A Star is Born is poised to be one of this year's top Oscar contenders, but how many awards will it actually win? Bradley Cooper's romantic-musical had a very successful run of the festival circuit, with screenings at both Venice and Toronto. Though it (surprisingly) didn't win the People's Choice Award at TIFF (and wasn't even a runner-up), A Star is Born cemented itself as a surefire awards player. Critics were quite impressed with Cooper's tasteful direction, as well as the lead performances by him and Lady Gaga. Some people consider A Star is Born to be the one to beat at this point in the season.
Awards season is an ever fluid process, meaning a lot can change between now and when the Oscars are handed out in February. Still, there's enough clarity now to realistically predict A Star is Born should receive several nominations across the board. If things break the right way, it'll even take a few of those trophies home. Let's analyze its chances.
Cooper is a four-time nominee, and he'll likely be nominated at least three times for A Star is Born. As a producer, he'll be in the running for Best Picture and he also looks like a lock for Best Director and Best Actor nominations. Additionally, A Star is Born should be a clear frontrunner in the Best Original Song category, with "Shallow" an early favorite. It's also possible Cooper gets nominated for screenwriting. Elsewhere, Lady Gaga is gunning for a spot in the Best Actress list, and Sam Elliott is in the running for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. A Star is Born may also get a few technical nods, such as Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Cinematography. Time will tell if it'll match the all-time nominations record of 14. La La Land, another festival darling musical, was the last to pull off that feat.
As alluded to, A Star is Born should have Original Song secured; it's just a matter of which one. "Shallow" could be topped by the heartbreaking "I'll Never Love Again," which brought the house down. The other categories are very much up in the air at this point. Cooper is working against history in regards to an acting win. Only twice has a filmmaker directed themselves to a Best Actor win, with Roberto Benigni the last to do so in 1999. As usual, Best Actor is stacked with worthy performances, including Ryan Gosling in First Man, Viggo Mortensen in Green Book, and (theoretically) Christian Bale in the currently unseen Vice (though, the trailer was quite promising). Cooper also faces stiff competition in Best Director, with both Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) and Damien Chazelle (First Man) reaching new filmmaking heights with their latest efforts. Gaga is certainly deserving of Best Actress, particularly in the early sections of the film where she sheds her pop star image to play the down-to-earth Ally, but it won't be easy for her to win, either. Glenn Close delivered career-best work in The Wife and has the overdue narrative to play up (six nominations, no wins).
Best Picture, which is decided by preferential ballot, is a wholly different beast. Right now, A Star is Born isn't particularly divisive and has widespread appeal (as evidenced by its box office). It's a movie a lot of people like and few hate, which bodes well for its prospects. A Star is Born should rank high on many voters' list, picking up several second and third-place mentions that are critical in Best Picture. It honestly wouldn't be surprising to see a Picture/Director split (something that's become more prevalent in the age of the preferential ballot), with Star is Born winning Picture and someone like Chazelle or Cuarón taking home director. Right now, Picture, Supporting Actor (Elliott), Adapted Screenplay (it was praised for breathing new life into a classic story), and Original Song are the likeliest wins, with the potential for a few other surprises. A Star is Born should take home multiple Oscars.
- A Star is Born (2018) release date: Oct 05, 2018