It’s been an interesting Oscar season, to say the least. There have been a bunch of encouraging firsts and a few head-scratching steps backward.
While we could go on about the off-screen drama (and we have), tonight is about the films. It’s about their power to entertain, enlighten, and make us question. We would argue that this year’s nominees have all those qualities in spades. You may not agree with their messages or the people behind the camera, but they’re sparking discussions and that’s a good thing.
And at the very least, the off-screen drama is making for some serious Academy indecision. Literally, anyone could win almost every category.
Without further ado, let’s get this show on the road. We’re making our picks, as usual. Just keep in mind that this is not a normal Oscars, so don’t judge us too harshly…
Best Supporting Actor
Zer: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” — I can feel the judgment of serious Oscar “experts,” and I don’t care. It’s been a joy watching Mr. Grant make the awards rounds this year, and I hope he wins. The world needs to witness the pure light and genuine gratitude that will be his acceptance speech.
Stephanie: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” — Mahershala Ali of “Green Book” is the favorite for this category and it’s well-deserved, but if ever there were an upset to be had, this is the one. I could also see the Academy giving the honor to Sam Elliott in “A Star is Born,” who was long overdue for a nomination.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Zer: Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Stephanie: Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehane “Vice”
Best Costume Design
Zer: Sandy Powell, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Stephanie: Sandy Powell, “The Favourite”
Best Documentary Feature
Stephanie: “RBG” — As though there’s another choice.
Best Sound Editing
Zer: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, “A Quiet Place”
Stephanie: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, “A Quiet Place”
Best Sound Mixing
Zer: Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Stephanie: Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl, “A Quiet Place”
Best Production Design
Zer: John Myhre and Gordon Sim, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Stephanie: Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton, “The Favourite”
Best Foreign Language Film
Zer: “Roma” — It seems unlikely that the only film also nominated for Best Picture will not win, but we will see.
Stephanie: “Roma” — There’s very little debate to be had here.
Best Supporting Actress
Zer: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” — Ms. King is the only Golden Globe winner I am confident will repeat and with good reason. She is perfection.
Stephanie: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk” — This is a tough one, because this category is stacked, but with Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone likely splitting a lot of the vote (and don’t get me started on Amy Adams…who should have one for “Arrival”), I think Ms. King will be hearing her name called this evening.
Animated Short Film
Zer: “Bao” — Pixar works their magic again. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel mildly bad and morbid about your bao cravings afterward.
Stephanie: “Bao” — I’m definitely “not crying” and “not getting hungry” just thinking about this short.
Best Animated Feature Film
Zer: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” — I think it’s going to be a good night for the comic book fans. This film’s acceptance by the powers-that-be as well as “Black Panthers” nomination are an encouraging sign that Hollywood opinions are changing.
Stephanie: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” — In a different world, this movie would have been up for Best Picture too, but the Academy just got around to nominating superhero movies for Best Picture, so I don’t think we’re quite at animated superhero movies yet. Someday…
Best Visual Effects
Zer: Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick, “Avengers: Infinity War” — We’ll see on this one. Superhero films popping up in the “important” categories kind of throws off the usual prediction formula.
Stephanie: Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Dan Sudick, “Avengers: Infinity War”
Best Film Editing
Zer: Barry Alexander Brown, “BlacKkKlansman”
Stephanie: John Ottman, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Best Documentary Short Subject
Zer: “Period. End of Sentence” — What can I say? I’m a sucker for punctuation.
Stephanie: “Period. End of Sentence.” — Punctuation puns and a story of women helping women? That’s all I need to know.
Best Live-Action Short Film
Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Zer: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Stephanie: Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Zer: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Stephanie: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”
Zer: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Stephanie: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Best Original Score
Zer: Marc Shaiman, “Mary Poppins Returns”
Stephanie: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Original Song
Zer: “Shallow” by Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born” — It’s Lady Gaga, end of statement.
Stephanie: “Shallow” by Lady Gaga, “A Star is Born” — But I’d also like “Where the Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” to pull an upset.
Zer: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman” — This is Spike Lee’s first nomination for Best Director. Take a look at all the film’s he’s directed, and let that fact sink in. Then remind yourself that there is still some good in the world. Maybe watch a puppy video. The point is, this is bigger than his work on one film, and it’s long overdue.
Stephanie: Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman” — I know Alfonso Cuarón is expected to win this one, but this nomination is so overdue for Spike Lee, and Cuarón has previously been awarded, so we shall see.
Zer: Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody” — I have no idea, but Mr. Malek as Freddie Mercury was one of my favorite performances this Oscar season. That has to count for something, right?
Stephanie: Rami Malek “Bohemian Rhapsody” — This is a tough category, but will likely come down to Mr. Malek or Mr. Bale, who was absolutely uncanny as Dick Cheney in “Vice.”
Zer: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” — I feel like this is Ms. Colman’s to lose. I’ll admit that it’s hard to bet against Glenn Close, but my gut is telling me the Queen will prevail.
Stephanie: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite” — I know Glenn Close is expected to win, but I have a good feeling about the Queen on this one.
Zer: “Black Panther” — The math says “Roma” will win this category. I’m not sure the math is right. This category seems to be completely up for grabs. It seemed like a longshot for “Black Panther” to even end up in this category. Despite the odds, they’re here. I’m going against the math and with “Black Panther.”
Stephanie: “The Favourite” — Really, this category is up for grabs…and I wouldn’t be mad about “Black Panther” making Oscar history. However, as one of the most nominated films of the night (tied with “Roma”), I’m going with “The Favourite” to be a favorite tonight.