The 2019 edition of Oscar’s acting awards have plenty of potential for upset — but they are also the categories most likely to just make people upset. In our predictions below, we stan for those not nominated, come to accept that Rami Malek is probably going to win, and we celebrate some incredible performances.
Anna Swanson: In the alternate universe where the world is good and just, Ethan Hawke is our Oscar frontrunner for his magnificent performance in First Reformed. But that’s not the universe we live in. We live in the universe where Rami Malek, with his fake teeth and accent, appeal to the Academy’s love for a “transformation.” This is the same reason Vice‘s Christian Bale could potentially give Malek a run for his money. The Academy loves Bale, especially when he transforms physically for a role. Not to mention that with a Bryan Singer-sized stain on Bohemian Rhapsody there’s certainly going to be a handful of voters who opt for a winner that won’t rock the boat. But Malek has been cleaning up this awards season and I’m betting on this continuing with the Oscars.
Who should win: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Who will win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Julia Teti: The Best Actress race, like the past few years, is stacked with incomparable performances. Yalitza Aparicio doesn’t act but melts into the screen and diegetic space of Roma. Melissa McCarthy, following her Oscar-nominated role in Bridesmaids, offers witty banter and honest malice in her portrayal of Lee Israel with Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? While Lady Gaga proves herself a stage and screen force in the fourth iteration of A Star Is Born. But it’s down to two women who have shown these past few months that they are the ones to beat.
Olivia Colman has stacked up a Golden Globe, BAFTA, and a Critics’ Choice Award (for Best Actress in a Comedy) for her performance as the historic, haunted figure Queen Anne of England in The Favourite. Colman rules the screen, much like her monarch. She builds on erratic emotion throughout the entire film, playing the battlefield with previous Oscar winners (and current fellow nominees) Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.
Then there’s Glenn Close. She has the “It’s her time” narrative working very well for her. A Golden Globe, SAG Award, and Critics’ Choice Award winner, the seven-time Oscar nominee may now finally win her first Academy Award. While The Wife may not be up to par with some of Close’s previous Oscar-nominated roles – notably Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons – Close still gives a focused and subtle performance in a film that took over a decade to come to fruition. It would be a crowning achievement for the veteran actress, and the Academy does enjoy offering actors a break after their decades-long careers. With the narrative in her favor, Close seems like the obvious choice.
Who should win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Who will win: Glenn Close, The Wife
Best Supporting Actor
Max Covill: Listen, I know I should be predicting Mahershala Ali for his terrific performance in Green Book. Ali does fine work as Dr. Don Shirley as it was written by screenwriters Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, and Peter Farrelly. Often, Ali elevates that fabricated and poor script into something worthwhile. That in itself is quite a feat. A few of the other actors in this category made similarly stunning efforts. Adam Driver in BlacKkKlansman and Sam Elliott in A Star is Born both take their roles and perform brilliantly in them. Sam Rockwell in Vice happens to be a very eerie re-creation of George W. Bush and that basically sealed the nomination for him.
But it is Richard E. Grant who should be on that Oscars stage collecting his first Oscar win for his performance as Jack Hock in the film Can You Ever Forgive Me? Equal parts charming and skeevy, Hock is a bum who keeps Melissa McCarthy’s Lee Isreal company. He’s a bit of an alcoholic, but he seems trustworthy enough. That’s why he’s the perfect companion for Isreal’s dastardly plot. In addition to his staggering performance, Grant has been bringing joy to the Oscar season these past couple months. Campaigning is a big part of these awards and no one has been doing a better job than him. He is honored by the attention his performance has achieved and that kind of magnetism is hard to ignore.
Who should win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Who will win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Best Supporting Actress
Julia Teti: For the last few months, Best Actress in a Supporting Role has been Regina King’s category to lose. She touts a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award for her work in Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could Talk. There have been some big awards that King didn’t win this season, namely the BAFTA and the SAG Awards, but that’s only because the actress wasn’t actually nominated in those specific races.
King has worked for decades, dabbling in film and television. But with Beale Street, the actress breaths to life James Baldwin’s matriarchal character Sharon Rivers. Sharon is a guiding light for daughter Tish, and holds her family together at every step of the tumultuous narrative. She risks everything, gaining little to nothing. It is a remarkable turn that anchors the film in a familial space of love, resilience, endurance. With votes likely split on The Favourite‘s supporting actresses, Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone, this category seems as though it is King’s for the taking. She truly is the unassailable victor.
Who should win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Who will win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
To read our breakdowns and analysis of every one of this year’s categories, follow the links below:
- Skip to The Final Ballot
- Best Picture and Best Director
- The Other Best Pictures
- The Acting Awards
- The Writing Awards
- The Sound and Song Awards
- The Technical Awards