Oscars week is finally here, and cinephiles everywhere will surely be tuning in on Sunday night to find out which movies and stars will take home the big prizes at this year’s 91st Academy Awards.

Some fans may have already made some predictions for who will win each of the top categories, and here are our own! With no host set for the ceremony after the homophobic tweets scandal surrounding Kevin Hart, this year’s Oscars are shaping up to be unique. One can only hope that the 2019 ratings figures will be higher than last year’s dismally low numbers. The Academy announced this weekend that all 24 awards will be presented live during the broadcast and all winners will be allowed to deliver speeches, reversing course from a previous decision that quickly drew backlash.

Since the #Oscarssowhite scandal of 2016, the Academy has vowed to diversify its board membership to include more female and minority members over the next few years. Thus, the nominees this year reflect more diversity than there was that year and in previous years.

Here’s who will win and who should win in each of the top six categories:

Best Picture 

Will win: Black Panther. Should win: Roma or BlacKkKlansman. 

Following its win of the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month (for Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture) Marvel superhero blockbuster, critical success and cultural phenomenon Black Panther is poised to win top honors at this year’s Oscars. It’s come a long way from being predicted to be included in the “Popular Film” category that was proposed as a new award last August. However, that award for fan-favorite films was quickly scrapped after receiving huge backlash and mockery.

Alfonso Cuaron‘s autobiographical film Roma is a beautiful black-and-white portrait of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico and their lower-class maid. The film has earned rave reviews and has already made history as the first Netflix film to be nominated for Best Picture, in addition to it being a foreign-language film nominated in the top category. As a proud Mexican-American, I won’t deny being biased, but Cuaron is undoubtedly at the top of his game with his latest movie, which in some respect almost seems like an homage to filmmaking as well.

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, which is also based on a true story set in 1970s Colorado, is also deserving of Best Picture not simply because it is well-written and relevant to today’s issues — as it draws on themes of racism and white supremacy — but also because it features stellar performances, a great soundtrack and a stunning blend of humor (even if it is dark humor) despite the serious subject matter.

Best Director

Will win/should win: Alfonso Cuaron

Again, Cuaron — who won this award in 2013 for Gravity — displayed his multi-talented nature as the director, writer, producer, editor and cinematographer of Roma and should take home the Best Director Oscar again. Lee may be a close second, but as someone who earned his first Academy Award nod for directing this year, it’s still unlikely for him to win.

Best Actor

Will win: Rami Malek. Should win: Christian Bale

Malek was indisputably impressive as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and deserves much respect for his performance. (The American actor’s English accent was surely criticized by at least some Brits, but I mean come on people, he was carrying fake dentures in his mouth the whole time to copy Mercury’s unique look) Malek is coming off Golden Globe and SAG wins for his performance in the musical drama.

However, Bale’s transformation into Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s biopic Vice was absolutely astounding and memorable. The British actor — who won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy this year for his performance — is unrecognizable as the Machiavellian former vice president and plays Cheney with utter prowess and authenticity. Bale previously won an Oscar in 2011 for his supporting role in The Fighter. 

Best Actress

Will win/should win: Glenn Close

Close received rave reviews early in the awards season for her amazing performance in the drama film The Wife and won both the Golden Globe and SAG last month. The fiercest competition in this category is Olivia Colman, who won the Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for her role as the volatile English Queen Anne in the darkly comic period piece The FavouriteColman was undoubtedly impressive in the film, but Close’s acting is said to be much more nuanced.

Best Supporting Actor

Will win: Mahershala Ali. Should win: Sam Elliott

Ali is also the favorite in this category after coming off Golden Globe and SAG wins for playing classical pianist Don Shirley in the historical drama Green Book. Should Ali win, this would be his second Oscar trophy after he won two years ago in the same category for Moonlight, a role he was much more remarkable in. Aside from a few brief scenes, Ali’s performance in Green Book is arguably not as strong as that of his co-star Viggo Mortensen

Acting veteran Elliott doesn’t boast much screen time as Bradley Cooper‘s character’s brother in A Star Is Born, but his skill is undeniable and this performance is definitely memorable.

Best Supporting Actress

Will win: Regina King. Should win: Marina De Tavira or Amy Adams

King won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress this year for her role in Barry Jenkins‘s adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel If Beale Street Could Talk. However, she lost the SAG award in that category to Emily Bluntwho surprisingly won for her role in the horror flick A Quiet Place. 

Though King is earning incredible reviews for her performance, Adams was excellent as the strong and stalwart Lynne Cheney in Vice and De Tavira was also heartbreakingly raw as the matriarch of the family in Roma. Both roles are vastly different and it’s honestly hard to say which one outshines the other.

In other Oscar-related news, the Academy had initially said earlier this month that four categories — cinematography, film editing, live-action short and makeup and hairstyling — would be edited out of the broadcast and streamed on the Oscars website at the end of the show. However, after many nominees in these categories — and even several famous directors and actors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Kerry Washington, Cooper, Cuaron, Lee and Brad Pitt — wrote an open letter to convince the board of directors to change their decision, the Academy did so.


The Oscars will air Sunday at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST) on ABC. Among the stars who will perform at the ceremony are Cooper and Lady Gaga — who will perform their Best Original Song-nominated duet “Shallow” from A Star Is Born — and Queen and Adam Lambert, in honor of the band’s biopic film Bohemian RhapsodyJennifer Hudson will also perform the song “I’ll Fight” from the Ruth Bader Ginsburg documentary RBG, which is also nominated in the Best Original Song category.


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