FEBRUARY 23 ― The 2019 Oscars is just a few days away, and in a much welcome change from the previous Oscars, there doesn't seem to be any consensus at all between the preceding awards ceremonies in most of the major categories, which means that this year's Oscars is unusually wide open and of course very hard to predict!
The lack of space here also means that I can't possibly give my predictions for every category, so I'll just have to pick and choose which ones to write about.
So without wasting any time, let's dive straight into my predictions for this year's Oscars.
The most wide open race this year is surely in the Best Picture category, with so many different films winning the title in the preceding awards ceremonies that the Oscar could really go to any one of the eight nominees this year.
Roma seems to be everyone's favourite, and won at the Directors Guild and BAFTAs, but we're forgetting that it's a foreign language movie and that it's also a Netflix movie, and there are parts of Hollywood (which also means part of the Oscars voters) that kind of hate Netflix right now for messing with the traditional movie business of theatrical exhibition.
Green Book is your traditional crowd pleasing Oscar bait, and seems to be well loved too, so it could be in with a shout, though what I'd love to see most is The Favourite winning it.
But don't discount BlacKkKlansman too, Spike Lee might just pull off a Scorsese with it (just like Scorsese did with The Departed).
Will win: Green Book
Should win: The Favourite
Just because Alfonso Cuaron should win this on merit for his work on Roma (and by winning at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Directors Guild and Critics' Choice awards), doesn't mean that we should discount the Academy's habit of sometimes making the Oscars a sort of a lifetime achievement award, like they did with Martin Scorsese (who should've won it long before with the likes of Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas etc but finally won with The Departed), which means that Spike Lee may finally be due a Best Director Oscar with BlacKkKlansman.
My personal favourite would be Yorgos Lanthimos for his work in The Favourite, but a win for either Cuaron or Lee works just fine for me.
Will win: Alfonso Cuaron
Should win: Yorgos Lanthimos
The one true consensus in this year's Oscar race can be found in this category, with Rami Malek practically sweeping the floor at all the previous awards shows with his tour de force performance in Bohemian Rhapsody.
Even if the Academy loves performances as physically gimmicky as Christian Bale's in Vice, I don't think even he can stop the Rami Malek train this year. This one is Malek's to lose.
Will win: Rami Malek
Should win: Viggo Mortensen
The aforementioned Scorsese effect might also be at work in this category, with Glenn Close long overdue a Best Actress award, and her beautiful performance in The Wife might just land her the statue at long last, especially after she'd already won at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice and the Screen Actors Guild awards.
Her biggest challengers might be Lady Gaga, who gave an incandescent performance in A Star Is Born or Olivia Colman, who was endlessly fascinating as Queen Anne in The Favourite.
In any other year, Melissa McCarthy, who was electric in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, would be a strong contender, it's just a pity that it had to be this year.
Will win: Glenn Close
Should win: Melissa McCarthy
My personal favourite in this category would be Richard E. Grant's performance as an irresistible rascal in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but Mahershala Ali has dominated the industry awards circuit in this category, almost as much as Rami Malek did in his category, so a win for Ali seems very likely.
Will win: Mahershala Ali
Should win: Richard E. Grant
This is a bit harder to predict, because even though Regina King was a critics' favourite, she wasn't nominated at the BAFTAs or the Screen Actors Guild awards, with her rival here Rachel Weisz winning at the former.
Emma Stone also did superbly well with Weisz in The Favourite, so it really could go anywhere. If I were a betting person though, I'd still plump for Regina King.
Will win: Regina King
Should win: Rachel Weisz
I think it's pretty obvious that The Favourite is my favourite among the nominees in this year's Oscars race, so I'd love it if it wins here. But past patterns mean that if Green Book does end up winning Best Picture, then usually it'll be paired with a screenplay win as well, which might just happen here.
The Scorsese effect might also be at play here, for Paul Schrader's First Reformed, as he's long overdue an Oscar, especially after having written classics like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull.
Will win: The Favourite or Green Book
Should win: The Favourite
A win for BlacKkKlansman here should be a reasonable consolation prize for Spike Lee and his collaborators, but the Writers Guild threw a huge curveball when they awarded their prize to Can You Ever Forgive Me?, so it really is anyone's guess as to who will win this year.
My personal pick would be the lovely If Beale Street Could Talk, a beautiful film that's somehow snubbed out of most of the major categories.
Will win: BlacKkKlansman
Should win: If Beale Street Could Talk
Of all the Oscar races this year, this is the most exciting one, in my humble opinion. In a category that's been dominated by a win for either Disney or Pixar (both of which have got nominees this year in Ralph Breaks The Internet and The Incredibles 2 respectively) for the last seven years, the overwhelming (and crowd) favourite has clearly been Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, a fresh and irresistible gem that has swept through all the preceding awards ceremonies.
And we haven't even begun to discuss the gorgeous artistic triumphs of Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs and Mamoru Hosoda's Mirai.
There's not a weak nominee in sight here, and each and every one of them deserves to take home the prize.
Will win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
Should win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.