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Rotten Tomatoes Predicts the Oscar Nominations!

Get the jump on Tuesday's nominations with our predictions for who will be nominated (and who should be).

by | January 19, 2019 | Comments

Bohemian Rhapsody

(Photo by © 20th Century Fox)

Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday morning – and finally, so many of our burning questions will be answered.

Will Roma become Netflix’s first film to compete for Best Picture? Can Black Panther secure a Best Picture nod though countless other comic-book films have fallen short? Will Bradley Cooper join Warren Beatty and James L. Brooks as the only directors to earn nominations for Best Director, Screenplay, and Best Picture with a debut film? Can Alfonso Cuarón top that with five personal nominations – Best Picture, Director, Editor, Screenplay, and Cinematographer?

Check back with Rotten Tomatoes Tuesday January 22 at 5:20am PST / 8:20am EST to watch the nominations announcement live stream, and follow us on social all day for reactions and our takes on the biggest snubs and surprises.

After what has been a fairly eventful season – we’ve had gaffes, Twitter controversies, accusations of historical inaccuracies – it’s difficult to predict exactly what will happen when Kumail Nanjiani and Tracee Ellis Ross announce the nominees. But after careful consideration, we here at RT have narrowed down our picks for who will be nominated – as well as who should be nominated – in the major categories. We looked to our Awards Leaderboard and the Tomatometer for guidance, along with historical voting patterns, the state of the conversation right now, and insights from the Rotten Tomatoes staff. Don’t agree with our picks? Have at us in the comments.

Best Picture


(Photo by @ Netflix)

What will be nominated?

Roma (2018) 95%
Black Panther (2018) 96%
BlacKkKlansman (2018) 96%
The Favourite (2018) 93%
Green Book (2018) 77%
If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) 95%
A Star Is Born (2018) 90%
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 60%
Vice (2018) 65%

What should be nominated: Hereditary, Crazy Rich Asians, Eighth Grade, Leave No Tracethough we loved them and some took home Golden Tomato Awards, we predict they will sadly not make the cut with the Academy. Roma, The Favorite, and A Star is Born will likely lead all nominations, closely followed by First Man and Black Panther. (Roma and The Favourite currently top our Awards Leaderboard). A Quiet Place or Mary Poppins Returns could pop in if the Best Picture category stretches to 10, but it’s unlikely. We’ve included If Beale Street Could Talk in our list, but if there’s a film at risk of dropping out, it’s Beale Street.

Best Actor

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s VICE, an Annapurna Pictures release. Credit : Annapurna Pictures 2018 © Annapurna Pictures, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

(Photo by @ Annapurna Pictures)

Who will be nominated?

Christian Bale – Vice (2018) 65%
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born (2018) 90%
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed (2018) 93%
Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 60%
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book (2018) 77%

Who should be nominated: He has yet to make an impact outside of the critics’ guilds, but we are still betting on Ethan Hawke for Best Actor – and it would be a deserving nom. BlacKkKlansman star John David Washington could also land in that fifth spot, living up to his father Denzel’s legacy (who has nine nominations to his name).

Best Actress

(L-R) BRADLEY COOPER as Jack and LADY GAGA as Ally in the drama "A STAR IS BORN," from Warner Bros. Pictures, in association with Live Nation Productions and Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures, a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

(Photo by @ Warner Bros. Pictures)

Who will be nominated?

Glenn Close – The Wife (2018) 86%
Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born (2018) 90%
Olivia Colman – The Favourite (2018) 93%
Yalitza Aparicio – Roma (2018) 95%
Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) 98%

Who should be nominated: Toni Collette (Hereditary), Viola Davis (Widows), and Nicole Kidman, (Destroyer) – they’re unlikely to get in, and we will be salty about it for years. Rooting for Emily Blunt? We think the lukewarm box office for Mary Poppins Returns, coupled with a positive but muted critical response – it’s Certified Fresh 78% on the Tomatometer – has opened the door for Roma star Aparicio.

Best Supporting Actor

Green Book

(Photo by @ Universal Pictures)

Who will be nominated?

Mahershala Ali – Green Book (2018) 77%
Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy (2018) 67%
Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman (2018) 96%
Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born (2018) 90%
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) 98%

Who should be nominated: Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk). He was only on screen for 13 minutes, but he put on a master class – adding to an already outstanding year (the Atlanta star also stole scenes in Widows and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse). Alas, the Best Supporting Actor has been the most consistent category all season. We think there will be no surprises here.

Best Supporting Actress

If Beale Street Could Talk

(Photo by @ Annapurna Pictures)

Who will be nominated?

Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) 95%
Amy Adams – Vice (2018) 65%
Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place (2018) 96%
Emma Stone – The Favourite (2018) 93%
Rachel Weisz – The Favourite (2018) 93%

Who should be nominated: Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased) and Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians). Kidman’s snub here stings even more than her likely snub for Best Actress (did voters even see Boy Erased?), and after Michelle Yeoh failed to earn a Golden Globe nomination, her hopes were pretty well dashed. Claire Foy quietly faded from the conversation just as love for Blunt gained steam, despite a memorable turn as Janet Armstrong in First Man; she stands a chance if one of The Favourite ladies falls off, but it’s unlikely.

Best Director

Matt Kennedy/Marvel Studios

(Photo by Matt Kennedy /© Marvel / © Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures )

Who will be nominated?

Alfonso Cuarón – Roma (2018) 95%
Ryan Coogler – Black Panther (2018) 96%
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born (2018) 90%
Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) 95%
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman (2018) 96%

Who should be nominated: Pavel Pawlikowski (Cold War). In any other year, without a film like Roma, Pawlikowski would be raking in the awards, but there has not been quite enough room in the conversation for two black-and-white period foreign-language films as far as voters are concerned. Our pick for who will be nominated might seem controversial, but we favored these guys’ chances over Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Adam McKay (Vice). Look out for one potential big surprise: Leave No Trace director Debra Granik, whose film remains at 100% on the Tomatometer.

Best Original Screenplay

(Photo by @ Paramount )

Who will be nominated?

Bo Burnham – Eighth Grade (2018) 99%
Alfonso Cuarón – Roma (2018) 95%
Adam McKay – Vice (2018) 65%
Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara – The Favourite (2018) 93%
Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski – A Quiet Place (2018) 96%

Who should be nominated: Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal for BlindspottingIn five years time there will countless essays on how this film was underappreciated – trust us. Regarding our picks for who will be nominated, recent controversies around Green Book co-writers Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga may have torpedoed their chances, making way for A Quiet PlaceFirst Reformed writer-director Paul Schrader’s WGA snub and muted audience response to the film have diminished his chances, while everyone in the Academy loved Elsie Fisher and Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade.

Best Adapted Screenplay

(Photo by @ Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Who will be nominated?

Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk (2019) 95%
Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole – Black Panther (2018) 96%
Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (2018) 98%
Debra Granick – Leave No Trace (2018) 100%
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman (2018) 96%

Who should be nominated: Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim for Crazy Rich Asians, a near-perfect adaption that is unfortunately up against some very stiff competition. Same could be said for Widows. Going against convention again, we left out First Man and A Star is Born for our “should be nominated picks,” because we think voters will go for more groundbreaking work. First Man could get over Can You Ever Forgive Me? or Leave No Trace, but many voters view this as a category to recognize the female writer/directors who sadly won’t likely make it in the highly competitive Best Director race – so our money is on the ladies.

Oscar Nominations are announced Tuesday, January 22, at 5:20am PST / 8:20am EST.

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