With 90 years of Academy Award history, there’s a noticeable pattern when it comes to picking the winners. Factors include Golden Globe winners in each category and the critical review of the nominated film.
The Academy tends to side with the “established” nominee, meaning it tends to pick a winner based off public review or fame of the movie/actor. Films with the most nominations also tend to win Best Picture. A prime example being last year’s “Shape of Water” winning best picture and having 13 nominations. Together, these factors go into making an accurate prediction.
Here are The Phoenix’s predictions for this year’s Oscar winners.
Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
This movie consistently won many animation awards for its groundbreaking techniques including the color palette, use of music and comic book-like visuals. It’s truly one of the most unique films of the year and people are pleased with what it’s done for the animation industry and the diversity the cast brings to the film.
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali — “Green Book”
Winning both the Golden Globe for this role and a previous Academy Award for his work in “Moonlight,” Ali is a favorite of the voters and public. He puts in a realistic performance drawing on the audience to understand his position; this emotional appeal is what could win him the award.
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
King won several awards —including the Golden Globe— for this emotionally taxing performance, highly impressing the public. She’s been a prominent figure in the industry for years and many look to this role as the opportunity for her to receive the praise she has been building up.
Best Lead Actor: Christian Bale, “Vice”
The Academy loves when actors play famous historical figures, giving away the Oscar to said men almost every time; famous examples include Daniel Day Lewis in “Lincoln” or last year’s winner Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”). In comparison to the competition, this role demands great versatility. The Academy appreciates people transforming into characters drastically different from themselves.
Best Lead Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Acting fantastically in one of the strongest roles of the year, Colman has a strong chance to win due to her memorable performance as Queen Anne. Her biggest competitor is Glenn Close in “The Wife,” who won the Golden Globe for Best Actress, but Colman’s acting is so fresh it differentiates from the typical acting of the other nominees.
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
A previous Oscar winner, Cuarón crafted a beautiful piece of art with this film. His approach to cinematography, production design and lighting is defined by critics as a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience. He won a myriad of awards for his work, and the Academy is likely to continue the recognition.
Best Picture: “Roma”
“Roma” was Netflix’s first Best Picture nod, marking a monumental moment for the wildly popular streaming service. Not only was the black-and-white film nominated for the most prestigious award the Oscars dole out, it was also recognized in nine other categories. It’s justifiable given how emotionally raw the picture leaves audiences; it’s visionary.
Many film critics were disappointed with the nominations to begin with. Notable snubs include Ethan Hawke (Best Actor for “First Reformed”) and Timothée Chalamet (Best Supporting Actor for “Beautiful Boy”), both of whom gave incredible performances which are winning many other independent film awards, including the Gotham and Spirit Awards.
Another upset came when “If Beale Street Could Talk” wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, despite it being labeled as one of the best of the year by a multitude of critics. With such acclaim, the lack of nominations was shocking.
Netflix Studios received a surprising amount of recognition, leading with 10 nominations for its film “Roma,” tied only with Yorgos Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.” With Netflix previously only making small appearances at awards shows, the question then arises if its nominations suggest the future of how people view movies. More production studios might lean toward streaming services, further altering the industry as a whole.
The ceremony will be hostless after comedian Kevin Hart’s past homophobic tweets resurfaced. That, combined with an above-average amount of upset fans due to the nominations, could lead the Academy Awards toward an interesting night.
The 91st Annual Academy Awards are scheduled to air live on ABC Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.