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Oscars: Final Predictions As Voting Comes To A Close On The Most Open Race Ever


We’ve come to this moment, earlier than usual but such a year has warranted it.  The Oscars are happening this Sunday, and it is the most wide open year in recent history, perhaps in all of awards history.  For the first time, all significant guilds went to different movies, an unprecedented outcome when covering the awards season landscape.

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) went with Peter Farrelly’s “Green Book” while the Directors Guild of America (DGA) chose Alfonso Cuarón for “Roma.”  Screen Actors Guild (SAG) picked “Black Panther” for their top prize for Cast Ensemble while American Cinema Editors (ACE Eddies) bestowed honor on “Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman) and “The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis), as that group splits their prizes among drama and comedy.  And then finally, this past weekend, Writers Guild of America (WGA) tip the scale in an even further unknown direction with “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty) nabbing kudos in Adapted Screenplay and the Oscar nomination-less “Eighth Grade” (Bo Burnham) taking home the Original Screenplay prize, making him the youngest winner in the guild’s history (since 1984).

Circuit Center large 1080pxWith all that to digest, the Costume Designers will weigh in Tuesday night, at 8:30 PM (PT), just mere hours before final voting closes for AMPAS membership. “The Favourite” looks to repeat its BAFTA win there but at this point, who knows what’s going to happen next. Attempting to sift through the noise of an unpredictable race, while still being focused on the Academy’s ruling of airing awards during the commercial breaks and then reversing the decision, it’s near impossible to know where this will all land.  Does a lousy PR year affect the winning outcomes?  On its face, you can say it does not, but with so much focus being placed on the cinematographers, editors, and makeup and hairstyling personnel that fought hard against the ruling did voters put more thought into their decisions?  Speaking with more than four dozen voters this year and getting peaks at their ballots, some did bring up the fiasco.

We move into the final prediction trajectory.  As the owner and operator of one of the biggest entertainment and prediction sites in the world, you tend to pride yourself on your “predicting accomplishments.”  Last year, I predicted 21 out of 24 categories, a career-high, while when it comes to nominations for two out of the last four years, I’ve correctly named 19 out of the 20 acting nominees, even with “WTF’s” thrown into the mix like Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”) and Ruth Negga (“Loving”).  This year, and you can try to chalk this up to just trying to make myself feel better about an impending poor showing, no matter where you land, there’s no real way you can foresee what Sunday night will bring.

This is starting to remind me of the 2013 Emmy Awards ceremony.  For those who do not follow TV as much as the film landscape, if you want to see unpredictable races unfold before your eyes, spend a few months covering hundreds of network shows and performances, speak to voters about what “they like” and see where it all lands on television’s biggest evening.  In the 2013 year, some “normal” things fell into place as “Breaking Bad” was getting ready to say farewell in its second to last season winning Drama Series and “Modern Family” took home another trophy for Comedy Series.  As the night unfolded, the world watch Merritt Wever win for “Nurse Jackie,” Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”) and Bobby Cannavale (“Boardwalk Empire”) snag an expected win from Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, and Laura Linney (“The Big C”) step past Elisabeth Moss and Helen Mirren.  Hell, even this past Emmys saw Regina King (foreshadowing?) take an award for “Seven Seconds,” a show that had not been as universally acclaimed as her performance.

roma 2This is brought up as a framework for what the Oscars COULD look like moving forward.  As the Academy expands its membership, diversifying and including new and innovative voices in the industry, the major guilds remain mostly the same as the “old Academy.”  If these new members hadn’t been invited over the past three years, what would the nominees have looked like this year?  Would Emily Blunt have contended for supporting actress for “A Quiet Place,” a performance in which won her the SAG award, making her just the second person to win the prize without receiving an Oscar nomination?

With unexpected/shocking wins like “Spotlight” over “The Revenant,” “Moonlight” over “La La Land,” and “The Shape of Water” over “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri,” the Academy has hinted at this unpredictability for some time.  I don’t think we anticipated nor did we plan for it to be so soon.  With that said, this could also mean absolutely nothing.  It used to be an age-old practice that when you’re watching the ceremony when awards like film editing or screenplay come on, you can get a pretty good idea about how the director or picture categories will go.  The post-mortem of this awards season will be a fascinating one as not until the big envelope is opened on stage, and one of the eight films are read, we will not know what the season meant.  Will we move towards the guilds meaning less and less, which equates to less and fewer stats being held up?

Each Best Picture that could win would trump history:

Black Panther Production Design 1

  • “Black Panther” – first film since “Grand Hotel” to win without acting, directing, or writing nominations
  • “BlacKkKlansman” – first film since “Out of Africa” to win without any major guild wins.
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” – first film since “Argo” to win without a director nomination, and first since “Titanic” to win without a screenplay nomination.
  • “The Favourite” – first film since “Driving Miss Daisy” to win without a DGA nomination.
  • “Green Book” – the first film in history to win without director AND SAG Ensemble nominations.
  • “Roma” – first foreign and streaming service winner, first to win without Globe/SAG Ensemble nomination, and first since “Birdman” to win without an editing nomination.
  • “A Star is Born” – assuming it lost all its above-the-line races except for Picture, it would be the first since “Rebecca” to do so in 1941. First film since “Grand Hotel” to win without director and editing noms.
  • “Vice” – the second film in history (following last year’s “The Shape of Water”) to win without SAG Ensemble nod.

So what do all the current predictions point towards?  Here’s the history I’m “predicting”:

Bohemian Rhapsody Live Aid

  • Fox Searchlight will bring its overall Best Picture win tally to five, becoming the most awarded independent studio in history.  Columbia Pictures, now Sony Pictures (12), Paramount Pictures (11), Metro-Godwyn-Mayer (9), Warner Bros. (9), 20th Century Fox (8), and Universal Pictures (8) have more.  Only Paramount and Warner Bros. will have a better nomination-to-win percentage.  Paramount at 55% and Warner Bros. at 36%.  Fox Searchlight will have 29%.
  • The Favourite” is predicted to win Best Picture, the first film since “Driving Miss Daisy” to do so without a DGA nomination, the first film since “The Shape of Water” without a SAG Ensemble nomination, and no major wins from PGA, DGA, WGA, BAFTA, Critics Choice, Golden Globes, and SAG.  It is overall predicted to win five of its ten nominations, tying the most wins by a Best Picture winner since “The Artist” in 2011.
  • Alfonso Cuarón will be the first director to win for a foreign language film (no we do not count “The Artist”).
  • Rami Malek will be the first Egyptian acting winner.  The first male acting winner of African descent.  If Bradley Cooper wins, he’ll be behind Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”), Denzel Washington (“Training Day”), and Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”), actors who won without any major televised win preceding them.
  • Glenn Close will become the third oldest Best Actress winner of all-time for “The Wife,” at a tender 71.  If she loses, she retains her title as the most nominated actress to not win an Academy Award.  If she wins, Amy Adams, Deborah Kerr, and Thelma Ritter will all tie for the new #1.
  • Mahershala Ali will become the second person of color to win multiple Academy Awards behind Denzel Washington for “Green Book.”  If he loses, he’ll be the second person overall to lose the Academy Award after winning Globes, Critics Choice, BAFTA, and SAG.  Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”) was the first.
  • Rachel Weisz will become just the third actress to win two Best Supporting Actress Oscars after Shelley Winters (“The Diary of Anne Frank” and “A Patch of Blue”) and Dianne Weist (“Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets over Broadway”).  She will be the only one to do it in 2 sole nominations and wins.
  • “BlacKkKlansman” winning Adapted Screenplay will be the largest group of recipients of the award, with four credited writers, since “Mrs. Miniver” in 1942 (George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West, Arthur Wimperis).  It will be just the third group of four in the categories history.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” will be the first Animated Feature Oscar for Sony Pictures.  It has only one other nomination to its credit.  It will just be the second time that a studio has gone against Disney or Pixar, and won.
  • Sandy Powell‘s win for “The Favourite” will tie her for the third most in Costume Design history with four.  She will join Colleen Atwood and Milena Canonero.
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” could join “Traffic” as a film nominated for five Academy Awards, winning four of them, and one of them is NOT Best Picture.
  • Terence Blanchard‘s win for “BlacKkKlansman” will make him the second black composer to win Best Original Score since Herbie Hancock in 1986 for “Round Midnight.”  NOTE: Prince won an Academy Award in 1984 for “Purple Rain” in the now retired category Best Original Song Score.

Make sure to make your predictions in our Circuit Center, and look for the rest of the “Oscar Looks” this week to make things even more confused.  It should also be noted, I do reserve the right to change these predictions but will likely not (because life is too short to dwell on such things).

(updated Feb. 19, 2019)

hero the favourite TF 03729 rgbBEST PICTURE
“The Favourite” (Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday)

Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Glenn Close, “The Wife”

Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”

Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel, Kevin Willmott)

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller)

“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)

“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)

“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)

“Mary Queen of Scots” (Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, Jessica Brooks)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Casali, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin)

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Warhurst)

“Ready Player One” (Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew Butler, David Shirk)

“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” (Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt)

“Free Solo” (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes, Shannon Dill)

“Roma” (Mexico)

“Animal Behaviour” (David Fine, Alison Snowden)

“End Game” (Rob EpsteinJeffrey Friedman)

“Marguerite” (Marianne FarleyMarie-Hélène Panisset)

What do you think of the final predictions for the Academy Awards? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!


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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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Sara Juarez

I wonder if the backlash from within the academy for all the recent horrible desicions and backtracks, which are generally blamed on ABC and by extension Disney, affects voters’ willingness to vote for Disney and its properties (Star wars, Marvel). Do you think that will have an effect?


you f**ing moron…you really think vice is going to go home empty handed ? just because you didn’t like it doesnt mean…its going to go empty handed…suck my nuts..vice will get either make up or editing or both…deal with it loser…your predictions are dictated by your personal bias and nothing more.

King Of Noland

c’mon now, there’s no way Black Panther is going empty.
it’s getting Costume and has good chance to win score and production

Phill Milner

Picture: Roma (I want to say Green Book, but the fact it won BAFTA just settles it for me) Director: Cuaron (Ew) Actor: Malek (Cooper SHOULD win in a walk) Actress: GaGa (calling an upset) Supporting Actor: Ali (he actually deserves this one) Supporting Acteess: King (I don’t see them NOT doing it) Adapted: BK (Ew Spike Lee) Original: The Favourite (twitter drowned Green Book) Editing: Vice (like The Big Short, the editing was phenomenal. BR is a mega close second) Animated: Betting against Disney Pixar is so bold. I don’t care what precursors say. One of the most wide… Read more »

Jonas Grundnig

I don’t see The Favourite winning BP without also taking Actress or Editing.


The Favourite did pretty good at the BAFTA because it’s a British film and it’s highly successful there so it makes perfect sense that it would win a lot of awards but the Oscars is a different story and I don’t see The Favourite doing well at the Oscars. It’s not going to win best picture and I don’t think Rachel Weisz is going to win supporting actress, I still think Regina King could win. I think we’re going to get a surprise in Original Screenplay and First Reformed could be the surprise. I don’t think Black Panther is going… Read more »


Love these predictions.

Michael Eduard Gschwandtner

“The Favourite” is the one we don’t know how it will perform. My feeling, though, tells me, that a movie neither receiving a SAG ensemble nor a DGA nor a WGA (though not votable) nomination will not have enough support. Also, how crazy would it be that the British were not rewarding it with BP and the Americans do?! My picks: Picture: Roma Director: Alfonso Cuaron – Roma Actor: Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody Actress: Glenn Close – The Wife Supporting Male: Mahershala Ali – Green Book Supporting Female: Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk Original Screenplay: The… Read more »


Roma over The Favourite for Best Picture. Regina King over Rachel Weisz for Supporting Actress. BAFTA only has about 500 of the over 8,000 Oscar voters. Weisz and Stone will vote split, since neither dominated the precursors, unlike Rockwell last season. No actress has ever won a 2nd Oscar competing with another winner from the same film.

Philip Levie

Please let The Favourite win BP! It towers over all of the other noms.


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Circuit Breaker Episode 128: Final Predictions for the Academy Awards (The Oscars)