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Oscar Contenders of 2019
January 4, 2019
As the 2018 year winds down and the predicted nominations are thrown around, simple movie-goers and enthusiastic critics alike settle down and reflect on the movies that defined this year in film. The excitement for cinema lovers such as myself begins just before the start of December each year, when award-hungry directors release their Oscar-worthy films and audiences get to participate in the game of, “which one will it be?” It’s an equivalent to the hype of the Super Bowl or maybe March Madness, but instead it’s a bracket for us cinema lovers. As for myself, I created my own bracket this year, but instead of basketball stats, I’m analyzing audience reception, critical consensus, and my own personal opinion of every film up worthy for the Oscar nominations this year. With January 22 just around the corner, let’s kick back and reflect on the films this year (or maybe just this month) that may just snuff a major Oscar nom this 2018 season.
From Barry Jenkin’s touching, If Beale Street Could Talk, to Alfonso Cuaron’s personal love letter to Mexico in Roma, films of all ranges are considered for the major category for Best Picture this year. My personal favorite films are Spike lee’s masterpiece BlacKkKlansman and Damien Chazelle’s incredible biopic, First Man, about America’s own Neil Armstrong; however, knowing the Academy and the critic’s top choice, it seems that Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is a trending top contender along with Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born (both films with loads of box office success). Other contenders in mind are Green Book by Peter Farrelly and Vice by Adam McKay.
Best Animated Feature
Every year, animated films raise the bar to a stellar degree with more creative animation, more fluid voice-acting and brand new, inspiring visions. On opening weekend, I had the utmost privilege in watching Wes Anderson’s stop-motion film, Isle Of Dogs, and never before had I seen a story so clever in plot development, score, and characters. There is no wonder that Isle of Dogs is one of the top contenders for this category. Other nominations for Best Animated feature include, Spider Man: Into the Spiderverse, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 and Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai.
It comes to no surprise that directors such as Barry Jenkins and Alfonso Cuaron are some of the top picks for this Oscar season, and some sources believe they have the win on lock due to their past projects (Best Picture 2016: Moonlight by Jenkins) and outstanding reputation in the Academy. However, watching on the big screen, directors such as Damien Chazelle for First Man and Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman have an equal chance to score the nomination/win due to their unique and stunning vision. Even Bo Burnham, the breakthrough director of the charming Eighth Grade, is considered a top contender in my bracket due to the freshness and fluidity of his style and the uniqueness of his story-telling. Even a Oscar nomination for A Star is Born’s debuted director, Bradley Cooper, would be a warming celebration to me and movie enthusiasts alike.
Dressed in a white tank top and white-washed Levi jeans, Rami Malek rocked his way into the headlines in his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody, securing his nomination this Oscar season in my bracket. His portrayal of Freddie Mercury made all movie-going audiences wish they could witness just one more performance from the real-life star. Additionally, many critic’s top choice is Bradley Cooper for his stellar performance as a dwindling rock star in his own film, A Star is Born, leaving much to be considered for this year’s winner. Other nomination predictions may include Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice, Viggo Mortensen in Green Book, and Willem Dafoe’s performance in At Eternity’s Gate.
From a meat dress to the big screen, Lady Gaga is the talk of the town for Best Actress in her phenomenal performance in A Star is Born. Watching this on the widescreen, I witnessed the most raw, realistic and passionate portrayal of a desiring pop star; so it comes to no surprise that she is the top contender and favorite for this category. Other contenders on my list for Best Actress would be Toni Collette’s horrifying and bone-chilling performance in Hereditary, Kiki Layne’s heartwarming portrayal of a young dreamer in If Beale Street Could Talk, Viola Davis’ gripping and heart-wrenching performance in Widows, and Melissa McCarthy’s surprising feature in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Only time will tell who truly deserves this Oscar, but any of these women truly des.
Best Supporting Actor
In just one emotional glance, Sam Elliott completely won me over for an Oscar nomination this year for his performance in A Star is Born. Playing Bradley Cooper’s character’s brother, Elliott shines as a mentor, friend and the voice of reason in this tragic love story, captivating myself and audiences on the big screen. Although other supporting actors are just as worthy in their own right, if one look can make all audiences sob uncontrollably, then that Oscar win is well-deserved. Other nominations would include the Star Wars’ star, Adam Driver in his feature in BlacKkKlansman, Timothee Chalamet in Beautiful Boy, and Russell Crowe’s performance in Boy Erased.
Best Supporting Actress
From the touch of a finger, Claire Foy won the hearts of audiences in her performance as Janet Shearon (Neil Armstrong’s wife) in First Man. Graceful, raw and intelligent was her feature, putting herself further into the radar and hopefully blasting off into the Oscars for a Supporting Actress nomination. Other nominations could include Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney in Vice, Academy Award-winning Emma Stone in The Favourite, Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased, and Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk.