Act One: No Dog in This Fight (or, i ain't seen all these)
Animated Short - "Bao"
Documentary Short - "Period. End of Sentence."
Live Action Short - "Skin"
Animated Feature - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Documentary Feature - Free Solo
Foreign Language Film - Roma
Original Song - "Shallow" from A Star is Born
Visual Effects - First Man
Makeup and Hairstyling - Vice
Cinematography - Roma
Act Two: Opinions, I Have Them (or, the ol' will win/should win game)
Sound Editing - Bohemian Rhapsody (should win: First Man)
Costume Design - Black Panther (should win: The Favourite, but I'd be down with Black Panther)
Film Editing - Vice (should win: BlacKkKlansman)
Production Design - The Favourite (should win: The Favourite)
The final act after the jump...
Act Three: The Big 'Uns (or, i got somethin' to say...)
The best score of the year, First Man, isn't nominated, which I'm sure will confound many a future Oscars completist/film fan. However, the second-best score of the year is nominated, and for that, I am extremely grateful. That said, I feel like there are but a few places where voters can honor the year's biggest moneymaker; this is one of the obvious ones.
Will Win: Black Panther
Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk
Speaking of honoring industry favorites, this may be the only place voters can honor Spike Lee - yes, yes, director, but we'll get into that. Even though he shares credit with three other writers, this will undoubtedly be His Moment. Which is great! If only it didn't come at the expense at one of the deepest explorations of friendship, loneliness, and creativity in film!
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman
Should Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Look, it took them this long to honor Schrader in the first place, he certainly doesn't give a shit, and I think he's rubbed wrong enough people over the years that they'll give him the ol' "nomination is enough" heave-ho. Which is a shame. Expect the beneficiary to be Green Book, a movie whose backlash I'm convinced exists chiefly among people who don't vote for the Oscars.
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: First Reformed
Has there been anything more mysterious this year than the continued success of Mahershala Ali's Best Supporting Actor run? I'm an admirer of the film and his performance, which I consider a perfectly coiled portrayal of but we have career-best work from Richard E. Grant and a great career capper from Sam Elliott - plus both men seem genuinely tickled by the attention! Praying for an upset here...
Will Win: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Should Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Oh God, I was wrong - there is another awards season run that's not only more mysterious than Mahershala's, but genuinely awful. Let me just focus on who should be taking home the prize: Bradley Cooper. His fourth acting nomination, and the second time he's the best in his lineup (hi, American Sniper). He's superb here, rough and sexy and soulful and mean. If it's been much-memed and imitated, it's because it is lived-in, already iconic. And he's going to lose to...that?
Will Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Should Win: Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Anyone's game, really. If they want to honor the actor, I can see Regina King getting it - she's been around, worked with everyone, deserves to be an Oscar-winning actor. However, if voters actually see all the movies, I can two more performances in addition to King's standing out: Marina de Tavira and Rachel Weisz. And like Christoph Waltz's Hans Landa, only one of those three is quotable and memorable enough that may make a difference when marking a ballot.
Will Win: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Should Win: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Anyone who doubts the inevitable here is kidding themselves. Fortunately, it's also the best performance nominated.
Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife
Should Win: Glenn Close, The Wife
Ordinarily, we would expect this to be the big career tribute Oscar for Spike Lee. But Alfonso Cuaron has dominated the circuit all year, it's capital-f Filmmaking on a grand scale, and people genuinely like the movie.
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Should Win: Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
One of the most wide-open contests in years - and thanks to the preferential ballot, the perfect place for blockbusters and crowdpleasers to come out on top. And while it's not a blockbuster per se, with three Golden Globes, a SAG Award, and a PGA Award already among its haul - plus expected wins in Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor - Green Book is clearly well-liked among industry folk - you know, the people who actually vote on these things?
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: The Favourite