The nominees in the Best Director category are all very good. After not getting Best Director nods for Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X, Spike Lee finally gets his due. Pawel Pawlikowski returns to the Oscar sphere with his follow up to the Best Foreign Language winner Ida. Adam McKay returns, as well, with his follow-up to The Big Short. Yorgos Lanthimos makes his debut in the Best Director category after receiving nominations in other categories for The Lobster and Dogtooth.
And then there is two-time Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron.
For whatever reason, Best Supporting Actor is, year after year, the easiest acting race to predict. It is often narrowed in on one or two candidates long before the Screen Actors Guild announce their awards. The SAGs just act to solidify the already established front-runner.
2019, by and large, shows the same conditions. The race is already narrowed down, and it is not hard to pick a winner before the SAGs even happen. There is always upset potential, but this race is much more predictable than the other categories.
The Best Actor race is a tight one this year. You have fan favorites like A Star is Born. Crowd-pleasers like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. Transformative performances in Christian Bale and Rami Malek. And Willem Dafoe is in there, too. Because why not?
Early on in the year, it looked like Lady Gaga had Best Actress in the bag. A Star is Born hit strong, much stronger than The Wife. Over time, A Star is Born has cooled off a bit, particularly following its near shut-out at the Golden Globes. Glenn Close, as a result, has risen back into the conversation as a front-runner.
Nothing is certain, however, and an acting front-runner cannot truly be claimed as a true front-runner until they pick up the SAG award. Until that time, we can only speculate.
There is always some overlap between the two sound categories. Sound Editing is the creation of foley. Sound Mixing is the recording and mixing of the soundtrack. They are two distinct aspects of sound production, but often if a film does one well it does the other similarly well.
That said, a well-mixed film may not require a lot of sound effect production. A musical, perhaps. A film may require a heavy amount of foley, which usually means the mix is harder to master. An action movie, perhaps. A lot goes into the soundtrack, making it hard sometimes to discern whether the Academy will honor films in both categories, one, or none.