Oscars 2019 slugfest: Which 10 mystifying categories are keeping us up at nights for our predictions? [WATCH]

Categories like Best Picture and Best Actress have been debated ad nauseum, but more important to a good Oscar predictions score are the craft categories, just because there are so many of them. Zach Laws, Rob Licuria and Amanda Spears joined me to debate our nomination predictions in these 10 mystifying below-the-line races keeping us up at nights and confusing us:

00:15 — Best Cinematography
08:45 — Best Costume Design
18:00 — Best Film Editing
27:20 — Best Makeup and Hairstyling
34:50 — Best Production Design
40:45 — Best Score
47:55 — Best Song
53:30 — Best Sound Editing
57:25 — Best Sound Mixing
59:35 — Best Visual Effects

The fortunes of “Black Panther,” “First Man” and “Mary Poppins Returns” frequently popped up in the conversation, as we vary in how well we suspect that these films are liked by the academy overall and how that might manifest in snubs for their technical achievements. Predicting “Black Panther” to be snubbed below the line in Best Makeup and Hairstyling and Best Score in spite of its favorable position in Gold Derby’s odds, Laws says, “I don’t know how well ‘Black Panther’ is going to do overall because it did miss at some key guilds and it did poorly at BAFTA and so, it makes me wonder how much support there actually is for this movie.” I add, “It’s weird though because it made all the shortlists, which suggested a lot of support, but then, it’s been under-performing at the guilds. We talked about how it didn’t get ASC or ACE, even though ACE loves Marvel — they even nominated ‘Deadpool 2’ this year.”

Although Spears is predicting “Mary Poppins Returns” in all six categories that Gold Derby favors it, she says, “I wonder if ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ is a little ‘been there, done that.’ It’s got a pretty clear blueprint of what it should look like.” “First Man” is favored for seven craft nominations, but ranks only tenth in the Best Picture race, to which Licuria muses, “There’s been this narrative over the last few weeks that ‘First Man’ has really petered off because of how it performed with the Hollywood Foreign Press, but I think there’s a lot of respect for that film [and] the last 45 minutes of it were just insanely good — technically speaking — and I think it’s going to almost sweep here.”

What crafts do you think will get nominations from the academy? Make your Oscar predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until nominations are announced on January 22. And join in the debate taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forum.

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