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Scene’s Oscars Predictions

, , , , and | Friday, February 22, 2019

Diane Park | The Observer

Scene’s 2019 Oscars Predictions

With the 91st Academy Awards coming up Sunday, the Scene department decided to cast its own ballot for one of the most wide-open Oscars in recent memory. Everything from Marvel blockbusters (“Black Panther”) to foreign-language Netflix pictures (“Roma”) are contending. Our writers voted for what they think should and will win in each category.

Best Picture

Nominees: “Black Panther”; “BlacKkKlansman”; “Bohemian Rhapsody”; “The Favourite”; “Green Book”; “Roma”; “A Star Is Born”; “Vice”

  • Will Win: “Roma” (88 percent)
  • Should Win: “Roma” (36 percent)

This year’s Best Picture race is one of the most unpredictable in years, with eight nominated films that could all conceivably win. “Roma” is the presumptive front-runner going into Sunday night, with good reason. Alfonso Cuarón’s semi-autobiographical film was one of the most memorable movie-going experiences that 2018 had to offer. If it were to be named Best Picture, “Roma” would become both the first foreign-language movie and the first film produced by a streaming site to win the award. Just two years after “Moonlight” shocked the world and demonstrated the power of the Academy’s younger, more diverse voting body, a win on Sunday for “Roma” would help to push the Academy forward and to cement Netflix as a true Hollywood player.

— Jake Winningham, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Director

Nominees: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”; Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”; Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”; Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”; Adam McKay, “Vice”

  • Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” (90 percent)
  • Should Win: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma” (93 percent)

This category should be a wide-open-lane, 360-degree, between-the-legs, backward dunk for “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón. The Academy has already shown its love for Cuarón when he won in this same category at the 86th Oscars for his revolutionary space mystery, “Gravity.” Also in his favor is that neo-realistic, black-and-white films are the types of movies that Oscar voters love. Perhaps an even bigger clue that Cuarón is destined to win is that he is a Mexican man. Four out of the last five Best Director winners have been Mexican men. The most obvious indicator of a Cuarón win should be that “Roma” is a beautifully made film that captures a range and depth of human emotion in a way that no other film in this category does. Cuarón’s care and specificity shines through and — when he’s on top of his game — few are better.

Potential Upset: The only other director that has even an outside chance to take home this award is Spike Lee. It is generally agreed that “BlacKkKlansman” is not Lee’s best movie, or even in the top five … or top 10 (fight me). But it is also agreed upon that Lee should’ve won an Oscar by now (I mean, how was “Do the Right Thing” not even nominated for Best Picture?!). The Academy loves to give make-up and lifetime-achievement awards in categories. This might be the ultimate opportunity to do that.

— Carlos De Loera, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Christian Bale, “Vice”; Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”; Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”; Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”; Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

  • Will Win: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (89 percent)
  • Should Win: Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born” (71 percent)

As both director and lead actor in “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper definitely deserves recognition for his characterization and interpretation of Jackson Maine, rugged rock star. Not only does Cooper skillfully create Maine’s husky voice, but he maintains it when he sings, completing Maine’s powerful persona. Cooper’s vocals complement those of Lady Gaga so well throughout the movie. With his piercing blue eyes and long hair, Cooper successfully portrays Maine’s inner-struggle with his demon of addiction. He accurately illustrates the complexity of his character, with scenes of genuine happiness as well as extreme sadness and pain. Cooper was a huge factor in keeping “A Star Is Born” fresh in its fourth rendition.

— Dessi Gomez, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”; Glenn Close, “The Wife”; Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”; Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”; Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

  • Will Win: Glenn Close, “The Wife” (67 percent)
  • Should Win: TIE: Glenn Close, “The Wife” (43 percent) and Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born” (43 percent)

The nominees for Best Actress range from Glenn Close — a seasoned veteran — to Yalitza Aparicio — who is making her film debut in Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma.” Melissa McCarthy, most known for her slap-stick, kitschy films; Lady Gaga, a world-famous pop star; and English actress Olivia Colman round out the list. The favorite is Glenn Close, who has been nominated six times previously without winning, a record in the Best Actress category. This Sunday might be her Leonardo DiCaprio redemption moment.

— Margaret McGreevy, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”; Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”; Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”; Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

  • Will Win: Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” (100 percent)
  • Should Win: Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman” (57 percent)

Mahershala Ali has all but won his second Oscar already, posting a clean sweep of all the pertinent awards bodies prior to this Sunday. Free 2020 Oscars prediction, a year early: Driver will get a win in this category next year for “Star Wars: Episode IX.”

— Jake Winningham, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Nominees: Amy Adams, “Vice”; Marina de Tavira, “Roma”; Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Emma Stone, “The Favourite”; Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

  • Will Win: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” (100 percent)
  • Should Win: Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite” (54 percent)

In a rare vote, Scene unanimously predicts that Regina King will win the award for Best Supporting Actress — if we’re wrong, at least we’ll all be wrong together. Votes are more divided on who should win, with Marina de Tavira clocking in at 23 percent for her role as Sofía, the matriarch of a middle-class household in 1970s Mexico City in “Roma,” while 54 percent think Rachel Weisz should take home the prize for her scathing portrayal of Sarah Churchill in Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.”

— Nora McGreevy, Scene Editor ([email protected])

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: Brad Bird, “Incredibles 2”; Wes Anderson, “Isle of Dogs”; Mamoru Hosoda, “Mirai”; Rich Moore, Phil Johnston, “Ralph Breaks the Internet”; Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

  • Will Win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (89 percent)
  • Should Win: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (92 percent)

As Disney prepares to thrust several of their classic animated films into the arena of live-action cinema in 2019, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” reminds us that the infinite potentiality of animation is precisely what makes animated films so beloved in the first place. The movie’s innovative comic-book animation style allows for visually stimulating and easy-to-follow action scenes. The various Spider-People are made eccentric but believable through the behavioral subtleties and bold design choices possible with animation. Overall, “Into the Spider-Verse” deftly juggles humor, emotional depth and its audacious multiverse premise in a manner that’s sure to please jaded audiences and hardcore Spider-Man fans alike.

— Jim Moster, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”; Paul Schrader, “First Reformed”; Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”; Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”; Adam McKay, “Vice”

  • Will Win: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite” (67 percent)
  • Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma” (43 percent)

Original Screenplay has often been the category where the Academy makes its most forward-thinking picks — after all, this is the only award that “Pulp Fiction,” “Talk To Her” and “Get Out” all won in their respective years. It’s a shame, then, that one of the most provocative screenwriters of the last 40 years probably won’t be rewarded this Sunday. Paul Schrader’s script for “First Reformed” might be the year’s best, a knotty work that owes as much to filmmakers like Ozu and Bresson as it does to theologian Thomas Merton. It’s one of the riskiest movies of 2018 — seek it out if you haven’t already.

— Jake Winningham, Scene Writer ([email protected])

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”; Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”; Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”; Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, “A Star Is Born”

  • Will Win: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman” (67 percent)
  • Should Win: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk” (70 percent)

If Spike Lee wins his first-ever Oscar here, it will be a “The Departed”-level makeup call after being snubbed for “Do The Right Thing,” “Malcolm X” and “25th Hour.” The only potential spoilers are Jenkins for “Beale Street” or Holofcener and Whitty, who won this category at the WGA awards last week.

— Jake Winningham, Scene Writer ([email protected])

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About Dessi Gomez

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Scene Editor.

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About Carlos De Loera

Carlos is a senior majoring in History and pursuing a minor in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy (JED). He is from the birthplace of In-N-Out Burger, Baldwin Park, California and is glad to be one of the over 18 million people from the Greater Los Angeles area.

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