The 91st annual Academy Awards air Sunday, February 24, on ABC.
Part II: Embellishments
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Infinity War
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Kelly: The inclusion of Solo: A Star Wars Story makes me think that this category was lacking in participants. I’d love to see Ready Player One walk away with this. It was so visually rich and fluid when our eyes have begun to expect Transformers from most big budget, CGI-heavy movies.
John: Into the Spider-verse could have easily taken the place of Solo. It’s a damn shame that animation is constantly being left out of the visual effects category in favor of “Live-Action” films that are super CG heavy. Regardless, I see this either going to Infinity War or Ready Player One. Both are incredibly visually stimulating without feeling super cluttered like most big-budget CGI spectacles.
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots
Kelly: I’m just going to knock on Sandy Powell’s door and leave this on her porch. Between her work in The Favorite and Mary Poppins Returns– just phenomenal. I have to give this to The Favorite for taking all of the components of 18th Century that people are fascinated with and giving it juuuuust enough modern components (laser cut lace, the cool neutrals) to make it feel fresh. If Black Panther were to win though, I wouldn’t complain, based on the queen’s 3D printed headdress alone.
John: It goes to Black Panther or I riot. A lesser costume designer would have stuck to dated cliche and stereotypical tribal dress, but Ruth E. Carter took it into a whole new level. The traditional dress of the waterfall ceremony is an ecstatic splash of color and African tradition goes hand in hand with more contemporary and futuristic style.
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Mary Queen of Scots
Kelly: Vice for Christian Bale’s jowls, but also I’m gonna go rogue and say Black Panther should be here for Michael B. Jordan’s scarification. And Shuri’s hair. Can’t give them credit for Angela Bassett’s dewy skin though.
John: I’m surprised Bohemian Rhapsody didn’t get nominated, not that the makeup was particularly good or anything but usually the Academy loves actors in facial prosthetics. This is most likely going to Vice for the impressive Cheney make-up, but Queen of Scots is also likely to take it.
BEST SOUND MIXING
A Star Is Born
Kelly: I’d put my money on one of the music-focused pieces, either A Star is Born or Bohemian Rhapsody due to the sheer volume (no pun intended) of elements that it takes to go into those concert scenes.
John: I’m not entirely sure what goes into the technicals of sound design. For me, it can go to any of these but I would love to see Black Panther take it.
BEST SOUND EDITING
A Quiet Place
Kelly: I can see Bohemian Rhapsody or Roma taking this one but it would be very cool for A Quiet Place to take this one. I think its emphasis on sound or lack thereof shows restraint and caution, which isn’t often rewarded.
John: A Quiet Place is all about noise and how it is integral to the survival of its characters. If I were voting it would have my vote. It’s already been snubbed for Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress so why not?
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“All the Stars,” Black Panther
“I’ll Fight,” RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go,” Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow,” A Star Is Born
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Kelly: I don’t think this category means the Best Song of the lot, but it’s how the song fits the context of the film. Shallow will win and Lady Gaga will be one step closer to becoming an EGOT winner. I can’t deny that it’s a hell of a song though and it’s a great example of how the song should be placed in the film in regards to this category- not just a post-credits accompaniment.
John: Unfortunately neither What’s Up Danger? or Sunflower made the cut. (I will find some way to make every category about Spider-verse if it kills me.) However, this is still a great batch of nominees. More than likely Mary Poppins Returns or Gaga will take the gold.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns
Kelly: Ludwig Goransson has blown up in the past five years and the Black Panther soundtrack is his crown jewel. I would love to see this take Best Original Score, as it’s so distinct, unique, and thoughtful- and it might be one of the most modern scores to ever be nominated.
John: Only two stick out to me as sure winners. BlackKkKlansman score is both haunting, era-appropriate, and raw. As for Black Panther, the score incorporates sounds and cultures rarely represented in major motion pictures. Both are incredible and deserve the win in my eyes.