Marvel, a musical and more at the 2019 Academy Awards


Cast members of Academy Award-nominated film “Bohemian Rhapsody” Allen Leech, Brian May, Rami Malek, Roger Taylor, Joseph Mazzello and Gwilym Lee at the film’s premiere in New York City on Oct. 30, 2018. 

Aaron Hluch

In a little less than a month, we’ll take another optimistic leap back into awards season. The Academy Awards for the best movies of 2018 are drawing near, and this season has its own share of easily predicted nominations and surprising snubs.

To start, we have Best Picture, probably the most diverse of the categories we’ll see on Feb. 24. Up for nomination are “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “The Favourite,” “Green Book,” “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “Vice.”

Audiences and critics rejoiced at showings of “Black Panther,” “BlacKkKlansman” and “A Star Is Born,” giving us three probable frontrunners in the category. Fans of 2016’s “La La Land” may be excited to see another musical in the running for Best Picture since Bradley Cooper’s rendition of “A Star Is Born” was so widely well-received. However, those who loved John Krasinki’s “A Quiet Place” are more than disappointed that the thriller was snubbed for a nomination.

Next up is Best Director, boasting both familiar and refreshingly unfamiliar names. Nominated are Alfonso Cuarón for “Roma,” Yorgos Lanthimos for “The Favourite,” Spike Lee for “BlacKkKlansman,” Adam McKay for “Vice” and Pawel Pawlikowski for “Cold War.”

Fans of “A Star Is Born” are none too pleased to learn that while Bradley Cooper did not receive a nomination for his work as the movie’s director. He is, however, nominated for Best Actor for his work in the musical. He’ll be competing for the Oscar with Christian Bale for “Vice,” Willem Dafoe for “At Eternity’s Gate,” Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book” and the category’s only Oscar newbie, Rami Malek for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

While “BlacKkKlansman,” arguably one of the year’s most popular and culturally significant hits, is a nominee in six categories, lead actor John David Washington did not receive a nomination for Best Actor, while his co-star, Adam Driver, is a nominee for Best Supporting Actor.

To honor the best leading women on screen in 2018, we then have the nominations for Best Actress. Up for the win are Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma,” Glenn Close for “The Wife,” Olivia Colman for “The Favourite,” Lady Gaga for “A Star Is Born” and Melissa McCarthy for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Audiences and critics were impressed by Lady Gaga’s transition to mainstream acting, and as the lead to boot. Many had similar reactions to Melissa McCarthy’s continued push into dramatic acting.

“Roma” and “The Favourite” pop up once again in Best Cinematography for the camera work of Alfonso Cuarón and Robbie Ryan, respectively, who many consider to be the category’s frontrunners. However, 2018 was a year of beautiful cinematography, and further nominees are Caleb Deschanel on “Never Look Away,” Matty Libatique on “A Star Is Born” and Lukasz Zal on “Cold War.”

From there, we have the category of Best Production Design, meant to bring attention and notoriety to what you see around the actors in your favorite movies. Up for nomination are set design by Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart on “Black Panther,” Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton in “The Favourite,” Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas on “First Man,” John Myhre and Gordon Sim on “Mary Poppins Returns” and Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez on “Roma.”

Many of the positive reactions to “Black Panther” regarded its rich visual representation of African culture, and the movie’s production is vibrant and layered. Not many would be surprised to see Beachler and Hart taking home an Oscar for their work.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of this year’s Oscars is The Academy’s treatment of “Roma.” The film has received 10 nominations, unheard of for foreign language films at the Awards and tied with “The Favourite.” The movie’s nominations have already come up five times here previously, and the other five deserve a mention:

Best Supporting Actress

Marina de Tavira

Best Foreign Language Film 

Alfonso Cuarón

Best Original Screenplay

Alfonso Cuarón 

Best Sound Mixing

 Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan,

José Antonio Garcia

Best Sound Editing

Skip Lievsay, Sergio Diaz

Moving on, we have Best Film Editing, honoring those who set the pacing and mood for the movies we loved this year. The nominees are Barry Alexander Brown for “BlacKkKlansman,” John Ottman for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis for “The Favourite,” Patrick J. Von Dito for “Green Book” and Hank Corwin for “Vice.”

It’s unclear who and what will win at the 91st Academy Awards, but the public has its predictions. “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” are enthusiastically supported to win in categories such as Best Picture and Best Director. “A Star Is Born” has increasingly vocal and passionate support, particularly behind Lady Gaga and the film’s score. Fans of “The Favourite” and “Roma” hope to see the few women and Hispanic minorities represented this year take home golden statues.

We won’t be able to know for sure until Feb. 24, although in the meantime, we’ll just have to keep hoping and guessing.

Aaron Hluch is an entertainment writer. Contact him at [email protected]