I'm not a member of The Academy. I have ZERO say in the Oscars. I've seen virtually everything nominated this year. Major exceptions being Cold War and The Wife. But if I did get to vote, this is the ballot I would turn in...
NOTE: I spared you from reading the "below the line" categories. No one knows who did the Best Sound Editing, and I edit sound FOR A LIVING! Also, my vote is in bold.
Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born
Ultimately, this goes to the fine balance of drama & comedy shown in this movie, it deserves some recognition come Sunday night. I'd vote for it here.
Best Writing - Original Screenplay
Another movie that deserves recognition, First Reformed is written by the man who wrote Raging Bull and Taxi Driver. First Reformed felt like those movies, just in more modern times.
Best Animated Feature
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse
A slam dunk choice for me, Spider-Man was funny, groundbreaking (in terms of representation and animation style), it deserves this award.
Alfonso Cuaron - Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite
Spike Lee - BlacKkKlansman
Adam McKay - Vice
Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War
Two foreign films nominated in this category. Really?! Bradley Cooper's name suspiciously absent. (I'd vote for him if he was in here, by the way) Instead, I'll go with Yorgos. The Favourite had a unique style that took a particular vision. FIsh eye lenses, natural lighting or candle lighting (NO studio lighting was used). It's a technical achievement.
Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams - Vice
Marina de Tavira - Roma
Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone - The Favourite
Rachel Weisz - The Favourite
I think on actual Oscar night, the two women from the same film will cancel each other out, vote-wise, so I don't see them winning. But I'd vote Emma Stone personally, she had a more wide-ranging part. Funny, sexy, devious, plotting, she sort of "got to do it all". It's a showier part.
Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali - Green Book
Adam Driver - BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliot - A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell - Vice
In what is the LOCK of the night, Mahershala Ali will win this award for the second time in three years for his role as Dr Don Shirley, accomplished musician. I'm tempted to just be a contrarian and vote for Sam Elliot, just cause, but he's only in A Star is Born for roughly 15 minutes. Ali SHOULD and WILL win.
Yalitza Aparicio - Roma
Glenn Close - The Wife
Olivia Colman - The Favourite
Lady Gaga - A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?
OK. I haven't seen The Wife. Glenn Close is GOING to win Sunday. (Don't worry, I'm renting the movie this weekend) These are all great roles, and I wish I could vote for everyone here. They're all different roles, eclectic actresses, it's pretty cool to see a bunch of women from VASTLY different backgrounds in this category. Music, comedy, two first time film actresses, a 7-time nominee, foreign representation, it's all in this one category. But Lady Gaga owned A Star is Born. She was phenomenal. The role of a lifetime for her. She'll take home a statuette for Best Original Song. But she should be taking home two.
Christian Bale - Vice
Bradley Cooper - A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe - At Eternity's Gate
Rami Malek - Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen - Green Book
Look. Cooper, Malek, & Dafoe all did great transforming into someone else for their roles. But those movies were all mediocre at best. Making it a two horse race for my vote. Mortensen, while entertaining, wasn't the beefy part that Cooper's was. It didn't take the skill and vocal training that Cooper endured. I guess Viggo did have to get fat and learn an accent.
A Star is Born
If you've been keeping track of who I've given awards to on my ballot, this should be no surprise to you. A Star is Born was a slam dunk Oscar front runner. It grossed over $200 million. It was critically and financially successful, I'm dumbfounded that it isn't going to win Sunday (Roma will). Yes, the story has been told three times prior. That doesn't make the 2018 version any less great. It did everything to win this award and nothing to lose it. Yet, it will. You will look back in five years and not remember Roma is a movie that exists. A Star is Born starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will be remembered for the next 20 years. This is akin to not giving Saving Private Ryan, Goodfellas, or Toy Story 3 Best Picture. You will regret it. Trust me.