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2019 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (August)

Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)

Not much change this month, just a few placement moves in the top 5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (does anyone else hear the Pet Shop Boys’ “Can You Forgive Her?” when they see that title?) moves up to #2 on the strength of its Toronto and Telluride festival appearances. It should be Fox Searchlight’s #2 after The Favourite (an original screenplay) but the studio’s The Old Man & the Gun, which will debut at Telluride, makes a big move into the top 10.

BlacKkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk and Boy Erased hold their spots this month. I was tempted to move Boy Erased up on the strength of its Toronto announcement today and that it will world premiere at Telluride but I think the combination of James Baldwin and Barry Jenkins is just a stronger one. 

Widows drops down to #5 and Mary Queen of Scots falls down into Next Up. The Focus Features royal saga has yet to show up in any festival announcements, including the new wave of them from Toronto. That might mean it will be Telluride only but it seems strange that it’s been so absent. 

Beautiful Boy, First Man, The Front Runner and Black Panther hold. Bird Box gets a boost into the Next Up section as its Netflix’s only real contender in this category (it has more in Original). 

Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions in Adapted Screenplay for August 14, 2018.

The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight)

Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut

1. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
2. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
3. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
4. Boy Erased (Focus Features)
5. Widows (20th Century Fox)

6. Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
7. The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight)
8. First Man (Universal)
9. The Front Runner (Sony Pictures)
10. Black Panther (Disney)

NEXT UP

Bird Box (Netflix)
Crazy Rich Asians (Warner Bros)
The Incredibles 2 (Disney)
Mary Queen of Scots (Focus Features)
A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)

OTHER CONTENDERS

Disobedience (Bleecker Street)
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (Amazon)
Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street)
Lean on Pete (A24)
The Little Stranger (Focus Features)
Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney)
The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna)
Untitled Pippa Bianco aka Share (A24)
Welcome to Marwen (Universal)
The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics)
Wildlife (IFC Films)


Sorry To Bother You (Annapurna)

Original Screenplay sees some activity in the lower part of the top 10 with the additions of First Reformed and Sorry to Bother You, both late Spring/early Summer hits that could find a special spot amongst the screenwriting branch. It’s still mind-blowing that First Reformed‘s Paul Schrader, the writer of Raging Bull and Taxi Driver, has never been nominated in any capacity. I’m sure old school voters know this; maybe this is the season that changes.

Other than those two, the top 10 remains intact with Backseat, The Favourite, ROMA, Peterloo and Destroyer holding the top 5 solidly in place.

Next Up finds the two films that Sorry to Bother You and First Reformed replaced – Ad Astra and Mid90s. Ad Astra has shown up nowhere in festival announcements and Mid90s landed a world premiere at Toronto this morning but I think A24 will prioritize its other films over it.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, the anthology-turned-feature-film from the Coen Brothers, is the month’s debut and gives Netflix a new slot here. It’s world premiering at Venice and will also show at Toronto. The streamer also has Dan Gilroy’s Velvet Buzzsaw (the other debut) but it will get shortchanged in favor of the Coens and Alfonso Cuarón’s ROMA.

Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions in Original Screenplay for August 14, 2018.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)

Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut

1. Backseat (Annapurna)
2. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
3. ROMA (Netflix)
4. Peterloo (Amazon)
5. Destroyer (Annapurna)

6. A Quiet Place (Paramount)
7. Green Book (Universal)
8. First Reformed (A24)
9. Sorry to Bother You (Annapurna)
10. Hereditary (A24)

NEXT UP

Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)
Mid90s (A24)
On the Basis of Sex (Focus Features)
Tully (Focus Features)

OTHER CONTENDERS

Bad Times at the El Royale (20th Century Fox)
Ben is Back (Roadside Attractions)
Blindspotting (Lionsgate)
Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox)
Burden
Colette (Bleecker Street)
Damsel (Magnolia Pictures)
Eighth Grade (A24)
Fast Color
The Happy Prince (Sony Pictures Classics)
Hearts Beat Loud (Stage 6 Films)
High Life
The Hummingbird Project
Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight)
Loro (Focus Features)
The Nightingale
Operation Finale (MGM)
Wendy (Fox Searchlight)
What They Had (Bleecker Street)
Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTRESS (August)
2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTOR (August)

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About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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