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2019 Oscars Predictions: Haddish to Host? Black Panther for Best Picture?

Oscar statuettes
Photo by Prayitno (flickr [CC License]
  • After a relatively predictable 2018 show, can we already make solid predictions for the 2019 Oscars?
  • The list of potential hosts is long and diverse, but favorites have already emerged. 
  • Same goes for the early Best Picture contenders, which include a superhero movie!

There is, as they say, no rest for the wicked. We are less than 72 hours past Hollywood’s big night and already the wheels have begun turning, setting things in motion for what is to come these next 360-something days. While we certainly don’t know all that the upcoming year has to offer quite yet, we do know some of it — and, what we do know looks pretty good, so far.

How early is too early to predict Oscar nominees, you ask? Never, we suggest. We might not be able to tell you whose name will be called when the Best Picture envelope is opened next year, but the Academy does have its tendencies; there are certain genres, roles and types of subject matter they tend towards, and it is with this in mind that we give you our early — but, not too early — predictions for the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.

And, considering how well our entertainment experts did with their picks and predictions this year, you might want to make some notes.

Potential Host(s)

Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip
Will Tiffany Haddish from Girls Trip (Universal) host the 91st annual Academy Awards in 2019?

Before Jimmy Kimmel had even taken the stage March 4th, talk had already begun about who our next Oscars host would be. Will the Academy invite Kimmel back for a third round as host, or will they opt instead for a bit of fresh blood?

Tiffany Haddish: 6/1

The moment Tiffany Haddish  climbed over a barrier to get to Meryl Streep, it was plain to see the woman is here for it — it being the red carpet, the Academy Awards, the sheer thrill of the actual chase. If that weren’t enough, she and Maya Rudolph owned the stage with what was arguably the best presentation of the night. The duo were so wonderfully on point with their slippers and comedy, that Haddish is our front-runner for hosting next year’s ceremony.

Not convinced? Wait until she hosts the 2018 MTV Awards, and then we can talk.

Kevin Hart: 8/1

Kevin Hart has been having a real moment lately. The comedian has a lot to say, and is not afraid to say it — something that the Academy strangely seems to be a real fan of. He also checks of a couple diversity boxes, which is another thing that the Academy would really like to stress that they are real fans of.

Kumail Nanjiani: 9/1

Kumail Nanjiani won many times over this past weekend. He and co-writer/wife, Emily V. Gordon, did not get to take home an Oscar, but Nanjiani’s cutting humor should have. His dry commentary earned some of the biggest laughs of the evening, and prove him a worthy contender for the host crown.

[Jimmy Kimmel] feels relatable both as a celebrity and an “every man,” but he has hosted two of the lowest-rated ceremonies in Oscar history…

Jimmy Kimmel (again): 11/1

Jimmy Kimmel is a really good Oscars host, and it would be no surprise to see him on stage once again. He is understated in his delivery, and brings a casual feel to an undeniably glamorous night. He feels relatable both as a celebrity and an “every man,” but he has hosted two of the lowest-rated ceremonies in Oscar history — not necessarily his fault, but this may not bode well for his prospects of a hat-trick.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler: 15/1

These names have been floating around for quite some time, and to be frank, it’s hard to say why they haven’t had a chance at the Academy Awards. They did a fantastic job with the Golden Globes, and would no doubt do the same at the Oscars. Plus, there is the added bonus that they are female, and in Hollywood that is the best thing to be right now.

Key and Peele: 50/1

The comedy duo of Key and Peele would be amazing hosts, but unfortunately it is hard to imagine Jordan Peele hosting the award ceremony only a year after winning his first Oscar.

Best Picture Possibilities

Poster for Black Panther
Poster for Black Panther (Marvel Studios)

The coming year is bound to bring us a plethora of Oscar-hopefuls, some of which will make it through the slog of awards season, while others will unfortunately be left by the wayside. While it might seem a bit premature to start naming names, there are certain films that are already so highly anticipated, have received such positive reviews thus far, and check off enough of the typical Academy boxes that their success feels imminent. Remember, good films don’t happen overnight; they remain in the pipeline long enough that if you just know where to look, you’re likely to find them before they even make it to the big screen.

First Man: 9/2

Damien Chazelle’s bio-pic about the life of Neil Armstrong stars Ryan Gosling, Clair Foy, and promises to be all sorts of Oscar-worthy goodness. Not only are Gosling and Foy incredible character actors, who will undoubtedly enrich the film-watching experience, but historical bio-pics tend to be fantastic Academy fodder.

Boy Erased: 5/1

This film tells the story of a preacher’s son who is forced into a church-supported gay conversion therapy program. Based on a true story and adapted from Garrard Conley’s novel of the same name, Boy Erased touches on several timely, and important, themes at once.

Beautiful Boy: 7/1

This Steve Carrell and Timothee Chalamet led drama follows the addiction, and recovery, of a young man through the eyes of his father. Though Carrell is perhaps best known for his comedic work, in recent years he has taken a dramatic turn; teamed up with young Chalamet, Carrell may be on track towards another Oscar nom. As for the film itself, Beautiful Boy promises a gravitas of subject and performance that combined make it a very attractive candidate.

If anything is going to stand in the way of [Black Panther] being nominated, it is the superhero label…

Black Panther: 9/1

If Black Panther does not get nominated, something is wrong with the way the Academy approaches this whole schtick. At this point in the year, it is the film to beat. The sheer number of times it was name-dropped during these past Academy Awards speaks to this fact; Hollywood knows the power of Marvel’s latest franchise film, which could be seen more as a cultural phenom than superhero flick. If anything is going to stand in the way of this film being nominated, it is the superhero label, however Logan‘s nomination for Screenplay this year may be a good indication that tides are turning in this regard.

If Beale Street Could Talk: 9/1

Directed by Barry Jenkins, of Moonlight fame, If Beale Street Could Talk is based on the 1974 novel of the same name. It is a love story set in Harlem in the early 1970’s, told through the eyes of 19-year old Tish who must fight to prove her fiance innocent of a crime, while pregnant with their first child. Touching on race, privilege, love, and questions of justice, we can expect good things from this film.

My Life on the Road: 12/1

There could not be more appropriate timing for a Gloria Steinem bio-pic than now. In a post-Weinstein Hollywood, the demand for space and respect by women, and their allies, within the industry is at an all-time high. Julianne Moore is set to star as Steinem, who became one of the feminist movements leading figures in the 1960’s and 70’s. The stage is set, and the crowd will likely be receptive to this film and the message it undoubtedly will bear.



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An unabashed interest in the lives of other people and all things pop culture makes analyzing the world of entertainment an easy fit for Kaela. One of SBD's resident experts since 2017, she keeps her finger on the pulse so you can feel confident, and have fun, making informed wagers.