to inform me that the soundtrack for the 1978 half of “Driver: Parallel Lines” is, quote, “her jam.”

SC: Red Hot Chili Peppers.

BEST VIDEO GAME SCORE

“Hitman, Blood Money” (Jesper Kyd)

“Ghost Recon, Advanced Warfighter” (Tom Salta)

“Dreamfall, The Longest Journey” (Even “Magnet” Johansen)

“Elder Scrolls IV, Oblivion” (Jeremy Soule) (Should Win)

“Electroplankton” (User Generated Soundtrack) (Will Win)

EG: It’s tempting to pick “Electroplankton” given its ostensibly innovative music-based construction, but gamers seem to appreciate it more as an application than a game. “Oblivion” could win since it’s supposed to be one of the best RPGs ever made.

EH: Hey, I’ve played “Electroplankton”! Man, my soundtrack to that game was fantastic. Give me the award.

SC: Beep. Beep. Boop. Bop. Beep. Blip. Boink. Geek.

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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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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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