Who’s taking home the gold in the 91st Academy Awards? (Possibly)


Disclaimer: These are not my thoughts on what SHOULD win in these categories. If that was the object of this article, these picks would be incredibly different. This is merely what I expect WILL take home the golden statues on Sunday.


“Roma” (Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón)

Based on the number of nominations and amount of press this film has received, this is clearly a favorite for the Academy (sorry “The Favorite,” I doubt you’ll live up to your title). Still, I admit this is not a certainty. If “Roma” loses, I would expect the winner to be “A Star is Born.” Despite their Golden Globes victories, I don’t think “Green Book” or “Bohemian Rhapsody” are likely winners. The former has encountered some recent controversy over its depiction of Don Shirley and the latter was too polarizing for audiences.

[Also, on a more cynical note, the film takes place in Mexico and features a female protagonist. As the Academy is trying to rebrand itself as more inclusive and progressive (think “Moonlight”), this would be a great opportunity for them. Also, the Mexican setting fits with the political climate of the Trump administration, a frequent target of criticism at the awards these past few years].


Olivia Coleman (“The Favorite”)

Following her Golden Globe win, Coleman is a shoe-in to win the award. While Glenn Close also received a Globe for “The Wife,” Coleman’s performance is more high profile than Close’s. Close has also received her fair share of Academy Award nominations in the past, whereas this is Coleman’s first. Still, Close has never won, so the Academy may give her the award as a celebration of her whole career (similar to Al Pacino’s win for “Scent of a Woman”).


Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)

Similar to Olivia Coleman, Malek is also a new face at the Academy Awards, unlike his main competitor Christian Bale (“Vice”). Despite its polarizing reception, audiences seem to agree that Malek is the most positive element of the film, making him an obvious choice to win. His Golden Globe win also helped point him on the right track this award season.


Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

After her Golden Globe victory, Regina King is a likely choice to win at the Oscars. If not her, the next most-likely winner would be Rachel Weisz (“The Favorite”).


Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)

Despite his recent win for “Moonlight,” I expect Ali to win again for his emotional performance as Don Shirley. The other actors in his category have received far less attention for their roles, and despite his popularity, Sam Rockwell was barely in “Vice.” Ali’s performance makes the most sense to win here, and deserves to.


“Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse”

While I would typically say Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” would be the straightforward winner, this movie has received so much critical praise and audience buzz that it seems like a sure bet. The film also employed lots of new and interesting techniques in its animation that elevate it above the typical family animated film fare. If this does not win, I would expect “Isle of Dogs” or “Incredibles 2” to take home the award.


“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)

This seems like the most clear choice of all. The cinematography from Cuaron has been one of the film’s biggest selling points, making it a definite choice for winner. This is really no contest.


“Black Panther” (Ruth Carter)

This is probably the film’s best bet. The Academy probably just threw it a bone for Best Picture as they did with “Mad Max: Fury Road,” hoping it would make a broader audience interested in the award show. The costumes in “Black Panther” really shined, and it would be a well deserved win.


“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)

The coverage of this film has stressed the personal nature of the story for Cuaron, making him a likely choice for this category. The film has also received so much love from the Academy that I am assuming it will take home a handful of awards, this one included.


“Free Solo” (Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill)

While I admit that I have not seen this film, it has definitely received the most discussion and praise of any on this list, so I assume it will use that to win. (Even though we all know “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” was the best documentary of 2018 and arguably one of the year’s best films overall).


“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Vice’s editing is so unique and creative that it would be a crime if it lost in this category. Of all the films in this category, it is definitely the only one whose editing I can actually recall.


“Shoplifters” (Hirokazu Kore-eda)

If “Roma” ends up taking home Best Picture, this would be the clear winner, due to its high profile in film circles. While most audiences have probably never heard of it (or its competitors for that matter), it still has earned a high reputation. If “Roma” loses Best Picture, expect “Shoplifters” to win this category.


“Vice” (Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney)

Because of course it will win.


“Shallow” from “A Star is Born” (Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt)

If my predictions are correct and “A Star is Born” takes home none of the big awards, this would be the one to satiate the film’s many fans.


“First Man” (Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm)

The Academy loves Damien Chazelle’s films and this one received far less attention than his previous work. If they are going to give “First Man” anything, it is going to be this award. The effects in this movie were incredible and added to the realism of the movie. They also drew far less attention to themselves than the effects in the competitors, so this would be a sensible choice.

Evan Burns is campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at evan.burns@uconn.edu.

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