The 91st Academy Awards Ceremony will be held on Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The Oscars, so named for the nickname of the statuette award, are given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This year’s Oscars originally were to be hosted by comedian Kevin Hart, however he dropped out after a series of old homophobic jokes and tweets resurfaced. Various other hosts were considered, but none agreed. Therefore, this year will be the first ceremony in three decades to be held without a host, last one being the 61st Academy Awards in 1989. We will see if the lack of a host hurts or helps viewership, as the Oscars have been steadily losing viewing audience over the past years as the nominations themselves are not expected to bring in great numbers of viewers.
We’ve taken a look at the nominees and here’s what we think:
For Best Picture
With the possibility of up to 10 films being nominated for Best Picture, this year there are eight nominees:
- Black Panther
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- The Favourite
- Green Book
- A Star Is Born
Roma and The Favourite lead with the most Oscar nominations overall, however A Star Is Born, BlacKkKlansman, and of course the blockbuster Black Panther all hold a good chance at winning Best Picture. There’s something to be said about Black Panther being the very first comic book film to be nominated in the category.
For Best Director
- Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
- Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite
- Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
- Adam McKay for Vice
- Paweł Pawlikowski for Cold War
Spike Lee has been nominated for his very first Oscar ever, so winning Best Director would be the cherry on the top. The surprise snub in the category was the omission of Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born, who was, however, nominated for best actor (see below). Double nominations are fairly rare with the last actor/director to get them being Clint Eastwood in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby.
For Best Actor
- Christian Bale – Vice as Dick Cheney
- Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born as Jackson “Jack” Maine
- Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate as Vincent van Gogh
- Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody as Freddie Mercury
- Viggo Mortensen – Green Book as Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga
No surprise that Christian Bale, Rami Malek, Viggo Mortensen, and Bradley Cooper are in the running, considering all four have received nods already in other awards ceremonies. However, John David Washington of BlacKkKlansman was snubbed, allowing Willem Dafoe to sneak in for the final spot.
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For Best Actress
- Yalitza Aparicio – Roma as Cleodegaria “Cleo” Gutiérrez
- Glenn Close – The Wife as Joan Castleman
- Olivia Colman – The Favourite as Anne, Queen of Great Britain
- Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born as Ally Campana
- Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? as Lee Israel
Seven is a lucky number, so Glenn Close is the favorite to win after six previous nominations that didn’t lead to a win. She has already beaten Lady Gaga at the Golden Globes and tied with her for a Critics’ Choice Award.
For Best Supporting Actor
- Mahershala Ali – Green Book as Don Shirley
- Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman as Philip “Flip” Zimmerman
- Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born as Bobby Maine
- Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? as Jack Hock
- Sam Rockwell – Vice as George W. Bush
Mahershala Ali is expected to win his second Oscar in three years for his role in Green Book, particularly after winning already at the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards. There were a couple of surprises in the nomination list – first that Timothee Chalamet of Beautiful Boy was not nominated and secondly that Michael B. Jordan did not get a nod for his much-loved role in Black Panther.
For Best Supporting Actress
- Amy Adams – Vice as Lynne Cheney
- Marina de Tavira – Roma as Sofía
- Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk as Sharon Rivers
- Emma Stone – The Favourite as Abigail Masham, Baroness Masham
- Rachel Weisz – The Favourite as Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough
Regina King won both a Golden Globe and Critics’ Choice Award, so an Oscar win would round out things nicely for the actress of If Beale Street Could Talk. However, Amy Adams has already seen five previous nominations, so she’s hoping the sixth time will be the charm for her. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were expected nominees in this category, but the last spot was up in the air until the nominations were officially announced. The surprise entry in this category is Marina de Tavira from Roma. The names most tossed around for the fifth spot were Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Claire Foy (First Man), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots), or even Michelle Yeoh, considering Crazy Rich Asians was an unexpected romantic comedy success in 2018.