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Ed’s Oscar picks

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The Oscars. The most prestigious award ceremony in film and this year marks the 91st ceremony. 2018 had a range of potential candidates and it’s safe to say that the Oscars are known for throwing in a few curveballs. Whether they’re worthy of the nomination, it’s not up to us to decide but we can awkwardly cough in the corner and have our say *cough* Bohemian Rhapsody *cough*.

Previous years I’ve quietly kept to my predictions to myself. But this year, I wanted to share my perspective with a wider audience. I won’t delve into every category as I haven’t managed to watch all nominated films. However, I’ll give my best opinion on the categories that I can judge.

Best Director

BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee – SECOND FAVOURITE

Cold War, Paweł Pawlikowski

The Favourite, Yorgos Lanthimos – WINNER

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón

Vice, Adam McKay

As a huge fan of the man’s previous work, Lanthimos with The Favourite is deserved of the award. The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer have stuck with me in my list of favourite movies of all time and now, The Favourite is more than welcome to join. His directing is so unique and it brings a different edge compared to most. But, Spike Lee is the underdog with Blackkklansman. His hard-hitting ending sure pushes a message out to the world alongside a well-executed story from Ron Stallworth.

Cinematography

Cold War, Lukasz Zal

The Favourite, Robbie Ryan – SECOND FAVOURITE

Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón – WINNER

A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

The one thing you take away from the Netflix Original, Roma is how beautifully shot the film is. Alfonso Cuarón has, without a doubt, perfected the art of cinematography in his most personal creation – every detail flows in unison with the story. And where the story lacks in punchy-drive, the simple black-and-white aesthetic makes it easier for Cuarón to handle.

The wide angle perspective from Robbie Ryan on The Favourite is a personal favourite (pun intended) of mine. I watched in awe as Ryan took risks where others may be put off by the warped angles. It’s a film I aspire to hopefully take inspiration from one day, but Cuarón has this in the bag.

Original Screenplay

The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara – WINNER

First Reformed, Paul Schrader

Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly

Roma, Alfonso Cuarón

Vice, Adam McKay – SECOND FAVOURITE

I can’t go against The Favourite on this one. Each film is equally deserved of the award but the Davis and McNamara duo are at the forefront for me. However, I do have a soft spot for Adam McKay’s screenplay for Vice. His humorous biopic on the former vice president made for great entertainment while learning a lot about the harshness of American politics. However, The Favourite is just ahead by a nose.

Adapted Screenplay

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee – WINNER

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 and Will Fetters – SECOND FAVOURITE

The team behind Blackkklansman adapted Ron Stallworth’s inspiring true story into a piece worth watching over and over again. The final scene is impactful, bringing us back to life from a punchy, dynamic fictional narrative. But A Star is Born is also on the cards. Bradley Cooper made an acceptable remake, replacing Barbara Streisand with the ever-so-talented Lady Gaga. A major underdog in the category but my support goes to Spike Lee.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali, Green BookWINNER

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansmanSECOND FAVOURITE

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell, Vice

I will put my hands up here, I am yet to see Green Book at the moment of writing this. Reading up on the reviews from the likes of Jake Majthenyi and seeing the response on Twitter, I think Ali is going to win another Supporting Role Oscar – the first came in 2017 for Moonlight. With this in mind, isn’t it about time for Mahershala Ali to take a lead role?

Adam Driver pulled off an amazing performance in Blackkklansman, his pairing alongside John David Washington was perfectly executed and well-handled from Spike Lee. Nevertheless, I think there’s too much love for Mahershala for him to be pushed off of his podium.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Amy Adams, ViceSECOND FAVOURITE

Marina de Tavira, Roma

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The FavouriteWINNER

The Favourite runs away with the Oscars but even more so for Weisz. Additionally, Emma Stone deserves credit where credit is due, but Rachel Weisz stood out more out of the two.

Moving away from my biased opinion towards The Favourite, Amy Adams deserves attention for her performance alongside Christian Bale in Vice. With a rather fattened-up, frog-like Bale, she held her own in a very politicised film and supported him with poise.

Actress in a Leading Role

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman, The FavouriteWINNER

Lady Gaga, A Star Is BornSECOND FAVOURITE

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Was it obvious where I was going with this one? Not sure if I’ve made it clear or not about my opinion towards The Favourite… Olivia Colman won the BAFTA for Leading Role and I don’t think anything is stopping her taking the Academy Award back home to England.

Equally, Lady Gaga did take some of the spotlight away from her, but only briefly. Considering it’s one of her first lead roles in a major film, she acted superbly alongside a well-experienced husky-voiced Bradley Cooper.

Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, ViceWINNER

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is BornSECOND FAVOURITE

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Out and out, Christian Bale should have this down and padlocked. His commitment to the role and the way he impersonated Dick Cheney deserves the Academy Award. On his 40lb gain to play the part of Cheney he said: “You eat a lot of pies, you eat whatever’s handy. That’s what you do”.

Again, Bradley Cooper deserves some recognition in A Star is Born but it’s hard to compete against the likes of Christian Bale.

Best Picture

Black Panther

BlacKkKlansmanSECOND FAVOURITE

Bohemian Rhapsody

The FavouriteWINNER

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

ViceTHIRD FAVOURITE

I can feel an upset coming this year when it comes to Best Picture. We’ve had them in the past and we’re used to them, but this year has a different feeling about it. We were surprised to see Bohemian Rhapsody even enter the frame – it just shouldn’t be there.

The Favourite is an obvious stand-out choice, Blackkklansman is a worthy winner and Vice might win and cause an upset in the midst of an already upset political climate.

The one film that I don’t want to win is Roma. I’m a huge fan of its cinematography and the story has somewhat of a powerful message but I have a feeling this will be the upset.

For me, the night should focus on Yorgos Lanthimos’ directing greatness, Olivia Coleman’s perfection as a lead and Rachel Weisz supporting prowess.

What do you predict will happen this year? Do you agree with me? Comment below or tweet me @directedbyed and get involved with the Oscars chat. Let’s hope we don’t wake up to a major upset Monday morning…

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