UPDATE: Read all Oscars 2019 winners here.
Here are our complete predictions for every categroy at the 2019 Oscars. The 91st Academy Award nominations have The Favourite leading the pack, but who will win on the big day itself?
This year’s nominations proved to be the epitome of a mixed bag. Once again, the Best Picture category settled on eight nominees despite there being room for ten. There were some surprise omissions – no Bradley Cooper for Best Director, no Timothee Chalamet for Best Supporting Actor, no If Beale Street Could Talk for Best Picture – but also a few delightful surprises, like the two female stars of Roma, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, landing acting nominations. This was also the year the superhero film finally broke through to awards glory in a major way, with Black Panther landing seven nominations, including Best Picture. The Favourite and Roma are tied with ten nominations each, with A Star is Born and Vice landing eight each.
Read More: Full List of 2019 Oscar Nominations
The month since has (inevitably) beem spent fighting over who should win, who will win, and who should have been nominated in the first place. For now, here are predictions of who will take home Oscar gold on February 24.
Last Updated: February 21, 2019
Best Picture – Roma
Alfonso Cuarón's long-time passion project Roma has been the subject of many an awards season debate. It has bags of awards under its belt already, including the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, but many had predicted that its status as a Netflix exclusive would hinder its chances at the Oscars. Cuarón and company needn't have worried, as Roma outperformed even the most optimistic expectations and bagged 10 nominations. Now, going into the official race itself, Roma is the favorite for Best Picture, and with good reason: It's a sumptuously made film that shows Cuarón, already an Oscar winner himself, at the peak of his powers. Plus, in a year with more controversial Best Picture choices, including Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book, Roma may oddly end up being a safe consensus pick.
Best Director – Spike Lee
If there was any justice in the world, Spike Lee would already have won a Best Director Oscar at least once in his career. That he has never even been nominated in the category remains one of the Academy’s most egregious snubs in recent memory (he does have an honorary Oscar but not a competitive one). Almost 30 years after Do The Right Thing, Lee finally has his nomination for BlacKkKlansman and he’s got a great shot at the top prize. It always helps to have the "it’s their time" narrative in your corner, but BlacKkKlansman also shows Lee on top form with prescient subject matter and an expert demonstration in juggling seemingly disparate tones. The film is critically and commercially popular, with Lee having won the Grand Prix at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The Academy has also shown more willingness in recent years to split the Director and Picture prizes between two films, which benefits Lee with Roma being the front-runner in the latter category.
Best Actor – Rami Malek
Bohemian Rhapsody remains mired in controversy following its oft-disputed depiction of Queen lead singer Freddy Mercury and his life as well as the ever-present problem of missing director Bryan Singer and the sexual assault allegations surrounding him. However, the film’s status as an awards contender, despite very mixed reviews, is not all that surprising: Bohemian Rhapsody is a major commercial hit, something the Academy love to reward, and there’s nothing more exciting to the Oscars than a biopic featuring an actor who transforms themselves into a familiar figure. Here enters Rami Malek, whose performance as Mercury remains the only element of Bohemian Rhapsody that every critic can agree is excellent. Malek has plenty of other big awards in his corner, including the Golden Globe, and the narrative is in his favor. Biopic performances are always popular with the Oscars and Malek himself is a popular figure within the industry.
Best Actress – Glenn Close
As with Lee’s lack of nominations until now, the fact that Glenn Close has never won an Oscar remains a huge shock in the industry. It’s not for lack of trying or nominations either. The Best Actress race this year is one of the tighter competitions of the season: Close has to fend off the critically beloved Olivia Colman for The Favourite, as well as the zeitgeist of Lady Gaga’s work in A Star is Born. It’s a tough three-way race in a category full of deserving nominees (the presence of first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio from Roma is one of the true delights of this awards season). However, Close has momentum on her side, coming off the Golden Globes, as well as a swell of industry support from people eager to see her finally receive that Oscar. The Wife is a quiet film with a gentle but immensely controlled performance from Close. It’s not a typically Oscar-ish performance but it would certainly be worthy of the top prize.
Best Supporting Actor – Richard E. Grant
This season has seen the Best Supporting Actor race come down to a two-man race: Mahershala Ali for his turn as Don Shirley in Green Book, and Richard E. Grant for his performance as an acid-tongued vagabond who befriends a struggling writer in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Neither choice would be surprising or especially controversial, but the odds are in Grant’s favor. Unlike Ali, he has never won an Oscar before, but he is also very popular in the business and turns in an affecting but hilarious performance as the friend of biographer turned forger Lee Israel. He is funny and moving and often tough to like but remains utterly magnetic because of Grant’s light touch.
Best Supporting Actress – Regina King
The Best Supporting Actress category this year threw up a couple of surprises. Claire Foy, who had been expected to land a nomination for her work in First Man, was absent, but in her place was Marina De Tavira from Roma, a choice basically nobody saw coming (and one that bodes well for Roma’s Best Picture odds as the actors body remains the biggest demographic of Academy voters). Amy Adams, a perpetual nominee, is present for Vice, as are both supporting women for The Favourite (which could split the vote in favor of another nominee). Regina King, a scene stealer in Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk, is a popular actress with various awards to her name and has been positioned as the film’s standout member of a lofty ensemble.