With the SAGs now behind us and several key precursors, such as the DGA, WGA and BAFTAs now looming, I thought I’d pen a quick update on my predictions for the upcoming Oscars.
Best Picture remains somewhat up in the air, though Roma has emerged as the favourite post-nominations. The SAGs didn’t really do anything for Roma – it wasn’t nominated for anything, and it’ll be at the DGA where it looks to further its lead, with pundits foreseeing a win for director Alfonse Cuaron. With Bradley Cooper and Peter Farrelly being no-shows on the Oscar Best Director list, I strongly doubt either will win, with just the slight possibility of Bradley Cooper winning a la Ben Affleck for Argo – but Argo dominated the awards season (hence the Affleck snub was majorly felt), A Star is Born did not. Instead, Spike Lee’s work in BlackKklansman will offer some competition to Cuaron. This is Lee’s first BD nomination in his long career, and there’s certainly a possibility that he surprises here. But his film has won next to none of the major precursors, which foretells weaker support compared to Roma.
As far as contenders go, I’d say Green Book remains Roma’s largest, with its PGA win to back. To me, much of the social media furore surrounding its team sprouts largely from observers and pundits, not actual voters. I do think that as for as voters go, it’s still widely liked and perhaps even beloved, which places it in a good position to win. With a BP/BD split not uncommon for the Academy in recent years, it’s possible that with Cuaron’s almost surefire win for Director (especially if he takes DGA), they may choose to give Picture to Green Book.
Then there’s the SAG Ensemble winner, Black Panther. If Black Panther had performed better on nomination morning, I’d say that it would be a real contender. But it missed more or less everywhere apart from BP, leaving it still an outside chance.
- Green Book
- The Favourite
- A Star is Born
- Black Panther
- Bohemian Rhapsody
With DGA matching Oscars 3 out of 5 this year, history says there are only three possible winners this year: Cuaron for Roma, Lee for BlackKklansman and McKay for Vice. As discussed earlier, Cuaron looks to take the DGA, and if he does, I think he takes the Oscars almost definitely. Some pundits see Lee as a spoiler, and if he takes DGA, the two will be at a knife’s edge. For now, it’s Cuaron all the way.
- Alfonse Cuaron, Roma
- Spike Lee, BlackKklansman
- Adam McKay, Vice
- Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
- Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
With his win at the SAG, Rami Malek propels to frontrunner status, with Globe and BFCA winner Christian Bale still a present spoiler. There’s a lot of love (and hate) for Bohemian Rhapsody, and I think the Academy will choose to honour it in this category, as Malek IS the film. Bale is highly respected and has a stellar track record, but he’s won before (albeit in Supporting), and this category does seem to favour popular new stars. Bradley Cooper is a potential dark horse, should the Academy feel the need to honour him somewhere for his work on A Star is Born. With his snub in Directing, maybe the Academy will feel inclined to honour him here, but his lack of precursor wins spell a very unlikely path to the podium.
- Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
- Christian Bale, Vice
- Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
- Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
- Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Glenn Close won the SAG, and I think her supporters can probably breathe a sigh of relief that, in all likelihood, this race is over. Her tie with Lady Gaga at the Critics Choice spoke of a tight race, but her win at the SAG cements her at the front of the pack, and I doubt Academy members will snub her when she’s this close and on her seventh nomination. The BAFTAs may choose to go for Olivia Colman in The Favourite, setting her up as the other potential spoiler in a 3-way race, but I think Close will remain distinctly ahead.
- Glenn Close, The Wife
- Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
- Olivia Colman, The Favourite
- Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Best Supporting Actor
Of all the categories, this has been the least contentious throughout the season. Mahershala Ali won the Globes, then Critics Choice and now SAG, leaving his lead more or less insurmountable. Critics darling Richard E. Grant could spoil, but the critics have been way off the mark this year, though I certainly entertain the slight possibility of this happening, largely because Ali won in this category for Moonlight just 2 years ago. Perhaps, just perhaps, the Academy may feel the need to share the love a little, and that’s where Grant could have an opening. The BAFTAs completely snubbed Ali two years ago (not even granting him a nomination), and if Grant or perhaps even Adam Driver wins there this year, they COULD win. But really, this should be Ali’s all the way.
- Mahershala Ali, Green Book
- Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Adam Driver, BlackKklansman
- Sam Eliot, A Star is Born
- Sam Rockwell, Vice
Best Supporting Actress
As if this category wasn’t discombobulating enough, the SAGs threw yet another curveball by awarding Emily Blunt the prize, for her (deserving) work in A Quiet Place. Blunt was, some would say, doubly snubbed by the Oscars this year, for both her performance in AQP and Mary Poppins Returns, so perhaps SAG voters felt urgently the need to honour her a la Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation. I thought her speech was wonderful, and would have set her up as a late-breaking contender for the win… IF she had been nominated. Instead, her win indirectly spells weakness for the other nominees who were both SAG and Oscar nominated, most notably Amy Adams in Vice, who had been expected to win. This clearly works in favour of Regina King, the presumed frontrunner who was not nominated for the SAG. The BAFTAs, where King is also not nominated, will be the one to reveal who her strongest competition is. I think either Adams or Rachel Weisz in The Favourite will win there, setting them up as spoilers. If Adams wins, it becomes a race between her and King. If Weisz wins, she could be a potential spoiler, but not only will she split votes with Emma Stone, she’s also won before in this category, making it less likely she’ll win. If the BAFTAs go to Claire Foy or Margot Robbie, well, that’ll be another confusing development in an already confusing situation.
- Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
- Amy Adams, Vice
- Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
- Emma Stone, The Favourite
- Marina de Tavira, Roma
That concludes my current predictions in some of the major Oscar categories! After this, BAFTA, DGA and WGA are three major precursors that will conclude the story leading up the Oscar night, which no doubt will leave us guessing till the moment the envelopes are unsealed.