In January, I made my Academy Awards predictions for 2019. Since then, a lot has changed. Some of my original predictions should be considered null and void. That said, the following predictions are by no means expert predictions. And most importantly, the Academy Awards are not the end-all be-all of filmmaking achievement in a given year. There are plenty of films that the Academy chose not to honor that are deserving of some attention.
In any case, here are my final predictions for the 2019 Oscars.
Will Win: My pick to win
Upset Watch: A potential spoiler
Could Win: The race is too close to call it an upset, or I am picking against the favorite
Should Win: My personal favorite(s) out of the nominees
With the 91st Academy Awards just days away, awards season is coming to an unceremonious end. That is unless the Academy has something up its sleeve after angering viewers at every turn. There will be no host, all categories will be presented during the telecast, and there is no Most Popular category. All of this backlash for a broadcast dedicated to handing gold trophies out to famous people.
I don’t think there is an awful lot to say about the 2019 races for Best Original Song and Best Original Score. One is barely a race, and the other has a standout front-runner with only minor competition.
This isn’t to say that the two categories are complete locks, but they are both pretty darn close.
Best Production Design is not necessarily the easiest Oscar category to predict in any given year, but there are clear signposts that make a film’s production design “Oscar worthy.” Period settings. Visually-striking set dressing. Something lavish, or else something historical.
Best Live Action Short Film may be the single hardest category to predict. Rarely does a front-runner appear, and even when one does an upset is always a possible scenario. I have a feeling that the winners in this category generally win by slim margins, as the vote comes down to personal preference over cultural or political relevance.
The short film categories are some of the hardest to predict. These films don’t receive traditional Oscar campaigns, which would act to suss out front-runners. In lieu of that, one must look at general trends, distributors, aesthetic qualities, and word of mouth.
What is often the operative question with the two sound categories is whether or not they will go to the same film. More often than not, if a film stands out for either editing or mixing, it also stands out in the other.
This year, I think there is a case to be made for both the split and the sweep.
The Oscar for Best Makeup & Hairstyling is sometimes more of an award for most makeup and hairstyling. The nominees in the category this year don’t prove to be an exception to this trend, which is not to say there isn’t quality work in the makeup, hair, and prosthetic work in the three films. It is simply to say that these aspects of mise en scene are quite noticeable.
The costume design in the 2019 race is, all around, very good. And the nominees run the gamut of generic representation. Fantastical period piece musical. Western pastiche. Semi-futurist science fiction. 18th century British period piece. A 16th century British/Scottish period piece, as well.