The Fall movie season is a time of celebration for film fans, as Oscar season kicks-off with a steady number of award-worthy films. With many films debuting this past month at the different film festivals, I sat down with film critic at The Fantastic Film Fans and awards pundit Jason Osiason, who previously won Gold Derby’s famed Oscar pool back in 2016. If there is anyone who would have a pulse on this year’s Oscar races, it would be him.
Much of the early year talk fixated on Black Panther and its possible Oscar chances, do you think that talk is realistic?
The talk is very real. It will be reaffirmed when Black Panther likely receives the first recognition any MCU film hasn’t received to this date, a SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Ensemble nomination. According to insiders Disney hired top awards strategists like Cynthia Swartz to oversee the awards campaign. Expect a heavy push in the crafts, screenplay and supporting actor (for Michael B. Jordan’s villainous Kilmonger) for this cultural phenomenon.
Considering you’ve attended many of the major festivals like TIFF (The Toronto International Film Festival) and NYFF (The New York Film Festival), what films have stood out for you personally?
My two favorite films for the festival circuit were Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid-90s and Claire Denis’ subversive science fiction film High Life. While the latter will likely not be released stateside till 2019, Mid-90s is set to open in October and could be a sleeper hit for indie darling A24 Productions. The soundtrack for that film is also terrific and I think it’s going to open a lot of eyes just how good of a director Hill is.
What is this year’s Oscar dark horse that could surprise, like last year’s Get Out?
Besides the typical awards fare like The Favourite, A Star is Born and Roma, keep an eye out for Neil Jordan’s Greta, which was picked up by Focus Features under a $6 million-dollar distribution. Expect the future cult favorite starring a psychopathic Isabelle Huppert to find its way into theaters before the year’s end.
What supposed Oscar contenders do you personally think will fall out of the race?
The Frontrunner, Boy Erased, Destroyer, A Private War all fell to mixed reviews and audience reactions during their festival runs. A Private Waris perhaps the most notable fallout of the bunch, as the film was not picked up by a major distributor after premiering at TIFF. It will likely be buried by other major contenders.
Big controversy was made earlier this year with big changes to the Oscar’s programing, what are your thoughts on these developments?
Well fortunately some of these nasty changes did not pan out, with the popular film category being the most egregious of the bunch. They did keep the shortlists for categories like Original Score, which will come in handy for future Oscar predictions.
Who do you think will end up hosting this year’s Oscars?
Kevin Hart is the easy favorite. With his expansive success with Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Night School, there’s no bigger comedic name right now. Hart also is making his first foray into dramatic films with The Upside next year, so doing that along with hosting could be a major career move for Hart.
The 2019 Oscars will occur on February 24, 2019.