With the 91st annual Academy Awards taking place in only a matter of days, we asked KU Film & Media Studies students to give their opinions on nominations and their predictions. This year has many surprising nominations, along with many new ways the show will be run. With so many differing opinions and lack of tradition, KU students had quite a lot to say. Either way this year’s Oscars will be unforgettable, for one primary reason - KEVIN WILLMOTT.
“I think the Oscars have chosen some very obvious movies in terms of what is most popular. I am thrilled for Blakkklansman and The Favourite, but other than that, I feel like some truly phenomenal performances and films have been ignored this year. It is odd to me, because films such as Boy Erased, A Beautiful Boy, and Mary Queen of Scots seemed to be extremely in line with what is usually a favorite for the Oscars. But Mary Queen of Scots only received nominations for costume and makeup. I also loved Eighth Grade and First Man, two other films that, under normal circumstances, would have been at the very least acknowledged. These are just a handful of movies that were truly excellent this year, but somehow were snubbed in the face of pop culture films. If I had to take a guess at what the nominations mean, I would say that the Oscars are planning to change every formula they have followed in years past in attempts to stay relevant and to gain viewerships.” - Hadley O.
“The Oscars care too much about what people think. This year is the first time in 30 years that will have no host, something that came from an overly sensitive audience, and a fearful pool of potential hosts. In terms of the actual nominations, ultimately they don’t matter at all. Most of the best movies every year don’t even get touched by the Oscars. Eighth Grade should have had a nomination for best picture and best actress, but the Oscars is always scared to nominate people under 20. All I care about is Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse winning best animation. I would also say that Cinematography is likely to go to The Favourite. Best Picture could be The Favourite or Roma. Green Book is so middle ground that it could win. As a student wanting to go into filmmaking, it’s frustrating to see a safe or popular movie being represented when well-made films are pushed to the side. It keeps being the same people nominating and awarding the same white people for work that may not entirely be the best. “ - Jacob S.
“This year’s Oscars has already made me mad. I saw lots of movies I thought were going to be total shoo-ins for nominations, and it was crazy to see almost none of them get nominated. I loved Timothee Chalamet in A Beautiful Boy, and I was surprised to see no nominations for him or that movie. Instead actors in much more minor roles were nominated. It also upsets me that Black Panther received a best picture nomination. When you consider how many well-made movies were ignored in the face of merely ‘popular’ movies, it’s almost insulting to watch. That being said, I think that a lot of the winners this year will be unexpected, so I’m interested to see how it will go.” - Maddie H.
“My main thought is that Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse should not be kept from best picture because it’s animated. In terms of what is nominated, I think The Favorite will win best picture. I am disappointed to see that Annihilation was snubbed for sound design. Another one of my favorites from this year, A Quiet Place, definitely should have been a best picture nomination. I’m interested to see how this year’s Oscars play out.” - Jed S.
“My immediate concern with this year’s nominations was the fact that many respectable, purely good films did not make it into any category. This award show has stuck with its traditions for many years, despite the change happening around it. There is a reason “Oscar Bait” is used so frequently in its season of scouting. While the lineup is respectable, there are many talented artists and narratives that will not receive the recognition they deserve this Sunday. ” - Audrey C.
“My predictions for the Oscars this year are:
Best Picture - Roma
Best Actor - Christian Bale, Vice
Best Actress - Glenn Close, The Wife - but I am making a bold prediction on maybe a tie with Lady Gaga as well
Best Supporting Actor - Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Best Supporting Actress - Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk has it in the bag 100%
Best Director - Alfonso Charon, Roma
Best Cinematography - Roma
Best Adapted Screenplay - BlacKkKlansman
Best Original Screenplay - Vice
Best Animated Movie - Spider-Man Into the Spiderverse - I really think is the best movie in this category. I don’t think Incredibles 2 will win, but if it does it will be an upset
Best Original Song - Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper 100%
"Overall this Oscars will be interesting since there is no host this year, which hasn’t happened since 1989. I am still excited to see who wins this year – one main reason being my professor, Kevin Willmott, is nominated for best adapted screenplay. It would be really great to see him win it! This is a show I always look forward to every year because you never know what is going to happen.” - Thomas B.
Good luck, Professor Willmott! We're so proud of you.