How to watch tonight’s Oscars (plus win your Oscar pool)

Today’s the day. The 91st Academy Awards starts at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, and if you’ve made it this far — that is to say, you clicked on an article that promised a list of nominations, predictions of the winners, and how to watch the show — then we’re here to help you get ready for tonight’s festivities. So without further ado (cue the dramatic ellipses)…

The Academy Awards is on ABC, so by extension you can stream it on ABC’s website or via the ABC app (available for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android devices, or Amazon tablets via their respective app stores), which is also compatible with Google’s Chromecast and Apple’s Airplay so you don’t have to watch the whole thing on a 6-ish-inch screen with tinny speakers. Note that a TV subscription is required for streaming live.

ABC is also available via various TV streaming services including YouTube TV, Hulu Live, DirecTV Now, and PlayStation Vue (it is notably, not available on Sling). Most of these have free trial options if you need something at the last minute.

Beyond that, might I suggest picking up an over-the-air antenna? They’re pretty cheap!

I’m a bit biased in favor of our coverage leading up to tonight’s show — especially our ranking of every modern Oscar show to determine what a watchable Oscars even is — but there are quite a few great pieces that are worth your time:

I’m gonna defer to the official Oscar FAQ for this one:

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, the statuette is better known by its nickname, Oscar. While the origins of the moniker aren’t clear, a popular story has it that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian (and eventual executive director) Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy didn’t adopt the nickname officially until 1939, but it was widely known enough by 1934 that Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky used it in a piece referring to Katharine Hepburn’s first Best Actress win.

According to the latest US census (via HowManyofMe, the veracity of which I haven’t really dug into so don’t quote me in a scientific paper), there are about 202,271 people (out of 328,896,172 counted) with the first name Oscar; 1,728 with the last name Oscar; and exactly one person named Oscar Oscar who hopefully has a good sense of humor about it. All of which is to say, there is maybe a 0.06 percent chance (at least for US readers) that your name is Oscar. And if so, hello!

Here’s the full list of nominees for the 24 categories. As far as predictions go, I asked people much smarter than me — namely, our Entertainment Editor Matt Patches and Entertainment Reporter Karen Han — to weigh in on what will probably happen.

Best Picture

  • Black Panther
  • BlakkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born
  • Vice

Karen Han: I’m rooting for Roma, but the pessimist in me would guess Green Book. There’s also some alternate timeline in which Black Panther might win (maybe we’re in that timeline, only one way to find out), though I don’t really see that happening.

Matt Patches: There are so many movies to champion in this category, and so many politics involved (I am a cynical person who imagines Hollywood old-timers voting against Roma to spite Netflix!!), which leads me to believe that the preferential ballot system will lift Green Book to victory. But, in a welcome turn, this feels like one of the least predictable categories in eons.

Actor in a Leading Role

  • Christian Bale, Vice
  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Karen Han: I am not of the opinion that Bohemian Rhapsody should be nominated for anything at all, but I get the feeling that Rami Malek may be taking home Lead Actor. This category is honestly kind of a bummer this year. I’d be happy if Willem Dafoe won, but I don’t think At Eternity’s Gate really reached enough people.

Matt Patches: A shockingly weak category, which Rami Malek and his giant fake teeth will win in the end.

Actress in a Leading Role

  • Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
  • Glenn Close, The Wife
  • Olivia Colman, The Favourite
  • Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me

Karen Han: It’s Glenn’s year, full stop, and I’m not mad about it.

Matt Patches: I curse anyone who did not vote for Melissa McCarthy. Unfortunately for Lady Gaga, Little Monsters do not make up the majority of the Oscar voting body, who seem ready to honor Glenn Close for The Wife and a lifetime of great work.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book
  • Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me
  • Sam Rockwell, Vice

Matt Patches: Adam Driver will win an Oscar one day, and Sam Elliot is certainly due, but both are out of luck — Mahershala Ali practically has this statue sitting on his mantle.

Karen Han: Should win: Richard E Grant. He wants it. He should have it. (Will win: Mahershala Ali. I love him, but come on. REG!)

Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Amy Adams, Vice
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Marina De Tervira, Roma
  • Emma Stone, The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Matt Patches: Regina King swept up critics awards and the Golden Globe. Unless there’s a huge Rachel Weisz upset, she’s on track to do the same come Oscar night.

Karen Han: It’s gotta be Regina King. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz were terrific, but I expect the two Favourite nominations will have split the vote a little, and Amy Adams’ campaign has lost some steam.

Animated Feature Film

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Matt Patches: Unless the voting body is truly a Disney/Pixar zombie (the company’s only lost the award once in the last decade), this award will swing in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s favor.

Karen Han: I can’t really see anything besides Spider-Verse winning Best Animated Feature. Disney/Pixar usually takes it home, yes, but the (merited) buzz around Spider-Verse is too big to ignore.

Cinematography

  • Cold War
  • The Favourite
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born

Matt Patches: Alfonso Cuarón made the Mexican suburbs look like Lawrence of Arabia and he shot the damn movie himself! Anyone else would be a major surprise and upset (which, hey, is always fun).

Karen Han: I’m also going to go with Roma — it really is beautifully shot — though I feel like Matthew Libatique may be the dark horse to win in this category. I’m not the biggest A Star is Born fan but it sure looks great!

Costume Design

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Black Panther
  • The Favourite
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Mary Queen of Scots

Matt Patches: Take note that Sandy Powell, Hollywood royalty, is nominated TWICE in this category. While Ruth Carter deserves this win — and she may snag it in the end if people want to shower Black Panther with love — Powell’s classic costume work in The Favourite is the likely winner.

Karen Han: I’d put my chips behind Black Panther despite the fact that period costumes generally take the cake in this category. There’s no way that Black Panther won’t go home with at least one award, and this seems like the most likely one.

Directing

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
  • Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
  • Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay, Vice
  • Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Matt Patches: Both the praise and criticisms against Roma agree that Alfonso Cuarón directed the hell out of the movie. He’ll win, no question.

Karen Han: [pounding fists on desk] Sp’ike! Spike! Spike! I want it to be Spike! The odds are in Alfonso Cuarón’s favor but I think Spike Lee has a little better than a snowball’s chance in hell of pulling an upset.

Documentary (Feature)

  • Free Solo
  • Hale Country This Morning, This Evening
  • Minding the Gap
  • Of Fathers and Sons
  • RBG

Matt Patches: Without the Mr. Rogers doc Won’t You Be My Neighbor in the mix, this category feels wider open than once imagined. RBG checks that feel-good hagiography box that makes it an automatic frontrunner, but I’ll put my money on Free Solo, which is a simply astounding big-screen experience. (Meanwhile I’ll quietly cross my fingers for Minding the Gap, a jaw-dropping character study that you can watch on Hulu right now.)

Karen Han: Free Solo is basically a guaranteed win as a documentary that, while borderline irresponsible, is absolutely gripping. If I had my way, though, Hale County, This Morning, This Evening would win. It’s an astoundingly well-crafted and beautiful documentary; it’s so good that I’m shocked it’s nominated, if that makes any sense.

Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Black Sheep
  • End Game
  • Lifeboat
  • A Night at the Garden
  • Period. End of Sentence.

Matt Patches: Another category where the most serious issue usually wins. It’s also a category where Netflix has started to own because they make them super easy to watch for voters. So let’s bet on Period. End of Sentence., about the stigma of menstruation in rural India, which you can also stream on Netflix right now.

Karen Han: I’ll go with Period. End of Sentence. as well, for the aforementioned reasons of accessibility and subject matter.

Film Editing

  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Vice

Matt Patches: After a erratically cut-together scene from Bohemian Rhapsody went viral, it’s anyone’s guess if the movie that editors basically saved from reshoot footage and turned into an $850 million blockbuster will take the win. The safer bet is Vice, as Hank Corwin is a legend (find his work in The Tree of Life, The New World, Natural Born Killers, among others) who has yet to earn an Oscar.

Karen Han: I’m torn between Vice and BlacKkKlansman. Vice has been relatively popular this awards season, but BlacKkKlansman seems to be picking up some steam as a way of honoring everyone involved for years of work (Barry Alexander Brown also worked on Do the Right Thing) that have otherwise been unrecognized when it comes to awarding statuettes.

Foreign Language Film

  • Capernaum
  • Cold War
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma
  • Shoplifters

Matt Patches: With Roma gunning for the Best Picture Oscar, there’s a scenario in which voters skip over Alfonso Cuarón’s epic to award Cold War, which broke out enough to earn love in other categories. But nah — it’s going to be Roma.

Karen Han: Probably Roma, but again, search your feelings, you know it should be Shoplifters

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Border
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Vice

Matt Patches: Gotta go Vice — look how bald they made Christian Bale!

Karen Han: I could be swayed to think Vice would win but I feel like Mary Queen of Scots has a good shot, too. It’s the flashiest, overall, of the three films nominated here, when it comes to makeup and hair. Just look at Margot Robbie!

Music (Original Score)

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mary Poppins Returns

Matt Patches: As much as I want to see Britell’s If Beale Street Could Talk score pick up this award (it’s the best score of the year [link]), I’d put my chips on Black Panther’s splashy mix of African instrumentals, superheroic themes, and hip-hop influences. Voters want to honor this gigantic success.

Karen Han: I’ll second the pipe dream of Beale Street picking up this award. I could see Isle of Dogs winning, too, not necessarily because it’s the most impressive of the crop but because the Oscars tend to love Alexandre Desplat.

Music (Original Song)

  • All the Stars, Black Panther
  • I’ll Fight, RBG
  • The Place Where Lost Things Go, Mary Poppins Returns
  • Shallow, A Star is Born
  • When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Matt Patches: There’s no question: Lady Gaga won this award the minute she belted Shallow in Bradley Cooper’s remake. The movie completely stumbled during awards season, and with a minimal shot at Best Picture, this is the movie’s big win.

Karen Han: Yes, “Shallow” is going to win, but let’s be real here, we all know that the true best original song this year was “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings.” Not even a contest.

Production Design

  • Black Panther
  • The Favourite
  • First Man
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Roma

Matt Patches: Like costumes, this is another category where Black Panther could (and should) dominate. But the older voter contingent loves a good period piece, meaning The Favourite’s lived-in, 18th-century royal design could reign in the end.

Karen Han: My guess would be The Favourite — it’s a tremendously good-looking film, and exactly the kind of period piece that the Oscars tend to love.

Short Film (Animated)

  • Animal Behaviour
  • Bao
  • Late Afternoon
  • One Small Step
  • Weekends

Matt Patches: LOOK AT THAT LIL BAO. HOW DO YOU SAY NO TO THAT LIL BAO?

Karen Han: tfw it’s bao

Short Film (Live Action)

  • Detainment
  • Fauve
  • Margueritte
  • Mother
  • Skin

Matt Patches: Word is that this year’s live-action short films are depressing as hell. Let’s go with Detainment, a real upper about two ten year-old boys detained by police for murdering another kid. Weee!

Karen Han: I have to admit that I haven’t seen any of the nominated shorts this year (I’m sorry!!!), so I’ll go with “Fauve,” just because I like its title the best.

Sound Editing

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • A Quiet Place
  • Roma

Matt Patches: Remember the distinction: Sound Editing is all about capturing sound, and Mixing is about assembling it all together. This is where A Quiet Place, having been a mega-success that everyone in Hollywood loves, probably earns its one and only Oscar.

Karen Han: I feel like First Man might have a shot, here. It’s had a surprisingly quiet awards season but I don’t think it’s completely down and out for the count, which might put it in contention against A Quiet Place as a more prestigious option.

Sound Mixing

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • A Star is Born

Matt Patches: First Man’s space-age soundscapes deserve the love here, but expect the Queen-driven karaoke of Bohemian Rhapsody to be the champion, my friends.

Karen Han: Please, let it be Roma. The sound mixing — besides having been a source of some contention in the “how should this movie be seen” wars — is impeccable, and adds to the incredibly immersive nature of the film.

Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Infinity War
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

Matt Patches: Will the Academy honor a movie with the most special effects or the best use of special effects? There’s a case for Avengers: Infinity War winning this one in the end (Marvel’s FX team picked up several honors at other technical awards shows earlier this year) but this may be a category where First Man, completely shut out of the Oscar race on major fronts, prevails.

Ross Miller: I can’t believe you aren’t supporting your third-favorite bear here.

Matt Patches: The Academy will poo poo Pooh all the way to pooper

Karen Han: I will throw my hat in for Christopher Robin. Pooh looks great. He looks stunning. I want him to win. But more than that, this is a weird category for the variables Patches mentioned. I get the feeling that Ready Player One may win on the basis of having the most special effects (and also arguably the best, as no matter what you may think of the film, there’s no denying that the CGI is very convincing), but I’d love for that little bear to take home the trophy.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star is Born

Matt Patches: Sorry, Karen, #1 Buster Scruggs fan: the Coens’ Western will ride off into the sunset with just a nomination. Expect Spike Lee, who has never won an Oscar, and his co-writers to pick this one up for BlacKkKlansman.

Karen Han: It is a crime that the Coen brothers gifted us with a new movie and we (well, awards) are sleeping on it this hard. Give Buster Scruggs the trophy. That said, I think Beale Street might have a shot here, too, if only because I’d like for BlacKkKlansman’s wins for the night to be a little bigger.

Writing (Original Screenplay)

  • The Favourite
  • First Reformed
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • Vice

Matt Patches: In a just world, Paul Schrader’s script for First Reformed ascends to heaven with this award. Won’t happen. This is a battle between Roma, Green Book, and The Favourite, and I’m predicting (and praying for) the wickedly funny period piece to come out on top.

Karen Han: I’m definitely answering too many of these in terms of wish fulfillment (will God forgive us if we don’t award First Reformed an Oscar). Sure, the Oscars are in [checks watch] right now, but maybe if I pray hard enough it’ll take home a trophy.

Source: Polygon

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