Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Nomination Picks for The 91st Academy Awards

For the past several ceremonies, the films and talent nominated for the Academy Awards have passed by without a hitch. Leading up to this year’s prestigious award show, multiple nominees have received praise and acclaim from critics and fans as well as harsh criticism and become the face of dangerous allegations. This has been one of the closest races for nominees so far. The growing anticipation and excitement have made us wonder who will win or walk away empty-handed this year. I thought it'd be fun to share my top picks of everything from Best Music to Best Picture. Who do you hope will win at the 91st Academy Awards? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!

Best Original Score: Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther

While Justin Hurwitz's score for First Man is considered to be one of the biggest snubs this year, the rest of the category's nominees are all worthy of stepping up to the plate. Namely, Nicholas Brittel for If Beale Street Could Talk, and Ludwig Göransson for Black Panther. Both composers weave beautiful imagery into their music - Britell captures the enduring love of family during societal struggles in the 1970s while Göransson mixes history and tradition with the technological future of Wakanda. It's a tough call to make but my money is Göransson.

Best Original Song: Shallow, A Star Is Born

Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, and their collaborators easily produced one of the catchiest and popular soundtracks for an Oscar contender in a long time. While several songs such as Black Eyes, Look What I Found and Always Remember Us This Way were my personal favorites, there's no doubt about the power behind Shallow. After catching tremendous air time on the radio and earning nominations for the Oscars and the Grammys, it’s hard to imagine its creators aren’t taking home this statuette. The live performance with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper at the Oscars ceremony is sure to be phenomenal as well.

Best Cinematography: Matt Libatique, A Star Is Born

I don't know what the odds are that Libatique, who was charged with assault in November 2018, will win an Oscar for Best Cinematography, but since this is Hollywood, it could likely happen. Despite his actions late last year, it's tough to admit that his work in A Star Is Born was top-notch. From the beginning of the film to the end, Libatique's eye for placing the camera in front of the film's stars created a booming atmosphere of being at a concert yet subtle intimacy as the tumultuous relationship between Jackson and Ally unfolds.

Best Visual Effects: Avengers: Infinity War

From explosive action scenes to creating entire fictional planets, superhero movies are always an easy 'in' when it comes to the Visual Effects category at the Oscars. When Thanos claimed all of the infinity stones and wiped out half of the galaxy, it was the snap heard around the universe. By exploring different planets to digitizing action sequences between the Avengers and Thanos's cronies, Infinity War proved why and how such big movies can also be a work of art. Marvel Cinematic Universe's special-effects has only gotten better with every single installment and spin-off, and Infinity War might be one of its best yet, if not the best.

Best Production Design: Fiona Crombie, The Favourite

Everything about Yorgos Lanthimos's The Favourite flips what we've seen about historical-inspired films upside down. Except for the production design. With an extremely limited budget and color scheme, Fiona Crombie managed to recreate a semblance of Queen Anne's luxurious residence where Yorgos's audacious characters come to life. You might not want to be one of the Queen's mistresses, but you still definitely want to visit her castle where the breakdances are one of a kind.

Best Costume Design: Ruth E. Carter, Black Panther

Costume design probably isn't considered a hot race to watch out for, but the clothes do make the characters for popular films as well as dramas or historical films. A superhero's protective combat gear is not often recognized for Best Costume Design, but Black Panther's groundbreaking nominations spark a different era for comic book movies. Drawing on the vast culture of African tribes to create a vibrant and bold futuristic Wakanda, Ruth E. Carter is one of the many elements that made the film a rich experience.

With multiple wins under her belt already, and two nominations this year, Sandy Powell is also a powerful contender to win. It wouldn't be surprising if she won for her off-beat sense of style that reversed gender stereotypes in The Favourite or reinventing Mary Poppins classic wardrobe in Mary Poppins Returns.

Best Foreign Language Film: Roma

Having transitioned from a writing to director contender, Alfonso Cuaron has been a steady favorite of the Oscars in the past. In centering his latest film about his childhood in Mexico, the director's work has been picking up steam throughout the award show season once again. It wouldn't be surprising if he walks home with more than one award at the Oscars.

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

From press tour fumbles to accusations of historical inaccuracy, anti-Muslim tweets, and flashing, this award show season hasn't been smooth for Green Book. Somehow the film has managed to maintain its popularity by winning several major prizes including the Producers Guild Award. Only two years ago Mahershala took home this award in 2017, and he's been the frontrunner for this category so far. Despite Green Book's hiccups, every role Mahershala Ali's charisma and poise touches turns into literal gold. Having been outed by the award show season so far, it'll be interesting if Sam Elliot sneaks in to win for A Star Is Born.

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Regina King has already garnered accolades this award show season picking up Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for Seven Seconds at the Emmys. And now that recognition will continue with her dynamic performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. She has some heavy competition with Academy Award nominee Amy Adams who portrays Liz Cheney in Vice. Adams has been nominated six times so far and it's about time she won. But King's win is looking to be a 'lock' here.

Best Actor: Christian Bale, Vice

Christian Bale has easily garnered a reputation for completely delving into a role from head to toe, and Vice is no different. While the biopic about Dick Cheney has received mixed reviews, Bale's performance has been leading the way throughout award show season. While I stand more passionately behind Bradley Cooper's corner playing Jackson Maine in A Star Is Born, Bale's performance portraying the former Vice President throughout his life is no easy feat and easily worth the accolades he's been accruing.

Best Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife

Next to the Best Picture nominees, the Best Actress race has been incredibly close between Glenn Close for The Wife and Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born. While Olivia Colman has been a favorite for The Favourite and her film is a mix of dark comedy and drama, the full-on drama llamas usually reign supreme at the Oscars. After the Critics Choice Awards tying for Close and Gaga, the actresses could repeat history from Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn's tie in 1969. However, I'm hedging my bets that they give it to the seasoned veteran.

Best Picture: Unknown

To be honest, this is the first year in a long time where I have no idea which Best Picture nominee will be taking home the biggest award of the night. Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book walked away with Best Drama and Best Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes to become the controversial front-runners. We also can't forget the winning streak that Roma has attained picking up major awards for director and as a foreign film. While my heart still rallies behind Black Panther, I'm personally surprised half of the award season is over and the crowd-pleaser A Star Is Born hasn't yet garnered one major prize for direction or production quality. This category is anyone's to claim, but it'd be exciting if we had another La La Land / Moonlight moment and A Star Is Born came in at the last second to sweep the biggest film of the night.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Despite the unpredictable nature of the winners so far, Alfonso Cuaron has been consistently picking up all the big prizes for Best Director. If his project wins Best Foreign Language Film as its predicted, it wouldn't be surprising to see him pick up a few other prizes for the night - Best Director included.

No comments:

Post a Comment