Predicting the 2019 Oscars (AJ’s Picks): This Is Going to Be a Bloodbath

This has been one of the craziest Oscar seasons in memory. It might be due to the number of strong films, the lack of all-timers, or the rise of populist hits, but who knows what’s going to actually take home the gold? This year might have the widest variance of winners, and a sweep feels unlikely. There’s a chance that each Best Picture nominee goes home with a win. There’s also a world where only a handful actually do. Get ready for a wild and crazy Oscars, which could result in my best or my worst Oscar predictions to date.

Real quick breakdown on how I ranked the confidence in each category. Based on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the most confident/lock of the night.

Best Picture – Confidence Level: 1

The Nominees are:

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

Who Will Win: The Favourite

Who Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

Who Could Win: Green Book, Roma, Black Panther

Alright, I’m jumping into the deep end. My spoiler pick for The Favourite has little to do with the movie being the best of the bunch. I don’t think it is. However, as I’ve seen people discuss this movie, it seems like no one actually dislikes it. In fact, I’m placing it this high solely on the fact that I believe it will be ranked high on nearly everyone’s ballots. I can’t imagine anyone really ranking this film lower than 4. There are divisive films, like Green BookBohemian RhapsodyVice, and Black Panther populated this list. Many voters won’t watch Roma because it is a foreign film. I think this opens the door for the movie that tied for the most nominations. There’s clearly love for this one, and if the crafts come to bat for this movie, it could surprise in a big way.

To me, BlacKkKlansman is the movie that speaks most to the moment. It’s one we should be crowning. Yet the miss for John David Washington makes me pause. I think Spike Lee will get his due elsewhere, and that might give voters the ability to pass over the movie.

Finally, the fight at the top between Roma, Green Book, and Black Panther feels like it could get ugly. All three are pushing hard for the win (if Black Panther pulls it off,  it would be Disney’s first ever Best Picture win). However, each has major deterrents. Roma is a foreign language film and will win Best Foreign Language earlier in the night. Black Panther might have one of the highest first-place vote totals, but I think that there won’t be a lot of voters who give it second or third place. Finally, Green Book represents a real threat to win this thing. For many, including myself, that seems unreal. However, there are enough people who really like this film, that it will certainly get 2s and 3s. But it will also get ranked at the bottom by most of the voters who pick up Black Panther and BlacKkKlansman.

Best Director – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Yorgos Lantimos – The Favourite
  • Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay – Vice
  • Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

Who Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón

Who Should Win: Spike Lee

Who Could Win: Spike Lee

This is Alfonso Cuarón versus Spike Lee, and Alfonso Cuarón has run away with the season. Clearly, there are a lot of people who love this movie and Netflix sold the hell out of Cuarón as a master. This feels like he’s got it in a walk, but Spike Lee could build a strong coalition. No black director has ever won this prize. Lee has never been nominated. This movie would not work with any other director at the helm. This makes Lee a potential spoiler. Sadly, it feels like the conversation got away from Focus Features, and they’re to blame for not making this a race.

Best Actress – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees are:

  • Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
  • Glenn Close – The Wife
  • Olivia Colman – The Favourite
  • Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
  • Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Who Will Win: Glenn Close

Who Should Win: Olivia Colman

Who Could Win: Olivia Colman

Glenn Close is on her way to the coronation. Olivia Colman should win because it’s 1) a more well-rounded performance and 2) her emotional scenes are better than Close’s scenes. I understand why Close will take this, but it is really hard to get on board the win for a movie that few will remember in five years. Still, when the Academy has snubbed someone as much as they’ve snubbed Close, that’s when these wins happen. In eight months, when Colman gives her Emmy acceptance speech for The Crownwe’ll already be wondering why she didn’t win the Oscar.

Best Actor – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • Christian Bale – Vice
  • Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
  • Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
  • Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Who Will Win: Rami Malek

Who Should Win: Bradley Cooper

Who Could Win: Christian Bale

Rami Malek has this, and it’s not going to be close. He’s the reason to see the movie, but for him to run away with it still feels weird. However, looking over the past decade, Malek would be the seventh actor to win the prize for playing a real person. He’s cleaned up and won every major precursor. Bale’s the only one that posed a threat this season, so maybe he could win, but it doesn’t seem likely. Sadly, Bradley Cooper has no shot in this race despite giving the best work.

Best Supporting Actress – Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • Amy Adams – Vice
  • Marina de Tavira – Roma
  • Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Who Will Win: Rachel Weisz

Who Should Win: Rachel Weisz

Who Could Win: Regina King

A few years ago, it seemed like Sylvester Stallone was on his way to win an Oscar. He lost the SAG and missed the BAFTA nomination, but he had won the Golden Globe. To most, it made sense that he could push through for a win. Yet he lost to Mark RylanceRegina King won the Golden Globe and the Critics choice awards but missed nominations at BAFTA and SAG. This means that until Oscar, she would not win an industry award. However, Rachel Weisz won the BAFTA. She has an industry award, and unlike King, represents a Best Picture nominee. Watch for Weisz to take her 2nd prize more than a decade after her first Oscar.

Best Supporting Actor – Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • Mahershala Ali – Green Book
  • Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
  • Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? 
  • Sam Rockwell – Vice

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali

Who Should Win: Richard E. Grant

Who Could Win: Richard E. Grant

I love Mahershala Ali as a performer, and I’ve been following him for years. His win for Moonlight was special for me, and he has his Oscar win. However, it would be really odd to see him win twice in three years. He’s the reason the movie Green Book works, and he’s become the heartbeat of their campaign. Most important of all, he won the Globe, SAG, and BAFTA. The only performer that could upset the balance is Richard E. Grant. That said, he is British and lost BAFTA. That seems like it was the end of the campaign, despite the love for the actor.

Let’s run through the rest of the categories quickly below! 

Best Original Screenplay- Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • The Favourite
  • First Reformed
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • Vice

Who Will Win: The Favourite

Who Should Win: The Favourite

Who Could Win: Roma

Green Book and Roma had momentum to win but lost the WGA to Eighth Grade. Meanwhile, The Favourite won BAFTA and won the Critics Choice. That makes it the choice to win.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? 
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star Is Born

Who Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Who Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Who Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

Can You Ever Forgive Me? won the WGA, but lost USC Scripter. If Beale Street Could Talk lost both. BlacKkKlansman gives the Academy the ability to reward Spike Lee. With the entire Academy voting on the award, look for this to be a way to give Spike an Oscar.

Best Animated Feature – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Who Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Who Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Who Could Win: The Incredibles 2

Spider-Verse won every single prize its needed for Best Animated Feature, but there’s a chance that The Incredibles 2 could take it because of the Disney brand. I don’t think that will happen.

Best Foreign Language Film – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • Capernaum
  • Cold War
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma
  • Shoplifters

Who Will Win: Roma

Who Should Win: Shoplifters

Who Could Win: Cold War

This is Roma in a walk because every foreign language film ever nominated for Best Picture has won Best Foreign Film. Don’t play it cute, get the gimme points.

Best Documentary Feature – Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • Free Solo
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  • Minding the Gap
  • Of Fathers and Sons
  • RBG

Who Will Win: Free Solo

Who Should Win: Free Solo

Who Could Win: RBG

Industry support coalesced around Free Solo once Won’t You Be My Neighbor? missed out at Oscar. RBG could win because of her legacy, but Free Solo features a chance to hand the prize to a filmmaking feat unlike any other.

Best Original Score – Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • Black Panther – Ludwig Göransson
  • BlacKkKlansman – Terence Blanchard
  • If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
  • Isle of Dogs – Alexandre Desplat
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Marc Shaiman

Who Will Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Who Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Who Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

If Beale Street Could Talk might have one of the best scores of the decade, and Nicholas Britell deserves this after also scoring Vice and Succession this year. Watch for Terrence Blanchard to potentially upset if BlacKkKlansman support is strong.

Best Original Song – Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • “All the Stars” – Black Panther
  • “I’ll Fight” – RBG
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
  • “Shallow” – A Star Is Born
  • “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Who Will Win: “Shallow”

Who Should Win: “Shallow”

Who Could Win: “All the Stars”

This race is over. “Shallow” is winning, and if you pick “All the Stars,” you’re expecting this to be one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history.

Best Sound Editing- Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma

Who Will Win: A Quiet Place

Who Should Win: First Man

Who Could Win: Black Panther

This one is all over the place, but A Quiet Place can push all of the support for the movie to a single category. It is stunning work, and considering that sound is literally the premise of the movie, it could win big here. However, watch for Black Panther and First Man to surprise.

Best Sound Mixing- Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • A Star Is Born
  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • Roma

Who Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Who Should Win: A Star Is Born

Who Could Win: First Man

For whatever reason, A Star Is Born and First Man fizzled out, and Bohemian Rhapsody won big with the sound guilds. Expect this one to take the prize.

Best Production Design- Confidence Level:

The Nominees Are:

  • Black Panther – Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
  • The Favourite – Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
  • First Man – Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • Roma – Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez

Who Will Win: Black Panther

Who Should Win: Black Panther

Who Could Win: The Favourite

Hannah Beachler became the first Black production designer to ever earn a nomination in the category. She should be the first win as well after making Wakanda a tangible place. Watch for The Favourite to push into the discussion, but it was filmed at an actual castle, so some have used that against the film.

Best Cinematography- Confidence Level: 5

The Nominees Are:

  • Cold War – Lukasz Zal
  • The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
  • Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel
  • Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
  • A Star Is Born – Matthew Libatique

Who Will Win: Roma

Who Should Win: Roma

Who Could Win: Cold War

Another easy win for Cuarón, who will become the first ever director to win Best Cinematography for shooting his own movie. The only real challenge could be Cold War.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling- Confidence Level: 

The Nominees Are:

  • Border
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Vice

Who Will Win: Vice

Who Should Win: Mary Queen of Scots

Who Could Win: Mary Queen of Scots

Vice scored a bunch of wins from the makeup guild. That pretty much assured it will win. Once again, Best Picture status helps give this an edge.

Best Costume Design – Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres
  • Black Panther – Ruth E. Carter
  • The Favourite – Sandy Powell
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell
  • Mary Queen of Scots – Alexandra Byrne

Who Will Win: Black Panther

Who Should Win: Black Panther

Who Could Win: The Favourite

Ruth E. Carter should win this for her extraordinary blend of traditional African culture, superheroes, and modern clothing. It is visually stunning work and would be a similar win to Mad Max: Fury Road. However, Sandy Powell is the Meryl Streep of costume design. She could split votes between The Favourite and Mary Poppins Returns.

Best Film Editing- Confidence Level: 2

The Nominees Are:

  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Vice

Who Will Win: Vice 

Who Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

Who Could Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

This group is tough to sift through, with most of the nominees really standing out. Vice has the most editing so it could win the prize. However, it lost to The Favourite at the ACE Eddie awards. Meanwhile, Bohemian Rhapsody won at ACE Eddie, and a narrative developed that editor John Ottman saved the movie. Don’t count out the best work in the category, with BlacKkKlansman.

Best Visual Effects – Confidence Level: 4

The Nominees Are:

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

Who Will Win: Avengers: Infinity War

Who Should Win: Avengers: Infinity War

Who Could Win: First Man

Avengers: Infinity War led the VES awards, and that means it is the frontrunner here. Considering most support had been behind Black Panther, expect that to just transfer to a different Marvel film. However, the effects of First Man are top notch and could pull the upset.

Best Documentary – Short Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • Black Sheep
  • End Game
  • Lifeboat
  • A Night at the Garden
  • Period. End of Sentence

Who Will Win: Period. End of Sentence

Who Should Win: A Night at the Garden

Who Could Win: Black Sheep

Documentary short has a lot of very cool nominees, but Period. End of Sentence represents the most populist vote and has a meaningful conversation about making feminine products available to women in developing nations. A Night at the Garden and Black Sheep are not upbeat or inspirational, so they’ll be unlikely to gather the support needed.

Best Live Action Short- Confidence Level: 2

  • Detainment
  • Fauve
  • Mergureite
  • Mother
  • Skin

Who Will Win: Marguerite

Who Should Win: Marguerite

Who Could Win: Skin

This category features four deeply unlikeable shorts and Marguerite. That bodes well for Marguerite.

Best Animated Short Film- Confidence Level: 3

The Nominees Are:

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Bao
  • Late Afternoon
  • One Small Step
  • Weekends

Who Will Win: Bao

Who Should Win: Bao

Who Could Win: One Small Step

Pixar might lose Best Animated Feature, but this gives Bao an advantage. It’s a culturally interesting short and will be the most seen. One Small Step could upset, but the other three are all excellent shorts as well. If Bao doesn’t win, it could go anywhere.

Predicted Films With More Than One Win:

3- The Favourite, Roma

2- Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, Vice

Who do you think will win Best Picture? Who are you rooting for? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below! 

Check out our reviews of the films nominated for the 91st Oscars here