Best Foreign Language Film

Capernaum
Cold War
Never Look Away
Roma
Shoplifters

Will Win: Roma

Could Win: Cold War

Should Win: Shoplifters

This is pretty much Roma’s to lose, but given the Best Director nomination for Pawel Pawlikowski, don’t be surprised if his name is called for Cold War. Roma is going to be hard to beat, given it’s up for nine other awards, but there have been major surprises in this category before. So, with that in mind, I’ll be holding my fingers tightly crossed for a Shoplifters vote split surprise.

Best Documentary

Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

Will Win: RBG

Could Win: Minding the Gap

Should Win: Minding the Gap

The documentary field is a difficult one to pick – they often like to reward films that focus on one person, or one major event. So, given that 2018 has quietly been ‘the Year of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’, it’s likely that a win for RBG here will be a win for the Notorious RBG herself, and a sly dig at Trump and co. However, don’t cross off the emotional Minding the Gap, which on the surface appears to be just a film about skaters, and turns into so much more, or the visual spectacle of a man climbing up a cliff in Free Solo.

Best Production Design

Black Panther
Mary Poppins Returns
The Favourite
Roma
First Man

Will Win: Roma

Could Win: Black Panther

Should Win: First Man

The gif of the bathtub scene in Mary Poppins Returns has been doing the rounds on the internet for a bit, and it sure is impressive. But, are voters going to be wowed by bubbly visual trickery, or are they going to be stunned by Alfonso Cuarón’s recreation of era-specific Mexico? After all, what makes Roma such a powerful film is partly how Cuaron picks you up and drops you right in the world he grew up in. It feels organic, even though so much of it has been manufactured via digital trickery and real sets. With that said, First Man quite literally took us to the moon, carrying us all the way along in the rickety space shuttles. However, Black Panther crafted a stunning world that felt organic and alive. Could this be the only Oscar the Marvel giant walks away with? Personally, I’d say to expect the first of many wins for Roma to kick off here.

Best Sound Mixing

A Star is Born
First Man
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Roma

Will Win:A Star is Born

Could Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Should Win: A Star is Born

The sound awards usually confuse voters a little bit. The Sound Mixing and Sound Editing Oscars usually go towards war focused films, or to reward the music focused films out there. While First Man’s mixing and editing is impressive, so too is the mixing for A Star is Born. It’s impossible to forget the overpowering opening to that film, with the searing guitar riff exploding over the speakers. Sure, Black Panther is more bombastic, and no doubt the Live Aid set in Bohemian Rhapsody is nice, but it’s A Star is Born’s sound that lingers in your mind like a kick ass concert.

Best Sound Editing

First Man
Roma
Black Panther
A Quiet Place
Bohemian Rhapsody

Will Win: A Quiet Place

Could Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Should Win: Roma

The absence of sound might be enough to secure a win for A Quiet Place, with many considering the silence in that flick to be another character, but that would be discounting the powerful work from the First Man team who managed to help put you in the space shuttle with Armstrong and co. While First Man immerses you in the world of space travel, Roma managed to immerse you in the world of Mexico. The question is though, how many Oscar voters managed to see Roma with its intended presentation? With that said, Bohemian Rhapsody did just win big at the Sound Editing awards, alongside A Quiet Place. Black Panther is simply happy to be here. I believe way that A Quiet Place immersed you into silence will be enough for a win here, but don’t discount Bohemian Rhapsody with its dedicated recreation of the Live Aid concert.

Best Costume Design

Black Panther
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Mary Poppins Returns
The Favourite
Mary, Queen of Scots

Will Win: The Favourite

Could Win: Black Panther

Should Win: Black Panther

The Academy tend to go for period pieces over fantasy fare, so sadly this looks like it’ll be a battle between Mary Poppins Returns, Mary, Queen of Scots and the other royal affair, The Favourite. Given the ten nominations for The Favourite, this looks like it could be one of the few awards the film will take home on the night. However, don’t be surprised if the stunning and vibrant costumes in Black Panther help secure its award here, especially given this is Ruth E. Carter’s first nomination, and she goes up against three time winner Sandy Powell.

Best Makeup and Hair

Vice
Mary, Queen of Scots
Border

Will Win: Vice

Could Win: Mary, Queen of Scots

Should Win: Vice

A lot of what makes Christian Bale’s Dick Cheney so convincing is the weight gain he went through, but that’s being dismissive of the impressive transition that the makeup team did to make Bale look, well, so Cheney like. In the same way that the makeup for Darkest Hour helped secure a win for Gary Oldman, there’s a strong chance the same could happen for Christian Bale and Vice this year. With that said, transforming the beautiful Margot Robbie into a pox riddled royal could be enough to secure a win for the Mary, Queen of Scots makeup team.

Best Live Action Short

Mother
Skin
Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite

Best Documentary Short

Period. End of Sentence.
Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden

Best Animated Short

Late Afternoon
Animal Behaviour
Bao
One Small Step
Weekends

The short films are always a difficult bunch to predict. I have only watched Bao out of all of the films, so my predictions are merely conjecture. Bao is a Pixar film, it’s directed by a woman, and it’s damn good – an easy win here. Period. End of Sentence. is a documentary short about the access to sanitary pads in India, and as far as I understand, is an uplifting film in a way that the others are not. Marguerite is a short about an elderly woman considering the love she has for a carer – it sounds sweet, it looks sweet, and it will likely be the one that’ll carry through to a win on the night.

Total Wins:

Roma – 4, BlacKkKlansman – 2, If Beale Street Could Talk – 2, The Favourite – 2, A Star is Born – 2, The Wife – 1, Bohemian Rhapsody – 1, Green Book – 1, Incredibles 2 – 1, RBG – 1, A Quiet Place – 1