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Peter T Chattaway

Oscars 2019: Best Picture

Which film WILL win the Oscar?  

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The Screen Actors Guild nominees for best ensemble, which is sort of the SAG version of Best Picture:

  • “A Star Is Born”
  • “Black Panther”
  • “BlacKkKlansman”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • “Crazy Rich Asians”

I believe it has only happened twice that the Oscar for Best Picture went to a film that wasn't at least nominated for this award -- once in 1995 (the first year that this award existed), and once last year (when the award went to Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri and Oscar front-runner The Shape of Water wasn't even nominated for this award).

The winner will be announced January 27.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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That is...a depressingly mediocre list of movies. 

I've been feeling for a while now that I don't see an early frontrunner, but rather than this making groups more adventuresome in their picks this just feels....random.

I guess three of the films are about race, and two are about performers. And I realize this is SAG and not Academy, so a lot of actor vehicles. 

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kenmorefield wrote:
: I guess three of the films are about race . . .

Four, arguably, if you take into account Freddie Mercury's Farsi background (and the fact that the actor who plays him is of Egyptian descent, which gives Bohemian Rhapsody diversity points of its own).

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I've said it at least three times, but I'll say it again: A Star is Born is winning best picture, and this list of nominees seems to confirm that.

I suppose there's the possibility of a BlacKkKlansman upset, especially if the Academy wants to make a political statement and rectify Spike Lee never winning an Oscar.

Otherwise, if a new Oscar front-runner emerges, I think it will be something other than one of these five, because I can't see any of the other three films here winning best picture.

Edited by Evan C

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The Producers Guild Award nominees (all of which I've seen):

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

All five of the SAG ensemble nominees are included on this list.

The winner will be announced January 19.

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I'm not sure what it means that Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture "Drama" and  "Comedy/Musical," respectively. I (sadly) wouldn't be surprised if either won the Academy Award.

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8 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I'm not sure what it means that Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture "Drama" and  "Comedy/Musical," respectively. I (sadly) wouldn't be surprised if either won the Academy Award.

Oh, I've thought since the second my Green Book screening ended that it was a shoo-in - not just a favorite, but a shoo-in - for Best Picture. Subsequent events gave me doubts about that initial reaction, but I feel like the Globes win is the beginning of the film's awards-chances rebirth (or a continuation of such if the film's campaign bottomed out a little while ago, which it may have).

To reiterate/underline what I've been saying since seeing the film, that doesn't mean I think Green Book is the year's best film, but it seems like the year's most slam-dunk Oscars film.

I know there's controversy around the film and its portrayal of Don Shirley, but do you know any non-critic who has seen Green Book and who has had less than glowing things to say about it? I don't. Yes, this is strictly anecdotal, but the over-the-moon enthusiasm of the film's proponents is what makes me think it'll win Best Picture. 

Feel free to laugh at this post when Green Book loses the big prize at this year's Oscars.

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9 minutes ago, Christian said:

I know there's controversy around the film and its portrayal of Don Shirley, but do you know any non-critic who has seen Green Book and who has had less than glowing things to say about it? I don't. Yes, this is strictly anecdotal, but the over-the-moon enthusiasm of the film's proponents is what makes me think it'll win Best Picture. 

I don't doubt it--I can see why both Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are big crowd pleasers, even as they aren't Joel Mayward pleasers. :)  My mother-in-law sent me an email 10 minutes ago saying she had been talking to a friend at church and mentioned I was a film critic, and her friend just had to ask me how I felt about about "Green Door".

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For 7-8 years, the People's Choice Award at TIFF tracked with Best Picture, and this is a suggestive bellweather for me, especially given that there does not appear to be a consensus favorite. Critics groups are rallying around Roma, which I just don't see, and If Beale Street Could talk probably is too soon after Moonlight. I guess one dark horse for me would be First Man, which I think is getting a pretty big campaign, has the sort of scope that Green Book might be considered lacking, and would let the people who feel sorry for Chezzelle for the whole La La Land/Moonlighting mixup give him a mulligan. It strikes me as a very Oscar-y film, particularly if people want to shy away from race-themed fare or politics. 

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21 minutes ago, Christian said:

At least she didn't ask about Green Room! :)

I should suggest she watch Green Room for a open-hearted road trip movie about overcoming racist beliefs. :) 

Regarding predictions, I agree with Evan that A Star Is Born ticks all the right boxes for an Oscar Best Picture winner--celebrates the entertainment industry (kinda), attractive stars in romantic roles, great music, and a great box office showing made me think it'd take all the awards.

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I mentioned this on Facebook, but only five of the last ten Oscar winners for Best Picture *also* won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (in either Drama or Musical/Comedy). And this, despite the fact that there were twice as many Globe winners for Best Picture, which means there are quasi-double the odds that the Oscar winner will reflect the Globes' choices. So, I don't regard the Globes as particularly decisive here.

As for Green Room, if the film is really that popular, shouldn't the box office reflect that more than it does? It hasn't made *that* much money, it hasn't been in the weekly top ten since before Christmas, and it's bleeding theatres right now.

Joel Mayward wrote:
: Regarding predictions, I agree with Evan that A Star Is Born ticks all the right boxes for an Oscar Best Picture winner--celebrates the entertainment industry (kinda), attractive stars in romantic roles, great music, and a great box office showing made me think it'd take all the awards. 

It also features a popular actor making his directorial debut, which did wonders for Robert Redford's Ordinary People and Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (both of which won despite being nominated the same year as a very highly regarded Martin Scorsese film -- Raging Bull in Redford's case and GoodFellas in Costner's case).

*But*, the Academy has also not been very friendly to remakes -- with the noteworthy exceptions of Ben-Hur and The Departed, the latter of which was directed by Scorsese at a time when many people felt he was really, really overdue for some Academy recognition -- and A Star Is Born is a remake of a remake of a remake (of a remake, if you count 1937's A Star Is Born as a remake of 1932's What Price Hollywood?). So, there's that, too.

I'm not sure box office counts for much here. The Shape of Water is the highest-grossing Best Picture winner of the past five years, and it made only $63 million in North America. The last blockbuster to win Best Picture was The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which was 15 years ago. The top-grossing Best Picture winner since then, in North America, is 2008's Slumdog Millionaire, which was an independent film that did very well for a low-budget movie, grossing $141 million on a $15 million budget. And just look at how La La Land (gross: $151 million in North America, $446 million worldwide) lost Best Picture to Moonlight *despite* winning Best Director two years ago. The fact that A Star Is Born has grossed over $200 million in North America might count *against* it these days.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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2 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

the Academy has also not been very friendly to remakes

This is true, albeit not unprecedented. And could Mutiny on the Bounty and LOTR be considered here, at least as film adaptations of an event/book which had already been made before?

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Regarding the Golden Globes, the last film to win the Oscar for Best Picture without at least a *nomination* for the Golden Globe for Best Picture was 2005's Crash. And prior to that, you have to go all the way back to 1982's Gandhi. And 1981's Chariots of Fire. And prior to that, 1973's The Sting. And prior to that, you have to go back to 1955, which was the last year that the Globes didn't announce any nominees -- just the winners. (Or is it possible they *did* make the nominees public, and somehow the list went missing,  such that Wikipedia doesn't bother to include it?)

So it seems very, very likely that this year's Oscar for Best Picture will go to one of the ten Golden Globe nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Poppins Returns, A Star Is Born or Vice.

Joel Mayward wrote:
: And could Mutiny on the Bounty and LOTR be considered here, at least as film adaptations of an event/book which had already been made before?

The 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty did win Best Picture; the 1962 version was nominated but lost to Lawrence of Arabia. The 1935 version, like the 1959 version of Ben-Hur, was arguably a remake of a silent film (or at any rate, it shared subject matter and a title with a 1916 film), which may or may not mitigate things here.

The only previous version of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was an animated TV special, which isn't quite the same thing either.

You could also argue that The Sound of Music, Chicago and other movie musicals were remakes of earlier non-musical films, but the musical versions were all adaptations of *stage* musicals that came in-between the movie versions, so that's not quite the same thing either. It feels like a whole other category, at any rate.

So basically, every remake that has won the Oscar for Best Picture was adapted from a silent movie, a foreign film, an animated TV special, or a stage musical that may or may not have been related to the earlier non-musical movie. None of them have been straightforward same-genre remakes like A Star Is Born.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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On 1/4/2019 at 11:02 AM, Peter T Chattaway said:

The Producers Guild Award nominees (all of which I've seen):

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

All five of the SAG ensemble nominees are included on this list.

The winner will be announced January 19.

And the winner is... Green Book!

Which wasn't even nominated for the SAG ensemble award.

Still, Deadline notes: "In its 29-year history, the PGA Awards have synched up with the Oscars on 20 honorees. It would be 21 if you count 2013, when 12 Years a Slave and Gravity tied for the top PGA prize, with the former going on to score the Oscar. The two differed in two of the past three years, however: 2016 PGA winner La La Land and 2015’s The Big Short came up short for the Oscar against Moonlight and Spotlight, respectively."

Hmmm. How often has a film won the PGA *and* the Golden Globe but *not* the Oscar? ... I count five such occasions. The question is complicated by the fact that there are *two* Golden Globes for Best Picture -- one for Drama and one for Musical/Comedy -- but here's what I see:

It has happened once that a film won the PGA and the Golden Globe and lost the Oscar to a film that wasn't nominated for the Globe, i.e. when 2005's Brokeback Mountain won the PGA and the Globe but lost the Oscar to Crash.

It has happened once that a film won the PGA and the Golden Globe and lost the Oscar to a film that was nominated in the same Globe category, i.e. when 2004's The Aviator won the PGA and the Globe (for Drama) and lost the Oscar to Million Dollar Baby.

It has happened twice that a film won the PGA and the Golden Globe for Musical/Comedy and lost the Oscar to the film that won the Globe for Drama, i.e. when 2001's Moulin Rouge! won the PGA/Globe and A Beautiful Mind won the Oscar, and when 2016's La La Land won the PGA/Globe and Moonlight won the Oscar.

And it has happened once that a film won the PGA and the Golden Globe for Drama and lost the Oscar to the film that won the Globe for Musical/Comedy, i.e. when 1998's Saving Private Ryan won the PGA/Globe and Shakespeare in Love won the Oscar.

So, based purely on the PGA and Globe awards, the odds are very good that Green Book will win the Oscar, and it is more likely that it would lose the Oscar to Bohemian Rhapsody (which won the *other* Globe for Best Picture) than that it would lose to Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Mary Poppins Returns or Vice (i.e. the four nominees it beat to win the Globe for Musical/Comedy).

And Bohemian Rhapsody did get a SAG ensemble nomination, which Green Book did not. So, hmmm.

(And no, there does not appear to be a precedent for a film winning the PGA and the Golden Globe in one category and losing the Oscar to a mere nominee -- not the winner, but a nominee -- in the other Globe category. So it would be unprecedented if Green Book lost to Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk or A Star Is Born. Three of those films do have SAG ensemble nominations, though.)

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

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Vote!

Note: the Oscars agreed with four of the SAG ensemble nominees (the one film that got snubbed being Crazy Rich Asians), and all eight of the Oscar nominees were among the ten films nominated for the PGA award (the two PGA nominees that got snubbed being Crazy Rich Asians and A Quiet Place).

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This really is such a depressingly boring list of films. I hate none of them enough to rant. I like none of them enough to cheer. 

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I truly loved Roma and I'm happy it's received such recognition (although I've heard there's been a very aggressive campaign for it, so I'm not surprised) but I will agree that this is one of the least interesting list of nominations I've seen in awhile, with lots of mediocre-and-terrible in the place where beauty-and-goodness should be recognized.

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I agree with both of you.  Only Roma made my best of 2018 list, though I nearly gave Spike Lee's and Lanthimo's films honorable mentions.  I'm very disappointed that Beale Street and First Reformed didn't make the cut.

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On 12/12/2018 at 7:34 PM, Evan C said:

I've said it at least three times, but I'll say it again: A Star is Born is winning best picture, and this list of nominees seems to confirm that.

I suppose there's the possibility of a BlacKkKlansman upset, especially if the Academy wants to make a political statement and rectify Spike Lee never winning an Oscar.

Otherwise, if a new Oscar front-runner emerges, I think it will be something other than one of these five, because I can't see any of the other three films here winning best picture.

Well, that prediction is almost definitely not happening.

Based on the Oscar nominations alone, it would look like The Favourite would be the favourite, but that's lacking an SAG ensemble nomination and a DGA nomination, so that's two strikes against it.

Given Roma's two surprise acting nominations, there's clearly a good deal of love and a strong campaign for it, so perhaps its picking up enough momentum to win, despite not getting an editing nomination.

And the only film nominated for all three guild awards as well as picture, director, editing, and screenplay is BlacKkKlansman, so maybe Spike Lee will get it.

I suppose Green Book is still in the running due to its PGA and Golden Globe wins, but no best director nomination and no SAG ensemble nomination are two strikes against it, and I would be surprised if it overcame that.

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1 hour ago, Evan C said:

I suppose Green Book is still in the running due to its PGA and Golden Globe wins, but no best director nomination and no SAG ensemble nomination are two strikes against it, and I would be surprised if it overcame that.

I think it'll pull an Argo--win Best Picture, maybe Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing...and (hopefully) nothing more. I have no methods for my predicting madness, just a hunch. :) 

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2 hours ago, Joel Mayward said:

I think it'll pull an Argo--win Best Picture, maybe Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing...and (hopefully) nothing more. I have no methods for my predicting madness, just a hunch. :) 

It's certainly possible, although if any film's going to pull an Argo, I think Bohemian Rhapsody has almost as good a chance as Green Book.

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Evan C wrote:
: It's certainly possible, although if any film's going to pull an Argo, I think Bohemian Rhapsody has almost as good a chance as Green Book.

Nah. Bohemian Rhapsody has the Film Editing nomination, but it doesn't have the DGA nomination or the Oscar nominations for Director and Screenplay. Argo at least had the Oscar Screenplay nomination and the DGA nomination (both of which it won).

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On 12/12/2018 at 7:51 AM, Peter T Chattaway said:

The Screen Actors Guild nominees for best ensemble, which is sort of the SAG version of Best Picture:

  • “A Star Is Born”
  • “Black Panther”
  • “BlacKkKlansman”
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • “Crazy Rich Asians”

I believe it has only happened twice that the Oscar for Best Picture went to a film that wasn't at least nominated for this award -- once in 1995 (the first year that this award existed), and once last year (when the award went to Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri and Oscar front-runner The Shape of Water wasn't even nominated for this award).

The winner will be announced January 27.

And the winner is... Black Panther!

FWIW, the SAG winner has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture only 11 times out of the previous 24 years.

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