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Oscars 2019: Year-In-Advance Predictions Include Females Behind the Camera, Superhero Films, and Lots of ‘B’s’

The Oscars are officially in the books for 2017 and here at the Awards Circuit, we look ahead to the year ahead and what it has to offer the cinematic climate.  There’s plenty to be excited about but before we get into the individual contenders, it’s always useful to see if we can pick out a “theme” for the year ahead.

In the simplest look at 50,000 feet, there are quite a few films that begin with the letter “B” on the docket.  Super interesting, right?  Taking a closer look, the producers and directors attached to many of the films this year are coming from all different realms of the entertainment industry.

Will Ferrell has tried to crack an Oscar lineup before with performances in films like “Stranger than Fiction” and “The Producers.”  He’s a credited producer on Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic titled “Backseat” alongside Oscar-winners Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Brad Pitt.  Gardner and Kleiner are also teamed up alongside Megan Ellison and Barry Jenkins for “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Recently anointed Original Screenplay winner Jordan Peele is teamed up with Spike Lee on “Black Klansman,” alongside “Get Out” producer nominee Jason Blum.  Lee

Two-time Academy Award winner Robert DeNiro will surely be in the hunt in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” (if released in time) but he’s also a producer on the Freddie Mercury biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” starring Rami Malek which is sure to turn a few heads.

The possible director inclusions have an opportunity to mirror the diverse lineup that Oscar delivered this year.  We have some actors-turned-directors with Bradley Cooper taking a crack at the remake “A Star is Born” starring Lady Gaga under her real name Stefani Germanotta.  Joel Edgerton impressed many with his directorial debut “The Gift” back in 2015 and he’ll have his hand on “Boy Erased,” based on the novel Garrard Conley and starring Lucas Hedges and Nicole Kidman.  Two-time Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill is stepping behind the camera for “Mid-90s” which seems like this year’s “Lady Bird.”  He’s also got himself a cool enough cast that includes Katherine Waterston and Lucas Hedges.  Paul Dano’s “Wildlife” has already dropped at the Sundance Film Festival where it received praise.

Past nominees will be looking for their second or third bout with Oscar as Willem Dafoe will play Vincent Van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate” while Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan will be pairing up in “Mary Queen of Scots.”  The defending Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell will play George W. Bush in “Backseat.”

Other films that aren’t listed down below but are highly anticipated and in the mix for other categories are plentiful.  “Ant-Man & the Wasp” will be one of many comic book films in the mix.  “Black Panther” has already started its FYC campaign at this year’s Oscars and could be the first superhero film to make the Best Picture lineup, just one year after “Logan” made history in Adapted Screenplay.  “Avengers: Infinity War” will also try its hand after its predecessor only mustered a single Visual Effects nomination after becoming the highest grossing film of all-time.  The teaser trailer for “Venom” has many excited at the prospects of Tom Hardy and the tech teams.

Women directors will have their opportunities if Oscar should be so interested.  Hannah Fidell, director “A Teacher” is assembling Tony Revolori and Taissa Farmiga in “The Long Dumb Road” while Julia Hart is helming Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Strathairn in “Fast Color.”  Desiree Akhavan is steering the conversion therapy camp film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post” which received raves at Sundance with Chloe Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane.

Debra Granik is back after directing the Best Picture nominee “Winter’s Bone” almost eight years ago with “Leave No Trace” with Ben Foster.  Mimi Leder is directing the Ruth Bader Ginsburg biopic “On the Basis of Sex” with Felicity Jones, Kathy Bates, and Armie Hammer which Focus Features may opt for an awards season push.  Tamara Jenkins, Oscar-nominee for “The Savages,” is back with “Private Life” with an all-star cast that includes Kathryn Hahn, Molly Shannon, and Paul Giamatti.

Joanna Hogg, the woman who directed Tom Hiddleston in his feature film debut, is helming “The Souvenir: Part One,” which will be executive produced by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert Pattinson, a recent snub for “Good Time.”  Speaking of the “Twilight” crew, Kristen Stewart is looking good for another stellar year that could lead her to a nomination with roles in “Lizzie” from Craig William Macniell, “JT Leroy” from Justin Kelly, and “Underwater” from William Eubank.

File this one under “just delighted to hear that she’s directing something again,” as Karyn Kusama will helm “Destroyer” with Nicole Kidman, Tatiana Maslany, and Sebastian Stan.  This is the same Kusama that gave us “Girlfight” with Michelle Rodriguez.  “Enough Said” gave writer/director Nicole Holofcener a spotlight that was palpable that year but teamed up with Ben Mendelsohn and Edie Falco for “The Land of Steady Habits” may propel her to superstardom.

We also can’t wait to see what Marielle Heller (“Diary of a Teenage Girl”) has up her sleeve for Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?

People of color are making their statements as Ava DuVernay (“A Wrinkle in Time“) and Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) are already drawing lines in the sand for awards bodies next year while we already mentioned the most anticipated work of Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”).  Boots Riley is making his debut with Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, and Armie Hammer in “Sorry To Bother You.”

After directing the Oscar-winner “12 Years a Slave,” we’ve waited patiently to see what Steve McQueen was going to do next and it seems he’s settled on “Widows” with Viola Davis, Elizabeth Debicki, and Michelle Rodriguez.  Count us in.

We have veterans in play like the aforementioned Scorsese but Brian DePalma is back after a six-year absence for “Domino” with “Game of Thrones” star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Guy Pearce, and Carice Van Houten.  Neil Jordan, the Oscar-winner of “The Crying Game” is back in the mix with “The Widow” with Isabelle Huppert and Chloe Grace Moretz.

“The Sea of Trees” and “Promised Land” were missteps for Gus Van Sant but we’re hoping his new film “Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot” will be closer to “Milk” or “Good Will Hunting” especially with a cast that includes Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, and Jack Black.

Seven Oscars later including Best Director, Alfonso Cuaron is going back to Mexico in the 1970s with “Roma” and we can’t be happy enough.

There’s so much more to talk about and we’ll be diving into as many of them as possible with the Awards Profiles coming later this month.

Check out the first set of predictions down below and look for the individual rankings for each category, currently scheduled for Monday, March 12.

UPDATE: 2:49 pm Eastern Time – Jessica Chastain was originally listed in the Best Actress in a Leading Role category for “The Death & Life of John F. Donovan” but director Xavier Dolan announced that her role was cut from the film.  “Gigantic” was cancelled by Walt Disney Pictures and has been removed from Original Song.

Share your own predictions in the comments!

Backseat” (Annapurna Pictures) – Will Ferrell, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay, Kevin J. Messick, Brad Pitt
Black Klansman” (Focus Features) – Jason Blum, Spike Lee, Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele, Shaun Redick
Black Panther” (Marvel Studios) – Kevin Feige
Bohemian Rhapsody” (20th Century Fox) – Jim Beach, Robert DeNiro, Graham King, Brian May, Peter Oberth
Boy Erased” (Focus Features) – Joel Edgerton, Steve Golin, Kerry Kohansky-Roberts
First Man” (Universal Pictures) – Marty Bowen, Damien Chazelle, Wyck Godfrey, Ryan Gosling
If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures) – Megan Ellison, Dede Gardner, Barry Jenkins, Jeremy Kleiner, Sara Murphy, Adele Romanski
The Irishman” (Netflix) – Troy Allen, Robert DeNiro, Randall Emmett, Gaston Pavlovich, Jane Rosenthal, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff**
Mary Queen of Scots” (Focus Features) – Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward
A Star is Born” (Warner Bros.) – Bradley Cooper, Bill Gerber, Lynette Howell Taylor, Jon Peters, Todd Phillips

Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born”
Joel Edgerton, “Boy Erased”
Spike Lee, “Black Klansman”
Josie Rourke, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”**

Christian Bale, “Backseat”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”**
Robert DeNiro, “The Irishman”
Ryan Gosling, “First Man”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Stefani Germanotta, “A Star is Born”**
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Kindergarten Teacher”
Saoirse Ronan, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Kristen Stewart, “J.T. Leroy”
Michelle Williams, “Rio”

Timothee Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Adam Driver, “Black Klansman”
Oscar Isaac, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”**
Sam Rockwell, “Backseat”

Amy Adams, “Backseat”**
Laura Dern, “J.T. Leroy”
Claire Foy, “First Man”
Nicole Kidman, “Boy Erased”
Margot Robbie, “Mary Queen of Scots”

Backseat” (Adam McKay)**
Peterloo” (Mike Leigh)
A Rainy Day in New York” (Woody Allen)
Rio” (Steven Knight)
The Women of Marwen” (Caroline Thompson, Robert Zemeckis)

Boy Erased” (Joel Edgerton)**
If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
The Irishman” (Steven Zaillian)
Mary Queen of Scots” (Beau Willimon)
Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (Richard Linklater, Holly Gent Palmo, Vincent Palmo Jr.)

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch” (Universal Pictures)
The Incredibles 2” (Pixar)**
Isle of Dogs” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” (Walt Disney Pictures)
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Warner Bros.)

First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
The Irishman” (Bob Shaw, Regina Graves)
Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
Mary Queen of Scots” (James Merifield, Gina Cromwell)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (Guy Hendrix Dyas, Lisa Chugg)

Ad Astra” (Hoyte van Hoytema)
First Man” (Linus Sandgren)
If Beale Street Could Talk” (James Laxton)
The Irishman” (Rodrigo Prieto)
A Star is Born” (Matthew Libatique)

Black Panther” (Ruth E. Carter)
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (Colleen Atwood)
Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (Jenny Beavan)

Backseat” (Hank Corwin)
First Man” (Tom Cross)
If Beale Street Could Talk” (Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders)
The Irishman” (Thelma Schoonmaker)**
A Star is Born” (Jay Cassidy)

Black Panther” (Camille Friend, Richard Alonzo)**
Peterloo” (Claire Matthews, Christine Blundell)
A Star is Born” (Lori McCoy-Bell, Ve Neill)

Black Panther” (Steve Boeddeker, Peter J. Devlin, Brandon Proctor)
The Bombing” (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers)
First Man” (Mary H. Ellis)
Mary Poppins Returns” (Tom Barrow, Linda Brenon)
A Star is Born” (Timothy Cleary, Steven Morrow)**

Annihilation” (Niv Adiri, Glenn Freemantle)
Avengers: Infinity War” (Daniel Laurie, Shannon Mills)
Black Panther” (Benjamin A. Burtt)**
Ready Player One” (Richard Hymns)
Sicario 2: Soldado” (Alan Robert Murray, Kevin Murray)

Avengers: Infinity War” (Dan DeLeeuw, Varun Hadkar)
Black Panther” (Kenneth Au, Geoffrey Baumann, Andy Brown, Stuart Lashley)**
Mowgli” (Loeng Wong-Savun, Nigel Denton-Howes, Francois Dumoulin, George Murphy, Ivan Moran)
Ready Player One” (Matthew E. Butler, Gary Cofer, Roger Guyett)
Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Rod Bredow, Julian Foddy)

Everybody Knows” (Alberto Iglesias)
First Man” (Justin Hurwitz)
If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
Mary Queen of Scots” (Max Richter)**
The Sisters Brothers” (Alexandre Desplat)

Black Panther” (“Pray for Me”)
Bohemian Rhapsody” (Song Unknown)
Mary Poppins Returns” (Song Unknown)**
Smallfoot” (Song Unknown)
A Star is Born” (Song Unknown)

Inventing Tomorrow” (Laura Nix)
Jane Fonda in Five Acts” (Susan Lacy)
King in the Wilderness” (Peter W. Kunhardt)
The Oslo Diaries” (Mor Loushy, Daniel Sivan)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Morgan Neville)**

Cold War” (Poland) – Pawel Pawlikowski
El Ángel” (Spain) – Luis Ortega
Loro” (Italy) – Pablo Sorrentino
Normandie Nue” (France) – Philippe Le Guay
Sunset” (Hungary) – László Nemes

Share your thoughts and predictions in the comments below!

What do you think?


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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