Oscars 2019: everything we know so far
The Golden Globes are behind us, BAFTA nominees are announced – next up, the 2019 Oscars. Here's the guide to navigating awards season
The awards ceremony will reward films that most voters and viewers will have seen in the 2018 calendar year – although some titles premiered earlier at international festivals (such as The Wife from Toronto in 2017), and others are still waiting for a public release in the UK (including Vice, Green Book, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and more).
A number of awards have been given out across various Critics Circles in the US, but the big event that kicked off proceedings was the 91st Golden Globes – with a surprising bunch of nominees, and winners. On 9 January, the nominees for this year's BAFTAs were announced, yet again adding a new range of parameters to consider. Ahead of the Oscars, here's everything we know about what to expect next.
The race is on: Academy Awards key dates
Trust no monarch: Margot Robbie's kingdom in Mary Queen of Scots could soon be overturned
While awards season allegedly begins as soon as the summer blockbuster season ends, the Golden Globes ceremony marks the official start of a succession of ceremonies to reward the very best films. After the rather surprising ceremony on 6 January, the voting window to choose nominees for the 91st Academy Awards opens on 7 January – for one week only.
After voting closes on 14 January, the nominees will be announced on 22 January, finally kicking things into motion for the homestretch. Voters can then decide who will take home the biggest prizes in another one-week window – from 12 February to 19 February, ahead of the ceremony to end all ceremonies on 24 February.
For viewers and curious fans around the world, the date that matters the most is the 24th – and then the 25th, to process whatever mess has been made...
Hollywood controversy: Who is hosting the Oscars?
There's no disputing the host and official frontman of Queen: Freddie Mercury gets a flashy but flawed biopic in Bohemian Rhapsody
At the time of writing, the Oscars are 48 days away and the host is still not confirmed. Following the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Neil Patrick Harris, Billy Crystal and Ellen DeGeneres, the position is still up in the air due to controversy surrounding comedian Kevin Hart. The actor was originally offered the job in December 2018, but the day after he accepted, homophobic tweets from 2008 – 2012 resurfaced, after which the Academy gave Hart an ultimatum: apologise or step down.
Hart chose the latter, explaining how he had previously apologised and did not want to distract from the evening's winners, and at this stage, wouldn't have enough time to prepare. But the position still hasn't been filled – the Academy have since admitted they would take Hart back, and no other stars have been announced to replace him.
In an emotional interview with Hart on her talk show, Ellen DeGeneres revealed she reached out to the Academy in defence of Hart, who, in turn, admitted they still would like him to host the ceremony. 'Whatever is going on on the internet, don't pay attention to them', DeGeneres told Hart on air. 'We are a huge group of people who love you and want to see you host the Oscars'.
It remains unclear how things will proceed – the Oscars haven't been without a host since 1988, but other awards ceremonies have survived without one (instead focusing on the enticing presenters) for years. The controversy is still fresh, at least offering a spark of humour in the opening monologue at the Golden Globes. Comedian Andy Samberg, who co-hosted the show with Killing Eve star Sandra Oh, started his introduction by reassuring everyone: 'We are going to have some fun, give out some awards, and one lucky audience member will host the Oscars!'
Oscars vs Golden Globes: what's the difference?
Can, or should, anyone stop Olivia Colman? The Favourite could be her first Oscar win
The Golden Globes tend to set the tone for things to come at the Oscars, but the two ceremonies are fundamentally antithetic. The former starts the season, the latter ends it, and the voting body shakes things up from the inside out.
The Golden Globes are voted for by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a non-profit organisation of approximately 90 journalists and photographers across 55 countries. Every member votes in every category, in a 'majority rules' system.
The Oscars are voted for by roughly 8200 members who make up the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – actors, filmmakers, creatives who have been nominated for an Oscar or who have been sponsored by two current Academy members. 928 artists were invited to join the Academy in 2018, including Christine Baranski, Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Colman and Mindy Kaling.
The core difference in voting structures means that what won at the Globes isn't necessarily safe at the Oscars. In a surprising turn of events, Bohemian Rhapsody won the Golden Globe for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama) despite receiving a poor critical reception. Green Book won Best Picture (Comedy), Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay – which also came as a surprise when nominees in other categories including Mary Poppins Returns, Beautiful Boy and If Beale Street Could Talk were mostly ignored. And the festival favourite, critical darling and box office hit A Star Is Born only won Best Original Song (will anything else ever compete with 'Shallow'?) despite being up for five awards.
Historically, the ceremonies tend to mirror each other – but the shockwaves feel stronger this year, which could provoke a sharp left turn while the voting window for members of the Academy is still open.
What about the BAFTA awards?
Finally some recognition for Viola Davis: Oscars, take note!
Now thrown into the mix with the potential to sway proceedings even more, the UK's own offering has just announced the nominees for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards. The organisation is an independent charity which operates all year round via an international programme of events and activities, as well as the awards ceremony everyone expects.
For the 72nd BAFTA awards, the nominees feature a lot of familiar names we've come to expect, with a few welcome surprises and disappointing, but hardly unexpected, omissions. Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here unfortunately isn't supported nearly as much as we'd expect, or hope, but Bohemian Rhapsody is featured slightly less – which restores some faith in the Academy's eventual decision.
The Best Director category features exclusively men. This is hardly surprising or a change of pace, but in the year of Ramsay's new film, Chloé Zhao's The Rider, Marielle Heller's Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mimi Leder's On the Basis of Sex and Debra Granik's Leave No Trace, we can't help but yearn for more.
The brilliant redeeming nomination is given to Viola Davis for her outstanding role in Widows, which has been mostly forgotten across the board. Following Glenn Close's win at the Golden Globes, a Leading Actress win for Lady Gaga doesn't feel quite so sure anymore. In terms of Leading Actors there are few surprises – albeit a Steve Coogan nomination in a slot that looks an awful lot like it was made for Robert Redford...
Here's are the main categories for this year's BAFTA awards nominees:
BLACKkKLANSMAN Jason Blum, Spike Lee, Raymond Mansfield, Sean McKittrick, Jordan Peele
THE FAVOURITE Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, Lee Magiday
GREEN BOOK Jim Burke, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Charles B. Wessler
ROMA Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez
A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper, Bill Gerber, Lynette Howell Taylor
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
BEAST Michael Pearce, Kristian Brodie, Lauren Dark, Ivana MacKinnon
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Bryan Singer, Graham King, Anthony McCarten
THE FAVOURITE Yorgos Lanthimos, Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday, Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
McQUEEN Ian Bonhôte, Peter Ettedgui, Andee Ryder, Nick Taussig
STAN & OLLIE Jon S. Baird, Faye Ward, Jeff Pope
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE Lynne Ramsay, Rosa Attab, Pascal Caucheteux, James Wilson
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
APOSTASY Daniel Kokotajlo (Writer/Director)
BEAST Michael Pearce (Writer/Director), Lauren Dark (Producer)
A CAMBODIAN SPRING Chris Kelly (Writer/Director/Producer)
PILI Leanne Welham (Writer/Director), Sophie Harman (Producer)
RAY & LIZ Richard Billingham (Writer/Director), Jacqui Davies (Producer)
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
CAPERNAUM Nadine Labaki, Khaled Mouzanar
COLD WAR Paweł Pawlikowski, Tanya Seghatchian, Ewa Puszczyńska
DOGMAN Matteo Garrone
ROMA Alfonso Cuarón, Gabriela Rodríguez
SHOPLIFTERS Hirokazu Kore-eda, Kaoru Matsuzaki
BLACKkKLANSMAN Spike Lee
COLD WAR Paweł Pawlikowski
THE FAVOURITE Yorgos Lanthimos
ROMA Alfonso Cuarón
A STAR IS BORN Bradley Cooper
GLENN CLOSE The Wife
LADY GAGA A Star Is Born
MELISSA McCARTHY Can You Ever Forgive Me?
OLIVIA COLMAN The Favourite
VIOLA DAVIS Widows
BRADLEY COOPER A Star Is Born
CHRISTIAN BALE Vice
RAMI MALEK Bohemian Rhapsody
STEVE COOGAN Stan & Ollie
VIGGO MORTENSEN Green Book
AMY ADAMS Vice
CLAIRE FOY First Man
EMMA STONE The Favourite
MARGOT ROBBIE Mary Queen of Scots
RACHEL WEISZ The Favourite
ADAM DRIVER BlacKkKlansman
MAHERSHALA ALI Green Book
RICHARD E. GRANT Can You Ever Forgive Me?
SAM ROCKWELL Vice
TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET Beautiful Boy
Oscar nominees: what to expect
The frontrunner for this awards season could now be in jeopardy: A Star Is Born isn't so safe anymore
The nominees announced on 22 January shouldn't be too surprising. Fan favourite from Toronto Green Book is in good stead, as is Yorgos Lanthimos' period satire The Favourite. The wins from the Globes place an urgent question mark next to Bohemian Rhapsody – but hopefully Cannes gems including Shoplifters and BlacKkKlansman should come back fighting.
Marvel's Black Panther could earn a climactic push, alongside A Star Is Born for a La La Land-esque sweep again. Adam McKay's sharp political biopic Vice should feature heavily, while Colette and Mary Queen of Scots seems to be somewhat quieter this season – despite their fierce female leads: Keira Knightley, and Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie respectively.
We'll be keeping all eyes on Roma, since Alfonso Cuarón's emotional homecoming won the Globe for Best Foreign Film and Best Director. It wasn't eligible for Best Picture according to the HFPA, but the Academy might just give Netflix its first big Oscar win.
Some homework: what to watch before the ceremony
Can the Academy trust love all the way? If Beale Street Could Talk might still hopefully take home a few wins
Ahead of the big hitters and the night that will finally put all the glitz and glam to bed, if only for a few months, there's still time to catch up on some of the best films of the season – irrespective of their wins. First Man, which won the Golden Globe for Best Original Score and for which Claire Foy (playing Janet Armstrong) was nominated for Best Supporting Actress stands out as an epic, groundbreaking biopic from the mind behind La La Land and Whiplash.
Beautiful Boy isn't making waves as intense as Call Me By Your Name once did, but Timothée Chalamet's performance as teenager Nic Sheff, who struggles with meth addiction, proves the actor's exciting versatility and strength at such an early stage in his career. If Beale Street Could Talk is released in UK cinemas just in time for Valentine's Day – Moonlight director Barry Jenkins' new film (based on James Baldwin's novel of the same name) is at once tender and urgent, a story of transcendental love against a backdrop of perpetual injustice.
And then there's Widows. It felt like an obvious but still invigorating choice to dominate the season, a subversive heist thriller from 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen, led by powerhouse Viola Davis alongside the mesmeric Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez and Cynthia Erivo. And yet, somehow, the film with every ingredient to excel has just been left to one side.
A miraculous turn of events would see Widows come back fighting at the Oscars, but even if it doesn't – there's no diminishing the film's merit and vital power as a vehicle for change. Watch in preparation, or just in admiration of the talent we're lucky to have in our midst.That's what the movies are all about, right?