Film

Here Are The Films That Will Absolutely Be Nominated For Oscars In 2019

You thought we were done with the Oscars? We're just getting started.

Oh what, you thought we were done talking about the Oscars? Please. As long as there are movies, there’s award prognosticating to be done. #Oscars2019 may be 350 days away, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start predicting what films, directors and actors will land a nomination.

Fact is, there’s a pretty reliable formula to all this. Whether it’s the overwritten indie flick that was all the rage at Sundance, or the rousing wartime drama that ends with a big speech by a British politician, some movies just have Oscar written all over them.

The next 12 months are packed with literary adaptations, period pieces and biopics, along with Big Issue™ movies tackling everything from racism, to homophobia, to crystal meth addiction.

Plus I’m pretty sure Meryl Streep has a movie coming out, so that’s one slot locked up already.

Which is not to say that the Academy isn’t capable of surprising us. This year’s winner was about a woman fucking a fish, which I’m confident is a first. Not to mention the fact that this time last year I would have been speculating about how many trophies the Weinstein Company would be collecting.

Still, I reckon we can throw out some educated guesses at to which films will be in conversation in the major categories this time next year.


Backseat

It’s a little weird to think that a movie by the guy who made Anchorman and Step Brothers could be considered an Oscar frontrunner. But Adam McKay proved he was more than a one-trick pony when The Big Short scored five nominations back in 2015.

His follow-up is a biopic about former Vice President Dick Cheney, and the cast is stacked. In addition to a bulked-up Christian Bale as Cheney, there’s Amy Adams as his wife Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, and recent Oscar-winner Sam Rockwell as former President George W. Bush.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Bale), Best Supporting Actor (Rockwell).


Beautiful Boy

Image: Amazon Studios

Even if Carell doesn’t land a nomination for playing one of the architects of the second Iraq War, he’ll likely be in the conversation for his work in this adaptation of David Sheff’s memoir, about a father’s relationship with his meth addicted son. It can’t hurt that the film also stars Oscar new golden boy in Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name star Timothée Chalamet.

Dutch director Felix Van Groeningen previously directed the critically acclaimed tearjerker The Broken Circle Breakdown, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film back in 2014.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Carell), Best Supporting Actor (Chalamet).


Black Panther

black panther

Okay, so this one is a bit of a gamble. Black Panther received rave reviews, made bucketloads of money, and is undeniably groundbreaking. Then again, you could say the same about Wonder Woman, and that got shut out of Oscars contention completely.

At the very least, Marvel’s latest film seems like a lock to earn a nomination for Best Costumes (because damn). But with Disney reportedly set to campaign hard for the film come awards season, it’s not inconceivable that Black Panther could be the superhero movie that finally breaks through.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Michael B. Jordan).


Boy Erased 

Image: Gage Skidmore

While the story takes place in a small American town, actor-director Joel Edgerton’s sophomore effort shapes up as Australia’s big hope come Oscar night 2019.

Based on Garrard Conley’s memoir of the same name, Boy Erased stars Lucas Hedges as a gay teenager forced into a church-backed conversion therapy. Past Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman play his conservative Christian parents, while Edgerton will also spend some time in front of the camera as the program’s head ‘therapist’.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor (Hedges), Best Supporting Actress (Kidman).


First Man

Image: Wikimedia

After living through the ultimate Oscar nightmare last yearLa La Land director Damien Chazelle is back to have another crack with Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.

The film ticks a bunch of Oscar boxes: it’s a period piece about a Real American Hero with a critically adored star in Ryan Gosling front and centre. Not only that, but the film was penned by Josh Singer, who won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for Spotlight.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Gosling).


If Beale Street Could Talk

Speaking of the whole La La Land fiasco, Chazelle may actually find himself up against his old nemesis Barry Jenkins, with the Moonlight director also set to release a new movie next year.

Adapted from the novel by acclaimed African American author and essayist James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is about a young woman fighting for justice after her fiancé is framed for rape by a racist white cop. Young stars Kiki Layne and Stephan James are backed by a strong supporting cast including Regina King, Dave Franco and Diego Luna.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay.


Mary Queen of Scots

Image: Focus Features

Another historical biopic with an impressive ensemble cast, Mary Queen of Scots shapes up as a major player at next year’s ceremony.

Saoirse Ronan stars as the title character, while Margot Robbie plays her cousin Queen Elizabeth I. David Tennant, Guy Pearce and Dunkirk star Jack Lowden round out the cast, with acclaimed theatre director Josie Rourke behind the camera.

The film was also written by House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, although that might not hold the cache that it once did.

What’s It Gunning For: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Ronan), Best Supporting Actress (Robbie).