Crazy Early 91st Academy Awards Predictions – Special Features #16

Okay, I know. This is insane. The 90th Academy Awards haven’t even been held, and I’ve only seen like ten or eleven films from 2018 at this point. But I love writing about the awards season, but, to be honest with you, I find the annual best picture frontrunner backlash to be draining. So, therefore, I think it’s much easier for me to write about next year’s awards season. And don’t you worry, I have a pretty good idea of what is coming out this year. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Okay, so, first, I have to preface these predictions by saying that I won’t present nomination predictions for each and every award. Obviously, the Short Film categories, the documentary category, and the Foreign-Language Film category are all out. Sorry folks, this post is all about predicting the nominations for the above the line film categories, which also means that many of the technical awards won’t be discussed here.


Best Animated Feature Film

  • Incredibles 2 – Disney-Pixar
  • Isle of Dogs – Fox Searchlight
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 – Disney
  • Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero – Fun Academy
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – Sony Pictures Animation

This is always tough to call this far out, especially since there always seem to pop up at least one or two foreign films in here. My foreign thinking-out-of-the-box suggestion this year would probably be Mamoru Hosoda’s Mirai of the Future.

Also, I know Spidey is a superhero movie — and that may, ultimately, be a problem — but it just looks so good and stylish. I’m betting on Sgt. Stubby here because it’s an animated war movie with a dog. Honestly, this feels like the War Horse of animated movies. Other possibilities here include Aardman’s Early Man and Illumination Entertainment’s The Grinch.


Best Adapted Screenplay

  • First Man – Josh Singer & Nicole Perlman
  • If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
  • Leave No Trace – Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini
  • Mary Queen of Scots – Beau Willimon
  • Wildlife – Paul Dano & Zoe Kazan

I should probably point this out here — and really this goes for all of the following categories — but this is incredibly difficult to predict. Predicting these nominations this early is mostly about using early word of mouth to your favor and mixing that with major names in Hollywood’s next projects.

The top two choices seem obvious to me, and the rest of them are moreso educated guesses. Other possibilities include: Boy Erased or maybe even Black Panther, considering the fact that Logan actually got a nomination here this year.


Best Original Screenplay

  • Backseat – Adam McKay
  • Private Life – Tamara Jenkins
  • Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
  • The Favourite – Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara
  • The Tale – Jennifer Fox

Maybe Burden could pop up in this category too. Backseat and The Tale are probably the early favorites, with Roma perhaps being the real outsider. The big question for me with Roma is if it’ll only be a foreign-language contender or if it’ll break through like Michael Haneke’s Amour did.


Best Supporting Actor

  • Armie Hammer – On the Basis of Sex
  • Stephan James – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
  • Sam Rockwell – Backseat
  • Forest Whitaker – Burden

Okay, so, Michael B. Jordan is a bit of a risky choice this early, but Black Panther is huge this year — and people are comparing Jordan to Ledger. This might be the year where a superhero performance breaks through for Marvel.

Rockwell is likely getting an Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards, but I could definitely see him get another nomination next year. The trouble with Backseat is that I’m not sure if Rockwell or Steve Carrell’s role is juicier. Another possibility here could be Colin Farrell if Widows is as good as I hope it is.


Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – Backseat
  • Nicole Kidman – Boy Erased
  • Carey Mulligan – Wildlife
  • Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots
  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Olivia Colman’s role in The Favourite might be juicier than Weisz’, but I don’t know. Honestly, I’m not even sure if Amy Adams’ role in Backseat is a supporting performance or a lead, but I’m putting her here for now. Claire Foy for First Man and maybe Vera Farmiga for The Front Runner are other possibilities that I considered.


Best Actor

  • Christian Bale – Backseat
  • Ben Foster – Leave No Trace
  • Ryan Gosling – First Man
  • Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased
  • Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here

I definitely get the feeling that this is the Bale versus Gosling year. I’d say those two are locks, if their movies are good. I also considered Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born, Paul Giamatti in Private Life, Garrett Hedlund in Burden, and, finally, Hugh Jackman in The Front Runner.


Best Actress

  • Laura Dern – The Tale
  • Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex
  • KiKi Layne – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Saoirse Ronan – Mary Queen of Scots
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite

I obviously haven’t seen the film yet, but I get the feeling that this is finally Laura Dern’s year. Felicity Jones seems like a classic Oscar pick though, and I’m hoping KiKi Layne could pop up in this category for Barry Jenkins’ next film — and I think she will. Other performances I considered include Viola Davis in Widows, Kathryn Hahn in Private Life, and maybe even Toni Collette in The Hereditary.


Best Director

  • Damien Chazelle – First Man
  • Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
  • Jennifer Fox – The Tale
  • Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Adam McKay – Backseat

Jennifer Fox is the only ‘new’ name that I’m predicting. The other picks just make sense to me. I’m also super excited for The Favourite, because Yorgos Lanthimos is making a costume drama. It seems so interesting on paper. Paul Dano may also pop up in this category, but he’s a first time director, which is why I’m not putting him in immediately.


Best Picture

  1. First Man – Universal Pictures
  2. Backseat – Annapurna Pictures
  3. The Tale – HBO Films
  4. If Beale Street Could Talk – Annapurna Pictures
  5. The Favourite – Fox Searchlight
  6. Wildlife – IFC Films
  7. Boy Erased – Focus Features
  8. Roma – Participant Media
  9. Mary Queen of Scots – Focus Features
  10. Black Panther – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

This one is tough, but First Man and Backseat seem like perfect projects for the 91st Academy Awards. The Tale has great early reviews, so that may actually be the real frontrunner. I’m currently putting Black Panther at #10, because I think that both Logan and Wonder Woman were pretty close this year.


– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen

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