Hey you! Yeah, you! Want to win some money in your office Oscar pool? You’re in the right place! I’ve been trying to track the 25 Oscar categories over the last few months, getting you the answers you need and deserve. In past years, I’ve rarely gotten less than 18 right. However, this year is a weird one, with a lot of different question marks up and down the ballot. On one hand, it’s exciting. On the other, it’s terrifying, because I want to win. Anyways, here’s your OSCARS CHEAT SHEET for Sunday!
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Marguerite
This one’s literally always just a guess, but it’s where Oscar pools are won and lost, so pick wisely.
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Bao
Pixar’s short before Incredibles 2, Bao is the only one of these I’ve seen, but it’s a really sweet, tender short, and certainly would deserve the win.
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Black Sheep
Again, always just a guess.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Free Solo
Minding the Gap and RBG are the two nominees I’ve seen, and both of them deserve recognition, but the National Geographic doc Free Solo seems to have the momentum needed to pull this out.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG : “Shallow”- A Star is Born
Barring an upset from Kendrick Lamar and SZA for their Black Panther anthem “All the Stars”, “Shallow” should result in Lady Gaga’s first Oscar, having dominated the charts from the moment the movie was released
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Roma
The Mexican film is the only one in the category also nominated for Best Picture, and therefore feels like a lock. The only other nominee with spoiler potential is probably the Polish black-and-white drama Cold War.
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Vice
Christian Bale is nearly unrecognizable as former Vice President Dick Cheney, layered under pounds of facial makeup and prosthetics.
BEST SOUND EDITING: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl-A Quiet Place
I might be guilty of going with my heart on this one, but if there’s any category where A Quiet Place deserves to win, it’s this one. First Man and Bohemian Rhapsody are also strong contenders.
BEST SOUND MIXING: Bohemian Rhapsody
Despite any other problems I may have with Bohemian Rhapsody, the Live-Aid concert recreation is indeed stunning, and this seems like the place where the Academy will reward it. Once again, First Man could play spoiler.
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: First Man
Avengers: Infinity War is in this category, and features more visual effect-aided characters than you can count. But this is the chance for the Academy to recognize the woefully under-recognized Neil Armstrong biopic, with its dazzling filmmaking and trips to space.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: iona Crombie, Alice Felton-The Favourite
Period piece dramas generally do very well in this category, and The Favourite is the darling period piece of the year. Black Panther could play spoiler with its imagining of Wakanda.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Sandy Powell-The Favourite
Same story with Costume Design as Production Design, with double nominee Sandy Powell set to win the award barring a Black Panther upset.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Ludwig Goransson-Black Panther
The epic feel of Goransson’s Black Panther score has already earned him a win at the Grammys, and this seems like an appropriate place to reward the superhero flick, despite stiff competition from If Beale Street Could Talk and BlacKkKlansman (with a score by Skidmore College composer Terence Blanchard).
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
This is as much of a slam dunk as it gets during Oscar night. Spider-Verse has won pretty much every major accolade, and unless Pixar bias gives Incredibles 2 a massive upset, that narrative will continue.
BEST FILM EDITING: Hank Corwin-Vice
This category is very difficult to predict, as it’s often paired with a Best Picture win, but this year is wide open. Vice has some flashy moments of editing, so I’m going with that, but don’t be surprised if this one’s wrong.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Alfonso Cuaron-Roma
Adding to the personal nature of the picture, Cuaron shot his own script and brought his vision to life, and the results are absolutely stunning, even in a NETFLIX browser window.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee-BlacKkKlansman
This is a tough one, because Can You Ever Forgive Me? took home the WGA award for this category, but with BlacKkKlansman unlikely to win some of the other major awards, Spike Lee might get his first Oscar right here.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly-Green Book
Four of the heavyweights for Best Picture fight in this category, and while I’d personally go with any other choice, Green Book has been a darling throughout the awards season and might get recognition for that with this trophy.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali-Green Book
Vying for this award for the second time in three years, Ali has done extremely well for himself in previous months, but can he finish the job? His greatest competition is probably Richard E. Grant with his eccentric Can You Ever Forgive Me? performance, but I don’t see anyone cooling off Ali’s hot streak.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King-If Beale Street Could Talk
By far the most wide open of the acting categories, and I genuinely have no idea what’s going to happen. We all thought the Screen Actors Guild awards would give us some clarity, but then they gave that to Emily Blunt, who isn’t even nominated. You would think a part of the one-two punch of Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone from The Favourite would lock this down, but I’m actually counting on them to split the votes, which often happens when you have two powerhouse performances from the same movie competing in the same category. That leaves the door open for Regina King’s phenomenal If Beale Street Could Talk performance to give that excellent film some recognition.
BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close-The Wife
With respect to the other three ladies, this is a two-horse race between acting veterans. Close is long overdue for one of these, and it feels like this is the year, but an upset for Colman’s outstanding work in The Favourite would not surprise me in the slightest. The Oscars like to give out legacy awards, and the Fatal Attraction star has already been nominated 6 times in the past. I think the 7th time will be the charm.
BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek-Bohemian Rhapsody
It feels like this race should be closer than it is, but if you look up and down the major awards circuit, Malek has cleaned up, including the all-important SAG win last month. Again, my problems with Bohemian Rhapsody aside, Malek is very good as the rock icon, and though I’m personally rooting for Bradley Cooper, I won’t poo-poo his accomplishments too much.
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron-Roma
No matter how Best Picture turns out, I have no reservations saying that Cuaron will win here. Spike Lee is the only one I could see taking this one from Cuaron, who would win the Best Director award for consecutive films (he won in 2013 for Gravity, but lost Best Picture).
BEST PICTURE: Roma
With all of the tracking I’ve been doing this season, this feels like a final showdown pitting Green Book versus Roma, but a win for any of the 8 movies nominated could be justified by some sort of explanation. Green Book and Roma are the two main contenders, but Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, and The Favourite could make things very interesting if they start racking up wins throughout the night. Still, I’m going to stick with Roma, the Netflix distributed critical darling, to pick up the win. I hope I’m right!