Hollywood’s big night: The Oscar goes to…

The Oscars trophy (Photo: Kevin Scott, Flickr)

Our Hatch movie buffs Cameron Lucas and Indi Brummelen deliver their take – who should win and who will win – on Hollywood’s night of nights.

It’s a throwback Oscars in many ways, an examination of history through the vision of the Best Picture nominees. So what can we expect as the ceremony unfolds?

Among the seven nominees for the Academy’s highest gong, the settings range from 18th century England (The Favourite) to the 1960s Deep South (Green Book), through to the music world of the 1970s (Bohemian Rhapsody) and then to the modern music world (A Star Is Born) which is of course seen through the context of a Hollywood script that has now been produced four times, the first back in the 1930s.

On Sunday night in Hollywood (Monday afternoon, Australian time) the Oscars ceremony will attempt to make sense of all of this – and in a move not seen in the 91-year history of the awards, the ceremony will be opened by a rock band at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Queen (with modern frontman Adam Lambert carrying on in the shoes of the late, great Freddie Mercury) has been confirmed to perform first, replacing the emcee’s traditional opening monologue (The Oscars will be host-free this year, after comedian Kevin Hart withdrew his services after a public outcry over controversial homophobic tweets resurfaced late last year).

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for the Academy in the lead up to this year’s Oscars after they controversially announced they would be dropping the presentations of Cinematography, Makeup and Hairstyling, Film Editing and Live-Action Short from the live broadcast to present them during TV ad breaks.

Actor Russell Crowe did not mince words when he heard the news, tweeting his objections, while previous Oscar winner for Best Director, Guillmero Del Toro, also let his feelings be known.


The Academy, stung by the backlash, reinstated the categories into the live telecast.

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Thank you and applause to the board of governors of@TheAcademy . pic.twitter.com/uMJyJIrLVS

— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) February 18, 2019

Falling ratings have prompted the Academy to rejig the ceremony as they seek to arrest the slide that saw viewership drop 39 per cent in 2018, where only about 26 million people tuned in to the US broadcast.

Academy Awards 2010 – 2018 viewer figures in millions. Source: Statista.com (Image: Cameron Lucas)

The inclusion of Marvel’s Black Panther in the Best Picture nominations has been a hot topic, with fans divided over its inclusion as a deserving one or one of political correctness by the Academy.

For all the controversy, the show will go on and there will be winners and losers, speeches and standing ovations, dresses that rate and ones that we’ll debate.

So here are the main categories and nominees – and Hatch’s own verdicts on who should win.

Best Film:

Black Panther

BlackkKlansman

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

Green Book

Roma

A Star Is Born

Vice

Who We’d Like to Win:

Bohemian Rhapsody: Became the highest grossing music biopic of all time earning over $400 million worldwide so far and proving Freddie Mercury and Co are still as influential and musically relevant as ever.

The Academy’s Choice: 

Green Book: The undeniable chemistry between stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortenson won over critics and movie-goers the world over and ticks every box to be an Oscar winner. After winning three Golden Globes and Best Film at the Producers Guild Awards, expect Green Book to continue its winning run.

Best Actor:

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Who We’d Like to Win:

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody: Brought Freddie Mercury to the silver screen with an electrifying performance that captured the magic of the greatest front man ever to grace a rock band. Carrying the film on his slender shoulders, Malek introduced Mercury to a new generation, while honouring Mercury’s legacy to the die-hard Queen fans. This is Malek’s first Oscar nomination and won’t be his last.

The Academy’s Choice:

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody: The Academy will be sentimental here and side with the popular choice. After taking home Best Actor at the Golden Globes, BAFTA and the AACTA in the Oscars lead-up for his portrayal of Mercury, Malek will continue his successful run after a handful of Best Actor wins for his work on TV.

Best Actress: 

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Who We’d Like to Win:

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born: Showing she was more then just a musical genius behind the mic and piano, Gaga wowed in front of the camera as she seamlessly slipped into the role that has eerily mirrored her own career. Also earning an Oscar nomination for best Original Song, Gaga wrote and performed the hit song Shallow, which she will also perform on the night.

The Academy’s Choice: 

Glenn Close, The Wife: This is Close’s 7th Oscar nomination overall and fourth in the Best Actress category, so expect the Academy to finally honour the living legend of the silver screen. She took home the Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role as Joan Castleman in The Wife and the expectation is she will go back-to-back.

Best Director: 

Spike Lee, BlackkKlansman

Pavel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Adam McKay, Vice

Who We’d Like to Win:

Spike Lee, BlackkKlansman: Lee has been doing it for years, making topical social commentary films, blended with sharp humour and touching human moments. This would be his first Best Director Oscar and a deserving one.

The Academy’s Choice: 

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma: History will say Cuaron will win his second Best Director gong after winning with his intense thriller Gravity in 2014. In the lead-up to the Oscars he has taken home Best Director at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs, suggesting he will be hard to beat.

Read: Oscars: Black Panther vs BlackkKlansmen 

Read: Oscars: Two Aussies in the race