There are a lot of Oscar contenders opening this month and in fact quite a few of them opening this week. What follows is a list of Oscar-y stuff that's now playing, that's coming to theaters later this week and that's opening through the holiday season. 

At the tail end, we make our predictions for the Oscar nominees (and winners) a few months ahead of the fact. 

 

NOW PLAYING

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

Rami Malek stars as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in this troubled production that traces the band’s meteoric rise.

Oscar chances: nomination for best actor.

 

“Green Book” 

In this 1962-set drama, Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen play a world-class black pianist and the Italian-American bouncer hired to drive him on a concert tour into the deep South. Directed by none other than Peter Farrelly (“Dumb and Dumber”).

Oscar chances: Nominations for best picture, actor, supporting actor, original screenplay, production design.

 

“A Star Is Born”

Bradley Cooper writes, directs and stars in an update of “A Star Is Born,” with Lady Gaga playing the star who is born. This will be the winner for best picture.

Oscar chances: Nominations for (clears throat) best picture, best director, best actress, best actor, best supporting actor, best original song, best cinematography, best editing. It will likely win a bunch of these categories, including the BIG one.

 

OPENING THIS WEEK

"At Eternity's Gate"

Opens: Friday at Ruth Sokolof theater

Willem Dafoe stars as painter Vincent van Gogh in this impressionistic account of the artist's last years.

Oscar chances: best actor nomination, and maybe one for cinematography.

 

“The Favourite”

Opens: Friday at Alamo and the Dundee

The twisted latest from Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Lobster”) is an 18th century-set comedy that sees two women (Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz) competing for the favor of the mad Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).

Oscar chances: Nominations for best picture, best director, best actress (Colman), best supporting actress (for Stone and Weisz), best original screenplay, best cinematography, best editing, best costumes, best makeup, best production design. 

 

“Roma”

Opens: Friday at Alamo Drafthouse Omaha and on Netflix

Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity,” “Children of Men,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien”) made this black-and-white portrait of domestic life and political upheaval in 1970s Mexico. It’s the movie of the year, according to most critics. It drops on Netflix Friday, but it’s also getting a run at Alamo.

Oscar chances: Nominations for best picture, best director, best foreign film, best actress, best original screenplay, best cinematography. 

 

"Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"

Opens: Friday, everywhere

Teenager/superhero Miles Morales teams up with Spider-Men of other dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

Oscar chances: This might actually topple "Incredibles 2" for best animated film trophy at the Oscars.

 

"Vox Lux"

Opens: Friday at the Ruth Sokolof

Natalie Portman stars as an outrageous pop star who came to fame following her survival of a school shooting.

Oscar chances: A longshot for a Natalie Portman best actress nomination. Maybe a nomination for best song.

 

COMING SOON

"Mary Queen of Scots"

Opens: Dec. 21

Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan) attempts to overthrow her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I (Margot Robbie), in this lavish costume drama.

Oscar chances: Good chance of scoring nominations for costumes, makeup, production design. Possible nominations for best actress and supporting actress, as well as original score.

 

“Vice” 

Opens: Christmas Day, everywhere

Adam McKay (“The Big Short”) tells the story of Dick Cheney, here played by Christian Bale, who packed on pounds and wore heavy makeup to portray the most powerful vice president in modern times. The cast is .. somethin’. Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney, Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld, Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush and Tyler Perry as Colin Powell.

Oscar chances: Nominations for best picture, director, screenplay, actor, supporting actress, supporting actor, makeup, editing.

 

“On the Basis of Sex” 

Opens: Christmas Day

Felicity Jones plays young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she brings a groundbreaking case to the U.S. Court of Appeals, long before she would become a Supreme Court justice. Co-stars Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux and Kathy Bates.

Oscar chances: It's a long shot for a best picture nomination, but it Jones might be able to eke out a best actress nomination.

 

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Opens: Jan. 11

Barry Jenkins follows up “Moonlight” with a superb adaptation of a James Baldwin novel, about a young woman in 1970s Harlem trying to prove the innocence of her incarcerated fiance.

Oscar chances: Nominations for best picture, director, adapted screenplay, supporting actress, original score, cinematography, editing, production design. 

 

* * *

The Oscars go to ... 

In which I predict the Oscar-race outcome months in advance.

Best Picture

The front-runners

“BlacKkKlansman”

“The Favourite”

“First Man”

“Green Book”

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“Roma”

“A Star Is Born”

“Vice”

Long shots I’m rooting for: “Eighth Grade,” "Widows," “Leave No Trace,” “The Old Man & the Gun,” “First Reformed,” “Crazy Rich Asians”

The most likely winner: “A Star Is Born”

Or: "Roma"

This is an atypically strong and diverse crop of best picture contenders. Moviegoers can justifiably be thrilled. There’s a lot of great stuff yet to come this year.

On paper, you’d think the Damien Chazelle movie about Neil Armstrong (“First Man”) would be the safest bet, but then Warner Bros. launched its aggressive awards campaign for Cooper’s “A Star Is Born.” The rags-to-riches premise, movie-star director and old-fashioned Hollywood filmmaking make it the movie to beat.

Best Director

Damien Chazelle (“First Man”)

Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”)

Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)

Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”)

Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”)

Could also be here: Steve McQueen ("Widows"), Adam McKay ("Vice"), Spike Lee ("BlacKkKlansman")

Long shots I’m rooting for: Boots Riley (“Sorry to Bother You”), Bo Burnham (“Eighth Grade”), Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”), Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”)

Winner: Cuarón

Or: Cooper

Tough call here. Cuarón already won this award for “Gravity,” but his work in “Roma” sounds too masterful to ignore. There’s always a possibility, however, that “Star Is Born” has enough momentum to push it toward a sweep of the four biggest awards.

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”)

Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)

Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)

Felicity Jones (“On the Basis of Sex”)

Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

Could also be here: Viola Davis (“Widows”), Glenn Close (“The Wife”), Carey Mulligan (“Wildlife”), Keira Knightley (“Colette”), Saoirse Ronan (“Mary, Queen of Scots”)

Long shots I’m rooting for: Toni Collette (“Hereditary”), Charlize Theron (“Tully”), Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”), Regina Hall ("Support the Girls")

Winner: Gaga

Or: Colman

You are very, very likely going to see Lady Gaga deliver an Oscar speech early next year. The pop star and meat-dress fashion icon seems to have enough momentum to carry her on through to victory next year, though Colman reportedly gives a legendary performance as a crazy queen in “The Favourite.”

Best Actor

Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)

Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)

Ryan Gosling (“First Man”)

Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”)

Christian Bale (“Vice”)

Could also be here: Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”), Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”), Robert Redford (“The Old Man & the Gun”), Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)

Winner: Hawke?

Or: Or Dafoe. Or Gosling. Or Cooper. Or Bale. I don't know.

This one is still pretty wide open. Willem Dafoe seems to be the tentative front-runner for now. He plays Vincent van Gogh in the artist biopic. A win would be the least the Academy could do for snubbing the thrice-nominated actor for his “Florida Project” performance. But Gosling? Cooper? Bale? All possibilities.

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams (“Vice”)

Claire Foy (“First Man”)

Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)

Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)

Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)

Long shots I’m rooting for: Thomasin McKenzie (“Leave No Trace”), Michelle Yeoh (“Crazy Rich Asians”), Kathryn Hahn (“Private Life”)

Winner: King

Or: Adams

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)

Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)

Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)

Michael B. Jordan (“Black Panther”)

Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)

Could also be here: Sam Elliott (“A Star Is Born”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Widows”), Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman”), Russell Hornsby (“The Hate You Give”), Russell Crowe (“Boy Erased”)

Winner: Grant

Or: Chalamet

Best Adapted Screenplay

“BlacKkKlansman”

“Can You Ever Forgive Me”

“First Man”

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

“A Star Is Born”

Could also be here: “Black Panther,” “The Death of Stalin,” “Widows,” “Crazy Rich Asians”

Long shot I’m rooting for: “Leave No Trace”

Winner: “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Or: “BlacKkKlansman”

Best Original Screenplay

“Green Book”

“The Favourite”

“First Reformed”

“Roma”

“Vice”

Could also be here: “Eighth Grade,” “A Quiet Place,” “Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (the Coen brothers Western shot partially in Nebraska)

Long shot I’m rooting for: “Sorry to Bother You”

Winner: “The Favourite”

Best Animated Feature

“Incredibles 2”

“Isle of Dogs”

“Ralph Breaks the Internet”

"Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse"

Plus a foreign film you’ve never heard of

Winner: “Incredibles 2” or "Spider-Man"

Best Documentary

“Minding the Gap”

“Free Solo”

“RBG”

“Three Identical Strangers”

Winner: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Or: “Three Identical Strangers”

This complete guide of local music, movies, dining and entertainment will have you weekend ready

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