The Oscars: 24 forecasts and 24 useful observations

Predicting the results of the Oscars is like predicting the shadows of a sunset. Sometimes you lean under a majestic pink-mauve horizon. Sometimes you get tired under a gray mass of darkness. It's always different, but unpredictability never changes. The Oscars work in a similar way, because everything can happen when dealing with a small collection of private individuals seeking consensus on ill-defined notions of magnitude. We use the Oscars not only to create the first draft of the history of cinema, but to emphasize what films – or at least those that make films – represent for them. Last year's winner, Guillermo Del Toro The shape of water, quickly became an emblem of the marginalized, a mark of approval for obsessed believers who leave room in their lives for empathy in the face of strangeness. A year earlier, Barry Jenkins Moonlight He passed huge chances of winning the most important prize in films for a humble story of an African-American gay boy from a city in Florida that most had never heard of – the contrast was the story itself, a moment of glamor for a delicately composed and personal story that showed how the changing academy was redefining what it means to win the best film. What will you tell us about the 2019 of the powerful 8,000 members of the organization and what they believe represents a meaning? It all depends on the winners.

In some ways, the Oscars have become more predictable and more confusing, simultaneously. The show's television show turned into bad ideas for six consecutive months, finding not a single significant change that its members or fans of the Oscars in the public deemed acceptable. This despite the collapse of the ratings and the panic air around the future of the show, and films written big. And so on Sunday night we will have, on the airwaves of ABC, a show of over three hours that sees 24 lucky winners receive a small gold trophy and some songs and some montages that commemorates the history of cinema and then we will go to sleep thinking about the next film Marvel. Will be the Oscars, in all their faded and exasperating glory, a museum built and profaned in real time.

But the rewards are still the reason to tune in, because that's where something real and strange can happen. Last year, I blinked at zero and changed my best prediction The shape of water to Go out. It was a hopeful adjustment and a foolish one. I was imagining a world where Moonlight it had changed everything, where outgoing President of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs had changed so deeply that a new day had arrived. It was wrong, as I was. It was plaster all the way down, so much so that I was able to correctly guess 21 out of 24 and I probably could have gotten a couple more there if I had saved the feeling for one of those purple sunsets. The best regatta for this year is the most open of recent memory. The nominees include a series of films that represent all the stripes of the modern movement: the inexorable comic book revolution (Black Panther); the dying art of cinema celebrity (A star was born); the new image of bromantic problems (Green Book); the drama in cat costume (The favourite); the political eye (Vice); the biopic that slaps the head (Bohemian Rhapsody); the participant "It's time!" (BlacKkKlansman); and the tour de force of drivers (Rome). The narratives of the following day are written by themselves. But what about the other prizes? What will they say about Hollywood and cinema? Here are my choices for Sunday evening and some wandering observations on what they could mean.

Visual effects

Avengers: Infinity War, Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick
Christopher Robin, Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould
First man, Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm
Ready Player One, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk
Solo: a story of Star Wars, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

The choice: Avengers: Infinity War

The point: A Marvel film that wins a special effects prize seems like a fun way to kick off the odds, but as a friend recently pointed out, big, stupid and dominant action franchises almost never win in this category – last year the elegant Blade Runner 2049 he took this category, and the winners of the past include Life of Pi, Ex machina, is Hugo. In some respects, visual effects voters have been a bulwark against the mega-franchise incursion. A superhero film has not won since 2004 Spider-Man 2. infinite war he had smart money for months, but if First man he stealthily approaches and tears it, it will not be the stunner someone will tell you.

Makeup and hairstyle

Border, Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scotland, Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
Vice, Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney

The choice: Vice

The point: Cannom is one of the most known unknown names outside the Academy circles. A Sunday victory – strongly favored – would give him four statuettes, putting him in a rare company with names like Katharine Hepburn and John Ford. Cannom worked in makeup for nearly 40 years and recorded credits in Michael Jackson's "Thriller" movie, Nightmare on Elm Street 3, is Big Top Pee-wee before winning his first Oscar for 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire. Do not stop dreaming.

Animated short film

Animal behavior
Bao
Late afternoon
A small step
Weekend

The choice: Bao

The point: There is a canard that Pixar manages this category, as it has for years in the best animated feature. Not like that. If the melancholic Domee Shi, hunger Bao wins Sunday, will be only the third time that Pixar won in the category of shorts, participating Piper in 2017 and For the birds in 2002. Bank on it.

Live Action Short

detention
Fauve
daisy
Mother
Skin

The choice: daisy

The point: I'll be honest, I never have any idea what's going on in this category. It's easy to watch movies and make judgments, but the Oscars are not. If they were, we would not all do it crash in this period of the year. For years I had imagined that this category should have acted as a springboard – a farm system – for future great filmmakers. But it's been 13 years since Martin McDonagh won for his short film, You're shooter. This category has become significantly more marginalized in recent years, perhaps one of the reasons why it was chosen as one of the four that the Academy had planned to sort out from transmission, until that decision was reversed last week between severe external and internal pressures. The least sad of this year's group is daisyand so has our choice.

Documentary short film

Black sheep
End of the game
lifeboat
A night at the garden
Period. End of the sentence.

The choice: Black sheep

The point: This is a collection of equally obscure and disquieting candidates in this category, but Ed Perkins's impressionist racist portrait in suburban England has garnered significant praise.

Sound Mixing

Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
First man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis
Rome, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio Gracía
A star was born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow

The choice: Bohemian Rhapsody

Sound editing

Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
First man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A calm place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Rome, Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay

The choice: First man

The point: Bank on a pleasure for music driven by music and an artistic result that divides the two categories of sounds. First man and the Blade Runner 2049 of this year, a film that is limited to technical categories and can grow old becoming a real cult artifact over time. I feel the victory here.

Costumes

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Maria Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
The favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scotland, Alexandra Byrne

The choice: Black Panther

The point: Be wary of Powell, she of the 14 nominations and three wins in this category. It's a sentimental attachment to Carter, Spike Lee's longtime collaborator and art teacher behind Wakanda's wearable technology. But The favourite, with its 10 nominations and its wide support, makes this category of rigor classically stimulating.

Production design

Black Panther, Hannah Beachler
The favourite, Fiona Crombie
First man, Nathan Crowley
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre
Rome, Eugenio Caballero

The choice: The favourite

The point: See above. While Beachler is the first African American woman named in the history of this category and would become the first black woman to win an Oscar without acting in three decades, The favourite exists. I am simply dividing the vote in these two categories for reasons of betting odds. Call it the residual of design.

Film assembly

BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
The favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
Vice, Hank Corwin

The choice: Vice

The point: It is not called Most Editing, but this category historically recognizes the most viscous, visually more dynamic films among them Mad Max: Fury Road and last year's winner, the stacked triple-time Dunkirk. Corwin was the pioneer of the flash-pop-cultural style that defines the recent wave of films by Adam McKay, increasing the speed of films like JFK is Natural Born Killers. The same could be said for the aesthetics of the music video of Bohemian Rhapsody, traveling quickly, if not always without problems. This is the result of the triage on a complex shooting mired in disputes, and so if it wins here – and has already won guild prizes already this year – it could be recognition of the Herculean effort needed to complete the film in the first place.

Cinematography

Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never look, Caleb Deschanel
Rome, Alfonso Cuarón
A star was born, Matthew Libatique

The choice: Rome

The point: As for all the Oscar nerds, this is one of my favorite categories to follow, and the news that would not have been broadcast in full on the show was daunting and confusing. But on closer inspection, it is not difficult to understand why Academy President John Bailey – himself an Oscar winner – took part in this decision: Alfonso Cuarón will win. And while his success is profound – this is his first film with Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki – even this will not be the only time he will be on the stage on Sunday. It seemed to me a real time saver that went deeply upstream.

Original score

Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansmanTerence Blanchard
If Beale Street could talk, Nicholas Britell
Island of dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman

The choice: If Beale Street could talk

The point: If the Spotify streams were the metric with which this prize was awarded, Ludwig Goransson would have taken a walk. The composer-producer who helped create the soundtracks in five different films and just won a Grammy for Childish Gambino's "This Is America" ​​is the noisiest candidate here. But the lush work of Nicholas Britell on the third film by Barry Jenkins is among the most celebrated in recent history. Also, the guy wrote the music for Succession.

Original song

"All Stars" Black Panther
"I will fight" RBG
"The place where lost things go" Mary Poppins Returns
"Shallow" A star was born
"When a cowboy trades his spurs for wings" The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

The choice: "Shallow"

The point: I will spare you the A star was born speech. This is the closest that the film has to win. If he loses "Shallow", I expect Bradley Cooper to vanish from the public standpoint for a whole year.

Best documentary feature

Only
Hale County this morning, this evening
Minding the Gap
Of fathers and sons
RBG

The choice: Only

The point: It's been almost a decade since the most prestigious film nominated in this category did not go to win. Unfortunately, there are two films here that could qualify for that title: RBG is Only. Miraculously, Only rose to more than $ 16 million at the box office and will probably end up among the 15 biggest ever. The doc boom has been fascinating to watch, e Only a close eye on the needle: a captivating focus, extraordinary physical and technical success, acute narration and some moments of "holy shit".

Films in a foreign language

The choice: Rome

The point: There is something strange in the only real showdown at the Oscars between duelizing megalithic contents of Netflix and Amazon that occur on a battlefield occupied by a piece of the era of a sensual polish on her parents and a Mexican era piece of an auteur on his childhood caregiver. I, for example, welcome our new filmmakers.

Animated feature

Incredibles 2
Island of dogs
Mirai
Ralph interrupts the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Vers

The choice: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The point: Somewhere along the way, spider-verse became my favorite movie of 2018. This means nothing for the Oscar race, apart from the two-time winner, Brad Bird, who moved slowly from a clear favorite to a disadvantaged. Virtually every group of critics has really moved the conversation on this film, supporting it despite its super heroic provenance and late release date. It is so powerful and uniquely joyous.

Adapted screenplay

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee
Can you ever forgive me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street could talk, Barry Jenkins
A star was born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters

The choice: BlacKkKlansman

The point: It's been 79 years since a film with four accredited screenwriters won in this category, a long time ago Mrs. Miniver in 1942. So in that light, BlacKkKlansman it is an improbable favorite. But this film has a factor X: a long-awaited one, Spike Lee and an Academy eager to do well 40 years of neglected work.

Original script

The favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly
Rome, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

The choice: The favourite

The point: There's a if-then here. Self Green Book wins, so the best film is not just at stake, it becomes more and more likely. In fact, the winner of the Best Picture did not win a screenplay award only five times in this century. That he did not win in this category at the Writer's Guild Awards last week indicates weakness and confirmation of The favouriteThe long triumph expected here. But the WGA is different from the academy. Keep an eye on this award in the third hour of the broadcast.

Actress in a supporting role

Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Rome
Queen King, If Beale Street could talk
Emma Stone, The favourite
Rachel Weisz, The favourite

The choice: Queen King

The point: Twice this decade, a film in this category with two candidates took the prize. The division of voting is not as common as one might think. And with the push of Weisz's second post-BAFTA, there's a real chance to despise the favorite king. I do not see it, especially considering that Weisz already has a statuette of this category for 2005 The constant gardener. But this seems like the only real acting contest.

Actor in a supporting role

Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A star was born
Richard E. Grant, Can you ever forgive me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

The choice: Mahershala Ali

The point: While I admire Ali practically everything, including Alita: Battle Angel-The obvious nature of this breed has been disconcerting. Every so often Whoa! emerges at the Oscars, and occasionally in this race-see: Mark Rylance in 2015-and so maybe Elliott has an external chance here to shock. But I will not cry if it will not. Seriously. I will not do that. Not a little bit I'm about to get out of my driveway, all calm and collected. Hello.

Actor in a main role

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A star was born
Willem Dafoe, All 'Eternity & # 39; s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

The choice: Rami Malek

The point: On the other hand, the absence of Mortensen as a serious competitor in this race was a curious omission. It is not based on merit, exactly, but you will imagine that goodwill will extend to Ali and even the screenplay would end up in Mortensen's headline performance. Then again, Bale and Malek play both real-life men in biopic, and this is often the case with the winners here.

Actress in a leading role

Yalitza Aparicio, Rome
Glenn Close, The wife
Olivia Colman, The favourite
Lady Gaga, A star was born
Melissa McCarthy, Can you ever forgive me?

The choice: Glenn Close

The point: I have seen The wife.

orientation

BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee
Cold War, Pawel Pawlikowski
The favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos
Rome, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

The choice: Cuarón

The point: It's all over but the screams. Cuarón will join a historical group of two directors.

Better image

Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The favourite
Green Book
Rome
A star was born
Vice

The choice: Rome

The point: This is a choice neither from the heart nor from the head, nor even the alchemical mathematics calculated during a six-month movie saga. But it is a choice in opposition to the outrage machine. Rome it seems right, and so little else. Maybe I'm just afraid of another year of exhaustion around the ideas of decorum and decency in the best film. Perhaps it's the anxiety that comes from undoing the accusations of Bryan Singer as you watch the the winners beat those same charges. Maybe it's the icky dynamic that both have infested and boasted Green Book, depending on the voter. (And there's certainly a contingent of successful elderly voters who do not want to be told what they can and can not vote at the ceremony.) Maybe it's fatigue in costume. Perhaps it is concern for a spasm induced by Marvel by independent and specialized brands in the industry. Maybe it's the idea of ​​rewarding Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman instead of Do the right thing or Malcolm X or 25th hour. Perhaps it is the vituperative agenda of a political film like Vice dividing a nation of movie lovers already convinced of the liberal agenda of Hollywood. Maybe it's the vanity police eager to let us know that Gaga can not act or that the remakes should not win the Oscars. Or maybe it's not that simple for Rome. Perhaps this is the crush of Netflix came to crunch the rest of the playing field, an unstoppable juggernaut of content that conquer the last residual of movement. Sunday night, a film will win the award for best film. But, well, I'll let Nina Simone say the rest.

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