Final Oscars 2019 predictions: Who will win big?


With the big show a week away it’s time to put some money down (if you want) and predict who’s walking away with a golden statue.

If you’re an Oscar pundit then you know the previous year doesn’t actually conclude until the Academy Awards happen, and this year they couldn’t end quicker.

The year that is 2018 was difficult for a variety of different reasons, but since the Academy announced the nominees it’s been one series of disasters after another. From the love of controversial features like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book; Kevin Hart’s hiring, firing, rehiring, and additional firing; to the Academy announcing four nominations would be declared during commercial breaks, only to immediately backpedal; it’s been tough.

The ceremony has a chance to change things up and reestablish themselves as the dominate award show they once were by learning from these mistakes; the big question is will it? The ceremony is this Sunday and we’ll all be ordering in, sitting on our couches, and waiting to see who wins what and, most importantly, who’s wearing what.

As someone enmeshed in this stuff yearly, I’m personally ready to declare 2018 over and done with. The predictions below are our best assumptions based on the evidence we’ve seen throughout the year. Hopefully, they all come to pass and you win your office’s Oscar pool (I’m willing to take a fiver for my tips!).

Best Picture

Best Picture could go so many ways that the sheer amount of permutations is mind-boggling. All the films nominated could work off established narratives, from Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman finally being given an award after a 30-year shut-out, to A Star is Born proving that “popular” films have merit in the Oscar race.

There’s never been a clear front-runner in the last three months, though, and that’s left pundits scratching their heads saying anything goes. BlacKkKlansman is still very much in the race and a win could help wipe away continued criticisms lobbed at the Academy for its lack of diversity. Bohemian Rhapsody is also still a strong contender, as is Green Book, with neither’s controversy regarding its director or content, respectively, dimming its impact. But the one that looks to be taking it home is Netflix’s little Spanish-language film that could, Roma.

The studio has spent millions trying to get Alfonso Cuaron’s story about a maid and the family she cares for an award, and it looks to be paying off. Academy voters have had not only their official screeners — and a wealth of merchandise sent in its wake — but have regular access to it via Netflix.

And with so much talk about making the Oscars relevant again honoring a Netflix movie would finally give them a push into embracing the now dominant release platform out there. Cuaron is also a beloved director and Oscar winner and never forget how much being likable factors into this business.

Prediction: Roma

(L to R) Marco Graf as Pepe, Daniela Demesa as Sofi, Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marina De Tavira as Sofia, Diego Cortina Autrey as Toño, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Photo by Carlos Somonte

Best Actress

Best Actress is tough this year because all five nominees deserve awards. But, as with Best Picture, this is really a three-horse race, with two obvious women in the front. When The Wife was prepping for release early in 2018, critics who’d seen it were declaring she would win the Oscar, and right now that looks as if it’ll come to pass. Close is a seven-time Oscar nominee and if the Academy is predictable in anything it’s that they try to honor someone whose name regularly keeps popping up. Close’s win would be a career Oscar, but it would finally get her the coveted statue.

But, she could just as easily lose that to her closest competition, Olivia Colman. The British star of The Favourite won the Golden Globe for Musical/Comedy and that puts her on an equal pedestal with Close. Colman seems like a longshot at this point, though. The Golden Globe win makes sense, as the category’s specifications aligned with Colman’s character and the Hollywood Foreign Press loves honoring foreign performers.

The true wild card, though, is Yalitza Aparacio for Roma. Akin to Sophia Loren’s win for Two Women in the ‘60s, Aparicio came out of the gate with a fantastic performance and if the voters love Roma enough to award it Best Picture they might be tempted to bring its leading lady along.

Prediction: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Photo Credit: Sony Pictures

Best Actor

This is the only category that appears to be a no-brainer. He’s been a consistent winner throughout this entire award and it looks like he’ll be taking it all the way to the end and that’s Rami Malek.

The star of Bohemian Rhapsody has secured all the necessary prerequisite awards and, honestly, any other actor winning would be considered an act of God. It’s not a universal opinion, but the majority believe that, regardless of Bohemian Rhapsody’s flaws, Malek’s performance is the only saving grace and it looks like it’ll pay off.

Prediction: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Gwilym Lee (Brian May) and Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury) star in Twentieth Century Fox’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. Photo Credit: Alex Bailey TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Best Supporting Actress

Like with Rami Malek, Regina King seems like a fairly foregone conclusion. The star of If Beale Street Could Talk has been racking up award wins for the last several months, and her Oscar gold seems assured. Unfortunately, where Bohemian Rhapsody only deserves one award, If Beale Street Could Talk deserved far more nominations than it received overall. But, at least King, a career actress, gets the recognition she so rightfully deserves.

Prediction: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018). Photo Credit: Annapurna Pictures

Best Supporting Actor

This category is tough because everyone knows the winner, but there’s another nominee just as worthy. Mahershala Ali won an Oscar just last year for his magnetic performance in Moonlight, and as the stoic Don Shirley in Green Book, he gives another equally amazing performance. But considering Green Book’s numerous issues — from its white savior complex to allegations of sexual harassment against director Peter Farrelly and the film’s screenwriter posting anti-Islamic tweets — it’s hard to see Ali’s win as just as a gimmick. If the voters select him, does it say that they know the movie is problematic, but, hey here’s an award for the guy of color so it’s not that racist?

The saddest thing is that it will come at the expense of Richard E. Grant, who gave audiences an empathetic, vulnerable, and fun performance in Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me. If there was a moment to declare a tie it would be in this year’s Best Supporting Actor lineup.

Prediction: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

Best Director

The Best Director race can go different ways depending on if you believe in “the split,” wherein Best Director goes to one film and Best Picture another. Splits help disseminate wealth to all deserving parties, but they happen less often than you’d expect. In fact, it’s more logical to predict one movie will win in both categories than to split them. But over the last few years division is more common and maybe we’ll see it happen again this year.

The two big contenders are Alfonso Cuaron, the Oscar-winning director of Roma, and Spike Lee, helmer of BlacKkKlansman. Each director has their strong points: Cuaron has already won a Best Director award and his movie is universally beloved. Lee is a veteran director whose work has always been thought-provoking and whom the Academy has consistently ignored. This being his first Oscar nomination, giving him a win would be a boon to diversity as well as finally honoring a director who should have multiple awards at this point. Couple that in with Cuaron already having won the Oscar and Lee could definitely be the wild card. This would also allow for BlacKkKlansman to be honored, a feature which has attracted a lot of popular interest (there’s your popular film, Academy).

Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 17: Alfonso Cuaron attends the 71st Annual Writers Guild Awards New York ceremony at Edison Ballroom on February 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Writers Guild of America, East)

Best Original Screenplay

There were a ton of fantastic original screenplays this year, many of which didn’t end up being nominated. (Don’t get me started on the lack of love for Blindspotting and Eighth Grade.) With the WGA win going to the aforementioned Eighth Grade and the USC Scripters’ award going to Leave No Trace, also not nominated, there’s absolutely no clear consensus on what’s going to win in this category. The obvious one to gravitate towards is The Favourite, whose mix of English witticisms and saucy intrigue remains one of the more engaging scripts of the year.

The Golden Globe went to Green Book, though it doesn’t necessarily look like lightning will strike twice here. The screenplay categories tend to go for the wordier features, like The Favourite, and unless Green Book starts to draw steam in bigger categories it doesn’t look like it has enough clout to nab a lone win in screenplay. Then there’s Roma, which, if the movie starts to set up wins in Directing and Picture, screenplay might just be pulled along.

Prediction: Roma

Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón. Image by Alfonso Cuarón.

Next. 19 most anticipated films by women in 2019. dark