With the 2019 Academy Awards taking place this Sunday night, it’s time to have a think about what’s going to go down. After seeing all the nominated films again this year, Shaun Nolan thinks he has a fair idea of what’s going on at the Oscars.

I’m pretty obsessed with entertainment awards; when it comes to the Oscars especially, I like to make sure that I’ve seen everything (apart from nominated shorts and documentaries) so that I have a pretty good idea of what we’re working with. In the case of my 2018 predictions that I wrote for Miro last year, looking back, I’m proud to say that I guessed every one correctly, bar the curveball win by Jordan Peele for his Get Out screenplay.

Like last 2018, this past year has been an incredible one for cinema, ranging from my favourite film of the year The Favourite, to the Oscars’ first-ever superhero-flick Best Picture nominee Black Panther. But only one can win the big prize on Sunday night. And who is it going to be? I sat down and had a think and tried to explain my reasoning as best I could. For the sake of time, I’ll deep-dive into Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress, but I’ll stay brief with everything else.


Will win: Roma

Should win: The Favourite / BlacKkKlansman

Alfonso Cuaron's Roma

Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma  Credit: Netflix

There are two categories this year that feel so hard to predict, I almost feel like it’s a losing game by even bothering and Best Picture is one of them. I enjoyed a good selection of the films nominated for the prize this year, especially The Favourite, BlacKkKlansman, A Star Is Born, Roma and Vice, but a lot of people also seem to like the films that I didn’t enjoy so much – the Best Picture Golden Globes this year went to Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book, both of which I had issues with. But if we want to believe that the Academy will back the best films artistically, the most likely winner is probably Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which practically drips with artistic merit. It’s also a favourite among many, so it doesn’t seem unlikely. But if, for whatever reason, the Academy feels uncomfortable about giving a foreign language film both the Best Foreign Language Film and the Best Picture prizes (it will, inevitably, at least win the former), then Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Favourite and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman are two perfect – and critically lauded – films that could follow closely behind.


Will win: Rami Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody

Should win: Christian Bale for Vice

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody  Credit: 20th Century Fox

This one seems pretty clear cut to me and doesn’t require much explanation. Rami Malek has swept the boards with the Best Actor prizes this year, so it seems likely that he will hit a home run and take home the Oscar for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. But that isn’t to say that I think he should: Christian Bale’s turn as Dick Cheney in Vice was a transformative display that I think is slightly more deserving of the prize. However, if I were to have it my way, Ethan Hawke would’ve been nominated for his performance in First Reformed and would be taking home the award as well. His performance is one that has stuck with me for months now.


Will win: Glenn Close for The Wife

Should win: Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

I think this category makes me split hairs this year more than Best Picture does. Every single nominee in this category deserves to win the prize as all of them gave transcendent, scene-stealing performances in many different ways. I was most excited to see first-time actress Yalitza Aparicio nominated for her performance in Roma, which was a true masterclass in naturalistic acting. Melissa McCarthy also proved herself to be a fantastic dramatic performer in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, a role which is also more than deserving of the nomination. And Olivia Colman, who all of us Brits have loved for years, is amazing in The Favourite and will probably be the one winning the award if – for some reason – they don’t give it to Glenn Close. In all brutal honesty though, it should be going to Lady Gaga, who in A Star Is Born still leaves me speechless when I rewatch the film now. Her vulnerability and range in that film is remarkable and it’s a part that screams “Hollywood glamour”, a part that deserves the golden statuette. But maybe this is “Glenn Close’s time”, and she most certainly was brilliant in The Wife, but in all honesty, it wasn’t a performance that blew me away any more than a lot of others nominated this year. If (and when) she wins on Sunday night, it’ll mainly be for her body of work as a whole.


Will win: Mahershala Ali for Green Book

Should win: Adam Driver for BlacKkKlansman

I can’t say that this category excites me very much this year, but I do definitely have an opinion. While Sam Rockwell was believed to be the frontrunner here with his performance in Vice, it’s Mahershala Ali who seems to be most likely to win his second Oscar on Sunday. Personally, I’d like to see Adam Driver take it home. He was the best part about BlacKkKlansman for me.


Will win: Regina King for If Beale Street Could Talk

Should win: Emma Stone for The Favourite 

Emma Stone in The Favourite

Emma Stone in The Favourite  Credit: Fox Searchlight

 Regina King is surely going to take this and rightly so because her performance is beautiful. But if I had my way with awards, Emma Stone wouldn’t have won Best Actress in 2017 for La La Land (Natalie Portman would’ve won instead for Jackie) and this would be her first Oscar win. Her performance in The Favourite made me totally fall in love with her and she was the star of the show for me.


Will win: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma

Should win: Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite

My love for The Favourite continues here and my adoration for it is largely thanks to Yorgos Lanthimos’s stellar direction. But Alfonso Cuaron made magic when he did Roma, especially considering the film’s back story, and I’m not the only person to think it. It will be him.


Will win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

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

Phil Lords Spider-Man: Into The Spider Verse

Phil Lord’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse  Credit: Sony Pictures Animation

Not much to say here other than I’d never seen a Spider-Man movie before this one, but I loved it so much that I saw it twice. A true seminal work when it comes to the future of animated films I think and an achievement in the craft that deserves to be recognised and remembered.


Will win: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman

Should win: Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman

This was a hard one to have an opinion on in regards to “will” because none of the nominees seem to be spoken about much, but I think that the Academy will want to reward BlacKkKlansman somehow and if it isn’t for Spike Lee’s direction, it will probably be for this.


Will win: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly for Green Book

Should win: Paul Schrader for First Reformed

Ethan Hawke in First Reformed

Ethan Hawke in First Reformed Credit: A24

I don’t think Green Book is so deserving of any wins to be totally honest with you, but I think it could end up taking this one home for the same reason as BlacKkKlansman will likely win for adapted. But First Reformed is, in my eyes, the most-snubbed film of the year and deserves to win this at least.


Will win: Roma

Should win: Roma

No comment necessary! If anything else wins (likely competitor being Shoplifters), then I’ll be shook.


Will win: Ludwig Göransson for Black Panther

Should win: Ludwig Göransson for Black Panther

Lupita Nyong'o, Chadwick Boseman and Letitia Wright in Black Panther

Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman and Letitia Wright in Black Panther  Credit: Marvel Studios

Another category that seems hard to predict because none of the scores stood out to me this year like how Alexandre Desplat’s Shape of Water soundtrack did last year. But Black Panther’s score was notably better than other Marvel offerings and I’ve heard buzz about it, so I’m going to blindly put my faith in that.


Will win: “Shallow” from A Star Is Born

Should win: “Shallow” from A Star Is Born

Again, I say “no comment” like I did with Roma for Best Foreign Film. It won the Grammy, it won the Golden Globe, and it will win this. The film is incredible and this song is a good chunk of the reason why.

Finally, when it comes to the design categories, as much as I have opinions, I can’t say that I’m totally in-tune with what could win and what will win. Instead, I’ve given a single “prediction” marker, mainly signalling what I think should win.


Prediction: Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay for Roma


Prediction: Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve A. Morrow for A Star Is Born, or Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali for Bohemian Rhapsody


Prediction: Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart for Black Panther


Prediction: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma


Prediction: Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney for Vice

Amy Adams and Christian Bale in Vice

Amy Adams and Christian Bale in Vice  Credit: Annapurna Pictures


Prediction: Sandy Powell for The Favourite


Prediction: Barry Alexander Brown for BlacKkKlansman


Prediction: Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick for Avengers: Infinity War


Who do you think will be taking home the big prizes on Sunday night, and who do you wish had been nominated? The 91st Annual Academy Awards take place on Sunday, February 24th.