The 2018-2019 awards season has been one of controversy, new steps for representation, and unique perspectives. The films that are nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards are nothing short of extraordinary. With one of the only foreign films being nominated for best picture, films with diverse casts, and a superhero film nominated for best picture, the selection is incredibly unique.
The best picture category this year is filled with lots of new and diverse options compared to years before. The Oracle staff predicts that “The Favourite” will win the Oscar for best picture. The director of “The Favourite”, Yorgos Lanthimos, has previously gained award recognition for his film “The Lobster”. This film is also a popular pick because of the cast featuring Emma Stone (a previous Oscar winner), Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman. So far, “The Favourite” has won “Outstanding British Film of the Year” at the 2018 BAFTA awards and is a popular prediction for Best Picture from many film critics.
“The Favourite” is also The Oracle’s pick for best picture. The film overall is the most deserving for the award because of the great directorial choices, cinematography, and ensemble. The overall witty dialogue and unique story created a new experience for viewers. The ensemble, filled with many powerful leading women who also play queer characters, gave great representation in a film this year.
For best actor, The Oracle staff predicts that Rami Malek will win for his lead role as rock legend Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This film made waves this year with music fans and movie viewers alike, even if it was controversial because of its timeline and inaccuracy. Malek has swept many best actor awards this season, including a BAFTA award, a SAG award, and a Golden Globe. He is expected by many critics to take the Oscar as well.
On the other hand, The Oracle’s pick for best actor is Bradley Cooper for his role in “A Star is Born”. This role is one that was quite unique and out of the norm for Cooper, as he has multiple musical numbers. Many viewers were surprised at his singing abilities, which held up next to Lady Gaga. He is also the director of the film, which has been created several times and is a popular award contender.
Staff members looked for a leading woman who stuck out in the best actress category, and that actress is Yalitza Aparicio for her debut performance in “Roma.” Yalitza has been nominated for several awards this season, however, has yet to win any extremely notable awards. So, she may not be the obvious choice, however, she has become a critic favorite from her performance in “Roma,” which happens to be a foreign film. Because traditionally actors from foreign films are separated from English films at the Oscars, Yalitza stands out in the category and therefore is a top choice for the award.
Although Yalitza is a critic favorite, Lady Gaga has gained lots of buzz and support from fans and viewers of the Oscars for her role in “A Star is Born” and she is the staff’s pick for best actress. This is the first Oscar nomination for Gaga and one of her first notable lead performances. Although she is a great actress, the part of her performance that really supports her case for winning the Oscar is her singing. Gaga is a full-time musician, so in this role, it being a musical, she has something that stands out amongst the other women in her category.
The Oracle’s prediction for the winner of Best Supporting Actor category is Mahershala Ali for his performance in “Green Book.” Though the movie was criticized for its use of the white savior trope, Ali’s performance has still gained critical acclaim. The actor has won this award before, for his role in “Moonlight” in 2016.
Though Adam Driver has been acting for years, he received much wider recognition after his role in “The Force Awakens.” Since then, however, he’s taken on a variety of different roles, including one in “Blackkklansman.” The Oracle picked Driver for Best Supporting Actor because of his stand-out performance in this amusing, but deeply frightening, adaptation.
Amy Adams’ performance in her role in the satirical biopic “Vice” caught the eye of many critics and the staff has predicted her to win best supporting actress. The movie revolves around the political ascendency of former Vice President Dick Cheney, with Adams portraying his wife. Her presence in Cheney’s life is immovable, as the character’s perseverance pulls Cheney out of the darkest parts of his life. Her performance is outstanding and empowering, showing the absolute determination exhibited by many politicians’ spouses, definitely deserving of Best Supporting Actress.
For Best Supporting Actress, the staff has selected Emma Stone for her role in the darkly comedic film “The Favourite.” The film as a whole has won numerous awards. Stone too, has collected a number of accolades, but has yet to win anything at the Academy Awards. Her role in this most recent film, however, has been praised for its empowering, fanged presence.
Directing is what makes a movie, and this year’s best director category is filled with many powerful contenders, however, The Oracle predicts that Yorgos Lanthimos will win for “The Favourite.” Lanthimos has received lots of buzz this awards season from critics and film buffs alike for his placement of actors and props and how he uses different camera angles to make the audience feel like they are in the room with the actors.
Alfonso Cuarón stuck out for his unique perspective and directorial choices in “Roma” and was selected by The Oracle staff members as a favorite in the best director category. The way that Cuarón goes about placing his characters helps to develop a tone that the audience can feel while watching the film. Also, his choice to create the film in black and white and the way he uses sound stick out in a category with lots of more traditional films.
The Oracle’s prediction for the winner of Best Animated Feature also happens to be “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” When this movie released, it made waves, not only as the newest Marvel movie on the market, but also for its diversity and urban feel. Marvel, currently, isn’t exactly the most diverse franchise, but this film demonstrated that it is heading in the right direction. Fans rejoiced at the black representation in this film, and while many other factors make this movie fantastic, this made the movie even more enjoyable for many. The animation style is also unique and unpredictable, with a soundtrack worth listening to.
The staff’s pick for Best Animated Feature is “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” While many of the animated film nominations are deserving, this movie in particular stood out to the staff. Not only was it reminiscent of previous Marvel films, the movie was undoubtedly fun. It took fresh twists on the old Spider-Man story, with an animation style that can only be described as enthralling. Very different from past franchise films, this animated flick had a stellar cast and a deeply moving storyline that still managed to contain comedic elements. As a whole, even though the film was a remake, it felt wholly original and unique.
The staff’s predicted winner for Best Adapted Screenplay is “A Star is Born.” This movie has been nominated for many, many awards, and has already won numerous accolades. It’s likely to win in this category as well, because this is not the first time its story has been put on the big screen. The tale behind “A Star is Born” has already been recreated four times, but this is a more modern take, as well as a much more popular one.
“Blackkklansman,” adapted from a book published under the same name in 2014 by Ron Stallworth, is the Oracle’s pick for Best Adapted Screenplay. Oftentimes, book-to-movie adaptations can fall flat, not including enough detail from the novel for the film to remain enthralling. “Blackkklansman,” however, does a phenomenal job of this. The movie’s pacing is nearly perfect in its retelling of this true story.
The original screenplay category is often overlooked by casual Oscar viewers, but in reality, screenplays are one of the most important parts of the film. The Oracle has predicted that “Roma” will take home the Oscar. Because it is a foreign film, the dialogue sticks out to the Academy, therefore making it a much more interesting pick than other films in the category. “Roma” has been nominated for best original screenplay at several award shows but has yet to have a win.
“Roma” is also the Oracle’s pick to win the Oscar for original screenplay because of the story’s unique plot and the perfect placement and word choice when it comes to dialogue. Parts of the plot are powerful enough to make the audience go from smiling to crying along with the characters as they go through various triumphs and lows. The familial aspect of the film gives a strong emotional pull that keeps the audience on edge throughout the film.
Finally, for cinematography, the Oracle’s prediction is once again “The Favourite” directed by Yorgos Lanthimos. The film is filled with wide spinning shots that make the audience feel like they are in the film. The fast-paced shots that show various parts of the room keep up with the quick and witty pace of the movie and add to the film’s clever nature. “The Favourite” is also a top pick amongst critics.
For the Oracle’s cinematography pick, “Roma” yet again stood out. Director Alfonso Cuarón has created with his film an almost surreal world with long black and white shots that don’t move, focused in on a particular subject, something that is unique to his directorial style. The cinematography makes the audience feel like they are watching the characters’ lives play out from afar, something that works perfectly with the tone of the film. “Roma” is a film that audiences could not take their eyes off of, and for that reason, it deserves the award.
With lots of amazing, groundbreaking, and sometimes controversial films, the 2019 Academy Awards are sure to be filled with lots of deserving people taking home Oscars. Make sure to watch the Oscars February 24, on ABC to see all the winners.
To read more about “Bohemian Rhapsody” read The Oracle’s review here.
To read more about “Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse” read The Oracle’s review here.
Grace Beilman // Staff Writer
Jordyn Dees // Opinion Editor