Predicting the 2019 Oscars major award winners

Forecasting this year's already-controversial Academy Awards

A still from Oscar nominee  Roma.
Screenshot from Netflix

While this year’s Oscars are still a month away, the award ceremony's already found itself clouded in controversy. The show will be hostless for the first time since 1989, leaving the focus solely on the awards for the film industry’s biggest night.

Here are some predictions on who will leave with a trophy at the coming Academy Awards.

Best Picture: Roma

People underestimate how many times underdog films have won in Academy history. 

While Roma is hailed as a beautiful and brilliant film, it’s winner potential has been overlooked by critics. In 2016, very few analysts predicted Moonlight, the micro-budget A24 film, to win. Few also predicted Shakespeare in Love beating Saving Private Ryan, or the wins of Slumdog Millionaire and The King’s Speech.

The point is the award is called “Best Picture” and not “Most Popular Picture.” My money’s on Roma to be the Academy’s first-ever Foreign Film to win the honour.  

Best Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife

Despite The Wife’s splotchy screenplay, Glenn Close’s impressive performance rides the subtle momentum she adds as the film’s narrative progresses. What begins as an obedient and fairly ordinary wife character evolves into a highly emotional and unexaggerated explosion of suppression, brought on by a life spent in her husband’s shadow.

If Close does win, it’ll be her first Oscar win after seven nominations—though this honour pales in comparison to her 2013 honorary degree from Queen’s.

Best Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Similar to Close, Rami Malek gives a standout performance as Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Malek brings a layered, dynamic portrayal of Mercury while also depicting the challenges of addition and AIDS the rock star endured through his life.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

A possible Best Picture contender, Green Book, has been plagued with controversies. Despite the negative buzz surrounding the film, which is based on true events, two impressive performances from Viggo Mortison and Mahershala Ali stand out.

Ali is the frontrunner for his powerful performance as Don Shirley. Ali’s acting in the film is incredibly magnetic: it's simplistic, but a few emotional moments in the film remind viewers of the actor's immense talent.

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

While I’m very excited for the day the extraordinarily versatile Amy Adams brings home her first Oscar, Regina King has dominated awards circuits thus far for her role as a worried mother in If Beale Street Could Talk. Her performance in director Barry Jenkins’ second film frequently showcases King’s incredible range as an actress.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma is film in its purest, most artful form, and the movie is undoubtedly the best work of his career thus far. His direction is precise and beautiful, creating a moving experience for viewers. Roma reveals Cuarón’s extraordinary gift as a director.

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