The FCFF Totally Comprehensive Picks for the Oscars 2019

Another year, another awards season, and you know what that means. Lots of talk about prestigious awards films that you probably haven’t seen. Fortunately for everyone out there, Black Panther is nominated in seven categories this year, which means that almost everyone will be able to participate in the discussion somehow. Mostly joking, but for all of the films that slipped through this year, we’re here to fill you in on what’s winning and what’s going home empty handed. Basically, follow our guide and you’ll be the smartest person at your Oscar party whether it’s about which short documentary or feature film really deserves the prize this year. Our resident expert watches all the films so that you don’t have to.

Here is a guide to the front runners, the spoilers, and his own personal favorites for the 91st Academy Awards:

Image of Oscar.jpg

BEST PICTURE

Starting with the big category. Last year we called this one correctly, predicting Shape of Water to win the prize. This year is a little bit harder to call. Usually Best Picture is a two horse race. Last year was Three Billboards vs Shape of Water, the year before La La Land vs Moonlight. This year there is a front runner, and then there are 4 other films that could come in and shock everyone. This year Netflix has the big hitter of the year, a Mexican film in black & white called Roma. Roma is an incredible film, and if you haven’t already seen it, it’s available on Netflix right now. It seems like the clear favorite, picking up wins all over the place, but it is also in Spanish and is a Netflix film. Never before has a foreign language film won Best Picture, and neither has a movie from Netflix. Some voters will not vote for it based purely on these two things. Which means that there are competitors.

The next most likely winner would be Green Book, which has picked up Golden Globe and Producers Guild Award wins. The film is a lighthearted crowdpleaser that voters may enjoy enough to beat Roma. It has however picked up some controversy along the awards path, with some people saying that the movie provides too simplistic a view of racism, as well as controversies including the writer (who tweeted supporting Donald Trump’s claims that New Jersey muslims celebrated on 9/11), the director (who it has been revealed has pulled his penis out in front of people without consent hundreds of times), and the lead actor (who said the n-word at a Q&A). Still, Green Book has a solid shot at winning, and if you don’t feel confident in my bet on Roma, this should be your next pick.

But don’t count out BlacKkKlansman or The Favourite, which both have all the required nominations to win Best Picture. Normally Best Picture will go to a film that has nominations for Directing, Editing and Writing. Both of these film have all three of those, while Green Book is missing a nomination for Best Director (last winner without this nomination was Argo in 2012), and Roma is missing a nomination for Best Editing (last winner without this nomination was Birdman in 2014).

A Star is Born once upon a time seemed like the one to beat for Best Picture, but it has been losing time after time, making it out of the race. Black Panther seems like a popular pick, but for everyone who loves the film, there are 4 other people who will jump in and tell you “Avengers was better”, it just won’t have the popular support to win. Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody both have a lot of support, but it seems like anyone who doesn’t like these movies, absolutely hates them (me included), which will work against them (Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody have two of the three lowest critic ratings of any Best Picture nominees since 2000).

Most Likely Winner: Roma

Possible Upset: Green Book

Don’t Count These Out: BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite

Out of the Running: Black Panther, Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Star is Born

My Favorite: Roma

BEST DIRECTOR

This one is simple, and you can absolutely count on my pick here. While I’m not 100% certain about Roma winning Best Picture, I AM absolutely certain that director Alfonso Cuaron who made Roma will be winning Best Director right here. He has won every award for Best Director possible, making him the statistic front runner, and also just the right one for the award.

Of the other nominees Spike Lee is next most likely based on him being seen as “overdue” for an Oscar. Yorgos Lanthimos will have some supporters here, but I feel like anyone who would normally vote for something brave and artsy will be voting Cuaron. Adam McKay of Vice made a film far too divisive, and while he’ll have supporters, he won’t have enough. Pawel Pawlikowski who directed the Polish film Cold War is lucky to be nominated. It’s not often that two foreign films break into any category outside of Best Foreign Language Film, and Roma is the clear choice here.

Most Likely Winner: Alfonso Cuaron - Roma

Don’t Count This Out: Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman

Out of the Running: Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite, Adam McKay - Vice, Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War

My Favorite: Alfonso Cuaron - Roma

BEST ACTRESS

At one point it seemed like this category was anyone’s to win, I mean, this is one of the strongest bunches of Best Actress nominees in years, not a single bad performance in here. Now it’s looking more and more like it’s Glenn Close’s to win. Glenn Close has been nominated at the Oscars 7 times now and has never won. It seems like the prize will go to her based on her entire career, as well as her subtle and powerful turn as the wife of a Nobel laureate with a secret in The Wife.

Also in the running for the award, but much less likely are Lady Gaga’s breakthrough performance in A Star is Born, and Olivia Colman’s hilarious and heartbreaking performance in The Favourite.

Also amazing, but with little to no chance of winning are Yalitza Aparacio in Roma (Don’t stress if you haven’t heard this name, she’s a first time, unknown actress and she is brilliant), and Melissa McCarthy’s dramatic, but still very funny performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Like I said, an amazing category full of great performances. But this is Glenn Close’s to lose.

Most Likely Winner: Glenn Close - The Wife

Possible Upset: Lady Gaga - A Star is Born

Don’t Count This Out: Olivia Colman - The Favourite

Out of the Running: Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Yalitza Aparacio - Roma

My Favorite: Olivia Colman - The Favourite

BEST ACTOR

While Best Actress is an incredibly strong category, this category is a little bit pathetic. There are a few great performances in here, but I would say that the majority of the men here do not deserve their nominations. The two front runners here are both performances I do not like at all.

Rami Malek is way out front here for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. While the film itself is extremely divisive, it seems like one thing most people agree on is that Rami Malek elevates the material. I’m not going to say too much about my thoughts on his performance, because you’re here to read predictions, not opinions. But I’ll just say when he wins, I will be disappointed. But it sure is looking like he will win. He picked up the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama (while Bale got comedy), he won the Screen Actors Guild award, and the British Academy Award. Basically he’s won every single precursor, which means he is way out front.

Christian Bale also has some steam here for his performance as Vice President Dick Cheney in the film Vice. I personally wasn’t a fan of his performance in this film, but again, you’re not here for opinions, you’re here for predictions. Bale could sneak in and win here, but I wouldn’t count on it. It happened at the Critics Choice, but that doesn’t guarantee it’ll happen here.

Bradley Cooper once upon a time was the front runner, but he’s lost every award against Rami Malek, despite giving a much stronger performance. Still, if A Star is Born does way better than it should at the Oscars, he might just come in and snag the award.

Viggo Mortensen’s hilarious performance in Green Book hasn’t picked up much steam with awards voters, even as the film continues to pick up tons of awards, and Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate was a bit of a surprise to even be nominated. So don’t bet on either of them being the winner.

Most Likely Winner: Rami Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody

Possible Upset: Christian Bale - Vice

Don’t Count This Out: Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born

Out of the Running: Viggo Mortensen - Green Book, Willem Dafoe - At Eternity’s Gate

My Favorite: Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

If Beale Street Could Talk is one of the best films of the year that got totally forgotten come awards season. But one thing that has not been forgotten is Regina King’s performance as the mother-in-law of a man who is falsely accused of rape. Regina King has picked up every award that she has been nominated for, but the strange thing is she hasn’t been nominated everywhere. She missed out on the nomination for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Emily Blunt won for A Quiet Place (not nominated here). Watch for Regina King to win here, because she seems to be an unstoppable force at any award show where she is included in the nominees.

The next most likely is Rachel Weisz in The Favourite, who alongside her co-star Emma Stone, is nominated in this category. These two performances are some of my favorites of the year, but they have one unfortunate thing working against them. They cancel each other out. Some people who love The Favourite will vote Weisz, and some will vote Stone, meaning that someone else will sneak through the crack and win the award instead. Still, Rachel Weisz has picked up a few awards, and could surprise here. I wouldn’t count on it though.

Most Likely Winner: Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk

Don’t Count This Out: Rachel Weisz - The Favourite

Out of the Running: Emma Stone - The Favourite, Amy Adams - Vice, Marina de Tavira - Roma

My Favorite: Emma Stone - The Favourite

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali won his first Oscar for Moonlight two years ago, and he’s going to pick up another one on the big night this year. He has won every single other award, with none of the other nominees picking up anything. Trust me when I say, Mahershala Ali has this in the bag.

The only other nominee that could possibly sneak in and take it (although it would be one of the biggest upsets of the past few years) would be Richard E Grant’s performance as a charismatic con-man with AIDS in Can You Ever Forgive Me?. His performance bounces off of Melissa McCarthy so well, and elevates her performance with the chemistry created between them.

Count out Sam Rockwell and Sam Elliott who both have roles far too small to be contenders in any way. And Adam Driver, who is one of the least talked about elements of BlacKkKlansman.

Most Likely Winner: Mahershala Ali - Green Book

Don’t Count This Out: Richard E Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Out of the Running: Sam Rockwell - Vice, Sam Elliott - A Star is Born, Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman

My Favorite: Mahershala Ali - Green Book

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

This category would be a lot more complicated if If Beale Street Could Talk was nominated for Best Picture. Before nominations came out, it seemed like Beale Street had this category in the bag, but without a Picture nomination, it seems unlikely.

Watch for BlacKkKlansman to win this category. It’s a very well written and energetic script based on the memoirs of Colorado policeman Ron Stallworth, telling the story about how he, as the first black police officer in Colorado, successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. It seems like Klansman will lose every other category it’s up for, and this one seems like the one they’ll give it as a consolation prize.

Also in the running is A Star is Born, which is another Best Picture nominee, although that film has been criticized for the screenplay being one of the weakest parts of the movie. Can You Ever Forgive Me? could also sneak in and upset, as the screenplay is very witty.

My personal favorite of the category is also the odd one out here, and was a total surprise nomination here. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a beautiful screenplay, comprised of 6 short stories about cowboys and death. It has no chance at winning, but I highly recommend you check it out on Netflix.

Most Likely Winner: BlacKkKlansman

Possible Upset: If Beale Street Could Talk

Don’t Count These Out: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Star is Born

Out of the Running: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

My Favorite: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Green Book is the front runner here. It’s a total writer’s movie. The movie is mostly lengthy conversations between two men in a car, and still, it carries it through in an entertaining way. The script has had some controversy, mostly because one of the writers has been outed as a little wee bit of a racist, despite his film being against racism. That controversy may drag the film down, and if anything else is to win in this category it would be The Favourite.

The Favourite is also a writer’s movie. It’s an oddball script that takes a story which could have easily turned into a boring Downton Abbey clone, and turns it into one of the raunchiest comedies of the year. The story is set in the court of Queen Anne, complete with huge dresses, and men wearing giant powder wigs. The film centers on the Queen, and the two women who fight to be her favourite (get it? that’s the title of the movie!) There is a chance that the hilarity and insanity of this screenplay will push it to a win, but so far, it has lost pretty much everything against Green Book.

Roma is also a beautiful screenplay, but it’s less of a writer’s movie. It’s more of a technical achievement in the way it was shot, the way it was edited, and most importantly, the way the direction brought it all together. It could win based on love for the film, but the screenplay is much less flashy than others in the category.

First Reformed is too small of a film, and the screenplay, while very good, doesn’t really go anywhere. And again, Vice is simply too divisive to win here, and the screenplay is a big part of that. A lot of people complained that Vice condescends its audience, so I can not see that winning here.

Most Likely Winner: Green Book

Possible Upset: The Favourite

Don’t Count This Out: Roma

Out of the Running: First Reformed, Vice

My Favorite: Roma

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

One of the most lauded aspects of Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma is the massive scope of the cinematography. Just look up Roma in google images and look at the camera work in this film. Every frame is shot in gorgeous black and white photography, and every frame looks like a photo you could see in an exhibit. I genuinely can’t see anything else winning this year, because the cinematography is part of what makes Roma so incredible.

Still, at the American Society of Cinematographers awards this year, the OTHER black & white foreign film in the category ended up winning the top prize, with Cold War taking home that important precursor award. It seems like if it was just the directors of photography voting for this award, the winner would be Cold War, but I just don’t see Cold War picking up the popular support that Roma has garnered.

You can probably count out The Favourite, which although it looks beautiful, will turn some people off of it because of its use of fisheye lenses which distort the image. You can also count out A Star is Born, which looks beautiful, but doesn’t keep the camerawork as it’s primary focus. You can definitely count out Never Look Away, which you have probably never heard of, mostly because it hasn’t been released anywhere except for New York City yet. It’s shocking that Never Look Away even got nominated because it’s so unseen. To be honest, I can’t really comment on that film, because it is the only film nominated for an Oscar that I have yet to see (thankfully I’ll be able to see it on the 22nd, just two days before the awards).

Most Likely Winner: Roma

Don’t Count This Out: Cold War

Out of the Running: A Star is Born, The Favourite, Never Look Away

My Favorite: Roma

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

This, alongside the next category, is one of the hardest to predict this year. I’m splitting my picks between the two of them, although it could really go either way, especially because the two front runners here have not competed against each other in any precursor awards. For Costume Design, I’m going to go with The Favourite, here’s why:

The Academy LOVES period pieces in this category. That’s it. In the past few years, the winners have been: Phantom Thread (set in the 1950s), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (set in the 1920s), Mad Max: Fury Road (the odd one out, set in the future), The Grand Budapest Hotel (set in the 1930s), The Great Gatsby (set in the 1920s) and Anna Karenina (set in the 1800s). The Favourite would make a TON of sense to join these winners as it is set in the 18th century.

If Black Panther were to win, it would be the first movie set in the present day to win since 1979, and that was a VERY different time for fashion. Yeah, so that’s a big thing to overcome. But, the costumes in Black Panther are outstanding, especially in building the world of Wakanda.

Mary Poppins also has an outside chance, mainly due to the costumes during the animated sequence, which look like they have been painted on to the actors. That sequence alone could make for an upset here.

Count out Mary Queen of Scots and Buster Scruggs, while both are great, neither is popular enough to get the votes to win here.

Most Likely Winner: The Favourite

Possible Upset: Black Panther

Don’t Count This Out: Mary Poppins Returns

Out of the Running: Mary Queen of Scots, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

My Favorite: Black Panther

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Another two horse race between The Favourite and Black Panther, both of which are clearly amazingly designed movies. This award focuses more on the sets and props instead of costumes, which is why I’m leaning towards Black Panther winning this category.

Black Panther is a huge achievement in Production Design, I mean, just look at how effectively it built the world of Wakanda. Blending African culture with the more futuristic elements of the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes for one of the most beautiful looking films in the 20 film long series.

The Favourite could also win here, as the opposite of Black Panther. Instead of futuristic, this is as old school as they come. The sets and props are British elegance at its peak. I could see either film winning, but I’m giving the edge to Black Panther here.

Mary Poppins Returns also has some excellent production design, but it would be a major upset if it were to win over the duo of Black Panther and The Favourite.

Roma and First Man both have outstanding production design as well, but they are both far too low key to win here against the much flashier films in the category.

Most Likely Winner: Black Panther

Possible Upset: The Favourite

Don’t Count This Out: Mary Poppins Returns

Out of the Running: Roma, First Man

My Favorite: Black Panther

BEST EDITING

This one is really really hard to predict. I mean, first and foremost, this is the worst lineup of any award this year. It was shocking to look at this category and see all of the front runners missing, I mean, Roma, First Man, or A Star is Born easily could have won against every single film in this category. Three of these films actually are pretty poorly edited to be completely honest, which makes this category really hard to predict because I clearly see good editing differently than the Academy.

I THINK that BlacKkKlansman is going to win here. That film has some pretty solid editing in my eyes. It keeps a fast pace, pushes forward its narrative with energy and does some interesting things stylistically. Of the three films I could see winning, this is the one I am hoping gets the votes.

But Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody seem like they can come in and get this one, which is a shame because I think they’re both terribly edited. Vice is really weirdly paced, and the editing doesn’t seem to know how to fix the pacing except for just inserting random freeze frames and stock footage in with an attempt at humor. Unfortunately, I think that people will see Vice’s poor pacing and strange freeze frames as stylish and vote for it. Bohemian Rhapsody is horribly edited, but one thing it does have is a quick pace. It’s just very bland in the style of editing, where it cuts back and forth between people talking, never trying to show anything except for the person who is currently making sound. It has no creativity, and while it has energy, it makes the film really really bland to watch. BUT, both Vice and Bohemian Rhapsody have picked up editing awards at multiple other shows, and might just do so again here.

Don’t count out The Favourite, which won the American Cinema Editors Guild Award for Best Edited Comedy. Nothing would make me happier than to see a film as well paced and creatively edited win this award.

Most Likely Winner: BlacKkKlansman

Possible Upsets: Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody

Don’t Count This Out: The Favourite

Out of the Running: Green Book

My Favorite: The Favourite

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR

This is a clear winner. Vice transforms Christian Bale and Amy Adams into much older, less attractive versions of themselves. This doesn’t seem like much of an achievement, but just look at pictures of Christian Bale in Vice alongside Dick Cheney and try to tell the difference.

I personally don’t think the makeup in Vice is as impressive as the makeup in Border, in which the actors are transformed into trolls, or in Mary Queen of Scots, which covers Margot Robbie with smallpox scars and really creatively represents the Elizabethan era. But neither of these films has the popularity of Vice, and I would doubt that most of the voters have even seen these two movies.

Most Likely Winner: Vice

Out of the Running: Border, Mary Queen of Scots

My Favorite: Mary Queen of Scots

BEST MUSICAL SCORE

The music for If Beale Street Could Talk is sublime, it’s extraordinary, it’s the kind of musical score that you will hear years from now and feel the same way you did the first time you heard it. Even if you haven’t seen the film, go on YouTube, look up Nicolas Britell - Agape, and tell me that this isn’t some of the most beautiful music you have ever heard. If the world is just, If Beale Street Could Talk will win this award, and it’s looking very likely to win.

Mary Poppins Returns could also sneak in here and win, as the film’s score uses musical motifs from all of the movie’s songs, and voters may like the catchiness of this movie’s score, and how you can hum along with the songs that have been sung throughout the film.

Black Panther could also take the prize here for how the composer blended hip hop beats into a more traditional action movie score to make something a little bit more memorable. It would also be a consolation prize to reward the music in this film, as Kendrick Lamar (not nominated in this category) is about to be crushed in our next category.

Most Likely Winner: If Beale Street Could Talk

Possible Upset: Mary Poppins Returns

Don’t Count This Out: Black Panther

Out of the Running: BlacKkKlansman, Isle of Dogs

My Favorite: If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you have PROBABLY heard Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s powerful duet “Shallow” at some point over the past few months. If you have, then you know that this song transcends the movie it is from. It’s a classic song in the making, and while normally this category is full of songs that will be forgotten as soon as the Oscars finish, Shallow is one that will be remembered as one Gaga’s very best songs.

Trust me, nothing else stands a chance. And if you don’t believe me, just go listen to Shallow again and TELL ME that it doesn’t deserve that Oscar.

Most Likely Winner: Shallow - A Star is Born

Out of the Running: All the Stars - Black Panther, I’ll Fight - RBG, The Place Where Lost Things Go - Mary Poppins Returns, When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings - The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

My Favorite: Shallow - A Star is Born

BEST SOUND EDITING

The sound categories are the most misunderstood awards at the Oscars, so I’ll break them down for you. Sound Editing is about the sound effects within the film, it’s about the creativity of how the film uses sound, and the way the effects were built. Usually this award goes to the loudest film in this category, but this year I think it’ll go to the quietest.

A Quiet Place is a movie all about sound. If you didn’t see the film, it’s a post-apocalyptic horror movie about a world that has been destroyed by predatory aliens that hunt by hearing. If they hear you, they will kill you, and this film really uses that premise to scare the crap out of you. The sound effects in this movie are used to advance the story in a way that I think will make voters pick this movie.

But don’t count out First Man, which is the loudest in this category. Rocket ships, space sounds, rattling metal, all of it coming together to make a crazy sound scape.

Although in a perfect world, Roma would win this award. Trust me, if you listen to this Netflix movie on a good surround speaker, you’ll understand why.

Most Likely Winner: A Quiet Place

Possible Upset: First Man

Don’t Count This Out: Roma, Black Panther

Out of the Running: Bohemian Rhapsody

My Favorite: Roma

BEST SOUND MIXING

While Sound Editing is about the sound effects, Sound Mixing is about the way it all comes together. It’s about the way the dialogue is put together, the way the sound effects are integrated into the world of the film. This award more often than not goes to films that use music in the sound mix. Which is why this award could go to one of two films this year.

A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody are both huge films that use music really well. A Star is Born uses new recordings of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper to build its sound mix, while Bohemian Rhapsody uses old recordings of Queen and messes around with them to fit into the film.

While I would definitely prefer to see A Star is Born win of these two, I think that people’s love of Queen will push Bohemian Rhapsody to a win in this category.

Although like the last category, if the world was fair, Roma would win here.

Most Likely Winner: Bohemian Rhapsody

Possible Upset: A Star is Born

Don’t Count This Out: Roma

Out of the Running: Black Panther, First Man

My Favorite: Roma

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

While Black Panther is getting all the nominations in the main categories this year, the other massive Marvel movie of the year looks like the surefire winner of the Visual Effects category. The thing that will probably push it to a win is the character design and rendering of the villain, Thanos, which people are saying is one of the most impressive CGI characters in movie history. This was also just a huge year for Marvel, and Avengers was so big that it seems certain to win here.

But Ready Player One has some amazing CGI as well, and the thing that might just push it to a win is all of the VFX based callbacks to movie history, including a scene where the main characters are inserted into Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. Ready Player One wasn’t as big a movie as Avengers, but in the film industry, it may have enough inside jokes to win this.


First Man on the other hand barely uses CGI at all, relying mostly on practical effects to create the surface of the moon. The moon landing in First Man is an incredible sequence, but it’s not as flashy as the CGI in Avengers or in Ready Player One.

You can count out the Han Solo movie, which flopped in the box office and feels underwhelming visually compared to other recent Star Wars movies, as well as Christopher Robin which brought Winnie the Pooh to life as a tiny, adorable teddy bear.

Most Likely Winner: Avengers: Infinity War

Possible Upset: Ready Player One

Don’t Count This Out: First Man

Out of the Running: Solo: A Star Wars Story, Christopher Robin

My Favorite: Ready Player One

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

The Animated Feature category is usually a game of Disney/Pixar winning year after year. But this year, one of the most highly acclaimed animated movies EVER was released, and has won every single animated award possible so far. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse brings comic books to life in a way that has never been seen before. Spider-Man seems to have this one in the bag.

However, the track record of this category means that Pixar could come in and win simply based on being Pixar. If the voters watch Spider-Man, that’ll win. If Incredibles wins, it just proves that voters don’t actually watch the animated movies.

Most Likely Winner: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Possible Upset: Incredibles 2

Don’t Count This Out: Isle of Dogs

Out of the Running: Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet

My Favorite: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

The Documentary category is always a battle between the political and the apolitical. Usually this category is mixed between films that voters vote for based purely on enjoyment, and films voted for to make a political statement. Last year it was between Faces Places as the enjoyable documentary, and Icarus as the political (a film about the Russian Olympic scandal and about Russian interference in general).

This year is a race between RBG, a film about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, AKA the last thing standing between Donald Trump and a 6-3 republican supreme court. Opposing RBG is Free Solo, a film about a mountain climber and his dreams of climbing the most difficult rock wall in North America without any ropes or harnesses.

I think that this year, the Oscars will go political once again, especially because Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been in the news a lot lately as she battles cancer and still tries to stay on the bench of the supreme court. The Academy will definitely want to bring light to this topic, so I think that RBG is the safe bet to win.

However, Free Solo is being campaigned harder for a win than anything else up for the award, which means it’s sure to be fresh in the minds of voters. It could win, but this could go either way. I’m not absolutely sure about this one, so you’ll have to make the call, political or apolitical?

Most Likely Winner: RBG

Possible Upset: Free Solo

Don’t Count This Out: Minding the Gap

Out of the Running: Hale County This Morning This Evening, Of Fathers and Sons

My Favorite: Minding the Gap

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

Gonna give you a hint here. One of these films is nominated for Best Picture and will probably win, which means that it has a huge leg up on the rest of the films. Roma has this one in the bag.

However, Cold War has a Best Director nomination as well. And it’s possible (but not likely) that Academy voters decide to vote Cold War as a consolation prize, because Roma is already getting Best Picture. There’s a small outside chance of that, but Roma is the safest bet here.

Most Likely Winner: Roma (Mexico)

Don’t Count This Out: Cold War (Poland)

Out of the Running: Capernaum (Lebanon), Never Look Away (Germany), Shoplifters (Japan)

My Favorite: Roma (Mexico)

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

And now, the categories you’ve all been waiting for… The Short Films!!! Congratulations if you made it this far, because these are the hardest categories to predict, mostly because no one has seen these movies. But I’m going to give you a huge heads up here, because I have seen them all, so I’ve got the inside scoop here on what’s good, what’s great, and what’s gonna win.

For Animation, it’s between two films that actually could have very well screened at FCFF this year, based on the fact that they are both made by graduates of Sheridan College’s animation program. The films Weekends and Bao are both set in Toronto and are powerful films that I can guarantee, one of the two will take home this Oscar.

If you saw Incredibles 2 in theatres this year, you saw Bao. Do you remember the horrifying and beautiful short film before the movie in which a middle aged woman creates a dumpling child, raises it, and then eats it? Because that’s one of the nominees, and possibly the winner.

The other potential winner is Weekends, which is a surreal story of a child who deals with his parents divorce by voyaging into his imagination, as he goes back and forth between his mom’s house through the weeks, and dad’s house every weekend.

I’m currently leaning towards Weekends winning the award, because it’s surreal, beautiful and really powerful. But Bao is the one that has been seen by way more people. However popularity doesn’t always matter here.

Of the past 10 years, Disney and Pixar have been nominated for this category 9 times, and has won 3 of those times, which makes me believe that Weekends has the edge here.

Most Likely Winner: Weekends

Possible Upset: Bao

Don’t Count This Out: Late Afternoon

Out of the Running: One Small Step, Animal Behaviour

My Favorite: Weekends

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

Live-Action is the hardest category to predict, usually the presumed front runner gets upset by a random other film, and politics rarely figure in to this category.

As far as I can see, it’s between two Canadian films this year, Marguerite, which is about an old lady who is in love with her caretaker, and Fauve, which is about two young boys who run into tragedy in an unexpected way.

Marguerite is seemingly the front runner according to most people online, but like I said, the front runner here rarely wins. And Marguerite is far too sweet in comparison to the darkness of all the other films in this category. It’s unlikely that Marguerite will stick in voters memories in the same way that Fauve will.

When you finish watching Fauve, it feels like someone has slapped you in the face with a brick. It’s the kind of movie that will stick in your mind for days after watching because of the tragedy that occurs. I really don’t want to spoil it, but it seems like the more likely Canadian movie to win.

Also up for the prize is the American film Skin, which packs a huge emotional punch into it in the same way that Fauve does. For my money, it’s the best short this year, but some voters may see the revenge story as waaaay too much.

Don’t look for Detainment or Mother winning the prize. Detainment is about a real life child murder, and the mother of the dead boy has come out in the news condemning the film’s existence. Mother is a good film, but it’s just too simple to win the prize.

Most Likely Winner: Fauve

Possible Upset: Marguerite

Don’t Count This Out: Skin

Out of the Running: Detainment, Mother

My Favorite: Skin

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM

I can’t really say that I like most of the films in this category, so it’s hard for me to pick a clear winner. It seems like the front runner here is Black Sheep, which tells a story of racism through reenactments and a powerful interview. It’s a timely film, and one that’ll leave voters with a lasting impression.

Period. End of Sentence, which just came out on Netflix, tells the story of menstrual rights advocates in rural India. It’s a really great story, and in my mind, it’s by far the most enjoyable and memorable of any of the films nominated. It also has the bonus of actually being a documentary, while Black Sheep is mostly reenactments. Additionally, since the film was just released on Netflix, it’ll be fresh in the minds of a lot of voters and will hopefully help push it to a win.

I can’t really recommend any of the others, but I will say, picking either Black Sheep or Period. End of Sentence here is a 50/50 chance.

Most Likely Winner: Period. End of Sentence

Possible Upset: Black Sheep

Don’t Count This Out: End Game

Out of the Running: Night at the Garden, Lifeboat

My Favorite: Period. End of Sentence


https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2019

Matthew Downs