The Academy selects titles for the Oscars

Part two of a three-part series

For the first time in 30 years, the annual race for the Academy Awards will take place without a host. Celebrities will present the golden statues when the show airs on Feb. 24.

In the race for best actor, it comes down to a shootout between Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Christian Bale in “Vice.” I think Malek will win for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of the rock group “Queen.” Bale portrayed Dick Cheney in “Vice” and won a Golden Globe, but I think he will miss his shot at gaining an Oscar as well. Also nominated is Willem Dafoe for “At Eternity’s Gate,” Bradley Cooper for “A Star is Born” and Viggo Mortensen for “Green Book.”

This should be Glenn Close’s year for a first Oscar win. She’s nominated for her role in “The Wife.” Close’s biggest competition is Olivia Colman for “The Favourite,” but I think Close will win this bout. Also nominated are Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma,” Lady Gaga for “A Star is Born” and Melissa McCarthy for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

In the best foreign language film camp, I think “Roma” will pick up another accolade. “Capernaum” from Lebanon, “Cold War” from Poland, “Never Look Away” from Germany and “Shoplifters” from Japan are also in the running.

The nominations for best film editing bring together a varied lot. They include Barry Alexander Brown for “BlackKkKlansman,” John Ottman for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Patrick J. Don Vito for “Green Book,” Yorgos Mavropsaridis for “The Favourite,” and Hank Corwin for “Vice” Hank Corwin. I think Ottman will take this one for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Sound editing will probably complement the film editing category with John Warhurst taking the prize for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Also nominated are Benjamin A. Burt and Steve Boeddeker for “Black Panther,” Ai-Ling See and Mildred Iatrou Morgan for “First Man,” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl for “A Quiet Place” and Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay for “Roma.”

The nominations for sound mixing include “Black Panther,” “Bohemian Rhapsody, “First Man,” “Roma” and “A Star is Born.” I think “Black Panther” takes this one.

The visual effects nominations come down to “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Christopher Robin,” “First Man,” “Ready Player One” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” I think “Avengers: Infinity War” will win here because it has a different take on the visual end of things.

The production design category includes the following nominees: “Black Panther,” “First Man,” “The Favourite,” “Mary Poppins Returns” and “Roma.” I think this is where “The Favourite” will receive its sole win.

Original score nominees include Terence Blanchard for “Black KkKlansman,” Ludwig Göransson for “Black Panther,” Nicolas Britell for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” Alexandre Desplat for “Isle of Dogs,” and Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman for “Mary Poppins Returns.” I liked Blanchard’s score for “BlacKkKlansman,” but think it will go to Göransson for the epic tone and stride of his score for “Black Panther.”

For original song, the nominees include Kendrick Lamar’s “All the Stars” from “Black Panther,” “I’ll Fight” by Diane Warren and Jennifer Hudson from “RBG,” and Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman’s “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns.” Also nominated are “Shallow,” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice from “A Star is Born” and “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.” I think Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” takes the prize here.