Oscar Nominations 2019- Predictions

Here follows my predictions for tomorrow morning’s Academy Award nominations. This is not in any way, shape, or form what I think should happen, but instead, my shot in the dark at nailing the nominations to a tee:

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Best Picture


Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

Eighth Grade

The Favourite

Green Book

If Beale Street Could Talk


A Star is Born


*I’m predicting ten nominations in the Best Picture category this year to compensate for the failure of their Best Popular Film category.

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Debra Granik, Leave No Trace

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Spike Lee, BlackKklansmen

*I could also see Lynne Ramsay getting nominated over somebody.

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

John David Washington, BlackKklansmen

Best Actress

Glenn Close, The Wife

Olivia Coleman, The Favourite

Toni Colette, Hereditary

Lady Gaga, A Star is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me

*Has anyone seen The Wife? Though I’m sure Glenn Close is fantastic in it.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me

Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actress

Claire Foy, First Man

Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Regina King, If Beale Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

-Walter Tyrone Howard-













The Kid Who Would Be King (2019, Directed by Joe Cornish) English 6

Starring Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Tom Taylor, Rebecca Ferguson, Angus Imrie, Patrick Stewart

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(6-Good Film)

Solid. Exciting. Light-weight.

The Kid Who Would Be King feels old-school. It’s a kid-centric adventure fantasy following a young boy, Alex, who draws the fabled Excalibur from a stone, and discovers that he’s destined to protect modern day England from an evil sorceress, Morgan Le Fay (Ferguson). There are, naturally, a few modern wrinkles to the classic King Arthur story, a few laughs, but mostly, the film plays it pretty straight. The Kid Who Would be King is solid, without being spectacular.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


Beverly Hills Ninja (1997, Directed by Dennis Dugan) English 5

Starring Chris Farley, Chris Rock, Robin Shou, Nathaniel Parker, Will Sasso, Nicollette Sheridan, Soon-Tek Oh

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(5-Okay Film)

Goofy. Affable. Unexciting.

The story goes that there will come a day that a Great White Ninja emerges and saves the day. Somewhere in Japan, at a temple, Haru (Farley) trains, hoping one day to fulfill that prophecy. When the chance come to prove himself by helping the beautiful Alison Page (Sheridan), Haru, in true Inspector Clouseau style, proves only that he’s a fool. This is a fairly likable comedy brimming with Farley’s kind persona, but fails to deliver the big laughs of its clear inspiration, The Pink Panther. I liked some of the supporting characters: Rock as the over-enthusiastic bellhop/ disciple and Robin Shou as Haru’s far more competent brother, Gobei (reminiscent of Fran├žois, going back to Pink Panther). The action sequences are all very dull, which is forgivable in a comedy if it’s laugh out loud funny. Beverly Hills Ninja is not laugh out loud funny.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-



Last Action Hero (1993, Directed by John McTiernan) English 7

Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Austin O’Brien, Charles Dance, Robert Prosky, Tom Noonan, F. Murray Abraham, Mercedes Ruehl, Anthony Quinn, Bridgette Wilson

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(7-Very Good Film)

Over-stuffed. Clever. Underrated.

Danny Madigan (O’Brien), is having a tough time in life. His father’s died, his neighborhood is rough, and he can’t seem to concentrate in school. His one escape is the movie theater, where he enjoys the action packed movies of Arnold Schwarzenegger (playing himself), and the company of Nick (Prosky), an older projectionist. One day at the theater, while watching Schwarzenegger’s latest, Jack Slater IV, Danny gets warped into the picture, and teams up with Jack Slater himself to take down the bad guys. Last Action Hero is action-packed, yes, but more amusingly, it’s packed with in-jokes, meta-humor, and cameos. Considered a dud at its release, I think action fans will love it. Schwarzenegger, as a character that knows he’s a character in a movie, is a blast. This is one of his best vehicles. The film blossoms from the question of what it is that brings people to the movies, specifically action flicks, and why they’re more meaningful than given credit for. As someone who escapes into movies similar to Danny, the film speaks to me.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-



Just Go With It (2011, Directed by Dennis Dugan) English 6

Starring Adam Sandler, Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, Brooklyn Decker, Nick Swardson, Kevin Nealon

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(6-Good Film)

Childish. Entertaining. Amusing.

Puerile remake of Cactus Flower (1969) it may be, Just Go With It nevertheless entertains as a light romantic comedy. Daniel Maccabee (Sandler), a wealthy plastic surgeon, is a middle aged player. He tells his conquests that he’s married as a ploy, but it comes back to bite him when he falls in love with the young, stunning Palmer (Decker). He responds with a half-baked idea involving his devoted assistant, Katherine Murphy (Aniston), her two kids, his best friend, Eddie (Swardson), and a trip to Hawaii. The hallmarks of an Adam Sandler movie have been consistent for twenty years now: affable leads, sweet and cutesy moments, absurd silliness. He hasn’t made an outright hilarious movie in a long time. Every once and a while, he can still make an enjoyable film like Just Go With It, that benefits from its two stars chemistry (something that was missing from Cactus Flower despite that film’s superior quality), and the appealing location.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


Kung Fu Panda (2008, Directed by Mark Osborne and John Stevenson) English 8

Voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, David Cross, Ian McShane, Seth Rogen, Jackie Chan, Lucy Liu, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim

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(8-Exceptional Film)

Bright. Exciting. Appealing.

Kung Fu Panda is one of Dreamwork’s best films. If you’ve fantasized about being a great ninja warrior, Kung Fu Panda is all the more appealing. It follows the unlikely hero, Po (a panda voiced by Jack Black), as he attempts to fulfill the prophecy that announced him (overweight and out of shape) as the dragon warrior of legend, destined to defeat the fearsome Tai Lung (a snow leopard). The animation is inventive and vivid, and the vocal performances, especially among the leads-Black, Hoffman, and McShane-are first-rate. At times, Dreamworks delivers big name casts at the expense of character building, but here the cast do great work.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


Jack and Jill (2011, Directe by Dennis Dugan) English 4

Starring Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, David Spade, Tim Meadows, Eugenio Derbez

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(4-Bad Film)

Annoying. Hack. Inexplicable.

Adam Sandler plays Jack Sadelstein, a wealthy, accomplished advertisement executive, and unfortunately for comedy, he also plays Jill Sadelstein, Jack’s annoying, obnoxious, twin sibling visiting for the holiday season. Sandler’s Jill makes me appreciate the greatness of the late John Candy, who had a knack for playing annoying characters, but gave them depth and made them redeemable. Jill makes you want to turn off the movie. I’m not one of Sandler’s critics. I enjoy a solid portion of his filmography. Even this film, as bad as it is, isn’t quite as horrible as its reputation. I laughed something like once every 25th joke, but I did laugh. Al Pacino’s supporting performance as himself elevates the entire movie a full letter grade in my book. Pacino hasn’t done many comedies. He goes for it in this film, and is genuinely funny. I admire his full speed ahead turn despite his dismal surroundings. It’s bizarrely wonderful.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-