My Predictions for THE 91st ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS (AWARDS 2018)


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

(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)

Will Win: Roma
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
Should Have Been Nominated: Beale Street, The Rider, First Reformed , Can You Ever Forgive Me? (instead of Bohemian, Vice , Favourite, and Green Book)

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.

– Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
– Paweł Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
– Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
– Adam McKay, Vice

Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Should Win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Should Have Been Nominated: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (instead of Adam McKay, Vice)

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.

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

Will Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Should Win: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Should Have Been Nominated: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (instead of Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody)

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.

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

Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife
Should Win: Glenn Close, The Wife or Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Should Have Been Nominated: Toni Collette, Hereditary (instead of Olivia Colman, The Favourite)

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.

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

Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Should Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Have Been Nominated: Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (instead of Sam Rockwell, Vice)

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.

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

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.

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

Will Win: The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
Should Win: First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Should Have Been Nominated: Private Life, Tamara Jenkins (instead of 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.

The Ballad of Buster ScruggsJoel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansmanCharlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could TalkBarry Jenkins
A Star Is BornEric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

Will Win: BlacKkKlansmanCharlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Should Win: The Ballad of Buster ScruggsJoel 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.

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

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.

Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War
– Never Look Away

Will Win: Roma 
Should Win: Roma

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

Will Win: RBG
Should Win: Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Should Have Been Nominated: Three Identical Strangers (instead of RBG)

Black PantherLudwig Goransson
BlacKkKlansmanTerence Blanchard
If Beale Street Could TalkNicholas Britell
Isle of DogsAlexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins ReturnsMarc Shaiman

Will Win: If Beale Street Could TalkNicholas Britell
Should Win: If Beale Street Could TalkNicholas Britell or BlacKkKlansmanTerence 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.

– “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

Will Win: “Shallow”, A Star Is Born
Should Win: “Shallow”, A Star Is Born or “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.

Cold WarŁukasz Żal
The FavouriteRobbie Ryan
– Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
RomaAlfonso Cuarón
A Star Is BornMatthew Libatique

Will Win: RomaAlfonso Cuarón
Should Win: RomaAlfonso Cuarón or Cold WarŁukasz Żal

BlacKkKlansmanBarry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
The FavouriteYorgos Mavropsaridis
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
ViceHank Corwin

Will Win: ViceHank Corwin
Should Win: BlacKkKlansmanBarry Alexander Brown

Black PantherHannah Beachler, Jay Hart
The FavouriteFiona Crombie, Alice Felton
First ManNathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
Mary Poppins ReturnsJohn Myhre, Gordon Sim
RomaEugenio Caballero, Barbara Enriquez

Will Win: Black PantherHannah Beachler, Jay Hart
Should Win: Black PantherHannah Beachler, Jay Hart or RomaEugenio Caballero, Barbara Enriquez

Black PantherRuth Carter
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
The FavouriteSandy Powell
Mary Poppins ReturnsSandy Powell
Mary Queen of ScotsAlexandra Byrne

Will Win: Black PantherRuth Carter
Should Win: Black PantherRuth Carter

– Border
Mary Queen of Scots

Will Win: Vice
Should Win: Border




Will Win: Marguerite
Should Win: Marguerite

Animal Behaavior

Late Afternoon
One Small Step


Will Win: Weekends
Should Win: Late Afternoon

Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at the Garden

Period. End of Sentence

Will Win: Period. End of Sentence
Should Win: Period. End of Sentence

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man

– A Star Is Born

Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody
Should Win: Roma

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody

First Man
A Quiet Place

Will Win: First Man
Should Win: A Quiet Place

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

Will Win: Avengers: Infinity War
Should Win: Ready Player One

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

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