It’s an annual tradition in my house. I spend 9 months of the year trying to convince myself that I don’t care at all about movie awards. I don’t need fancy, self-important awards shows to tell me what’s good. Sure, I’m not a critic, but I’m a dude who watches a whole lot of movies. I can decide for myself what’s good. Then, once December rolls around, I’m a triggered, angry mess for 3 long months as the awards roll in for all of the movies that I didn’t end up seeing. Well, not this year. This year, I’ve seen more movies than ever before and I’m ready to not be disappointed come time for Oscar’s big night. So for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of a few of the awards I’m looking forward to with a film/actor or two that should’ve been nominated but wasn’t, the nominee I want to win, and the nominee that I believe will win.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2, Mirai
Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Isle of Dogs
Should’ve been nominated: I’m going to start off here with a pretty boring opinion, but I think the nominations here were pretty good. I haven’t seen Ralph Breaks the Internet or Mirai, but all of the other three were great movies that I really enjoyed.
I want to win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This movie is a game changer in the world of animation. It’s funny, smart and gorgeous to look at. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to visit the Spider-Verse.
Will win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born; Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice; Mahershala Ali, Green Book; Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Should’ve been nominated: Hugh Grant, Paddington 2. The Paddington sequel was one of the first 2018 films I saw and Grant’s performance as aging villainous stage actor Phoenix Buchanan has remained my favorite throughout the entire year.
I want to win: Sam Elliott and his glorious mustache or Adam Driver. Sam Elliott because I love Sam Elliot and the small amount of time he gets in A Star Is Born is very, very good. Adam Driver is just dynamite in BlacKkKlansman. I’m always impressed when someone plays a role of someone who is playing a role and Driver does it about as well as anyone I’ve seen.
Will win: Richard E. Grant. I haven’t seen Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but he seems to be winning everything else.
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk; Amy Adams, Vice; Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Emma Stone, The Favourite; Marina de Tavira, Roma
Should’ve been nominated:Rachel McAdams, Game Night. She’s a total delight and boasts a comedic timing that is absolutely on point in the funniest movie of the year. “But she’s a lead, Jeremy,” you might say. And you’d be right, but so are Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.
I want to win: Regina King. I haven’t seen the movie, but I hear she’s great and I think the Academy finally makes up for snubbing her work in Jerry Maguire in 1996.
Will win: Regina King
Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale, Vice; Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born; Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book; Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Should’ve been nominated: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed. Paul Schrader’s film is criminally underrepresented in this year’s nominations. Sure it got a screenplay nod, but it very easily could have gotten a director and picture selection as well. Being left off of those lists is understandable. It was a strong year in film. What isn’t understandable is Ethan Hawke not being recognized for what is arguably the best work he’s done in a very long and storied career.
I want to win: Bradley Cooper
Will win: Christian Bale. Rami Malek does have momentum in this race, but for some reason, Hollywood is really keen on Vice. And Bale’s transformation just to get in character is easily the best part of Vice.
Actress in a Leading Role
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born; Glenn Close, The Wife; Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Should’ve been nominated: The list here is really long. Regina Hall (Support The Girls) and Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) both have strong arguments. But if you would’ve told me that Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade was simply video of an awkward teenage girl being filmed without her knowledge, first I would’ve thought that was super creepy, but second I totally would’ve believed you. That’s how amazing Elsie Fisher is in that film.
I want to win: Lady Gaga
Will win: Glenn Close. Because no one has seen The Wife and the Academy hates me.
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman; Alfonso Cuarón, Roma; Adam McKay, Vice
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite; Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Should’ve been nominated: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born. I don’t understand how Adam McKay got a nomination over Cooper in this race. Vice is fiercely adequate as a film, but from Adam McKay it’s hardly a stand-out. It’s an angrier The Big Short with the smugness turned up to 11. I don’t think it should’ve been shut out, there are some legitimately great performances that deserve to be recognized, but it doesn’t belong anywhere in the vicinity of this category or Best Picture.
I want to win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman. Some people might call a win for Lee a career achievement award. I think those people would be wrong. BlacKkKlansman is one of the most important films of the year and Lee presents it in a package that is funny, intriguing, intense, and uncompromising.
Probably will win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma. I’m not sure if it’s the dog crap or the naked martial arts, but people are super into Roma. In all seriousness, it is a beautiful film and every moment feels crafted with love. I wouldn’t at all be upset to see Cuarón go home with the statue.
Black Panther, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman, Roma, A Star Is Born
Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite
Should’ve been nominated: Blindspotting. It’s better than anything else on this list. Full stop. No snark, no quips, it’s better than anything else on this list.
I want to win: A Star Is Born is my favorite movie nominated, but as an unashamed lover of superhero movies, I’d love to see Black Panther go home a winner.
Probably will win: Roma. If I’m being honest, picture is the only category where I really don’t have any idea what’s going to win. I’d love to think that A Star Is Born would have a good chance because of how well it’s performed at the box office since it’s release in October, however that’s hardly an indicator of awards success. Roma is currently the odds on favorite, most likely due to it nearly sweeping the critic awards so far this year. But I think this is looking like a pretty tight race, so I’d keep checking in over there until you have to turn in your picks for the office Oscar pool.
There you have it. Those are my picks. Get your bets in on time. I’ll take 60% of your winnings and you can cover any losses (there won’t be any). And as a bonus for making it this far, I’ll give you one more quickie: I don’t want to be over-dramatic, but if “Shallow” doesn’t win Best Original Song, I’ll light myself on fire. Your move, Academy.