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2019 Oscar Predictions, Technical Categories

By: Henry J. Fromage –

Kicking off a look at each category of the Oscars, today we’ll take a look at the technical and below the line categories.

Best Cinematography

  1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
  2. James Laxton, If Beale Street Could Talk
  3. Linus Sandgren, First Man
  4. Matthew Libatique, A Star is Born
  5. Robbie Ryan, The Favourite

This is probably my favorite technical category, and we have some great candidates as always.  Another Moonlight vs. La La Land match up, plus Cuaron somehow out-Lubezki-ing Lubezki.   Other good shots include Rachel Morrison for Black Panther, Lukasz Zal for Cold War (remember, Ida‘s gorgeous black and white visuals landed a nom for him in 2015), and Sean Bobbitt for Widows.


Best Production Design

  1. The Favourite
  2. Mary Queen of Scots
  3. First Man
  4. Roma
  5. Mary Poppins Returns

Much like costume design, those period pieces are hard to beat, although it bears pointing out this is one of those below-the-line categories that hews closer to Best Picture nominees than others.  Still, Black Panther, Bohemian Rhapsody, and, uggh, Fantastic Beasts all have great shots, too


Best Sound Editing

  1. Ready Player One
  2. Black Panther
  3. First Man
  4. Roma
  5. A Quiet Place

Sound Editing means Sound Effects means Explosions, most years, so hi there, Ready Player One and Black PantherFirst Man will factor well here as well as in basically every below the line category unless Oscars in the mood to commit a goddamn crime, as should Roma for similar reasons and A Quiet Place pretty much hinges on its sound design.  Mission Impossible: Fallout and Incredibles 2 plus any of the year’s big blockbusters easily could slide in as well.


Best Sound Mixing

  1. A Star is Born
  2. Roma
  3. First Man
  4. Mary Poppins Returns
  5. A Quiet Place

Sound Mixing is the overall sound, well, mix, and music-focused films tend to do well here (so don’t count Bohemian Rhapsody out, either- after all it’s completely blown away A Star is Born internationally and has an decent shot of slinking past it domestically as well).  It’s certainly not unknown to see matching slates as Sound Editing, either, however, so I’ll split the difference.  A fascinating angle this year with Roma is how well-regarded the technical categories will be for a film that most voters will have seen on the TVs (not that many voters don’t watch practically everything on usually reduced-quality screeners anyway).


Best Visual Effects

  1. Avengers: Infinity War
  2. Black Panther
  3. Ant-Man and the Wasp
  4. First Man
  5. Ready Player One

Before you ask, Aquaman didn’t make the visual effects shortlist, undeservingly.  What’s left is a basically a what’s what of the year’s blockbusters, and what goes into picking the final five is going to be an odd mix of what was successful in the box office, what has critical support, and what actually excelled in the category.  So that’s how I have all three Marvel properties this year placing, which may be a bit too bold.  First Man better make it, but again the any of the shortlist has a shot for a nom, in this order in my estimation- Mary Poppins Returns, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Christopher Robin, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Welcome to Marwen.


Best Editing

  1. Roma
  2. A Star is Born
  3. The Favourite
  4. First Man
  5. Black Panther

Now here’s a technical category that has something to say about Best Picture.  It’s very, very rare for a serious contender for the crown not to also get a nod here, and who wins it on the big night is often a great indicator of what direction the wind’s blowing.  From merit alone, Widows belongs here, but I have it being squeezed out by Black Panther (for my money, BlackKklansman would be a terrible pick, but could happen).  Vice also has a real shot, but has lost considerable ground in the Best Picture race, which could harm it elsewhere.


Best Original Song

  1. “Shallow”, A Star is Born
  2. “All of the Stars”, Black Panther
  3. “The Place Where the Lost Things Are”, Mary Poppins Returns
  4. “I’ll Fight”, RBG
  5. “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, Trolls

Obviously there’s a heavyweight in this category that may already be counting on a win.  Still, it’s hard to dismiss Kendrick Lamar, Dianne Warren, or Mary Poppins, either.  I have counted out Dolly Parton’s “Dumplin”, which maybe stupid, and I’d personally love to see “A Place Called Slaughter Race” or Sorry to Bother You‘s “OYAHYTT” get in.


Best Original Score

  1. Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman, Mary Poppins Returns
  2. Ludwig Goransson, Black Panther
  3. Terence Blanchard, BlackKklansman
  4. Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
  5. Justin Hurwitz, First Man

This year is much more up in the air it seems than in years past.  Betting on the big musical of the year, the Moonlight vs La La Land showdown redux, and two of the more interesting cultural mashups of the year (watch out for Crazy Rich Asians’ Brian Tyler for the same reason) is as good a wager as any.  Watch out for A Quiet Place, Isle of Dogs, and Suspiria, too.


Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  1. Mary Queen of Scots
  2. Vice
  3. Bohemian Rhapsody

This year as in recent years, we’re looking at only 3 nominees in this category, from a short list of 8.  It’s hard to imagine Mary Queen of Scots immaculate period artistry nor the fact Vice turned Christian Bale into Dick freakin’ Cheney will miss out, but honestly any of the remaining shortlist of Black Panther, Suspiria, Stan and Ollie, or Border have a real shot in a category know for making its iconoclastic picks over the years.


Best Costume Design

  1. The Favourite
  2. Mary Queen of Scots
  3. Black Panther
  4. Mary Poppins Returns
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody

It’s hard not to lean towards the sumptuous period pieces in this category, but you also can’t ignore the gorgeous Afrofuturist duds in Black Panther, either.  Fantastic Beasts always could factor in again, but here’s hoping Oscar forgets about that dud.

About Henry J. Fromage

Movieboozer is a humor website and drinking games are intended for entertainment purposes only, please drink responsibly.

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