Oscar Nominations 2019: The Full List

Roma and the Favourite Take the Lead with 10 Noms Each

The 91st annual Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, Calif. Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani and Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross sat before the camera and awkwardly bantered while revealing the hotly anticipated nominees in 24 categories.

Heading into the morning, consensus favourites like The Favourite, Roma, and A Star is Born were all locks. And you could also bet your life that Christian Bale (Vice), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) would continue their strong award season runs. The big questions were how would a tepidly-received Bohemian Rhapsody, the controversial Green Book, and Black Panther – a comic book movie – fare in Academy Awards voters’ eyes? Well folks, we now have our answers.

Academy-Awards-Nominee-Black-Panther-Maskless

 

Best Picture
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

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The story here is Bohemian Rhapsody (62% RT), Vice (64% RT), and Green Book making the cut while festival favourites First Man (88% RT), Widows (91% RT), and If Beale Street Could Talk (95% RT) watch from the sidelines. For a long time it looked like the Best Picture battle was between A Star is Born and Roma, but the former film has been getting shut out on the awards circuit as the latter picks up momentum. One factor working against Bohemian Rhapsody: it’s director Bryan Singer’s first project since being targeted by the Times Up movement. And if that already wasn’t enough, he was fired amidst shooting the picture.

My heart says Roma.
My head says Roma.

Best Director
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Alfonso Cuarón (Roma)
Adam McKay (Vice)

It’s great to see Spike Lee in contention for this revered category. Lee lost out on Oscar glory in one of the Academy’s greatest blunders, when his all-time classic Do the Right Thing failed to score a nomination in the year Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture. Lee remains one of the most influential directors working today, and while BlacKkKlansman isn’t regarded as an Oscar front-runner, voters could favour Lee due to his entire body of work. We’ve seen this happen before with Martin Scorsese not winning for Goodfellas but taking home the gold years later for The Departed.

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My heart says Spike Lee.
My head says Alfonso Cuarón.

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Heading into awards season this category looked like a two horse race between Lady Gaga and Olivia Colman. Glenn Close and her knockout performance in the wife threw everything out of whack. The Wife is a fine film but it’s not on par with other contenders in the Best Actress category like Roma and The Favourite. But don’t be shocked if Close receives the nod due to her legacy status – think Al Pacino winning for Scent of a Woman. I love Yalitza Aparicio’s work in Roma too, but how many humans on the planet can match Gaga’s singing/acting power combo in A Star is Born? I’d say none. When Gaga’s Ally steps on stage to sing Shallow, the moment is so powerful that you would swear an actual star was being born.

My heart says Lady Gaga.
My head says Olivia Colman.

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Bohemian-Rhapsody-Rami-Malek

 

Best Actor:
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Consider Christian Bale the category’s juggernaut. During award season Bale has walked through his Best Actor competitors so easily you would think he sold his soul for awards glory. The Academy loves voting for actors starring in biopics, which bodes well for Bale. One film that deserves more spotlight is At Eternity’s Gate. Willem Dafoe, an actor in his 60s, captures the 37-year-old Vincent van Gogh’s spirit so effortlessly that you don’t question the casting decision. It’s a career-best performance from one of Hollywood’s most respected actors.

My heart says Willem Dafoe.
My head says Christian Bale.

Best Supporting Actor:
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

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This award is Mahershala Ali’s to lose. He’s swept through his award-circuit competition and for a good reason: he’s great. In fact, his performance is so good he hasn’t been dragged down by the controversy surrounding Green Book. If I had to go with a second choice it would be Sam Elliot. He doesn’t have much screen time in A Star is Born but he makes every second count.

My heart says Mahershala Ali.
My head says Mahershala Ali.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

The smart money here is on Regina King who turned in one of the year’s most memorable performances in If Beale Street Could Talk. Roma’s Marina de Tavira is a big-time underdog while The Favourite’s two supporting ladies have cancelled each other out at most award ceremonies. If Vice makes a strong push during Oscar night it’s possible that Amy Adams could vault ahead of King.

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My heart says Regina King.
My head says Regina King.

Animated Feature:
Incredibles 2, Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

With its mid- December release, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse swung its way onto awards voters’ radars at the last possible minute. No one expected another Spider-Man film to be so well-crafted, exude so much heart, and have so much to say. Spider-Verse isn’t just a great 2018 movie, it’s a comic book movie classic, and so far, its been picking up hardware on its awards circuit tour. Expect some stiff competition from Brad Bird’s excellent Incredibles’ sequel.

My heart says Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
My head says Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Animated Short:
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden, David Fine
Bao, Domee Shi
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth, Bobby Pontillas
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

I haven’t caught up with the animated shorts, so I’ll give some hometown love to Domee Shi’s Bao.

My Heart says Bao

Adapted Screenplay:
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen , Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters

Rightly or wrongly so, the debate around BlacKkKlansman’s “accuracy” may tarnish its standing in this category. Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty turn in strong work but their little-seen film isn’t as flashy or buzz-worthy as the other contenders. Meanwhile, Barry Jenkins, a rising star and Oscar-darling, turns the words in James Baldwin’s novel into cinematic poetry. His work in If Beale Street Could Talk offers substance and style.

My heart says If Beale Street Could Talk.
My head says If Beale Street Could Talk.

First-Reformed-Ethan-Hawke

Original Screenplay:
The Favourite, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

Roma may have plenty of deserving Oscar nods but it’s weak in this category. For all of Roma’s stunning cinematography and thoughtful themes, the film’s script can’t hang with its competitors. The Favourite is so packed with witty dialogue and sick burns you would think you’re watching a Mean Girls prequel. And First Reformed’s tight script dazzled critics in 2018, earning it well-deserved spots on many best-of-year lists.

My heart says First Reformed.
My head says The Favourite.

Cinematography:
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

While shooting Roma, Alfonso Cuarón’s frequent collaborator, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, was off working on another project. Cuarón took matters into his own hands and shot Roma himself. And the results are stunning. Roma sits poised to storm through awards night and pick up Oscars like Thanos collecting Infinity Stones, and right now, it’s a front-runner in this category.

My heart says Roma.
My head says Roma.

Best Documentary Feature:
Free Solo, Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding the Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
RBG, Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Free Solo is one of the most breath-taking films ever made. It’s impossible not to sit on the edge of your seat watching its mountain climbing protagonist put his life on the line, defying age and the laws of physics. But I still have to go with Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap. It’s one of the year’s most harrowing and incisive stories. Liu takes viewers to middle-America and looks at what it means to grow up under the oppressive weight of apathy as well as what it’s like coming of age in a society that doesn’t have a place for you.

My heart says Minding the Gap.
My head says Free Solo.

Best Documentary Short Subject:

Black Sheep, Ed Perkins
End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry
Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short Film: 
Detainment, Vincent Lambe
Fauve, Jeremy Comte
Marguerite, Marianne Farley
Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Skin, Guy Nattiv

Roma-Yalitza-Aparicio

Best Foreign Language Film:

Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

This category belongs to Roma, and before today I would rank Shoplifters as a not-too-distant second. But after seeing Cold War’s director sneak into the Best Director category, I’m giving it a slight edge over Shoplifters. Any film announced instead of Roma marks a big upset.

My Heart Says Roma.
My Head Says Roma.

Film Editing:
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, Hank Corwin

Not many filmmakers working today leave their mark on a film like Spike Lee. BlacKkKlansman maintains Lee’s signature style while feeling like its own thing. Most impressive, though, is how the film manages its complex tone. The picture delivers plenty of laugh-out-loud moments without taking away from its gravely serious themes. In a lesser filmmaker’s hands, this film would have been disastrous.

My heart says BlacKkKlansman.
My head says The Favourite.

Sound Editing:
Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst
First Man, Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn, Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Diaz, Skip Lievsay

Film is a visual medium but John Krasinski’s horror flick allowed sound to take centre stage. The film’s use of silence never feels like a gimmick either. Instead, it adds weight to A Quiet Place’s constant sense of dread.

My heart says A Quiet Place.
My head says A Quiet Place.

Sound Mixing:
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

A Quiet Place is an obvious choice here. No other film asks viewers to sit silently and focus on their auditory senses. Although I loved A Quiet Place, nothing scared me more First Man’s opening moments, as Neil Armstrong’s craft bent, buckled, and screeched like a banshee as it raged against the forces of gravity. Roma also remains a strong contender, although most people wouldn’t know it. Cuarón’s Netflix-backed passion project utilizes cutting-edge sound design that viewers can’t appreciate unless they’re in a theatre or equip their home with a world-class sound-system.

My heart says A Quiet Place.
My head says Roma.

Production Design:
Black Panther, Hannah Beachler
First Man, Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre, Gordon Sim
Roma, Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez

For a short while in 2018, Wakanda felt like a real place. Black Panther’s production designer Hannah Beachler outdid herself blending afro-futurism with a slick real-world aesthetic. But watching Mary Poppins Returns was like looking at a world that only exists in our childhood imaginations. Every aspect of the set felt deeply considered and added to the film’s sense of whimsy.

My heart says Mary Poppins.
My head says The Favourite.

Original Score:
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

I use songs from If Beale Street Could Talk’s score as my morning alarm. Opening my eyes to Nicholas Britell’s sensual score is like waking up to a warm caress. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’m championing Britell’s score.

My heart says If Beale Street Could Talk.
My head says Mary Poppins Returns.

GaGa-Cooper-A-Star-is-Born

Original Song:
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

There’s no need to discuss this category. Shallow’s Oscar might already be sitting on Lady Gaga’s award shelf. But man oh man… All The Stars is a BANGER!

My heart says All The Stars.
My head says Shallow.

Makeup and Hair:
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice

Giving the award to the Vice for Christian Bale’s fat-suit feels cheap. Mary Queen of Scots makeup and hair crew had much heavier lifting to do.

My heart says have Vice’s Oscar nomination annulled.
My head says Vice.

Costume Design:
Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter
The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

I suspect that The Favourite may catch fire and sweep through the night, picking up award after award. If so, a nod for Best Costume Design wouldn’t be a shock. If I had had a vote it would go to the Coen brothers’ for their dusty take on the American frontier.

My heart says Ballad of Buster Scruggs
My head says The Favourite.

Visual Effects:
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Honestly, how does Aquaman not even make the Oscar’s shortlist? Aquaman’s director James Wan called it a, “F*cking disgrace,” and I have to agree. Still, I can’t complain about the final list of nominees. The Kubrick homage in Ready Player One is enough to earn it a spot. And Christopher Robin did a fantastic job of making silly-old stuffed animals feel alive. But Avengers: Infinity War is on a whole other level. No superhero movie has ever done a better job bringing comic book splash pages to life. Josh Brolin makes Thanos feel so grounded in reality that we forget Robert Downey Jr. is sharing the screen with a giant mass of purple pixels.

My heart says Avengers: Infinity War.
My head says Avengers: Infinity War.

You can catch the 91st annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24.

 

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