Best Original Screenplay

The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book

Will Win: The Favourite

Could Win: Roma

Should Win: First Reformed

Best Adapted Screenplay

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
If Beale Street Could Talk
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
A Star is Born

Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Could Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Should Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

The last time a film won either screenplay award where the associated film wasn’t nominated for Best Picture was all the way back in 2004 with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. So, with that in mind, you can pretty much wipe off half of the nominees for either category this year.

On the adapted side, that leaves BlacKkKlansman and A Star is Born for the win. Sure, Can You Ever Forgive Me? just won the WGA award, but without a Best Picture nomination, its chances are slight. Especially when you put the film up against a potential win for Spike Lee, who could win his first competitive Oscar in this field, Can You Ever Forgive Me?’s chances seem downright impossible. Voters will want to reward Spike Lee in some way, and with little chance of a win for Best Director, here is their opportunity. Tough luck Bradley Cooper, better luck next year.

As for Original Screenplay, the field is tougher to break through. The WGA winner – Eighth Grade – wasn’t even nominated, so it makes predicting a little tougher. Will Paul Schrader’s first nomination be enough to secure a win? Unlikely. Will the memorable dialogue from Green Book be enough to help make Peter Farrelly an Oscar winner? I doubt it. Will voters want to reward Adam McKay with another Oscar for a film that’s awfully similar to the last film he won for? Not likely. Which leaves Roma and The Favourite. Alfonso Cuarón is no Pedro Almodóvar – the last writer to win for a film in a foreign language for Talk to Her in 2002 – so he’s out. Which leaves the very deserving The Favourite for a much deserved win.

Best Editing

Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book

Will Win: Vice

Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

That short clip of fifty something cuts in the space of a two minute discussion from Bohemian Rhapsody that floated around on twitter recently is reason enough to put a nail in the coffin of that film winning Best Editing. Sure, it took away the ACE Eddie award, but that’s the editing awards and not the Oscars, the overlap between the two isn’t as high as you may think. With that said, one could easily see the ACE Eddie Comedy/Musical winner, The Favourite, walk away with the award on the night. It certainly has higher odds than Green Book, which somehow managed a nomination here and is just happy for the consideration. So, it comes down to BlacKkKlansman and Vice. Barry Alexander Brown might finally get the recognition he deserves for helping shape Spike Lee’s voice over the years, but odds are that the extremely obvious editing from Hank Corwin for Vice will take the cake this year.

Best Cinematography

Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
A Star is Born

Will Win: Roma

Could Win: Cold War

Should Win: Roma

Alfonso Cuarón is the first director to be nominated for Best Director and Best Cinematography. That narrative alone is the reason why he will walk away with the Best Cinematography award on Oscar night. But… not so soon. Cold War cinematographer Lukasz Zal was nominated in this category for Ida, and lost. Will voters want to give some love in that direction? Or, will they realise the brilliance of Matthew Libatique and reward him for his personal, in your face work in A Star is Born? Given the names of the cinematographers aren’t on the voting ballot, it’s like that Roma will win here on notoriety alone.  

Best Original Score

Black Panther
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

Will Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Nicholas Britell should have won this award for Moonlight in 2017, but he didn’t, so here we are with an expected win for his powerful work with If Beale Street Could Talk. Yes, Alexandre Desplat could triumph again for Isle of Dogs, or Terence Blanchard could get the recognition he deserves for BlacKkKlansman, and maybe Black Panther and Mary Poppins Returns have enough score to sway voters, but really, if there is any justice, then Nicholas Britell will be clearing a space on his bookshelf for a little gold man.

Best Original Song

All the Stars – Black Panther
I’ll Fight – RBG
The Place Where Lost Things Go – Mary Poppins Returns
Shallow – A Star is Born
When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Will Win: Shallow – A Star is Born

Could Win: All the Stars – Black Panther

Should Win: Shallow – A Star is Born

Lady Gaga is not winning Best Actress, but she is definitely getting on stage to accept the award for Best Original Song. Already a one-time loser in this category, Gaga has been vocal about writing the song in character, so a win here is also a win for her performance. If there’s going to be a major upset, then it might be Kendrick Lamar with All the Stars for Black Panther. But, who am I kidding? This category is as locked as Glenn Close is for Best Actress.

Best Animated Feature

Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Will Win: Incredibles 2

Could Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

In one of the greatest disappointments in the night, I’m predicting that Pixar will reign supreme again with their superhero film – Incredibles 2 – knocking out the more deserving one, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This is pretty much the category to applaud Disney, with the House of Mouse having won 12 out of 17 times here. It’s pretty darn impossible to break through that track record, so here’s another win for Brad Bird and co.