Fearless Oscar Predictions
When it comes to predicting the Academy Awards, it’s best not to be too sentimental. Which individual groups—like the Screen Actors Guild, Writers Guild, Producers Guild— possesses a lot of voters who are also Academy voters? Start there and hope that things like Netflix bias and studio budgets play less of a role than you know in your heart they probably will.
Here are the nominees we believe should win and, more importantly for those looking for a little advice in filling out their ballot, those we believe will win.
Best Supporting Actress
No way to go wrong here, honestly. Five stunning performances from five phenomenal talents. Weisz and Stone have each won one and may cancel each other out since they’re nominated for the same film. This is the first nomination for Marina de Tavira and Regina King (although King should already own an Oscar for her blistering turn in Ray). This is Amy Adams’s sixth nomination. She’s never won, and her performance as Lynne Cheney in Vice is flawless, making her a strong contender, although we do not believe she will win.
Amy Adams (Vice)
Marina de Tavira (Roma)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Should win: Rachel Weisz
Will win: Regina King
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell was very fun in Vice, but he just won last year and this is hardly the strongest performance in the group. Adam Driver is destined to win an Oscar at some point, though not likely this week. Sam Elliot and Richard E. Grant may be tied right now as potential upset fodder—Grant because his terrific turn in Can You Ever Forgive Me? absolutely leaps off the screen; Elliot more because the beloved veteran hasn’t been honored before and it feels like it’s about time. But we think neither will upset the clear (and rightful) leader in the field.
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliott (A Star is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)
Should win: Mahershala Ali
Will win: Mahershala Ali
This is Bradley Cooper’s 4th nomination in the category, and will almost certainly be his 4th loss. Likewise, 2-time nominee Willem Dafoe and 3-time nominee Viggo Mortensen will probably go home empty handed. The contest is between Vice’s Christian Bale, after his second Oscar, and Bohemian Rhapsody’s Rami Malek. And as much as the Academy loves a physical transformation (not to mention a biopic), we think Bale will go home without the trophy.
Christian Bale (Vice)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Should win: Christian Bale
Will win: Rami Malek
In the single most insanely competitive and glorious category of the night we have five performers entirely deserving to win this award. If only they could all tie! They can’t, though, which means narrowing it down. And while we believe Glenn Close will come out the winner, this will by no means be a gift Oscar because her astonishing performance in The Wife may be the best of her 7 Oscar nominated turns.
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Coleman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Should win: literally any of them
Will win: Glenn Close
Here’s a tough one. The Director’s Guild gave the award to Alfonso Cuarón, which, because of the overlap in the voting pools, gives Cuarón the edge. Pawilikowski has little chance because Cold War is not nominated for best film. In the history of the Oscars, only twice has a director won the Oscar without a corresponding nomination for film.
This is McKay’s second nomination, first for directing, and Lanthimos’s third nomination, first for directing. But they are not the likely competition. It’s Spike Lee, who has inexplicably never been nominated for directing a film, who could edge out Cuarón for a film that may not be as visually astonishing as Roma, but that weaves all of Lee’s great strengths—experimental and political, entertaining and funny, documentary and true crime—into a wildly compelling film.
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Adam McKay (Vice)
Will win: Alfonso Cuarón
Should win: Alfonso Cuarón
Best film is the toughest to predict because of the Academy’s system of preferential ballot voting, which it employs only for Best Picture. It is a weeding out process with round upon round of shuffling that ends with the least polarizing, most generally liked—though not necessarily passionately loved and certainly not necessarily best—film winning the prize.
That may leave less room for innovators (Roma, BlackKklansman) and more room for comfortable crowd pleasers (Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody). Which would be a crime.
A Star is Born
Should win: Roma
Will win: Green Book
The 91st annual Academy Awards air Feb. 24th on ABC.