Oscars 2019 Predictions

oscars 2019 predictions roma green book a star is born shallow lady gaga olivia colman rami malek host monologue

Here are my predictions – well, they’re only nominally predictions, in many cases they’re closer to abject guesses – for who’s going to win what at the Academy Awards tonight.

It’s worth noting what the bracketed entries mean – I do these with a friend each year, and it’s three points for your first guess, two for second, one for third. So the brackets are what’s next-most-likely, from my ill-informed vantage point.

You can find the full list of nominees here, if you – like me – tend to forget what the rest of them actually are. Otherwise, my predictions are as follows:

Best PictureA Star is Born (Green Book, Roma)

Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón (Spike Lee, Yorgos Lanthimos)

Best CinematographyRoma (The Favourite, Cold War)

Best Actress – Glenn Close (Lady Gaga, Olivia Colman)

Best Actor – Rami Malek (Viggo Mortensen, Christian Bale)

Best Supporting Actress – Regina King (Amy Adams, Rachel Weisz)

Best Supporting Actor – Richard E Grant (Mahershala Ali, Sam Eliott)

Best Original ScreenplayRoma (First Reformed, Green Book)

Best Adapted ScreenplayBlackKklansman (Can You Ever Forgive Me?, If Beale Street Could Talk)

Best Foreign Language FilmCold War (Roma, Shoplifters)

Best Animated FeatureSpider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (Isle of Dogs, Incredibles 2)

Best Animated ShortBao

Best Live Action ShortFauve

Best Documentary ShortBlack Sheep

Best Documentary FeatureFree Solo (Minding the Gap, RBG)

Best Original ScoreIf Beale Street Could Talk (BlackKklansman, Mary Poppins)

Best Original SongShallow (The Place Where Lost Things Go, I’ll Fight)

Best Sound MixingBohemian Rhapsody (A Star is Born, First Man)

Best Sound EditingBohemian Rhapsody (A Quiet Place, First Man)

Best Production DesignThe Favourite (First Man, Roma)

Best Costume DesignThe Favourite (Black Panther, Mary Queen of Scots)

Best Makeup and HairstylingVice (Mary Queen of Scots)

Best Visual EffectsAvengers: Infinity War (Ready Player One, Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Best Film EditingVice (Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book)

As ever, I was quite set upon watching every nominated film; in the end, I didn’t quite manage anything remotely near that. Always the way, I suppose – hopefully I’ll do a better job across 2019. In terms of my own writing, there’s not a lot to point you towards (especially since Beautiful Boy wasn’t nominated), but I’d nonetheless highlight my interview with the team behind the sound design on A Quiet Place.

In the end, I got twelve of the twenty-four right, which I’ve underlined.

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Erik Aadahl & Ethan Van der Ryn on the sound design of A Quiet Place, how they hope it influences other filmmakers, and more

Erik Aadahl Ethan Van der Ryn a quiet place sound designers interview jon krasinski emily blunt noah jupe millicent simmonds silent sonic envelope perspective

I think that the biggest takeaway is that sometimes it can be more powerful and more engaging to play less sound, and have the sound be more focused, than to play a lot of music, a lot of sound effects, a lot of dialogue. Sometimes doing the opposite can actually create a more engaging and powerful experience.

With a lot of blockbusters, there’s been this kind of race to the edge of the cliff sonically with ‘how much louder can everyone get?’ and going bigger and bigger and louder. What happens is there’s kind of this numbing effect to that much volume and I think audiences kind of start to tune out from it – so using negative space in A Quiet Place actually made people tune in. I’ll be excited to see how other filmmakers kind of see that and say “hey, you can have a blockbuster that does something totally different with sound”.

One of the things I did with this one, which is something I always enjoy reading in interviews myself, is ask Erik and Ethan what they thought of some other recent films, specifically which ones they felt had impressive sound design themselves.

It’s not something you always get an opportunity to do – understandably, since, you know, the point of these interviews is to talk about whatever they’re promoting – but it’s often the question that yields the most interesting answer, because it you get to hear what these professionals think of the work of other artists, and how they engage with that work.

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