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Everyone needs to calm down about "A Star is Born" winning all the Oscars

You guys. Everywhere I look there are articles or tweets positing that A Star is Born is going to sweep the Oscars, or win 3/4th of the acting categories or whatnot.  This is unlikely. It's only because it's the biggest contender currently playing that people are losing their minds. Well, that and because the movie is a terrific piece of big studio entertainment aimed at adults that's also a hit at the box office. You know, the exact kind of movie that people pretend doesn't exist (it does almost annually) and also pretend that Oscar doesn't like (they do almost annually) whenever they write those dumb articles proclaiming "the Oscars are irrelevant!" 

A Star is Born is just about at $100 million domestic at this writing but people are acting as if its earned one billion; I definitely wasn't expecting to hear it compared to Titanic today. So, let's all relax for a bit and talk about what is probable/possible since we've just barely finished UPDATING ALL THE OSCAR CHARTS

I think it's too soon to call A Star is Born the frontrunner. It's just the first big Best Picture possibility to open since February (!) so that's a lot of time since Black Panther to bottle up armchair punditry feeling... bring on awards season! I dont currently believe Star will win (the remake stigma will catch up to it eventually) but let's say for the sake of argument that it does. That's one Oscar. Let's look at the other categories...

Bradley Cooper is not winning this, I don't believe. Not when Alfonso Cuarón is right there with what literally everyone who sees will think of in terms of it being a directorial feat, yes even the actors. That's not the case with A Star is Born... even though it's well-directed. What's more we don't know that he'll be nominated. The director's branch sometimes thinks for themselves. Remember Ben Affleck's snub for Argo? In fact, I'd argue it would be better for Bradley Cooper's Best Actor chances if he were snubbed here. But even if he is nominated, splits are quite frequent now so dont expect it to take both prizes.  

I really want Bradley Cooper to win this but something tells me he won't (Viggo, Bale, Eastwood, Hawke, all feel possible as winners if nominated). But for the sake of argument we'll say he does. That's two Oscars for the film.

Lady Gaga is probably not going to win. She'll put a big fight and probably take the Golden Globe but in the end it's going elsewhere, presumably to either Glenn Close or Olivia Colman. Especially since a lot of voters will know they can vote for Gaga to win the Oscar for best song and feel great about that because she 1000% deserves it.

It can win here. But will it? I'm guessing no. Only five previous films have won both best male acting trophies: Dallas Buyer's Club (2013), Mystic River (2003), Ben-Hur (1959), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and Going My Way (1944) and 60% of those times the films also won Best Picture. In short: it doesn't happen often. Interestingly enough if Bradley and Sam do both win it will be the first time ever that two actors win for playing brothers. 

Unless you wanna do a write-in for Gail...

I don't currently believe it will get nominated here. This category is always competitive and musicals are among the first Best Picture nominees to be dropped for writing, even if they're well written. 

As much as we all want to see Matthew Libatique holding an Oscar after his exciting career, Roma or First Man feel far more like traditional cinematography winners.

Probably won't be nominated here considering their aversion to contemporary films.

This will be an interesting contest but since we're pretending it's winning Best Picture, let's say that it also wins here. I guess it could, actually, even if the film doesn't win Best Picture.

Probably won't be nominated here considering their aversion to contemporary films.

Probably won't be eligible here since it's mostly songs.

Though Roma or First Man or Black Panther or what not could conceivably put up fights given their technical elements, I'm guessing A Star is Born wins this regardless of its fate in other categories. Beloved music films do well here. 

Musicals aren't always nominated in both sound categories so let's say it misses this nomination (which is a harder get for musicals than mixing anyway).


Provided the music branch doesn't do something unthinkable (they have before), this Oscar is the only one that's locked up.

GRAND TOTAL: 5 Oscars... 6 best case scenario. But I'm guessing 4 is most likely, losing either Picture or Actor in the scenario above. Regardless, it's not like it's sweeping. Everyone calm down!

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Reader Comments (44)

Never heard of it.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSister Rona Barrett

What about Andrew "Dice" Clay for Best Supporting Actor? I haven't seen the film but I hear he plays Gaga's father and is actually making a career doing supporting work as he was one of the few to actually stand toe-to-toe with Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine and get a lot of praise.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I will NOT calm down! This is winning EVERYTHING!!!! lol

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterME

Nathaniel- thank you for saying it all.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

I totally agree with you, Nathaniel. People are so hungry for good, adult fare that they went overboard for ASIB. I would really like to see Cooper win though. I have never really cared for him, but his is a wonderful performance.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

Gaga will be nominated for best actress and best song

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Why isn't Gosling the frontrunner? He's so much better than Cooper.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

For once I disagree with you. I wonder if your excitement for the movie is making you actually underestimate it.

It's definitely not a Titanic or anything, and while the buzz is overblown atm due to the film just coming's still really well positioned. Is it gonna win? Who knows, but out of all contenders it's the most viable option and the Popular Film category is gonna help it even more. Here's Hollywood's chance at an adult drama that hit audiences and critics.

Among those things I feel you underestimate are: the writing and Cooper. It's not a traditional musical, it's more like a drama with lots of music (lol how that sounds). Chicago and La La Land landed nominations here, this reshaping of a well known story is well positioned to get a nomination even if it's basically guaranteed it won't win. The other one is I think Cooper's (and I won't use lock yet but um) our winner in Actor. The role, the film, the acclaim, the timing, the actor, etc. Everything lines up. Unless something massive switches I really don't see Viggo or Bale trumping him here. Which is why I'm just as certain he won't win Director.

Other than that I agree with the general sentiment of overblown. It's not winning 10 Oscars or anything (and my reluctance to predict Elliot is precisely cause the film looks strong in other categories) but of all the options there is no current one that makes as much sense as a winner. First Man did, until it flopped. Otherwise the rest of the field have things against them that are just as big, and the eventual backlash to the backlash will probably help the movie stay afloat throughout the season.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAlexD

"As much as we all want to see Matthew Libatique holding an Oscar after his exciting career, Roma or First Man feel far more like traditional cinematography winners."

Are they? A black and white film hasn't won for cinematography since Schindler's List and before that you have to go back to the days when the category was split in half. The fact that Cuaron shot it himself may also kind of work against it. First Man is a bit closer but that movie seems to be on course to just generally underperform. I could almost see them not thinking things through too carefully and giving it to Black Panther because it's viewed as a tech movie.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMJS

I could see Cold War getting a nod for cinematography.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

At this point, I'm interested to see what (if any) kind of backlash ASIB gets. It happens a lot with big films that many people bandwagon into a steamrolling position.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBruno

This screams La La Land all over again! Everyone RAVED about the movie during the festivals and it ended up being a split reaction with audiences ... some loved it, some hated it. While I don’t hate A Star is Born, it is far from my favorite film of the year and I know just as many people who were underwhelmed by the movie as those who loved it.

I also gagged when I read someone compared it to Titanic today. Oh please!

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenter24fanatic

I know she's not well-liked here but Claire Foy is phenomenal in First Man. A stay-at-home wife that is not a bore to watch. All her scenes are solid Oscar clips ("You're a bunch of boys!" is my favorite).

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Do you think Cuaron is winning director? For a foreign language movie? Has something like this ever happened? And it's Netflix. And Black and White. And this Mexican streak in director is going to end, right?

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The biggest culprits are the hosts of LITTLE GOLD MEN. Once again they’ve declared a movie the supreme front runner and then in 3 months time they’ll be talking about backlashes that they are responsible for. Grrrr.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterInman

Gail for Best Supporting Actress!

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBushwick

Ethan Hawke beating Bradley Cooper makes ... no sense.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAdam

If A Star Is Born isn't the Best Picture winner, what is?

Green Book, possibly, though I can imagine the think pieces will write themselves. The Favourite sounds great, but I'd be surprised to see the Academy award a Lanthimos film about lesbian love triangle. Roma is a black-and-white foreign language film distributed by Netflix without one name actor. And it's hard to argue that the "remake stigma" is going to be bigger than the Marvel stigma that will stick to Black Panther - yes, Coogler is a gifted director, but if people in the industry really wanted to reward a superhero movie as the best of their craft, they would have nominated one for Best Picture before now.

Not to mention A Star Is Born is a show business movie, and those always have a significant advantage over the competition.

Granted, something like Vice or Mary Poppins Returns could surprise. But right now, it looks like a strong frontrunner to me.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I do think Cooper can win, Gaga will get the nod but win song not actress . Not sure of picture it could win. I’m honestly so unsure of this years oscars, nothing really stands out to me at this point.

ASIB, FM and Widows were all let downs for me hopefully something will excite me soon...I hope....

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Lol @ Inman. I listen to that podcast too. I like them all but they frustrate me with how off they can be with their predictions. Once they're set on a movie it's hard for any of them to take a step back and look at other options.

I haven't seen it yet but why does it feel like no one is taking about If Beale Street Could Talk? I know Nat was cold on it but Chris, Joe, and especially Nick liked it. Its getting strong reviews all around and could be a more likely winner for tech nods (e.g. score, cinematography, editing) than First Man or Roma. It feels like outside of Regina possibly winning, it's being undersold as a contender elsewhere.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMya

Ugh, stop promoting this film. It's no better than Grease or Mamma Mis!

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterToni

I want three-way tie with Bradley, Viggo and Ethan all win Best Actor. These three, I really can't just pick one. As for the movie, Bradley the actor totally owned ASIB. When Gaga sang a song she wrote in a parking lot and he looked surprised and said Holy Shit, that's his award scene for me.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJack for Streep

It's really way too early to say what the Oscar results will be. If A Star Is Born becomes a phenomenon, which actually could happen, then it could win a bunch. Every person I know who's seen it adores it. This thing is real. Let's check back in a month.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

PS The soundtrack is the No 1 album.

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy


This is exactly how I felt last year when the entire Internet exploded over CMBYN, so I'm delighted to see the same thing happen to A Star is Born.

Not because it's a terrible film (it really isn't, at all), but because it proves that the Internet is very adept at harnessing the power of the hive mind.

The more we know, the less we know.

First Man's got my money thus far, so I'm excited to see how the rest of the season pans out.

Best thing we can do most of the time is to just let a film sit quietly and let time do all the work. Time does a better job of it than we ever could, and it usually makes us kinder to those films we wanted so badly to win, and then saw fail. Or worse, saw win, and then wished so desperately it didn't, like so many seem to have wished these past few years for American Beauty (for example).

October 16, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterManny

Isn't it time for Best Song Score be brought back. This would be a guaranteed win for Star is born and a nomination for Mary Poppins Returns. Is there a 3rd movie to round up the 3 nominations needed?

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

AlexD - The popular film category has been dropped. The Academy got a lot of criticism about this award. It was only suggested because ratings for the telecast were down again and they thought a popular award would attract younger viewers. Can you imagine the first 'Popular' film winner being 'The Trump Phrophecies'?

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Are "Shallow" and "Maybe It's Time" the two submitted songs from "A Star Is Born" or are they just your predictions? While I love the latter and think it may be the film's best song when you remove it from the film itself, I was assuming they'd be submitting "Shallow" and "I'll Never Love Again," the latter, along with Cooper's direction of the scene, is the best overall mix of audio and visual in the film (in my opinion) which is always a criteria I look for in the Best Song Category (which I know is not necessarily what anyone else looks at for the category). That said when Lady Gaga enters the stage to sing "Shallow," it's also a fantastically directed moment -- a repeat viewing may change my mind about which scene works best.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJHR

I don't think this is going to become Titanic-level huge, but this movie is having its moment, and I think its moment is going to last for some time. It also really doesn't look like there's anything on the horizon that screams, "This is going to capture the public's imagination!"--but I guess we can't always *predict* that kind of thing. Like with all phenomena, the timing has to be right. And for ASIB, I think it is. The Academy has invited in a bunch of younger voters, right? And they're hungry to award films that people actually SEE and LIKE and have some sort of emotional response to as opposed to stuff like Spotlight, right? A Star is Born fits the bill. So did Black Panther, which I thought was exceptional, but the Academy is probably not ready to award a comic book film, as others have mentioned.

I saw ASIB this weekend and generally liked it. I really dug the first half and loved it less as it went along. I did totally admire the guts it took to bring this to the screen. I mean, c'mon--this could have been one of the Razziest movies of all time! I'm not burning anything down if it wins a bunch of awards, but I'm hoping to see some stuff in the next few months that I personally end up loving. I'd be happy if Cooper won Best Actor--I was very moved by him and I've been pretty neutral towards him in the past. Gaga winning Best Actress would be--well, let's just say I wouldn't vote for her, but that doesn't mean she won't win. We shall see.

I do prefer the idea of a movie like this winning Best Picture versus something like A King's Speech or a Spotlight kind of film that is just so ... neutral. Not that those films didn't have their positive aspects, because they did--they just felt kind of passionless. Anyway, I appreciate a film that's bold, even if I personally don't love it.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

Re: Best Song ... I think "Shallow" is such a great movie moment, and definitely my favorite moment in the whole film. There's other songs I like in the film, but I think that that particular scene is memorably directed and performed. I can't imagine anything overtaking it.

One of my favorite songs of the year is "All the Stars" from Black Panther, by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. I LOVE that song and hope it gets nominated and that we get an Oscars performance of it ... but the song isn't really tied to the narrative of the movie in any meaningful way.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJJM

I’m predicting 5 nominations and 0 wins for ASIB (pic,cinematography, actor, sup actor, song)
Major snub for Gaga

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAni

When articles start to appear about why a certain film is NOT winning an Oscar, you know you have a front runner ;-)

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSijmen

It’s generally your ilk providing this talk Nat. Maybe not your close circle, but the same sorts.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBeatrice

"I think it's too soon to call A Star is Born the frontrunner."

Thats fine to think that, but the fact that you have to make a counter article to all these claims proofs its totally the frontrunner, as of today.

Which, as we've seen in the past, is a bad time to be a frontrunner. Then you become like Gravity or Zero Dark Thirty or La La Land, where the takes start to settle and people are sick of talking about you, and the 2nd place movie steps up and wins it all.

(Roma will win BP and Best Director)

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

The only one I feel is a true lock is Best Song. Cooper has a shot at Best Actor but it also seems like some personal drama is about to come his way in the form of splitting with his girlfriend, so who knows if any bad press bleeds over into voting?

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterBrittani

My sense is "First Man" is fading fast. It will get it BP nomination, but I don't see it getting 11 total.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

I hate to be that guy, but I feel kinda alone in my astonishment. I really didn't see all that people saw in ASIB. I would not even nominate Gaga, like at all.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Had Zero Dark Thirty even played for critics at this point in the year? I'm pretty sure that Argo was the frontrunner in October. It was another big box office player, and Roger Ebert raved about it in Toronto. The Artist and 12 Years a Slave were early frontrunners, too. Sometimes the frontrunner wins, and sometimes it loses.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Indeed. At this point, I suspect it only wins Original Song.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

Ani : I hope you're wrong but I can totally see it happening.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

Gaga is fine. She really doesn't need an acting nomination for this. When she's required to act, rather than perform, she's too blank. I kinda hope the actors branch takes notice and figure she will be nominated for song, making room for someone like Kidman or Layne or Mulligan.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Silkwood

Dan H.: Do not be surprised if " First Man" receives nominations in the double digits. I have seen it, and can testify to its chops for Best Actress, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Director, and Best Film. From there, all it has to pick up is two, and it has a chance at Best Actor.

Especially among the craft guilds, the idea of a film "fading fast" does not typically apply - all that matters to them is "Did they see it?" and "Was it the best they saw?" It may not get to eleven, but it will certainly not receive just a nomination for Best Film.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Carl: I know it's not going to get a Best Picture nomination and then *nothing* else. I'm just predicting it will fall short of 11 nominations. It opened third for the weekend and all the articles I saw used the word "disappointment/disappointing," which will hurt it. It could make 10 x what "Roma" made and it if doesn't live up to expectations, it likely isn't going to be an awards juggernaut. I predict six or seven, maybe eight. Of course it has a chance to bounce. But the people I know who have seen it are shrugging.

October 17, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDan H

Best Song and that is it!

October 19, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Lewis

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