BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins – The trailer for the Oscar-winner’s new movie looks beautiful and important. A nomination here is fairly assured, and it should be the frontrunner to win.
2. A Private War – Arash Amel – This movie is really under-the-radar, which is a good place to be entering awards season. It is directed by an Oscar-nominated documentarian and is about the rebellious war correspondent Marie Colvin.
3. First Man – Josh Singer – The movie has gotten incredible reviews and it looks really intense. Singer is a previous winner, and Chazelle will direct his script with grace and flash.
4. Boy Erased – Joel Edgerton – The movie is about a gay conversion program faced by the son of a Baptist preacher. It looks incredibly emotional and something right up the Academy’s alley.
5. Crazy Rich Asians – Peter Chiarelli, Adele Lim – The movie would have been a shoo-in for a Popular Film nomination. The movie has exceeded expectations at the box office and critically. It feels more like an Original Screenplay nominee, but it is worth mentioning here.
Others in contention
6. A Star Is Born – Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth, Will Fetters – Musicals always have a tough time getting nominated for screenwriting, despite this excellent group of writers. It will be in the running regardless, being one of the favorites in all categories.
7. Beautiful Boy – Luke Davies, Felix Van Groenignen – The film appears to be just devastating. Groenignen is an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, and Davies is a nominated writer. It is one to watch throughout awards season.
8. Widows – Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen – It has a terrific trailer, almost in a The Town kind of way. It seems twisty and atmospheric, but I’m just not completely convinced of its true Oscar merit.
9. BlacKkKlansman - Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott – The movie is crazy, tightly-written, furious, funny, entertaining. It feels like a nominee, but this category is absolutely stacked.
10. The Land of Steady Habits – Nicole Holofcener – It was one of my favorites in my January predictions. It got picked up by Netflix, which could hurt its chances, but if enough people see it, then the popular Holofcener’s film could make a few appearances.
11. 22 July – Paul Greengrass – Greengrass’s movies should always have our attention. It is about the Oslo terrorist attack in 2011.
12. Wildlife – Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan – It is about a declining marriage through the perspective of a young boy. Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal are an interesting pair, as are this group of writers.
13. The Old Man & The Gun – David Lowery – This is Lowery’s highest profile film to date, and if given the right type of release, it could be a sleeper Oscar hit.
14. Galveston – Melanie Laurent – There isn’t a whole lot of talk about this movie, but I am keeping it on the longlist. I have faith in the project and in the talent of Laurent.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. The Favourite - Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara – The trailer looks bananas, but it also looks really dramatic and interesting. It feels like an easy screenplay contender.
2. Roma – Alfonso Cuaron – Cuaron hasn’t made a movie since his Oscar win in 2013, and this is a stripped-down and personal story of a Mexico City family in the 1970s. Basically the opposite of Gravity.
3. Sunset - Laszlo Nemes, Clara Royer, Matthieu Taponier – Nemes previously won an Oscar for his country for Son of Saul, and this movie seems even more Oscar-friendly than that film.
4. Eighth Grade – Bo Burnham – The screenplay is pure Original Screenplay nomination stuff. It is so awkward and painfully funny. It should coast to a nomination.
5. Vice – Adam McKay – The story of Dick Cheney is going to be a tough sell, but the cast is incredible, and it seems a lot less silly than W. was. McKay is coming off an Oscar win in the Adapted category.
Others in contention
6. Stan & Ollie – Jeff Pope – The story of Laurel and Hardy officially got a release date and jumped into all kinds of predictions. Pope was nominated in the past for Philomena.
7. Hotel Mumbai - Ben Collee, Anthony Maras – This movie just feels like an Oscar-friendly story and setup, but word on the project is really quiet as of now.
8. Mid90s – Jonah Hill – The trailer was outstanding, and since everyone loves Hill as an actor, his directorial debut will be given every avenue to succeed.
9. Peterloo – Mike Leigh – Leigh is a staple in this category. This movie doesn’t feel completely like Leigh, but it is obviously worth keeping an eye on.
10. Tully – Diablo Cody – The movie was a big hit during its summer release, but we will have to see if people remember the twisted comedy in December.
11. On the Basis of Sex – Daniel Stiepleman – RBG has gotten a good run from a documentary about the figure, and this movie has a good chance at being a big hit if it doesn’t have too much of a made-for-TV feel from the Emmy-winning filmmaker.
12. Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty – It is based on the memoir of Lee Israel, a famous celebrity biographer. It is a great writing duo, and it is directed by accomplished filmmaker Marielle Heller.
13. Sorry to Bother You – Boots Riley – The movie was a smash hit critically and in the indie circuit. In a lesser year, it would easily be a major contender in this category.
14. Outlaw King - Mark Bomback, Bathsheba Doran, David Harrower, James MacInnes, David Mackenzie – It is directed by Hell or High Water filmmaker David Mackenzie, and it is about the Scottish-English conflict in the 14th century.
15. Newsflash – Ben Jacoby – It is the story of Walter Cronkite, directed by David Gordon Green and starring Seth Rogen. It is worth a look.
16. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Ethan Coen, Joel Coen – The main issue with it is that it is a Netflix project, but if anyone is going to be able to overcome the Academy bias against the media giant, it is these two beloved filmmakers. But this movie still seems too weird.
17. Vox Lux – Brady Corbet – This movie has my full attention. The early word sounds like it could be a Black Swan-type hit. Corbet has a lot of talent as a filmmaker, but we will have to see if anyone cares just yet.
18. The Public – Emilio Estevez – Bobby was a big hit for Estevez, and this one feels like a return to form. It is about library patrons who turn the library into a homeless shelter.
19. What They Had – Elizabeth Chomko – It feels like a somewhat sappy road trip movie, but sometimes the Academy falls for these kinds of movies.
20. The Happy Prince – Rupert Everett – The acclaimed actor wrote, directed, and stars in this movie about Oscar Wilde. Early festival word is ecstatic about the project.
BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Cynthia Erivo -Widows – This is her first film appearance, and she is said to be the scene-stealer. It might be a little premature to predict her to win, but the other nominees could cancel each other out.
2. Emma Stone – The Favourite – I find it difficult to believe that the studio will campaign three lead performances from this movie the way most prognosticators have suggested. The movie appears to be a little more about Colman, so I am placing this obvious nominee here.
3. Rachel Weisz – The Favourite – As well as Weisz. It is weird that she hasn’t been nominated since her win 13 years ago. It feels like time to validate that surprise win.
4. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk – She has not been cited much as a nominee, but she has been in and around Best Picture winners giving quality work for the better part of two decades. She also just won an Emmy. The industry might finally shower her with love all around.
5. Meryl Streep – Mary Poppins Returns – It is Streep, she is probably going to be nominated regardless of the movie.
Others in contention
6. Margot Robbie – Mary, Queen of Scots – She could be lead, but I feel like they will split up her and Ronan. She is a hot commodity right now, she could easily get nominated or win.
7. Thomasin McKenzie – Leave No Trace – Her proper placement would be in lead, but they won’t put her there. This would be a wonderful, refreshing nomination.
8. Nicole Kidman – Boy Erased – She seems to have become the ultimate also-ran in the category. If the movie is as big of a hit as it can be, then this could be an obvious nomination.
9. Julia Roberts – Ben Is Back – The movie appears to be incredibly sad, and she will likely have her share of weeping scenes. That could be enough to get her in.
10. Claire Foy – First Man – She just won an Emmy, and she plays the wife role in one of the big frontrunners. She also has her Lisbeth Salander film. It could be her year.
11. Kathy Bates – On the Basis of Sex – She is still a beloved actress, despite being absent from the ceremony for 16 years. Her role will likely be pretty juicy, so a nomination here is entirely possible.
12. Amy Ryan – Beautiful Boy – She isn’t the one being singled out, but she if her role is big enough, she could easily be swept in with the momentum and validate her nomination a decade ago.
13. Laura Harrier – BlacKkKlansman – She gave a great performance in the huge Spike Lee hit. If the film is remembered come Oscar time, don’t be surprised if it nabs multiple acting nominations.
14. Annette Bening – Georgetown – The movie really has no buzz, but that is ok at this point. If enough people see it, then I can see the beloved actress making a run at it.
15. Blythe Danner – What They Had – I feel like she is always predicted to be a contender, but she has never gotten a major film nomination. This movie could be her ticket, but I’m holding back my expectations.
16. Mackenzie Davis – Tully – She was outstanding in the movie, but I am not convinced that the movie will remembered in December and January.
17. Amy Adams – Vice – She plays Lynne Cheney, and it appears to be a transformation. She always is in the running.
18. Katherine Waterston – Mid90s – I do not know much about her role, but it is just a gut feeling that she could surprise and be in a contender.
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Timothee Chamalet – Beautiful Boy – He nearly won a year ago, but this performance looks and feels like the type of emotional turn that wins in this category.
2. Mahershala Ali – Green Book – The movie has been a huge hit at the festivals, and he is an easy nominee at this point.
3. Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Outlaw King – The reviews are not great for the David Mackenzie movie, but he got a bizarre snub for Nocturnal Animals last time he was contending, so maybe the Academy makes up for it here.
4. Russell Crowe – Boy Erased – It has been forever since he has been nominated. There are several contending performances that can get in from this film, but my gut says that Crowe will be the one playing against type.
5. Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born – He has been consistently singled out by reviews. He is a great actor who has never been close to getting nominated, but this feels like the one.
Others in contention
6. John C. Reilly – Stan & Ollie – His physical transformation is unreal, and he is a past nominee. It is time for his second nomination.
7. Oscar Isaac –At Eternity’s Gate – Nothing has really been said about his performance, only Dafoe’s amazing lead role. He could ride that train to a nomination.
8. Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? – He has been doing great work for years, and the reviews are just as good for him as they are for McCarthy’s lead role.
9. Daniel Kaluuya – Widows – He looks really sinister in the trailer, and I am sure that the movie will showcase his immense talent.
10. Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman – He gave a really good performance, and my gut is that the movie will be an Oscar hit. If it is, he could become a real contender for his first nomination.
11. Dominic West – Colette – The accomplished TV actor could receive his first major film nomination for this true story. He plays the dominating husband role opposite Keira Knightley.
12. Justin Theroux – On the Basis of Sex – He always gives good work, and the movie will likely be one of the most talked about movies of the fall.
13. John Turturro – Gloria Bell – His role was singled out several times in the original version, and since he has never been nominated (which is ridiculous), he could be a contender if the movie is good enough. Word is quiet right now.
14. Corey Stoll – First Man – He plays Buzz Aldrin. He isn’t exactly featured in the trailer, so that could either mean they are hiding him or his role really isn’t all that significant.
15. Mark Ruffalo – Newsflash – He is always in the running, and if Seth Rogen is a contender for lead, then I have to believe he will be a major reason why.
BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born – She absolutely torches the trailer, and it feels like her big moment. She could easily win for Original Song as well.
2. Olivia Colman – The Favourite – She is one of the most underrated actresses in the world, and here she finally has her big starring role where she can be featured.
3. Julianne Moore – Gloria Bell – This is such a juicy role for Moore. If the movie translates well to English, then this will be pretty easy for the Academy.
4. Viola Davis – Widows – She looks like the dominating performance in the big ensemble cast. I can’t really see a scenario where the beloved actress doesn’t get nominated here.
5. Rosamund Pike – A Private War – She is the star of the movie that appears to be in position to make a run at Best Picture. She has been nominated once before. She can become a regular with the right roles.
Others in contention
6. KiKi Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk – It is the first performance for the young actress, but this category is usually open to debuts.
7. Hilary Swank – What They Had – She hasn’t been nominated since her second win over a decade ago. She has made a run at it on occasion, but this feels like her best work in years.
8. Natalie Portman – Vox Lux – It looks like some crazy Black Swan type stuff, which could be a good or bad thing for the Oscar winner.
9. Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? – It is good to know that she is actually taking chances in her career. If she gets nominated here, then her first one will be a little less off-putting.
10. Claire Foy – The Girl in the Spider’s Web – She looks every bit as insane as Rapace and Mara were in the role. I like her chances to get nominated here or supporting for First Man.
11. Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex – Playing Ruth Bader Ginsberg is a huge role for the past nominee. She is going to be amazing; we just need the film to be widely seen.
12. Saorise Ronan – Mary, Queen of Scots – This could easily be her incredible fourth nomination. I just feel like the Academy, if pressed, will side with the similarly plotted The Favourite.
13. Glenn Close – The Wife – I don’t think the movie will be big enough, but Close is beloved. If nominated, she could easily come away with her long-deserved Oscar.
14. Carey Mulligan – Wildlife – If Dano is taken seriously as a director, then this nomination could become a real possibility. She looks outstanding in the trailer.
15. Elle Fanning – Galveston – She has given like a dozen nomination worthy performances in the last five years, but she cannot break through. If the movie is a hit, then she could make a run at it.
16. Keira Knightley – Colette – The reviews for her performance are raves, but not so much for the movie overall. We will see if this is the big performance piece that the Academy takes to.
17. Judi Dench – Red Joan – She is Dame Judi Dench, and she is playing in a biopic. She is always worth mentioning.
18. Susanne West – Sunset – She is the lead in what is likely going to be the biggest foreign film of the year. She has done some great work in the past, and if the movie is a Best Picture contender, look for her to be cited several times throughout awards season.
19. Charlize Theron – Tully – When it came out, everyone was talking about her getting nominated. We will need to see how it is remembered in a few months. Sometimes these types of movies pop back up and surprise us.
20. Toni Collette – Hereditary – She is somewhat over-the-top in the movie, but reviews were almost unanimous. This is the type of role that would have been a huge contender decades ago, but we will have to see if this Academy gets rid of their horror movie bias.
21. Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns – The original movie won in this category, but that was a different time. Blunt needs to get nominated at some point. I feel like I say that every year.
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Robert Redford – The Old Man & the Gun – The reported final performance for the all time great actor appears to be the vehicle where he can finally win his acting Oscar. He has only been nominated once.
2. Ben Mendelsohn – The Land of Steady Habits – He has been doing great work for the better part of a decade, and this leading role appears to be his best chance at a nomination yet. It is a Netflix movie, so it will be seen. The Academy is going to have its hands full with all these quality movies being released by the streaming giant.
3. Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born – His preparation for the role has been well documented, and he is becoming a regular in this category. It is one of the frontrunners, this should be an easy nomination.
4. Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate – He is playing Vincent van Gogh in Julian Schnabel’s film. That is about as perfect of a role on paper as any this year.
5. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book – The movie won big at Toronto, and Mortensen gets in when he is making quality movies.
Others in contention
6. Steve Carell – Beautiful Boy – This is a tough category. Typically this type of emotional role would be an easy nomination, but he could get upstaged by his costar and get left off for more high profile roles.
7. Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody – The transformation into Freddie Mercury is awe-inspiring. The movie needs to be decent for him to really have a shot at this.
8. Lucas Hedges – Ben Is Back, Boy Erased – These two big leading roles for the recent nominee could cancel each other out, or one could be anointed. I lean with Boy Erased, just because his father is directing the other, and those types of things rarely line up at the Oscars.
9. Ben Foster – Leave No Trace – He is one of the best actors without a nomination, and this is arguably his best work. The release date could wind up being the film’s undoing.
10. Ryan Gosling – First Man – He is usually really understated, so getting nominated is always an uphill climb for him. The movie will need to be something truly special for him to eclipse some of these other performances.
11. Christian Bale – Vice – Playing Dick Cheney is an interesting step for Bale. The project is kind of a mystery, but I have a hard time thinking McKay will screw this up.
12. Christoph Waltz – Georgetown – He is directing himself, which could be a good or bad thing. The role sounds so perfect for his personality, though. I have to think he will be amazing.
13. Dev Patel – Hotel Mumbai – He is now a nominee, so we have to start taking these types of roles seriously. The movie sounds like Oscar stuff, but word is quiet as of right now.
14. Hugh Jackman – The Front Runner – He plays Senator Gary Hart in Jason Reitman’s second movie of the year. Reviews are not great, but he is always in contention.
15. Robert Pattinson – High Life – It is a sci-fi movie, but one that is told in completely seriously. Almost more like science-reality, and Claire Denis always makes great movies. He is proving to be one of the most underrated actors in the world the past few years.
16. Steve Coogan – Stan & Ollie – He and Reilly are such a strange pair, but I can absolutely see this movie being a huge hit. I can’t think of two better actors for Laurel and Hardy.
17. Chris Pine – Outlaw King – His last time being directed by Mackenzie was his best performance ever. This sounds like a more Oscary role. It will need a decent box office and better reviews than the festivals have given.
18. Seth Rogen – Newsflash – He is playing Walter Conkite, which is so weird and perfect that I have to mention it here.
19. Rory Kinnear – Peterloo – The Mike Leigh movie hasn’t gotten great marks so far, but his movies are always in the running. He has never gotten an actor nominated before though.
20. Jamie Dornan – A Private War – I am not sure if he is lead or if he can really even act, but this role in this movie has to be mentioned on the longlist.
The Predicted Five
1. Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite – Lanthimos is a wild director, and he will put his stamp on this costume drama and make it something much more than it appears on paper.
2. Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk – Jenkins missed out on Best Director a couple years ago. They have been splitting Director and Picture a lot recently, so they can reverse his awards this time.
3. Alfonso Cuaron – Roma – Cuaron is a recent winner in this category. It appears to be a very personal and stripped down film, but his directorial talent will be showcased regardless. This reminds me a bit of Alexander Payne’s Nebraska.
4. Damien Chazelle – First Man – He won Best Director and lost Best Picture to Barry Jenkins. This should be a no-brainer nomination. It will be cool if he and Jenkins continue to make films every other year and go at it during awards season.
5. Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born – Are they ready to give him a Director nomination? If needs to be one of the top few movies for Picture for him to get this recognition. I think it will be. Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, multiple songs…he could set a record.
Others in contention
6. Matthew Heineman – A Private War – The director of Cartel Land has one of films with the highest potential this season. We will see how well he can handle a narrative film. It doesn’t always transfer over that well.
7. Joel Edgerton – Boy Erased – He does have a lot of talent as a filmmaker, he definitely learned a lot from David Michod. This will be an interesting showcase for him.
8. Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman – He has never been nominated in this category. There are clear Spike Lee things in the movie, but it doesn’t feel like one of his movies. That might be a good thing for his chances.
9. Laszlo Nemes – Sunset – He could be the next great foreign director if he is able to get nominated here after his win in the Foreign Language Film category for Son of Saul.
10. Paul Greengrass – 22 July – His direction is always distinct and showy, and this movie should be no different.
11. Claire Denis – High Life – The only issue facing Denis is that there have been some pretty awesome and popular sci-fi films in recent years. Also, First Man could steal her glory.
12. Paul Dano – Wildlife – The movie is one of the most talked about from the festivals, but it doesn’t feel like a movie that has too much of a chance in this category…unless it is a clear Best Picture contender.
13. Adam McKay – Vice – McKay has a nomination on his resume, and this movie is going to be a step out for him. If it really hits, then this could be an easy choice.
14. Felix Van Groenignen – Beautiful Boy – The director of The Broken Circle Breakdown has his first big Hollywood movie with a fantastic cast. There are other weepy movies that could overshadow his movie, but I would not be shocked if this is the standout.
15. Mimi Leder – On the Basis of Sex – These types of biopics have been out of style in recent years, but RBG is a point of conversation this year.
16. David Mackenzie – Outlaw King – Mackenzie arguably should have been nominated for Hell or High Water. I could see this sort of throwback epic being his ticket to the big time.
17. Melanie Laurent – Galveston – There are so many high profile projects directed by actors this year. The movie sounds fascinating, and she is worth mentioning here.
18. Anthony Maras – Hotel Mumbai – The movie feels like an Oscar nominee, but we will need to see how it performs in the film critics circuit. Maras could become an easy nominee if it hits with audiences.
The Predicted Ten (I predict 8 will get nominated)
1. The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) – It has to be the favorite at this point. Reviews have been strong, the star power is undeniable, and it is just a little different than everything else.
2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) – The movie has the importance and style to be the most talked about movie during awards season.
3. A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper) – It is clearly one of the frontrunners from the festivals, and with the trailer it has established itself as the most anticipated movie of the season.
4. Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton) – Edgerton’s film feels like a movie of our times. The cast is to die for, but it is all going to be about how well he can handle the material.
5. A Private War (Matthew Heineman) – It is the only real war movie in contention. It has a lot of things going for it, but the buzz needs to start.
6. First Man (Damien Chazelle) – The festival reviews are glowing. It almost feels to easy to predict it to win big, but I would be a fool to not put it in here.
7. Roma (Alfonso Cuaron) – The Netflix bubble might finally pop with Cuaron’s low scale personal film. I can see the movie actually getting a decent box office run if the streaming service wants to give it a shot.
8. BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee) – The movie is absolutely popular enough with audiences and critics, but we will see how it plays in Hollywood. I suspect that it will be shown a lot of love.
9. Vice (Adam McKay) – I am holding back my expectations for this movie a bit. I was convinced W. was going to be a big hit too.
10. Widows (Steve McQueen) – The movie feels a bit too popcorn to be a real contender here, but if it is as good as it can be, then that won’t matter.
Others in contention
11. Sunset (Laszlo Nemes) – Foreign films always have a hard time breaking through here, but it usually comes to directors who have won before. Nemes is one of them.
12. Wildlife (Paul Dano) – There’s always a dramedy in there somewhere, and this seems like the one that has the best chance.
13. Beautiful Boy (Felix Van Groenignen) – I feel like it is this or Boy Erased. I wouldn’t count it out, but it definitely has its rival throughout the season.
14. 22 July (Paul Greengrass) – Netflix! Eventually one of these movies is going to really hit. The closest thing was Beasts of No Nation, but that still wasn’t a smash hit.
15. On the Basis of Sex (Mimi Leder) – The Ruth Bader Ginsberg film has the potential, but Leder is a TV director making a biopic. It could come off as cheap.
16. Hotel Mumbai (Anthony Maras) – It has the cast and pedigree to hit big, but it is a first time director and the buzz is quiet.
17. Galveston (Melanie Laurent) – It will need to overcome some mediocre reviews to make it to the ceremony.
18. Outlaw King (David Mackenzie) – Same as Galveston.
19. Black Panther (Ryan Coogler) – The squashing of the Popular Film category opened up this possibility again. It doesn’t deserve it, but it feels like it could happen because people are still somehow talking about it.
20. High Life (Claire Denis) – I feel like the movie could come up just a bit too small to get in, but it is going to be one of the best reviewed and most revered movies of the season regardless.
Thoughts? Omissions? What are your predicted nominees? What do you want to see nominated? Let me know in the comments!