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Looking Back On Year In Advance Predictions As Awards Season Slows Down


Here’s an opportunity to embarrass myself. Back in March, I posted year in advance predictions for this Oscar season. As is always the case, these picks are never even close to accurate. One year, I managed to get about half of the ultimate Best Picture field, and that was pretty incredible. Last time around, I got three of the Picture nominees correct. This year…well, you’ll see. Interestingly, I mostly avoided being too far off in a number of categories. So, while it’s not a good showing, it certainly could have been worse. Proof if nothing else that I’m at least halfway decent at my job, right?

What you’ll see below is just how off point I was. To be fair, I did hit on a few solid predictions, and didn’t really wipe out in many categories. I just usually do better. Chalk it up to how the Academy is evolving, perhaps? Oscar voters seem to be split between old school and new school these days, which is why Black Panther can crack the Best Picture lineup, but also Bohemian Rhapsody can. It’s something I’m thinking about while preparing the next set of year in advance predictions (in a week or two you’ll probably see those, though there’s a chance I wait until after the ceremony and hold for March), but it’s important to remember that at an early stage, it’s all just guesswork.

This was my terrible first attempt this season at Academy Award predictions:

BEST PICTURE

1. First Man
2. Backseat
3. The Front Runner
4. The Irishman
5. Black Panther
6. On the Basis of Sex
7. Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
8. Boy Erased
9. The Women of Marwen
10. Wildlife

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
2. Adam McKay – Backseat
3. Jason Reitman – The Front Runner
4. Damien Chazelle – First Man
5. Ryan Coolger – Black Panther

BEST ACTOR

1. Hugh Jackman – The Front Runner
2. Ryan Gosling – First Man
3. Christian Bale – Backseat
4. Steve Carell – The Women of Marwen
5. Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased

BEST ACTRESS

1. Felicity Jones – On the Basis of Sex
2. Amy Adams – Backseat
3. Charlize Theron – Tully
4. Saoirse Ronan – Mary Queen of Scots
5. Cate Blanchett – Where’d You Go Bernadette?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Sam Rockwell – Backseat
2. Michael B. Jordan – Black Panther
3. Bruce Dern – White Boy Rick
4. Corey Stoll – First Man
5. Billy Crudup – Where’d You Go Bernadette?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Margot Robbie – Mary Queen of Scots
2. Mackenzie Davis – Tully
3. Claire Foy – First Man
4. Vera Farmiga – The Front Runner
5. Diane Kruger – The Women of Marwen

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Tully
2. Backseat
3. On the Basis of Sex
4. Under the Silver Lake
5. Ad Astra

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. The Front Runner
2. First Man
3. Wildlife
4. The Irishman
5. Where’d You Go Bernadette?

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. The Incredibles 2
2. Isle of Dogs
3. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2
4. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
5. The Grinch

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Black Panther
2. First Man
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story
4. Ready Player One
5. Ad Astra

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Ad Astra
2. The Irishman
3. First Man
4. A Star is Born
5. Under the Silver Lake

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. Black Panther
2. Mary Queen of Scots
3. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
4. Mary Poppins Returns
5. A Wrinkle in Time

BEST FILM EDITING

1. First Man
2. Black Panther
3. The Irishman
4. The Front Runner
5. Backseat

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. Black Panther
2. Avengers: Infinity War
3. Mary Poppins Returns

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
3. Black Panther
4. A Star is Born
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
3. Black Panther
4. A Star is Born
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Annihilation
2. Avengers: Infinity War
3. Solo: A Star Wars Story
4. Ready Player One
5. Ant-Man and the Wasp

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. First Man
2. If Beale Street Could Talk
3. Ready Player One
4. Under the Silver Lake
5. Solo: A Star Wars Story

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1. Hearts Beat Loud
2. A Star is Born
3. Fifty Shades Freed
4. Mary Poppins Returns
5. Black Panther

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. The Final Year
2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
3. RBG
4. On Her Shoulders
5. Inventing Tomorrow

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

1. Roma
2. Sunset
3. Cold War
4. Loro
5. Ismael’s Ghosts

As you can see, I hit on Black Panther, which is a nice feather in my cap. Overall, I got four right in Best Animated Feature, three in Best Costume Design, Best Original Song, and Best Visual Effects, as well as two in a few places, including Best Foreign Language Feature and Best Picture. Other than that? It was one or even in a couple of cases, actually none. To be fair, I also went heavy for a pair of films that are coming out this year in Ad Astra and The Irishman (plus Where’d You Go Bernadette?, so actually a trio of 2019 releases), which means perhaps I was just a year early? We shall see. This is just a silly thing to analyze, so just make of it what you will…


Stay tuned for actual year in advance predictions sometime in February or early March!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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