Oscars: 24 predictions and 24 useful observations

Predicting the results of the Oscars is like predicting the shadows of a sunset. Sometimes you lie under a majestic pink-mauve sky. Sometimes you work under a gray mass of cloud woe. It's always different, but unpredictability never changes. The Oscars work the same way, because anything can happen with a small group of individuals seeking consensus on ill-defined notions of greatness. We use the Oscars not only to develop the first draft of the film's history, but also to highlight what the movies – or at least the ones who make movies – represent in their day. The winner of last year, Guillermo Del Toro, The shape of the water, has quickly become an emblem of the excluded, a seal of approval for obsessed believers who leave room for empathy in their lives in the face of oddness. A year ago, Barry Jenkins Moonlight He overcame tremendous hardships to win the biggest film award for the humble story of a homosexual African-American boy from a Florida city who most had never heard of. The contrast was the story itself, a glamorous moment for a delicately composed personal story. showed how the changing Academy redefined what it means to win the best movie. What will 2019 tell us about the 8,000 or so powerful members of the organization and what they see as a significance? It all depends on the winners.

In one way or another, the Oscars have become more predictable and confusing, simultaneously. The broadcast of the show turned into bad ideas for six consecutive months, not finding any significant change that its members or fans of the Oscars of the general public considered acceptable. Despite the falling ratings and the panic that reigns around the future of the series, the number of films remains high. Sunday night, we will have a three hour program on ABC, in which 24 winners will receive a gold trophy, songs and montages commemorating the film's story. We will fall asleep thinking about the next movie. Wonder film. This will be the Oscars, in all their faded and exasperating glory – a museum built and desecrated in real time.

But rewards are always the reason to tune in, because that's where something real and strange can happen. Last year, I blinked at zero hour and threw my prediction Best Film of The shape of the water at get out. It was a fit full of hope and silly. I imagined a world in which Moonlight The past president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, had changed the composition of her membership so much that a new day was waiting for us. It was wrong, and me too. It was so chalky that I was able to correctly guess 21 of 24 and I probably could have had some more if I had saved the feeling of one of those purple sunsets. This year's Best Picture race is the most open of all these years. The nominees compose a series of films representing all the trends of the modern world: the relentless revolution of comics (Black Panther) the dying art of celebrity (A star is born) the unresolved image of the bromide problems (Green paper) the cockeyed costume drama (The favourite) the political punch (Vice) the biopic slamming the head (Bohemian Rhapsody) "It's time!" (BlacKkKlansman) and the authorist tour de force (Roma). The stories of the next day are written themselves. But what about other prizes: what will they tell about Hollywood and cinema? Here are my choices for Sunday night and some wandering comments on what they could mean.

Visual effects

Avengers: war in the infiniteDan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick
Christopher RobinChristopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould
First manPaul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm
Player Loan ARoger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk
Solo: A story of Star Wars, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

The choice: Avengers: war in the infinite

Point: A Marvel film rewarded for its special effects gives the impression of making predictions but, as a friend recently pointed out, the dominated, stupid and dominating big action franchises almost never win in this category – the year last, the elegant Blade Runner 2049 took this category, and past winners include Life of pi, Ex Machina, and Hugo. In some ways, the constituents of Visual Effects have been a bulwark against the incursion of mega-franchises. A superhero movie has not won since 2004 Spider-Man 2. War of Infinity had smart money for months, but if First man sneaks in and hangs this, it will not be the stun that some will tell you.

Makeup and Hairstyle

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

The choice: Vice

Point: Cannom is one of the most recognized unknown names out of the circles of the Academy. A Sunday victory – largely favored – would give him four statuettes, placing him in a rare company with names such as Katharine Hepburn and John Ford. Cannom has been in makeup for almost 40 years and has recorded credits in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, and Big Top Pee-wee before winning his first Oscar for 1993 Ms. Doubtfire. Do not stop dreaming.

Animation short film

Animal behavior
Late in the afternoon
A small step

The choice: Bao

Point: As is the case for several years with Pixar in Best Animation Film, Pixar handles this category. Not so. If Domee Shi is nostalgic and hungry Bao wins this Sunday, this is only the third time that Pixar wins in the category of short film, joining Piper in 2017 and For the birds in 2002. Bank on this subject.

Live Action Short


The choice: Daisy

Point: I'll be honest, I never know what's going on in this category. It's easy to see movies and make judgments, but the Oscars do not talk about them. If they were, we would not all be looking for crash at this time of the year. I had imagined for years that this category was supposed to be a stepping stone, an agricultural system, for future great filmmakers. But it's been 13 years since Martin McDonagh won for his short film, Six shooters. This category has become much more marginalized in recent years, perhaps one of the reasons why she was selected among the four that the Academy had planned to suspend from the show, until this decision was rescinded. last week under the impact of severe internal and external pressures. The least sinister of this year's squad is Daisyand that's our choice.

Short documentary

Black sheep
End of Game
Rescue boat
A night in the garden
Period. End of sentence.

The choice: Black sheep

Point: It is an equally dark and disturbing collection of nominees in this category, but Ed Perkins' impressionistic portrait of racism in the English suburbs has received much praise.

Sound mixing

Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
First man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio Gracía
A star is bornTom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow

The choice: Bohemian Rhapsody

Sound editing

Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian RhapsodyJohn Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
First man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A silent place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay

The choice: First man

Point: Bet on a music actor and an artistic realization that divide the two sound categories. First man is the Blade Runner 2049 this year, a film that is limited to technical categories and can become a cult artifact loved over time. I feel the victory here.

Costume design

The Scruggs Buster BalladMary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
The favouriteSandy Powell
Mary Poppins is backSandy Powell
Mary Queen of ScotsAlexandra Byrne

The choice: Black Panther

Point: Beware of Powell, she on 14 nominations and three wins in this category. There is a sentimental attachment for Carter, a long-time collaborator with Spike Lee and Wakanda's leading wearable tech. But The favouriteWith 10 nominations and broad support, it's a classic challenge category.

Production Design

Black PantherHannah Beachler
The favourite, Fiona Crombie
First manNathan Crowley
Mary Poppins is backJohn Myhre
RomaEugenio Caballero

The choice: The favourite

Point: See above. While Beachler is the first African-American woman named in the history of this category and would become the first black woman to win an Oscar without acting in three decades, The favourite exist. I simply divide the vote in these two categories for the sole purpose of betting. Call it the residue of the design.

Film montage

BlacKkKlansmanBarry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
The favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Green paperPatrick J. Don Vito
Vice, Hank Corwin

The choice: Vice

Point: It's not called More Montage, but this category historically recognizes the brightest and most visually vibrant films, among them Mad Max: Fury Road and last year's winner, the triple accumulated time Dunkirk. Corwin was one of the pioneers of the breathtaking pop-cultural style that defines Adam McKay's recent series of films, creating blazing speed in films like JFK and Born killers. The same could be said of the aesthetics of music video Bohemian Rhapsody, which move quickly, if not always smoothly. The latter is the result of a complex sorting on a complex and controversial filming. If she wins here – and she has already won the Editing Award this year – it's already a recognition of the Herculean effort it took to finish the film first. in law.


Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The favouriteRobbie Ryan
Never look elsewhere, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
A star is bornMatthew Libatic

The choice: Roma

Point: This is one of my favorite categories to follow, like all oscar fans, and the news that it would not broadcast entirely on the show was discouraging and confusing. But in hindsight, it's not hard to understand why Academy president John Bailey, himself an Oscar-winning DP, made that decision: Alfonso Cuarón will win. And although its realization is deep (it's his first film with Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki), it will not be the only time he will perform on the stage Sunday. It looked like a real time saver that went wrong.

Original score

Black PantherLudwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansmanTerence Blanchard
If Beale Street could speakNicholas Britell
Island of the dogsAlexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins is backMarc Shaiman

The choice: If Beale Street could speak

Point: If the Spotify feeds were the metric according to which this prize was awarded, Ludwig Goransson would walk it. The composer-producer who has contributed to the composition of the scores of five different films and who has just won a Grammy Award for "This Is America" ​​by Childish Gambino is the loudest candidate here. But Nicholas Britell's lavish work on Barry Jenkins' third film is one of the most famous scores in recent history. Plus, the guy wrote the music for Succession.

Original song

"All the stars" Black Panther
"I am going to fight" RBG
"The place where lost things go" Mary Poppins is back
"Shallow," A star is born
"When a cowboy swaps his spurs for wings" The Scruggs Buster Ballad

The choice: "Shallow"

Point: I'm saving you A star is born speech. It's as close as the movie has a winning lock. If "Shallow" loses, Bradley Cooper should disappear from the public for a full year.

Best documentary

Free Solo
Hale County this morning, tonight
Bridging the gap
Fathers and sons

The choice: Free Solo

Point: It has been almost a decade since the most prestigious film nominated in this category did not win. Unfortunately, two films here could qualify for this title: RBG and Free Solo. Miraculously, Free Solo has climbed to more than $ 16 million at the box office, and it will probably end up among the 15 biggest of all time. The boom of the doc has been fascinating to watch, and Free Solo threads a sharp eye into the narrow needle: striking focus, extraordinary physical and technical accomplishment, insightful narration and a few moments of "holy shit".

Foreign Language Film

The choice: Roma

Point: There is something amazing about the only Oscar confrontation between the megaliths in conflict with Netflix and Amazon taking place on a battlefield occupied by a sensualist article from the Polish period about his parents and an article from the Mexican period of an author on his caregiver. For my part, I welcome our new filmmakers.


Indestructible 2
Island of the dogs
Ralph breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: in the Spider-Vers

The choice: Spider-Man: in the Spider-Verse

Point: Somewhere along the way, Spider worms has become my favorite movie of 2018. That does not mean anything for the Oscar race, aside from the double winner, Brad Bird, who has gradually made the transition from a favorite to an outsider. Virtually all critical groups have really changed the conversation about this film, defending it despite its super-heroic provenance and late release date. It is how powerful and particularly happy he is.

Adapted scenario

The Scruggs Buster BalladJoel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansmanCharlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee
Can you ever forgive me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street could speakBarry Jenkins
A star is born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters

The choice: BlacKkKlansman

Point: 79 years have passed since a film with four recognized screenwriters was won in this category. Mrs Miniver in 1942. So, with this in mind, BlacKkKlansman is an unlikely favorite. But this film has a factor X: Spike Lee, long awaited, and an academy eager to correct 40 years of neglected work.

Original scenario

The favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First reformedPaul Schrader
Green paper, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

The choice: The favourite

Point: There is a so-so here. Yes Green paper wins, so Best Picture is not only at stake, it is more and more likely. In fact, the winner of the best movie did not win the script prize five times in this century. The fact that he did not win in this category at last week's Writer's Guild Awards is a sign of weakness, and the confirmation of The favouriteThe triumph long predicted here. But the WGA is different from the Academy. Watch this prize carefully during the third hour of the broadcast.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, Vice
Marina of Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street could speak
Emma Stone, The favourite
Rachel Weisz, The favourite

The choice: Regina King

Point: Twice this decade, a film of this category with two nominees won the award. Voice sharing is not as common as you think. And with the late arrival of Weisz after the BAFTA, there is a good chance that the favorite king will be upset. I do not see it, especially since Weisz already has a statuette of this category for 2005 The constant gardener. But that sounds like the only actor race really close.

Actor in a supporting role

Mahershala Ali, Green paper
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A star is born
Richard E. Grant, Can you ever forgive me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

The choice: Mahershala Ali

Point: Although I admire Ali in virtually everything, including Alita: Battle Angel-The lost nature of this breed has been disconcerting. From time to time a Whoa! emerges at the Oscars and occasionally in this race – see: Mark Rylance in 2015 – and so maybe Elliott has an outside chance to shock here. But I will not cry if he does not. Seriously. I will not do it a little bit. I'm just going out of my driveway, calm and collected. Goodbye.

Actor in a leading role

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A star is born
Willem Dafoe, At the door of eternity
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green paper

The choice: Rami Malek

Point: Conversely, the absence of Mortensen as a serious competitor of this race was a curious omission. Not based on merit, exactly, but you would imagine good will from Ali and even the scenario would go up to the main performance of Mortensen. Again, Bale and Malek both play in biopic life, and this is often the case for the winners.

Actress in a leading role

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, Wife
Olivia Colman, The favourite
Lady Gaga, A star is born
Melissa McCarthy, Can you ever forgive me?

The choice: Glenn Close

Point: I saw Wife.


BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee
Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski
The favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

The choice: Cuarón

Point: It's over, except screaming. Cuarón will join a historical group of two-time winner of the director.

Best image

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The favourite
Green paper
A star is born

The choice: Roma

Point: It is neither a choice nor a heart nor a head, nor even alchemical calculations calculated during a saga of six months of movie tracking. But it's a choice in opposition to the outrage machine. Roma feels right, and so little else does it. I may just fear another year of exhaustion around the ideas of propriety and decency in Best Picture. It may be the anxiety that stems from the unveiling of Bryan Singer's allegations while watching the film. the winners bypass these accusations. It may be the thorny dynamics that haunt and boast Green paper, depending on the elector. (And there is certainly a group of successful electors who do not want to be told what they can and can not vote at their ceremony.) It may be a costume fatigue. This may be the concern caused by the spasm induced by Marvel by the independent and specialized brands of the sector. Maybe it's the idea of ​​rewarding Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman instead of Do the right thing or Malcolm X or 25th hour. It may be the vituperative agenda of a political film like Vice divide a nation of moviegoers already convinced of Hollywood's liberal agenda. Perhaps it is the vanity of the police that is eager to let us know that Gaga can not act or that the remakes should not win Oscars. Or maybe it's not that easy for Roma. Perhaps it's the Netflix steamroller that has just collapsed on the rest of the playground, an unstoppable juggernaut of content conquering the last vestige of moviedom. Sunday night, a film will win the prize for best film. But, I'll let Nina Simone say the rest.

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