With us now having seen all of the major precursors before the Academy Awards, it is safe to say that a lot of the awards seem locked now. All four acting categories are safe bets, Mendes is on track to win Best Director and there is a pathway for other categories such as Cinematography and Score. However, we still have a selection of categories that seem hard to predict, and I am going to break them down and let you know which one you should mark off your ballots.
Best Animated Feature
Best Animated Feature has been one of the most bizarre categories of the year, which is what we have been expecting since the win of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse last year. Voters are looking for the alternative to Disney, especially in a year where animation seemed to be weaker overall, and this has led to the lack of Frozen II even making the nomination list.
Once again, every nominee has won some sort of award, and there have been some huge shocks in this category. Toy Story 4 is the leading choice for this category it seems, but it has failed to win many of the major precursors, only getting the Critics Choice Award. However, with the lack of Frozen II clashing with it, it may have a better chance on this list. Missing Link surprised with a Golden Globe win and Laika has never won an Oscar despite being beloved by the animation branch. I Lost My Body seems like the universal choice for an animation film outside of Disney to win, but it also missed every major precursor win. Instead, Klaus has come out last minute and won the BAFTA and the ANNIE awards. The favourite is still Toy Story 4, being the Disney pick in a year where there is not one individual film that is arguably stronger than it like Spider-Verse was last year, but do not be shocked if Klaus takes it last minute.
Best Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects is one of the categories in which almost every single nominee has been awarded some sort of win with a precursor. Avengers: Endgame is currently leading with wins, also getting the Critics Choice Award win to back it up. 1917, being the Best Picture leader, is behind Endgame but has the BAFTA win. The Irishman and The Lion King both only have one win, but that is both backed up by it being the Visual Effects Society.
Typically, if a picture is a Best Picture contender, they have a better chance at winning here. This puts 1917 and The Irishman in front. If Infinity War couldn’t win last year, I do not see Endgame winning this year, even if it leads in wins at this point. The Irishman is going to struggle to win any other category, and the Oscars do love the share their awards out, so this could be a good place to award it the victory. However, many people struggle with the visual effect work in The Irishman and are put off the entire film because of that. If we are going to take previous wins into account, the favour for Best Picture contenders and strong use of practical visual effect work, I would say that 1917 is the favourite to win at this point.
Best Sound Editing and Sound Mixing
The thing about the sound categories is that most Academy members shockingly don’t seem to know what this category entails (see the Bohemian Rhapsody win for both categories last year). Since these awards came about, a majority of wins have gone to the same film in both categories. This year, there could be a split as there are two films that majorly utilise sound in their film: 1917 and Ford v Ferrari. If I was to pick, I would go 1917 for Sound Editing and Ford v Ferrari for Sound Mixing.
1917 did win the Sound award at the BAFTAs, but they only host one sound award for both achievements. It is close between overall wins between the two films, but if I was to place a bet, the favourite for Best Picture is the stronger choice this time to walk away with both awards, especially if Ford v Ferrari is already the favourite to win another category in Best Film Editing.