Final nominations predictions for 91st Academy Awards

Well, this awards season has sure been a rollercoaster of insanity. From the collapse of early frontrunners like First Man and Widows to the rise of divisive and “controversial” films like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, it’s been a calamity of surprising moments few could have anticipated. But the madness of this time of year is what we awards prognosticators live for, even if we’re all feeling a little lost and deflated this season.

After a year of brilliant cinema, we’ve ended up with a potential Oscars ceremony from hell where mediocrity may reign supreme. Of course, that still remains to be seen and we have to get the nominations out of the way first. Frankly, this is the first year in a long time where most of us are throwing our hands up and admitting we truly have no idea what the Academy will do. Most of us say something similar every season, but there’s an inescapable feeling of dread this year.

Early on, it looked like our most nominated films would likely be A Star Is Born and The Favourite, which is still highly probable. But, given the recent groundswell of love for both Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, anything could happen here. Both films could score surprise nominations in categories not seen elsewhere. One thing is for certain; there will be plenty of painful snubs and shocking omissions, so prepare yourself for the implosion of tweets and think pieces tomorrow.

So, here we go with The Jam Report’s nominations predictions for the 91st Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Alternate: First Man

We aren’t getting ten nominees, especially given it’s still yet to happen in the preferential ballot era of Oscar voting. But we’re all allowed to pick up to ten, so I’m taking them all. It’s far more likely we’ll get seven or eight nominees, and my wishful thinking for Mary Poppins Returns is just that. Sigh. Vice and If Beale Street Could Talk are also rather shaky predictions, so one of them will likely miss out too. First Man has seen a slight recent resurgence, thanks to a strong showing at BAFTA, but it will likely share a similar fate here with plenty of tech nominations but not one for the big category.

BEST DIRECTOR
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski – Cold War

Alternate: Peter Farrelly – Green Book

There was a time when the five DGA nominees matched the Oscars exactly, but for the last few years, there’s been at least one crazy shock in this category. Think Lenny Abrahamson for Room or Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread. As such, my wacky pick for this year is Pawlikowski, who managed a surprise BAFTA nomination and could very well do the same here. After his DGA snub, it’s possible Lanthimos could miss out, which would be a travesty, but it is the Oscars, so who knows.

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale – Vice
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman

Alternate: Ethan Hawke – First Reformed

Four of these spots are absolute locks, with Bale, Cooper, Malek, and Mortensen scoring nominations at all the key precursor awards. That fifth slot is entirely up in the air. Hawke has scored the lion’s share of Best Actor prizes with the critics’ awards, but failed to nab the all-important SAG or BAFTA noms. Washington seems the more likely choice here, especially if BlacKkKlansman overperforms like it has been everywhere else.

BEST ACTRESS
Emily Blunt – Mary Poppins Returns
Glenn Close – The Wife
Olivia Colman – The Favourite
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate: Yalitza Aparicio – Roma

After a ridiculously stellar year for lead female performances, this is easily the hardest category to predict. Much like Hawke, Toni Collette has won numerous Best Actress prizes with the critics’ groups for Hereditary, so her likely snub will look entirely ridiculous to future generations. The one most at risk is, gulp, Blunt, particularly if Mary Poppins Returns doesn’t perform like it once appeared it would. If Aparicio makes it in, Roma may have Best Picture all wrapped up.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali – Green Book
Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate: Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther

This one seems fairly locked up, with these five being the nominees at most of the precursor awards. Elliott has dropped off a few times, so perhaps he’s the one most at danger. Chalamet is the only potential nominee in this category not to appear in a contender elsewhere, so he could be entirely forgotten about…and expect Twitter to go into full meltdown mode if that happens. If the Black Panther love is exceptionally strong, expect to see Jordan sneak in.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams – Vice
Claire Foy – First Man
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone – The Favourite
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Alternate: Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots

Another one that seems entirely set, except for the unavoidable fact King was snubbed by both SAG and BAFTA, which is a huge dent in her Oscar campaign where she’s considered the frontrunner to win. It seems inconceivable the Academy will make the same egregious mistake, but never say never.

I won’t elaborate on the remaining categories. Let’s just run through them.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book
Roma
Vice

Alternate: Eighth Grade

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star Is Born

Alternate: Leave No Trace

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cold War
The Favourite
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

Alternate: If Beale Street Could Talk

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

Alternate: Crazy Rich Asians

BEST FILM EDITING
The Favourite
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Alternate: BlacKkKlansman

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIR
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Vice

Alternate: Mary Queen of Scots

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Black Panther
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns

Alternate: Roma

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Panther
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Alternate: BlacKkKlansman

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“All the Stars” – Black Panther
“Girl in the Movies” – Dumplin’
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Mary Poppins Returns
“I’ll Fight” – RBG
“Shallow” – A Star Is Born

Alternate: “Revelation” – Boy Erased

BEST SOUND EDITING
Black Panther
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma
A Star Is Born

Alternate: Mission: Impossible – Fallout

BEST SOUND MIXING
Black Panther
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born

Alternate: Bohemian Rhapsody

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Ready Player One

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Alternate: The Grinch

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
RBG
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Alternate: Shirkers

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Burning
Capernaum
Cold War
Roma
Shoplifters

Alternate: Never Look Away

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Animal Behaviour
Bao
Bilby
Lost and Found
Weekends

Alternate: Age of Sail

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Black Sheep
End Game
Period. End of Sentence.
Women of the Gulag
Zion

Alternate: My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Caroline
Detainment
Icare
Marguerite
Skin

Alternate: Fauve

Final predicted tally:
A Star Is Born – 11
Black Panther – 10
The Favourite – 10
First Man – 8
Mary Poppins Returns – 8
Roma– 7
Vice –6
BlacKkKlansman – 5
Bohemian Rhapsody– 4
Green Book– 4
If Beale Street Could Talk – 4
Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 3
Cold War – 3

Well, there you have it. As with most years, the film with the most nominations is generally unlikely to win Best Picture. So, while that total nomination number looks great for A Star Is Born, there’s every chance it’s only going home with one win. With only four (maybe five) nominations, is Green Book truly our new frontrunner? Only time with tell.

Let the games begin…

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