We’re back, people. It is time for our 2nd annual shot in the dark for the films that will define our year culturally. For our first, wildly successful run at this, we correctly predicted a whopping 36% of the nominees and failed to mention winners in the Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture categories… So listen, be grateful we’re simply writing this fun, inconsequential article rather than managing your 401(k). In any event, we dusted off our trusty crystal ball to take a look at the very promising art slate for the rest of 2019. Here’s our list of some of next season’s potential nominees (ordered loosely by what we think has the strongest chance):
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – Are you still devastated about Won’t You Be My Neighbor? not getting nominated for a single Oscar? Well you could be avenged in 2019 with this incredibly endearing looking film starring 2-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. Coming out around Thanksgiving, this feel-good drama sounds like the perfect time for families and art-lovers alike to flock to theatres, eat their feelings, and enjoy a good cry.
Harriet – Truly one of America’s most inarguable heroes is Harriet Tubman. Focus Features / Universal are hot off a win for Green Book last year, so they certainly know how to cultivate an award-winning film campaign. The Academy loves a true story, loves a period piece, and loves a film that tackles racial themes, so expect to hear a lot of buzz about this film in the coming months.
Fair and Balanced – Forgive us here, this title may change later in the year, but this is a Jay Roach drama about Roger Ailes and the toxic, abusive culture he inculcated while presiding over the largest news network in the country. This film, with an absolute all-star cast including Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, Allison Janney, and John Lithgow, is giving us a lot of Vice vibes, and that film scored 8 nominations and 1 win last year.
Little Women – Sometimes when the CineArts team is feeling blue, we read off the cast of Little Women and all of our troubles seem to melt away. Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Laura Dern, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet and Meryl Streep… Oh yeah, and written and directed by Greta Gerwig. This gift to art lovers will come out on Christmas Day of this year.
Ford v. Ferrari – Christian Bale and Matt Damon star in this true story about the two automobile giants’ quest to win the 1966 Le Mans. Could I tell you what the Le Mans is? No, but I can tell you that Bale and Damon are two of the most respected actors of our time and any film starring them and that is directed by James Mangold (Logan, Walk the Line) has us ready to start our engines.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino made this one.
Us – One of the only films in this article that we have had the pleasure of seeing. Jordan Peele has solidified his spot among Hollywood’s most interesting and dynamic writers, this time taking an even more esoteric turn in this film that explores who we are, what we impose onto others, and what we impose on ourselves.
Rocketman –With A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody getting a lot of love from the Academy last year, musicals are back! Especially if they center on troubled characters with substance abuse problems. The casting of Taron Egerton as the Rocketman himself certainly has created a lot of buzz, and in just a few short weeks, we’ll be able to see for ourselves if we have another potential Oscar-winner on our hands.
Lucy in the Sky – This movie, starring Natalie Portman looks like a darker, more existential version of First Man from last year. The Academy Award winning actress will play, Lucy, a returning astronaut that copes with the explosion of her myopic perspective on life, her family, and the concept of reality.
Downton Abbey – An older-skewing British period piece? I can see the Academy voters foaming at the mouth right now. The curve ball here is the TV element. We’ve seen films like Sex in the City and Entourage transition from television to film before, but none have really seemed to hit the mark with the Academy yet. Could this be the first? And could it potentially grease the wheels for the Sopranos film that is currently in the works?
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet – With such an interesting and iconic character to portray, Cynthia Erivo will have a lot to play with in her role as Harriet Tubman. Plus, she already has a Tony, Emmy, and Grammy, so could this be our next EGOT winner?
Renee Zellweger – Judy – Hollywood loves Hollywood. Especially nostalgic Hollywood, and you don’t get much more of that than a bio-pic about Judy Garland. Given Garland’s past, which was fraught with fame, fortune, addiction, and love, Zellweger will be in perfect position to display her vast range as an artist.
Charlize Theron – Fair and Balanced – Megyn Kelly has had a hell of a past few years, but being portrayed by Charlize Theron on the big screen is potentially one of the greatest compliments of all time. Charlize will lead this all-star female cast as they take on their creepy leader.
Lupita Nyong’o – Us – “Be careful” other nominees, Lupita is awesome in this film. The Oscar-winning Hollywood darling haunts this film and makes subtle choices throughout the story that display her commitment and genius as an actress.
Amy Adams – The Woman in the Window – Director Joe Wright is fresh off directing Gary Oldman to his first Academy Award for Darkest Hour, and Amy Adams has been due for an Oscar since 2009, so let’s cut to the chase Academy, and hook this Hollywood legend up with some gold. She plays an agoraphobic New Yorker in this crime drama set to release this fall.
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood – It seems like Tom Hanks has spent the past 40 years meticulously building an image as the nicest guy on earth. It’s as if he was born to play this role. The only knock on his performance could be that people may not consider it acting!
Christian Bale – Ford v. Ferrari – Guess what, people? Christian Bale has officially lost the Dick Cheney weight and is geared up for his next Oscar. The bad news? He might be going up against a young, first-time nominee playing a musical legend, and so far he doesn’t have a great track record against those…
Taron Egerton – Rocketman – Remember a little film called Bohemian Rhapsody from last year that made an impressive $200M+ domestically and had rising star Rami Malek exclaiming I am the champion on Oscar night? This film has a ton of similarities to that film, except it is rated R – meaning we could get an even edgier, darker, tragic portrayal of a tortured genius.
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker – It’s been 11 years since the release of The Dark Knight, where Heath Ledger turned in one of the most electric performances of all time. He did so playing a deeply tragic enigma and the first trailer for the Joker’s standalone film looks like it will haunt audiences in the best way possible. Joaquin also looks like he completely transforms into the role, and this character actor will definitely provide a unique take on this villainous cackler.
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – After taking a much deserved four year long break from the big screen, Leo is back with one of the greatest directors of all time. In the trailer he looks hilarious, self-centered, and totally entertaining – just like his role in Django Unchained, which we can all agree he was robbed of an Oscar for, right?
Call your bookies and place your bets now people, you have now read our predictions for Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Actor. But just in case you’re feeling greedy, we’ll leave you with our picks for the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories as well:
Meryl Streep – Little Women
Emma Thompson – Late Night
Nicole Kidman – Fair and Balanced
Margot Robbie – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Octavia Spencer – Luce
John Lithgow – Fair and Balanced
Timothée Chalamet – Little Women
Matt Damon – Ford v. Ferrari
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Al Pacino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood