2019 Oscars Preview

I’ve been following movies and the Academy Awards for as long as I can remember and for more than a decade I’ve made it a point to see all of the Best Picture nominees prior to the big ceremony. I will release a ranking of my favorite Best Picture nominees and which ones I think will win.

Most years it’s pretty clear which two or three films have a chance to take home that golden statuette.

Last year, I assumed Roma, A Star is Born and Green Book would be the best contenders and Green Book was victorious.

The Shape of Water was no surprise to me the year before that, although Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri had a chance to upset. 

And the battle between La La Land and Moonlight was pretty clear, although little did we know the announcement would be so complicated.

For this year, there’s four or five films that have a chance, which is kind of odd.

Parasite, 1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman and Jojo Rabbit all lead the pack when you consider wins in previous award shows leading up to Oscar night. Awards like the Golden Globes, Critics Choice, Screen Actors Guild, the BAFTAs, Writers Guild and more are all predictors of who will win. But no clear frontrunner has emerged.

So here’s who I’m predicting will take home the gold this Sunday.

BEST FILM: PARASITE

This will be historic because it’ll be the first time a foreign language film takes home Best Picture. Considering there’s no real frontrunner, I think that history will persuade voters and they’ll choose this genre-bending thriller from South Korea. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if 1917 or Once Upon A Time in Hollywood win since they won best drama and best comedy at the Golden Globes.

BEST DIRECTOR: SAM MENDES (1917)

There’s a good chance that Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite) or Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) win, but I think the voters will split the vote between best picture and best director and honor Mendes, who previously won in his debut film American Beauty. 1917 is a technical marvel and while it might not have the acting or emotion of Marriage Story or the other nominees, it’s definitely a superbly crafted film that’s amazing to look at.

BEST ACTOR: JOAQUIN PHOENIX (JOKER)

Like the rest of the acting categories I’ll mention later on, he’s been sweeping the award show circuit and his win is nearly guaranteed. Not only did he give an excellent performance in Joker, but he’s long overdue for this award after giving amazing performances in Walk the Line, The Master, Her and more. Personally, I also really like Adam Driver’s performance in Marriage Story and he’s an Indiana native but I think he’s going to have to wait for another year.

BEST ACTRESS: RENEE ZELLWEGER (JUDY)

I watched this movie and while I didn’t love the film I was impressed by her performance. She inhabits the role of Judy Garland and she’s been sweeping the awards circuit. Personally, it felt a little Oscar-baitey to me and I would have preferred Saorise Ronan in Little Women, but Zellweger will likely take home her second Oscar on Sunday.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: BRAD PITT (ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD)

Brad is due. Again, another actor who’s been sweeping the awards and he’s been around for so long and has appeared in so many Best Picture nominees and his only Oscar win so far was as a producer for 12 Years A Slave. He’ll finally win an acting Oscar and it’s fine by me since he gives a career-best performance and shines in a film that I really liked but I didn’t love. Despite any of my issues with the movie he was in, Pitt was electric on screen and I applaud his win. I am disappointed though that Willem Dafoe wasn’t nominated for The Lighthouse, a small black-and-white indie film released by A24 this year. You’re glued to the screen when he acts in this film and Dafoe is past due for an Oscar win (I was disappointed that he lost Best Actor to Gary Oldman two years ago. Dafoe was fantastic in The Florida Project that year).

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: LAURA DERN (MARRIAGE STORY)

This might be the only win for this fantastic movie made by Noah Baumbach, husband of another Best Picture nominee director Greta Gerwig. Dern brings her character to life and shines in only a few scenes and she’s also sweeping the awards leading up to the Oscars (notice a pattern?). I don’t see her having much of a threat but Scarlett Johannson could upset. I’m happy that newcomer Florence Pugh received a nomination but she won’t win. I was surprised that Jennifer Lopez was snubbed for Hustlers. I wasn’t surprised but disappointed that Zhao Shuzen wasn’t nominated for The Farwell. She was the heart of that movie.

MY PERSONAL RANKINGS (1 BEING MY FAVORITE):

9. JOJO RABBIT

8. ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

7. THE IRISHMAN

6. JOKER

5. 1917

4. LITTLE WOMEN

3. MARRIAGE STORY

2. PARASITE

1. FORD V FERRARI

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