91st Academy Awards Predictions: Who Will, Could, and Should Win 

The 2018 awards season has been nuts. Films like “First Man” that seemed built to get Oscar nominations crumbled and then the likes of “Bohemian Rhapsody” went from a probable Best Actor nominee to getting nods for Best Picture and Editing, as well as a likely Acting win. Yes, it has been crazy  but it is almost over, and here are my final predictions with how I think the Academy Awards will play out. Last year I was 7-for-8 with my predictions, and I did a full rundown of every nominee for this show back in January, and you can read that here.

Best Picture

Every year the Best Pic category is essentially a three-horse race and while that is again the case this season, there is no way to guess or assume that even one of these three films has a better shot than anything else. It is the first year the WGA, SAG, DGA, ACE and PGA have all picked different winners, so really anything is on the table. Still, the likely three candidates to win the night’s final award are “Roma,” “Green Book” and “BlacKkKlansman.” I picked “Klansman” as my winner when nominations were announced and I may have to stick with it, only because the “are we really going to award a Netflix movie?” and “it’s pretty but kind of boring” are both claims thrown at “Roma” all season, and there seems to be a decent-enough sized group of people who do not like “Green Book.” The Oscars run off a preferential ballot, meaning first, second and third place votes essentially hold the same voting power, so it is entirely possible something like “Black Panther” appears on every voters’ 1-3 slots and sneaks in the victory. Nothing has made sense this year so why stop now? (and if “Bohemian Rhapsody” wins I’ll never watch the Oscars again)

SHOULD WIN: Green Book


WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansman


Best Director

It seems like a pretty air-tight victory for Alfonso Cuarón, who has won the DGA, Globe and BAFTA for his direction in “Roma,” and voters who may not love the film for Best Picture will want to reward him in some way (although he is likely to pick up a Best Cinematography win as well, the first director ever to do so). 30 times before a foreign language director has been nominated and they’ve never won (Poland’s “Cold War” director Paweł Pawlikowski also is nominated here). “Vice” is horribly directed so Adam McKay is out but look out for Spike Lee to win on his first-ever Oscar nomination for directing (he could also take home script and picture).

SHOULD WIN: Alfonso Cuarón

COULD WIN: Spike Lee

WILL WIN: Alfonso Cuarón


Best Actor

What should have been Bradley Cooper in a landslide will end with Rami Malek winning for his horse-toothed, porn stache-wearing lip-synching SNL caricature of Freddie Mercury. Sorry to all the Queen darlings out there but this will go down as one of the most embarrassing Best Actor wins of all-time, even if Rami Malek is a great guy.

SHOULD WIN: Bradley Cooper

COULD WIN: Christian Bale

WILL WIN: Rami Malek


Best Actress

Off seven career nominations this may finally be the time Glenn Close gets to walk up on the Oscar stage. Some may chalk it up as a “career win” but I found her turn in “The Wife” to be great and heart-aching and the stuff Oscar performances are made of. Watch out for the Globe/BAFTA winning Olivia Coleman (who is a joke to be here and not Supporting) but it seems that there is enough sentiment around Hollywood that this is Glenn’s time.

SHOULD WIN: Glenn Close

COULD WIN: Olivia Coleman

WILL WIN: Glenn Close


Best Supporting Actor

Oh boy, this is where things start to get juicy. It has been a Mahershala Ali landslide all season, picking up wins at the BAFTAs, SAGs and Globes, among most everywhere else, for his work in “Green Book.” And rightfully so, I love that movie and he is fantastic in it. But. My favorite supporting role of the year came from Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and he has been such a humble joy to watch this entire cycle. It would make a great story if he won, and paired with Ali having won just two years ago for “Moonlight” and several Academy voters having said they voted for Grant, I think he has a real shot of pulling the upset. I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on it, I still think people who may not like “Green Book”  for Best Pic will still want to reward it in some way a la Cuarón and “Roma,” but I would honestly put Ali winning at just a 51-49 shot.

SHOULD WIN: Richard E. Grant

COULD WIN: Richard E. Grant

WILL WIN: Mahershala Ali

Film Title: Green Book

Best Supporting Actress

Again, very interesting when you look at the numbers. Regina King was toted as the favorite all season, but then missed nominations at the BAFTAs and SAGs (she won the Globe). In her place, Amy Adams was expected to easily take those awards and set up an Oscar showdown, but then non-nominee Emily Blunt won at SAGs for “A Quiet Place” and Rachel Weisz won the BAFTA for her work in “The Favourite.” The entire pattern is following the Best Supporting Actor race from 2015, where Mark Rylance came out of seemingly nowhere to beat Sylvester Stallone for the Oscar. I still think King has this, her speech at the Globes and constant positive attitude and hard work through the years should help, but watch out for Weisz, my personal pick for best supporting female of the year. Poor Amy Adams will have to wait another year for her shot…

SHOULD WIN: Rachel Weisz

COULD WIN: Rachel Weisz

WILL WIN: Regina King


Best Adapted Screenplay

“Can You Every Forgive Me?” took home the award at the Writer’s Guild and “BlacKkKlansman” at the BAFTAs, but don’t count out Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk” script here. Voters may want to reward (or get revenge for) that film after it missed out on the Best Picture category, but I still think “Klansman” takes it, giving Spike Lee his first career Oscar (first of a possible three by night’s end).

SHOULD WIN: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

COULD WIN: If Beale Street Could Talk

WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansman


Best Original Screenplay

Somewhat wide-open, as at the WGA a non-Oscar nominee (Bo Burnham’s “Eighth Grade”) took home the award, only the second time that has ever happened. “The Favourite” is now the front-runner (it had been deemed ineligible by the WGA and won at the BAFTAs), but also look out for the Globe-winning “Green Book” if enough voters truly like that film and want it to win to spite the hate campaign.

SHOULD WIN: The Favourite

COULD WIN: Green Book

WILL WIN: The Favourite


There are my predictions for the 2019 Academy Awards, a show that has gone through so much chaos and controversy that it is only fitting given the season as a whole. A few things of note if I ran the Oscars: first things first, Bradley Cooper would be getting the got-damn respect he deserves, starting with a Best Director nomination and ending with him winning Best Actor. Secondly, “Vice” and all of its nominations, save for Christian Bale and Make-Up, would be flushed down the toilet where they belong.  Third, “Avengers: Infinity War” would get a Best Picture nomination, seeing as it was the actual best superhero film of 2018. And finally, Michael B. Jordan would have gotten Best Supporting Actor for “Black Panther,” “A Quiet Place” would have gotten in for Original Screenplay and Emily Blunt and “Paddington 2” would have earned Best Picture, Best Visual Effects and Best Supporting Actor (Hugh Grant) nominations; history will not be kind to us for ignoring the greatness of that film.


The 91st Academy Awards promise to be a bit of a disaster, and they air at 8pm EST on February 24, 2019, on ABC.

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