The Major Oscars Favourites

Cast Bohemian Rhapsody Source: Wikimedia The rumour mill has been spinning like a roulette wheel but now the Oscar nominations are out, the speculation has become even more intense. So let’s take a look at the major contenders:

Best Picture

Since its release last summer, the fourth remake of A Star is Born, directed by Bradley Cooper who also stars in the film, has been the front runner in most Oscar predictions. The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw is enthusiastic and says the film is “outrageously watchable and colossally enjoyable”, so it seems a prime candidate to capture the night’s most coveted award. Meanwhile, Gold Derby currently has the film sharing pole position with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, with its focus on Mexico City’s middle-class life during the 1970s. Even though it’s a film released on the Netflix streaming site, Roma has been receiving rave reviews from the critics, and therefore rocketed straight to the top of many prediction lists. A win for Roma would make it the first primarily non-English language film to pick up Best Picture award in the whole of the Academy’s 91-year history. And being the first Best Picture to be produced by an online streaming service would create another watershed moment for the film industry. And if there’s a surprise contender, the London Evening Standard believes “there’s no doubting the genius of Yorgos Lanthimos’s period drama The Favourite”, but adds, “the film could ultimately just prove a little too eccentric for the Academy’s taste”. Category nominations:

  • Black Panther
  • BlackKKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Roma* (*current favourite)
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper Source: Flickr Having won a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor in a Comedy, Christian Bale is an obvious favourite to win a second Oscar for his depiction of former vice president Dick Cheney in Vice. This Adam McKay film has certainly managed to split opinion, but as the Hollywood Reporter observes “even people who don’t like Vice come away from it blown away by how much Bale, one of our greatest actors, captures the ‘Darth Vader’ of politics, body and soul.” Nevertheless, this year’s category still looks a wide-open contest. Rami Malek’s surprise Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, earned by his portrayal of Queen’s Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, has provided the momentum which has swept him to second place in the bookies’ Best Actor lists. With Bradley Cooper having been snubbed in the Best Director category, the Academy members may just be tempted to give him an acting award instead. Category nominations:

  • Christian Bale – Vice*
  • Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
  • Willem Dafoe - At Eternity’s Gate
  • Rami Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Viggo Mortensen - Green Book

Best Actress

With little to separate the top three, this year’s nominations are arguably one of the strongest listings for many years. Lady Gaga’s performance in A Star is Born has received almost universal acclaim, with Peter Bradshaw rating it “mesmerising”. However, she will surely face a strong challenge from Glenn Close, for whom this will be a sixth nomination. Close recently picked up Best Actress in a Drama at the Golden Globes for her acting in the literary drama The Wife, as a result of strong support in the final stages. The momentum is with Lady Gaga following with her success in gaining the Critics’ Choice Award. Yet most observers are calling this as a three-horse race with Olivia Colman, for her starring role as Queen Anne in The Favourite, an English period drama. Category nominations:

  • Lady Gaga - A Star is Born
  • Glenn Close - The Wife*
  • Olivia Colman - The Favourite
  • Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Yalitza Aparicio - Roma

Best Director

Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Damien Chazelle (First Man) were all predicted to do well, but have all been omitted from the list. That perhaps leaves the way clear for Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) to take the honours, though he could yet see strong bids from Spike Leigh (BlacKkKlansman) and Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite). Despite his nomination for Vice, The Evening Standard sees Adam McKay as “an unlikely winner”, saying: “The Academy are likely to steer clear of the film given its polarising effect on critics.” Category nominations:

  • Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman
  • Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War
  • Alfonso Cuaron – Roma*
  • Adam McKay - Vice
  • Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite#es’ Best Actor lists.

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