Who wins at the 2019 Oscars in a just world?

Emma Stone in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved
Emma Stone in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved /

Before we have to live in a world where Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are Oscar-winning films, let’s go over the best-case scenarios.

In the immortal words of Tyrion Lannister: “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.”

Like Westeros, our society is also riddled with injustices. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book are nominated for 10 Oscars between them. Those are 10 nominations that could’ve gone to more deserving, less problematic films.

On Sunday night, we’ll find out whether we are living in the darkest timeline if those films clean up at the Academy Awards. Before the final decisions are announced, let’s talk about who would win some of these awards in a just world. It’s the only way to maintain our sanity until we collectively realize this is actually the bad place after the winners are announced.

Animated Feature Film: Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse

Hey, here’s something that might actually happen! Spider-Verse has been cleaning up in the animated categories this awards season, and it’s quite possible the Academy was just as dazzled and moved by it as the rest of us. Of course, knowing that voting body, it will fumble this by giving it to Isle of Dogs, which was accused of cultural appropriation. That seems like something the Academy would do.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

This seems like a no-brainer, given how Brian Tyree Henry’s 20-minute appearance in Beale Street alone was some of the best writing featured on the big screen last year. But there’s also a timeline where the Academy collectively agrees they really like the “I just wanted to get another look at ya” meme and gives it to A Star Is Born. To be fair, “You stole my voice” was an objectively hilarious line whether it was meant to be or not.

Best Original Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite

This is one of two awards that Green Book is very likely to win. It just feels weird to reward a group of white people for writing a black man’s story from a white man’s perspective. In a just world, this one goes to The Favourite scribes, who crafted a hilarious tale of sex, politics and whatever Nicholas Hoult was doing the whole time. Do the right thing, Academy.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

This is one of the few categories with no inherently bad choices, though one could argue that Vice wasn’t so much directed as edited. This award is probably Cuaron’s to lose, though the Academy could give it to Spike Lee as a career-achievement award. Either way, this one is the least likely to make people angry.

Best Supporting Actress: Emma Stone, The Favourite

Weirdly enough, the only way to get this one wrong is to give the Oscar to Amy Adams, which felt as dirty to write as it probably did to read. Regina King’s Beale Street performance may be the favorite here, but that’s only because the two Favourite actresses will probably split votes. There’s a universe where Stone rightfully lost the 2017 Best Actress Oscar to Natalie Portman as Jackie and instead won this year for a much better performance. Alas, we don’t live in that universe.

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born

Mahershala Ali winning this one for Green Book may be the biggest lock of the 2019 Oscars. That said, did you see Elliott cry as he backed out of Jackson Maine’s driveway in A Star Is Born? Now that’s a scene worthy of an Academy Award. Ali deserves this one for putting up with Green Book‘s dumb racial politics, but there would be nothing wrong with rewarding Elliott for a career-best performance either.

Best Actress: Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

There’s a long, riveting sequence in Roma where the camera is centered on Aparicio’s traumatized face as something heartbreaking happens in the background. None of the other actresses in this category gave a performance that emotionally raw this year. This is another one where there are no inherently “bad” choices, but Aparicio’s work speaks for itself.

Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Look, A Star Is Born is a flawed movie with great music and world-class performances. Cooper somehow managed to disappear into Jackson Maine more than Rami Malek putting on some fake teeth to play Freddie Mercury or even Christian Bale going full Darkest Hour Gary Oldman to play Dick Cheney. His will be the performance that endures after this year more than the other two front-runners’. He should be rewarded thusly.

Best Picture: Roma

Roma was the best movie I saw this year in a movie theater or otherwise. In this case, I watched it on Netflix at 2 a.m. after a long travel day when I was too wired to sleep. It kept my full attention the whole time and I cried at two separate scenes near the film’s end. The fact that films like Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody are even nominated in the same category as a powerful film like Roma is ludicrous.

The only other films that have a rightful claim to this award are The Favourite, Black Panther and maybe BlacKkKlansman. Let’s just pray to the cinema gods that we don’t wake up Monday morning to a reality where the most prestigious film voting body on Earth crowned Bohemian Rhapsody the best movie of 2018. Not even our world is unjust enough to unleash that fresh hell upon us.

Every Best Picture winner, ranked. dark. Next