And the winner is...film critic PAUL STEWARD looks into his crystal ball for the 2019 Oscars
PUBLISHED: 15:53 27 December 2018 | UPDATED: 16:17 27 December 2018
As the year draws to a close, attention in the movie world turns to next year’s Oscars ceremony. Here are the top contenders and my predictions for who will collect the coveted Academy awards.
Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut A Star is Born is the current front runner for best picture and could be in the running for a number of awards.
Its main competition comes from Peter Farrelly’s Green book staring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. This film doesn’t land in the UK until February, but tells the tale of a working class American bouncer who becomes the driver for an African-American classical pianist.
There is also support growing for The Favourite’a period drama from Greek Director Yorgos Lanthimos, while Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican drama Roma and Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney Biopic Vice are also hotly tipped.
First Man from Damien Chazelle and upcoming new films from Robert Zemeckis (Welcome to Marwan) and Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street could talk) are all also very likely to be in the thoughts of academy voters.
Top pick – Green Book
Outside bet – The Favourite
Alfonso Cuaron is the favourite in the best director field, his film Roma arrives on Netflix this month, but the award will be hotly contested, with Bradley Cooper also a favourite of many for his direction of A Star Is Born. It would be an impressive feat if the actor were to win the movie world’s biggest prize with his directorial debut.
Previous winner Damien Chazelle will almost certainly be in the running for First Man, while British theatre director Josie Rourke is also being tipped for a nomination for her feature debut Mary Queen of Scots which stars Saorise Ronan and Margot Robbie.
Outsiders not to be discounted include Spike Lee for the politically charged Blackkklansman and Steve McQueen for the outstanding Widows.
Top Pick – Bradley Cooper
Outside Bet – Steve McQueen
A Star is Born again leads the way in the acting field with Bradley Cooper run away favourite to take the best actor crown. His outstanding performance as jaded rocker Jackson Maine would make him a worthy winner. Competition comes in the form of Vigo Mortensen for his role in Green Book and Christian Bale’s chameleonic transformation into former US Vice President Dick Cheney in Vice
Also in the running is Rami Malek, for his outstanding Golden Globe nominated performance as Freddie Mercury in Queen Biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
While Ryan Gosling’s turn as Neil Armstrong in First Man and Lucas Hedges for Boy Erased are very likely to attract votes as well.
Top Pick – Bradley Cooper
Outside Bet – Rami Malek
There is no shortage of worthy contenders in the Best Actress Category this year.
Lady Gaga’s superb performance opposite Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born is the bookies’ favourite, however she will be pushed hard by Glenn Close after her compelling turn in The Wife.
Comedy actress Melissa McCarthy is also receiving plaudits for her first serious dramatic role in Can you ever forgive me? while fellow golden globe nominees Nicole Kidman (Destroyer) and Olivia Coleman (The Favourite) will also be in the running.
Toni Collette’s exceptional portrayal of a mother coping with sinister family secrets in Hereditary was shamefully snubbed by the golden globes, but academy voters will have the chance to right that wrong. While Viola Davis’s captivating performance in Widows is also deserving of a nomination, and Emily Blunt bravely stepping into the shoes of Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins Returns is a performance not to be ruled out either.
Top Pick – Glenn Close
Outside Bet – Olivia Coleman
Best Supporting Actor
The supporting categories are notoriously hard to predict. At this juncture Timothee Chalamet appears to be in pole position for his role opposite Steve Carell in Felix Van Groeningen’s Beautiful Boy. The film tells the story of a young boy dealing with drug addiction and his father’s desperate attempts to save him.
2016’s winner Mahershala Ali will be looking for his second academy award for Green Book and is high up on the list of contenders. So is 74-year- old Sam Elliott, who produced a grizzled but moving performance as Bradley Copper’s brother in A Star Is Born.
Adam Driver for Blackkklansman and Daniel Kaluuya for Widows may also come into the reckoning, as may Richard E Grant for his supporting role in Can You Ever Forgive me.
Top Pick – Timothee Chalamet
Outside Bet – Richard E. Grant
Best Supporting Actress
There are currently two clear front runners for the Best supporting actress prize, Amy Adams leads the way for her portrayal of Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne in Vice, closely followed by Regina King for her role in Barry Jenkins If Beale Street could talk.
Other contenders include Claire Foy for her excellent performance in First Man and Margot Robbie for Mary Queen of Scots.
Both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz are contenders for their roles as rival aides to Olivia Coleman’s Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos‘s The Favourite.
Top Pick – Regina King
Outside Bet – Claire Foy