Another year, another Oscars. As awards season draws to a close, speculation is rife on which film will win the prestigious Academy Award. It’s early days yet. Nominations were announced just last month, and we only recently learned that the show will have no host this year. So it’s a bit far-fetched to think we can predict the winners. But that’s not going to stop me from sharing who I think is the best candidate for some of the awards — and why they may not make the cut.
Who should win: Roma
Why it should: This film rides a line of fact and fiction thanks to the historical setting and semi-autobiographical nature of the movie. The cast is comprised of industry newbies and some familiar faces, yet every actor gave an equally poignant and moving performance. The story was a love letter to the strong women who hold families together.
Why it won’t: Roma has the distinct disadvantage of being a foreign language film hosted on Netflix. Streaming platforms, despite their colossal impact on other award shows, are still viewed with suspicion on this stage which laudes silver screen success. In addition, non-English films tend to be too niche to garner broad support, which may dash the Oscar dreams of this film.
Who should win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Why he should: Malek had his work cut out for him, portraying one of the music industry’s biggest and most beloved personalities. And he knocked it out of the park. He managed to capture every facet of Freddie Mercury, from his speech patterns and body language to his astounding confidence and determination. His performance was truly a homage to Freddie, Queen, and all their fans.
Why he won’t: I want to preface this by saying that it’s very likely that Malek will win this award, however he does face direct competition in the form of Bradley Cooper who is nominated for A Star is Born. This is not Cooper’s first nomination but it could be his first win; he portrays a troubled musician, a washed-up singer who rediscovers his voice, an artist who is swallowed by the cruelty of his own industry, a — well, you get the drift. Long story short, it’s definitely a familiar trope — and an Academy favorite (The Wrestler, Crazy Heart, Birdman), so this might be his year.
Who should win: Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Why she should win: McCarthy is definitely not playing to type in this film. We really got to see her full capabilities as an actor in her portrayal of Lee Israel. She perfectly captures the troubled aspects of the writer’s life — while nailing the comedic aspects of the film. And the best part? She is completely believable.
Why she won’t: Comedies and comedians of any kind don’t usually do too well in the Oscars, and McCarthy is up against some amazing actresses from more serious films. Out of these I’d put Glenn Close as her biggest competition; Close has beaten her out twice already at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
Best Animated Feature
Who should win: Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
Why it should win: In my opinion this movie tested the limits of animation as a medium, on both a technical and storytelling level. The use of multiple styles throughout the film was more than an artistic choice, it tied beautifully back into the plot. The whole film felt like a comic book come to life. Its Afro-Latino protagonist reached out to an audience that rarely sees representation as heroes on screen, and it told an inspiring story without shying away from the darker themes inherent in superhero films. The fact that it’s also genuinely funny is an added bonus.
Why it won’t: I think that Spider-man has a fair chance of winning this one, but it is up against two very serious contenders from big-name studios. Pixar’s The Incredibles 2 and Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet were lauded by critics and audiences alike. Despite being sequels, they’ve both received great acclaim for the stories they tell, and their studio backing might give them the edge they need to win.
Of course the only way to know for sure who gets to walk away with that golden trophy is to wait until February 25th. But until then, it doesn’t hurt to speculate! Do you have any Oscar predictions? Let me know in the comments below!
Shivangi’s interests include video games, psychology, and everything in between. Certified night owl, official nerd, and purveyor of fun facts. Follow her on instagram (@stixer11) if you want to meet her dog.