×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

A Wild Oscar Race Is (Mostly) Taking Shape

As industry guilds continue to lay the groundwork, here's a look at how things seem to be playing out

It’s by no means time to start packing it in this awards season. Final ballots won’t even go out to Academy members until Feb. 12. But in the major categories, examining how the guilds have voted so far, some interesting battles appear to be taking shape. Underdogs are lurking and surprises can (and will) happen, but if you’re looking to place some bets, here’s a glance at how things seem to be shaking out.

Best Picture
Green Book” vs. “Roma

It makes sense for the producers and directors guild victors to be neck-and-neck. But even with “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly out of the Oscar running, his film is still beloved, and likely to perform well on a preferential ballot (even if it is divisive among the online commentariat). “Roma,” however, is the highbrow choice — the critics’ champ.

Director
Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”) vs. Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)

Cuarón has seemingly had this prize locked up all season, but you never know how sentiment can sway the vote. Lee is finally an Oscar nominee for directing, and “BlacKkKlansman” is popular overall. If there’s a sense that Cuarón doesn’t need even more hardware that evening — he’s the frontrunner for cinematography and foreign film prizes — watch out.

Lead Actor
Christian Bale (“Vice”) vs. Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)

The Golden Globe winners nosed ahead as the race started coming together, and Malek’s portrayal of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury ultimately looks like the one to beat. This Oscar has gone to an actor portraying a real person 11 of the past 16 years, and both fill that requirement.

Lead Actress
Glenn Close (“The Wife”) vs. Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)

It looks like Close is finally going to cross “Oscar” off her to-do list, but if anyone is a threat, it might be Colman for a fierce (and, like Close’s, Globe-winning) performance. “The Favourite” joined “Roma” in topping the list of per-film Oscar nominations with 10, so obviously there’s love for it throughout the Academy.

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) vs. Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

Ali is on a tear but there’s something equally endearing about the notion of Grant hearing his name called. Both have been delightful, charming presences on the awards circuit. This one could come down to whoever wins the British Academy prize, not unlike supporting actress. Speaking of which …

Supporting Actress
FREE-FOR-ALL!

Truly, you can’t boil this down to a two-horse race. There are shades of the 2016 supporting actor competition, when the SAG-AFTRA winner (Idris Elba in “Beasts of No Nation” then, Emily Blunt in “A Quiet Place” now) wasn’t even Oscar-nominated. Regina King was passed over by the union for her “If Beale Street Could Talk” performance, yet she might be considered the frontrunner due to her commanding string of critics awards. Of “The Favourite” duo, Rachel Weisz might be more of a threat than awards-watchers realize, while Amy Adams is, of course, on her sixth nomination with “Vice,” still looking for that first win. Even “Roma” star Marina de Tavira could shock in the way Marcia Gay Harden did for “Pollock” 18 years ago.

Adapted Screenplay
“BlacKkKlansman” vs. “A Star Is Born”

We’ll see what the writers guild says, but this is an interesting race with no clear frontrunner, (though “BlacKkKlansman” and “If Beale Street Could Talk” have pulled in the most critics awards). It’s a place for votes to pool around “A Star Is Born” if indeed that picture is out of play in most of the other categories, which would be sort of apt, as one of the many takes on the film is that it’s the best iteration of an ages-old classic.

Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” vs. “Green Book”

“The Favourite” and “Vice” are catnip for fans of the uproarious, though the former won far more critics prizes than any other screenplay in the category. “Green Book,” meanwhile, is a best picture frontrunner. This could be a flip of the coin. That’s the way it felt at the Globes, too, where “Green Book” won.

More Film

  • Zachary LeviMTV Movie & TV Awards,

    MTV Movie & TV Awards Winners: The Complete List

    The MTV Movie & TV Awards are returning to television Monday, with host Zachary Levi and a number of pop culture favorites. Dominating this year’s nominations are front runners “Avengers: Endgame” and “Game of Thrones” with four nominations apiece, as well as the Oscar-nominated documentary “RBG,” which scored another four nods. This year’s show also [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Jon Ham Richard Jewell

    Olivia Wilde, Jon Hamm Join Clint Eastwood's 'Richard Jewell' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Olivia Wilde and Jon Hamm have joined the cast of Clint Eastwood’s already star-studded drama “Richard Jewell.” Paul Walter Hauser is set to star as the titular Jewell in Warner Bros.’ pic alongside Sam Rockwell as Jewell’s attorney and Kathy Bates as Jewell’s mother. The drama is based on Marie Brenner’s article in Vanity Fair [...]

  • Where the Wind Blows

    Hong Kong's 'Where the Wind Blows' Sidesteps Protests For China Promo

    Hong Kong film director Philip Yung and his cast were in Shanghai on Monday to promote their upcoming film “Where the Wind Blows.” They revealed new details while cautiously sidestepping — for the most part — the awkward issue of last week’s massive civil protests in Hong Kong against a controversial bill that would have [...]

  • Awkwafina Oscars 2019

    Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde Among Maui Film Festival Honorees

    Held in beautiful Wailea, Hawaii, the 2019 Maui Film Festival honored Awkwafina, Paul Rudd, Olivia Wilde, Gina Rodriguez, Maya Erskine and Joe Manganiello with awards at this year’s festival running June 12-16. In addition to screening films and hosting several food and culture events, the film fest gave out awards to the actors for their [...]

  • Dee Rees

    Dee Rees Directing 'Kyd's Exquisite Follies' Movie Musical

    “Mudbound” director Dee Rees will direct independent movie musical fantasy “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” from her own script. “The Kyd’s Exquisite Follies” will be produced by Cassian Elwes, one of the “Mudbound” producers. Santigold is set to compose the music, with Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic creating the film’s visual effects. Endeavor Content is repping the [...]

  • The Paradise

    Shanghai Film Review: 'The Paradise'

    Although gritty dramas about the hell of drug addiction are seldom in short supply in the low-budget independent sphere, it’s hard to imagine even the most uncompromising U.S. film committing quite as tenaciously to the idea of the bleak futility and probable failure of rehabilitation as Shih Han Liao’s compelling downer “The Paradise” (title ironic). [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content