Oscar Predictions: What can the Georgia Film Critics Awards tell us?

It’s a good list. The Georgia Film Critics Association recently released their list honoring the best in cinema in 2018. And few could argue with their choices.

“A Star is Born” was named best film of 2018. Bradley Cooper’s astonishing re-imagining of the classic Hollywood story was a worthy choice, as was Sam Elliott for best supporting actor. The critics’ group also named Alfonso Cuarón best director for helming Netflix’ awards darling “Roma” to the big and small screens. Additionally, Cuarón was given the award for best cinematography. This may hint that the Academy could split on director and best picture this year.

Will Oscar voters brave “Hereditary” and recognize Toni Collette?

It was good to see that the extraordinary horror film “Hereditary” was given attention with Toni Collette taking home best actress. Look for Collette to be in the running for the best actress Oscar, competing with Glenn Close and Olivia Colman.

Close was really wonderful in “The Wife,” and her best actress win at the Golden Globes certainly helps her chances of taking home Oscar gold. But Colman, who plays the ill-fated Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” also won a Golden Globe, and many think of her as the Oscar front-runner. The problem for Colman, I think, is that “The Favourite” is an ensemble, featuring three strong central performances from Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz. Who is lead and who is supporting? Close, on the other hand, is the clear lead of “The Wife,” a tiny film that many may have forgotten but for the Golden Globe award.

The problem for Collette winning the Oscar is the difficult nature of “Hereditary.” It’s a significant film, but it isn’t pleasant to watch, certainly not one that I’m eager to revisit. The genre limitations, as far as awards consideration, further affect Collette’s chances. Still, last year’s Academy Awards celebrated genre films, giving “The Shape of Water” best picture over the likes of a historical epic like “Dunkirk.”

It was good to see Sam Elliott recognized for his work in “A Star is Born.”

But for the Georgia Film Critics to decide on “A Star is Born” is particularly telling. While Cooper’s decision to end the film on a down note, regardless of the moving musical tribute to his character that, for some, brought the house down, “A Star is Born” is a safe choice for voters. And this should help the film in many categories. This year, without a “Moonlight” in the mix, I think safe films will be given the most attention.

And there may be no safer movie to nominate than “Green Book.” Note that “Green Book” took home not one single award from the Georgia Film Critics. And dust has been kicked up about the film’s depiction of what some have called the “white savior” narrative. But like “The Help,” which in 2011 received 4 nominations including one for best picture, look for “Green Book” to receive serious consideration. It will certainly help that star Mahershala Ali is giving us fantastic work on HBO’s wonderful third season of “True Detective.” His performance is a sight to behold, and it elevates everything about this promising season. But more on that next week.

Ethan Hawke was named best actor for his work in the politically tinged “First Reformed.

Finally, the Georgia Film Critics Association named Ethan Hawke best actor, for his performance as the troubled minister in Paul Schrader’s disturbing “First Reformed.” That film struck a chord with many because of its unique message and ambiguous ending that had people talking. In addition to acting, Hawke had a great year directing the critically lauded “Blaze.”

The complete list of the Georgia Film Critics Association winners is below. Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.

Founded in 2011, this year marks the 8th annual awards program for the critics group. GAFCA is made up of 32 film critics from around the state, representing print, television, radio and online media. For more information on the Georgia Film Critics Association, visit http://www.georgiafilmcritics.org.


Best Picture
“A Star is Born”

Best Director
“Roma” – Alfonso Cuarón

Best Actor
Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”)

Best Actress
Toni Collette (“Hereditary”)

Best Supporting Actor
Sam Elliott (“A Star is Born”)

Best Supporting Actress
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)

Best Original Screenplay
“Eighth Grade” – Bo Burnham

Best Adapted Screenplay
“BlacKkKlansman” – Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel & Kevin Willmott

Best Cinematography
“Roma” – Alfonso Cuarón

Best Production Design
“The Favourite” – Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton

Best Original Score
“First Man” – Justin Hurwitz

Best Original Song
“Shallow” – Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt (“A Star is Born”)

Best Ensemble
“The Favourite”

Best Foreign Film

Breakthrough Award
Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)

Best Animated Film
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”

Best Documentary Film
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema
“Black Panther” – Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole

Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema
“Black Panther” – Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole