Guide to the 2019 Academy Awards

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The 2019 Oscars are ready to roll

The 2019 Oscars will mark the 91st edition of arguably the biggest night in film. The Academy Awards will be held on February 24th at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The Academy Awards is always an eventful evening that never fails to provide talking points. The 2019 edition isn’t any different. The controversy  kicked off when comedian Kevin Hart was appointed and then stepped down after failing to apologize for his homophobic tweets. As a result, this year’s awards will take place without a host. It will be the first time in 30 years that has happened.

The Academy has selected dependable stars to deliver viral-friendly skits (instead of using a recognized emcee). The first batch of presenters that will hand out the statuettes have been announced. They include Jennifer Lopez, Chris Evans, Daniel Craig, Constance Wu, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Tessa Thompson, Charlize Theron, Awkwafina, Brie Larson and Whoopi Goldberg.

What’s new?

In June last year, the Academy invited 928 members from the film-making industry to join its ranks. Part of that initiative commenced under Academy’s former president (Cheryl Isaacs), with its aim being to address 2016 shocking revelation-it was revealed that whites constituted 92% while males were 75%. The Academy extended invitations to actors including Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman, Pinkett Smith, and Dave Chapelle. Directors, executives, and technicians were also included, all in a bid to offer a broader representation of opinion and improve diversity.

Further, popular film category that had been introduced in 2018 was withdrawn due to a hostile reception from fans and critics. They claimed the new category would certainly sideline crowd-pleasing blockbusters such as Black Panther. However, Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it would look into the matter and seek additional input if need be.It has not ruled out reviving this category in future.

Who’s Performing at this years Academy Awards?

As in tradition, nominees for Best Original Song, including Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. The duo will team up for their “Shallow” rendition from A Star Is Born.

Who has been nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards?

The awards ceremony is a few weeks away and speculation is rife as to who will walk away with the top prizes this year. The 2019 nominations are similar to the 76th Golden Awards. Roma and The Favourite lead 2019’s pack with 10 nominations each and feature in major categories. They are also up for BEST PICTURE alongside the following films:

  • A Star Is Born
  • Green Book
  • Black Panther (popular choice)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Blackkklansman

A Star Is Born and Vice are tied with 8 nods each. Black Panther has already made Academy history since it’s the first superhero film to get nominated for a Best Picture accolade.

It was also a year of biopics: Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen of Green Book reveal how a white man accompanied pianist Don Shirley on a tour during the Jim Crow years. It won Best Picture at the Golden Globes. Vice follows trials and tribulations of Dick Cheney as the Vice President. Ryan Gosling (as Neil Armstrong) in First Man is all about a mission to the moon. Nevertheless, whether true stories depicted in these films will bring true glory in 2019 remains to be seen.

If you missed any of these films while they were in the theatres, you can find out where to watch them online.

The Top Acting Prizes

Olivia Colman of The Favourite is favorite for Best Actress award for her superb performance as Queen Anne. Other nominees are Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Yalitzia Aparicio (Roma) Glen Close (The Wife) and Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me). The Best Actor nominations are Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), William Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born) and Christian Bale (Vice). Christian Bale is in pole position to land Best Actor for his performance as Dick Cheney (the former Vice President) in McKay’s satire.

Supporting Categories

Emma Stone (The Favorite), Amy Adams (Vice), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) and Marina Tavira (Roma), will battle it out in Best Supporting Actress. Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Adam Driver (Blakkklansman), Sam Eliot (A Star Is Born), Sam Rockwell (Vice) and Richard Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me) will go head to head in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Best Director List

There’s a notable absence of women in this category, similar to Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations. The Academy has been criticized once again for failing to list a female director. It feels egregious in 2019 since women directed high-profile works that seem primed for awards such as Leave No Trace (Debra Granik), You Were Never Really Here (Lyne Ramsay) and The Rider (Chloe Zhao). It’s more glaring to see Marielle Heller excluded. Her work “Can You Ever Forgive Me” has been nominated in several categories including Best Adapted Screenplay. Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War), Adam McKay(Vice), Spike Lee (Blackkklansman) and Yargos Lanthimos (The Favourite), make up the 2019 Best Director nominees.

Music (Original Song)

  • “Shallow”(A Star Is Born),
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go”(Mary Poppins Returns),
  • “All The Star” (Black Panther),
  • “I’ll Fight”(RBG),
  • “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings”(Ballards of Buster Scruggs)

Animated Feature Film

  • Isle Of Dogs – Scott Rudin, Jeremy Dawson, Wes Anderson, and Steven Rales.
  • Mirai – Yuichiro Saito and Mamoru Hosoda.
  • Incredibles 2 – John Walker, Nicole Grindle, and Brad Bird.
  • Spider Man: Into the Spider Verse – Petere Ramsey, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Rodney Rothman and Bob Persichetti.
  • Ralph Breaks The Internet-Phil Johnston, Rich Moore, and Clark Spencer.

Cinematography

  • Cold War – Lukasz Zal
  • Never Look Away – Caleb Deschanel
  • The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
  • A Star Is Born – Mathew Libatique
  • Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

Costume Design

  • Black Panther – Ruth Carter
  • The Favourite – Sandy Powell
  • The Ballard Of Buster Scruggs – Mary Zophres
  • Mary Queen of Scots – Alexandra Bryne
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Sandy Powell

Documentary (Feature)

  • Free Solo – Jimmy Chin, Shannon Dill, Evan Hayes, and Elizabeth Vasarhelyi
  • Minding The Gap – Diane Quon and Bing Liu
  • RBG – Julie Cohen and Betsy West
  • Of Fathers and Sons – Tobias Siebert, Eva Kemme, Ansgar Frerich, and Talal Derki
  • Hale Country This Morning This Evening – Su Kim, Joslyn Barnes, and Ramell Ross

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Black Sheep – Jonathan Chin and Ed Perkins
  • Life Boat – Bryn Mooser and Skye Fitzgerald
  • Night At The Garden – Marshall Curry
  • Period End Of Sentence – Melissa Burton and Rayka Zehtabchi
  • End Game – Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein

Foreign Language Film

  • Capernaum – Lebanon
  • Never Look Away – Germany
  • Shoplifters – Japan
  • Cold War – Poland
  • Roma – Mexico

Makeup / Hair Styling

  • Border-Pamela Goldammer
  • Vice-Patricia Dehaney, Greg Cannom and Kate Biscoe
  • Mary Queen Of Scotts- Jesicca Brooks, Marc Pilcher and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)

  • Black Panther – Ludwig Goransson
  • Isle Of Dogs – Alexander Desplat
  • Mary Poppins Returns – Marc Shaiman
  • If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
  • Blackkklansman – Terrence Blanchard

Production Design

  • Black Panther – Production Design: Beachler Hannah, Set Decoration:Hart Jay
  • First Man – Set Decoration Kathy Lucas, Production Design Crowley Nathan
  • Roma – Set Decoration Barbara Enriquez, Production Design Eugeno Cabalero
  • The Favourite-Set Decoration Alice Felton, Production Design Fiona Crombie
  • Mary Poppins Returns-Set Decoration Gordon Sim, Production Design John Mahyre

Visual Effects

  • Avengers Infinity War – Dan Sudick, Rusell Earl
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story – Dominic Tuohy, Patrick Tubach
  • First Man – Ian Hunter, Paul Lambert
  • Christopher Robin – Theo Jones, Christopher Lawrence
  • Ready Player One-David Shirk, Roger Guyett
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