2019 Oscar Predictions: Who will win and who should win?

Arts and culture reporter Brandon King breaks down his predictions for the 2019 Academy Awards

The nominations for the 2019 Academy Awards have been announced as of Tuesday, Jan. 22. Reactions have been everywhere and varied as usual — and The State Press has allowed me to present my insight on what to expect.

Today, I am taking a look at some of the big categories for the awards, giving my thoughts on who should win and who is most likely to take home the awards at this point. 

Keep in mind that The Oscars are often unpredictable and trends can shift a lot in a month, but it can still be exciting to play a bit of a guessing game with it. 

Best Animated Film:

Nominees: "Incredibles 2", "Isle of Dogs", "Mirai", "Ralph Breaks the Internet", "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

2018 gave us a couple of real animation gems, and this is one category that I think got the field as right as possible. However, there is no feasible reason for why "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" would not take the win. On top of sweeping other animation awards so far, it is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year. Period. On top of that, it is a spectacular pioneer of vividly unique animation combined with emotional storytelling. If it has to be relegated to the animation category, give it this win.

Should Win: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Will Win: "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Dark Horse: "Incredibles 2"

Best Supporting Actress:

Nominees: Amy Adams ("Vice"), Marina de Tavira ("Roma"), Regina King ("If Beale Street Could Talk"), Emma Stone ("The Favourite"), Rachel Weisz ("The Favourite")

If you are going by awards season consensus, you would find very few people who would bet against King for "If Beale Street Could Talk" and — make no mistake — she is a worthy winner if there were any. That being said, if you read my review for "The Favourite", you know I was floored by Weisz' performance in that movie. So, while my heart belongs to Weisz, my brain — and my Oscar pool money — goes to King.

Read More: SP Review: 'The Favourite' is a period piece with originality and amibition

Should Win: Rachel Weisz ("The Favourite")

Will Win: Regina King ("If Beale Street Could Talk")

Dark Horse: Amy Adams ("Vice")

Best Supporting Actor: 

Nominees: Mahershala Ali ("Green Book"), Adam Driver ("BlacKkKlansman"), Sam Elliot ("A Star Is Born"), Richard E. Grant ("Can You Ever Forgive Me"), Sam Rockwell ("Vice")

The "Green Book" train is rolling into the acting categories big time. Despite the controversy of the film itself, do not think that Ali cannot take this one. He has a history with this category because he won the same award for 2016's "Moonlight", and his performance is one of the things that keeps "Green Book" afloat — a win would be deserved. Grant shines in "Can You Ever Forgive Me," with a charm and character progression that is consistently fascinating. With that being said, I also would not count out Elliot for "A Star Is Born" quite yet, because that film has a lot of momentum going for it. Elliot would not be a bad choice for the prize. 

Should Win: Richard E. Grant ("Can You Ever Forgive Me")

Will Win: Mahershala Ali ("Green Book")

Dark Horse: Sam Elliot ("A Star Is Born")

Best Actress:

Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio ("Roma"), Glenn Close ("The Wife"), Olivia Colman ("The Favourite"), Lady Gaga ("A Star Is Born"), Melissa McCarthy ("Can You Ever Forgive Me")

This year's toughest category to peg is Best Actress. Will the Academy go with the awards darling of Close, the critical "favorite" Colman or the pleasant surprise like McCarthy — so glad she got in there, she is excellent in "Can You Ever Forgive Me". On top of that, Aparicio broke me in "Roma", and Lady Gaga was one of the biggest acting revelations of the year. As far as picks go, you would not be wrong picking any of them as the winner. But with the momentum, Close seems a likely winner. 

Should Win: Yalitza Aparicio ("Roma") 

Will Win: Glenn Close ("The Wife") 

Dark Horse: Melissa McCarthy ("Can You Ever Forgive Me") 

Best Actor:

Nominees: Christian Bale ("Vice"), Bradley Cooper ("A Star Is Born"), Willem Dafoe ("At Eternity's Gate"), Rami Malek ("Bohemian Rhapsody"), Viggo Mortensen ("Green Book") 

Dafoe was robbed last year for his magnificent performance in "The Florida Project," but that does not give me hope that he will take it this year either. The race really boils down to the trio of Bale, Mortensen and Malek — all three of whom are in rather divisive films this season. For myself, Malek is the clear winner, just looking at the drive and mannerisms in playing Freddie Mercury. Mortensen, like Ali, could sway a lot of acclaim, and Bale is devilish as Dick Cheney. Who comes out on top? Well, my bet goes to Bale, as Gary Oldman carved a similar awards path in last year's "Darkest Hour," and Bale's performance has been consistently praised in reviews of the film. 

Should Win: Rami Malek ("Bohemian Rhapsody")

Will Win: Christian Bale ("Vice") 

Dark Horse: Viggo Mortensen ("Green Book")

Best Director:

Nominees: Spike Lee ("BlacKkKlansman"), Pawel Pawlikowski ("Cold War"), Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Favourite"), Alfonso Cuaron ("Roma"), Adam McKay ("Vice")

To all the nay-sayers out there, do not count Lee out of this race just yet. There is enough of a swell for "BlacKkKlansman" and enough of an "it's about time" attitude among voters to give Lee the prize. But let's be honest — Cuaron has this in the bag. "Roma" has the most positive word-of-mouth around it, and Cuaron's direction is legendary this time around, embodying a terrific sense of tragic nostalgia to it. 

Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron ("Roma")

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron ("Roma")

Dark Horse: Spike Lee ("BlacKkKlansman")

Best Picture:

Nominees: "Black Panther", "BlacKkKlansman", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "The Favourite", "Green Book", "Roma", "A Star Is Born", "Vice" 

Here it is, the big one: Best Picture. Always the hardest category to predict, this year is difficult as well. I have already mentioned the controversy around some of these films and how it might sway voters. Because of that, I do not see a win coming from "Vice", "Green Book" or "Bohemian Rhapsody". With that in mind, along with the persisting questions of the importance of "Black Panther" and the longstanding history behind "A Star Is Born", you are left with "BlacKkKlansman", "The Favourite" and "Roma". As you may have gathered from this article, I am Team "Roma" all the way, and I also think it has the best chance to win. "BlacKkKlansman" — at least right now — does not have the most momentum behind it, and strangely enough, considering the number of nominations it has, "The Favourite" is not necessarily being pegged as its namesake. So, taking all of those things into consideration — and with the caveat of the awards still being a month away — "Roma" gets my bet for Best Picture. 

Should Win: "Roma"

Will Win: "Roma"

Dark Horse: "The Favourite"

What are your thoughts on the nominees, and who do you have taking home the awards on Feb. 24? Tweet me and let me know! 

Reach the reporter at brandon.D.King@asu.edu or follow @TheMovieKing45 on Twitter.

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