Below are my predictions for the 2018 Academy Awards, in all 24 categories.
The list has some commentary in the major categories, along with simple “Will Win” predictions and “Should Win” opinions for all categories. I also have “Should’ve Been Nominated” choices for the top half of the nominees, and to make those choices truly credible I add which of the nominees the “Should’ve Been” should’ve replaced. (To not include that is, to me, cheating, because you can only have 5 nominees a piece.)
The year’s big winner, according to my forecast? Roma, which will haul in 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture. Three other films will tie for second with 2 Oscars a piece (Black Panther, Beale Street, and Vice).
What would be a good return on these predictions? My own personal standard for prognostication success is going 20-for-24 or higher. That may appear a fairly high bar but, for me, anything below 20 is, at best, really just good guessing based on being well-informed. (I went 17-for-24 last year.)
To get 20 or more requires a level of intuition that goes beyond creating a metric based on outcomes throughout the Oscar race, to a level of hunchery that’s really worth something. And if memory serves, I think I’ve only broached 20+ a handful of times in my life (yes, this is an annual hobby, occasionally with money on the line). So we’ll see.
OH – and three Presenter Predictions:
- Best Picture will be presented by Tom Hanks & Denzel Washington. Along with being a powerhouse duo to announce the biggest prize, it’s a way to recognize Tom Hanks and Philadelphia on their 25th Anniversary Oscar win. PLUS, if BlacKkKlansman wins, Washington — who’s starred in a number of Lee’s films — can be the one to hand Spike the Oscar.
- Martin Scorsese will present either Director or Original Screenplay, on the off-chance that either Spike Lee (whom Scorsese mentored) wins Director or Paul Schrader (writer of Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) wins Screenplay.
- Since the Academy has ditched the acting category tradition of last year’s winners presenting in the opposite-gender categories, I think they’ll tab Michael Douglas to present Best Actress. He would be the perfect acting legend to give likely winner Glenn Close (and Douglas’s Fatal Attraction co-star) her long overdue Oscar.
The 91st Academy Awards will take place on Sunday night February 24, 2019, at 8pm EST/7pm CST. It will air, sans host, on ABC.
My Predictions for
THE 91ST ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
(and total number of nominations)
– Black Panther (7 Nominations)
– BlacKkKlansman (6 Nominations)
– Bohemian Rhapsody (5 Nominations)
– The Favourite (10 Nominations)
– Green Book (5 Nominations)
– Roma (10 Nominations)
– A Star Is Born (8 Nominations)
– Vice (8 Nominations)
This is such a tough one to predict – and I love it! That’s how it should be but mostly isn’t. Almost never, in fact, as the race for Best Picture ends up being either a foregone conclusion or a showdown between two finalists (maybe a third).
This year? I can make a legitimate winning argument in my mind for 6 of the 8 nominees (with only Vice and, shockingly, A Star Is Born being the only two that I think don’t have a shot). Even if Roma wins, that in itself will be a shocker historically, as no foreign language film has ever won Best Picture before (to say nothing of which a streaming giant like Netflix nabbing it, too).
But if Oscar doesn’t go Roma, I think it’ll go black – either BlacKkKlansman or Black Panther.
Alfonso Cuarón has won all the major precursors so this is his to lose…but if he does, it’ll be to Spike Lee. And it could be Spike: Cuarón has already won an Oscar (for Gravity), an African-American has never won the Directing prize, and who better to shatter that glass ceiling than arguably the best African-American director ever? That entire calculation could be the motive for many Oscar voters.
Man, I hope it’s Spike. It would be a truly great moment for Academy history. And he deserves it.
When Rami Malek won the BAFTA, I was stunned. That was the final capper for a sweep that had included the Golden Globe and SAG award. It would be nearly unprecedented for him to lose after securing those three. Crossing my fingers for a Bradley Cooper miracle.
I’d be shocked if the Glenn Close, the longest-suffering bridesmaid in Oscar history since Martin Scorsese, didn’t finally get her Academy Award. She’s checked off the important precursors, the performance is worthy on its merits, and the career clearly deserves it. The other four nominees would be worthy winners, to be honest, but anything other than Close here would make me really upset. It’s her time.
Again, Mahershala Ali has checked off all the precursors, so it’d be stupid to bet against him, but here’s to hoping against hope that since Ali already has his Oscar for Moonlight that voters will shock the proceedings with a win for Richard E. Grant. What a layered and thoroughly entertaining performance from a truly generous actor and man.
Will Win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Should Win: Emma Stone, The Favourite
Should Have Been Nominated: Coin flip between Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright of Black Panther (instead of Amy Adams, Vice)
This is the one acting category that hasn’t had a clear-cut winner sweep the major precursors, but I think Regina King still safely has it. Despite not being nominated for a SAG, she’s won the other precursors, plus she nearly swept this category in the initial critics group awards. This is also a perfect place to honor the film she’s in, If Beale Street Could Talk.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
– The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
– First Reformed, Paul Schrader
– Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly
– Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
– Vice, Adam McKay
There’s a shot that legendary screenwriter Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull) could finally win his first Oscar, but this really feels like a place where The Favourite, which tied Roma for the lead with 10 nominations, could be honored. If it’s not, Green Book could end up being a more likely spoiler than the cryptic and challenging First Reformed.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
– The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
– BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
– Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
– If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
– A Star Is Born, Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Should Win: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Should Have Been Nominated: All the nominees are worthy, but if I had to bump one it’d probably be, oddly enough, my “Should Win” Buster Scruggs. Since the Coens have multiple Oscars already, it’d have been nice to give Black Panther a shot here.
Since Spike Lee isn’t a lock to win Director, this seems to be the more likely place he could finally win his first competitive Oscar. His competition is Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which won the Writer’s Guild prize.
Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Should Have Been Nominated: No real “should have beens” here so much as just one “shouldn’t”, the mediocre Ralph Breaks the Internet.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
– Free Solo
– Hale County This Morning, This Evening
– Minding the Gap
– Of Fathers and Sons
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
– Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson
– BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
– If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
– Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
– Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman
Will Win: If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell or BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Should Have Been Nominated: All worthy nominees (including some career-best score work by Shaiman for Poppins), but I’d have preferred Eighth Grade, Anna Meredith or The Old Man & the Gun, David Hart over two-time Oscar winner Alexandre Desplat.
This one is a super-tight race between my two “Should Wins”, and Blanchard may be gaining steam.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
– “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
There’s no doubt that Lady Gaga is about to become an Academy Award winner, deservedly, but man, that ballad from Buster Scruggs is brilliant.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
– Black Panther, Hannah Beachler, Jay Hart
– The Favourite, Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
– First Man, Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
– Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre, Gordon Sim
– Roma, Eugenio Caballero, Barbara Enriquez
Will Win: Vice
Should Win: Border
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2018 / 19 season:
Writers Guild of America Winners
BAFTA Award Winners
Directors Guild of America Winners
Screen Actors Guild Winners
Academy Award Nominations
Producers Guild of America Winners
Critics Choice Awards Winners
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Boston Society of Film Critics
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
Screen Actors Guild Nominees
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Toronto Film Critics Association
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
AFI Film Awards
Detroit Film Critics Society
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
New York Film Critics Circle
The National Board of Review