Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
PHOTO: Image by Alfonso Cuarón
Yalitza Aparicio as Cleo, Marco Graf as Pepe, Carlos Peralta Jacobson as Paco, and Daniela Demesa as Sofi in Roma, written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón.
Now playing
01:29
Oscars 2019: See who's nominated
Shanya Robinson-Owens
High school senior from Philadelphia applied to over 20 colleges and so far received just over $1 million in scholarship award money.
PHOTO: Courtesy Shanya Robinson-Owens
Shanya Robinson-Owens High school senior from Philadelphia applied to over 20 colleges and so far received just over $1 million in scholarship award money.
Now playing
01:05
This teen was offered over $1 million in scholarships
PHOTO: Samantha Hartsoe
Now playing
02:24
Woman's bathroom mirror discovery goes viral
PHOTO: @neiltyson
Now playing
02:15
Colbert pokes fun at Neil Degrasse Tyson for vaccination photo
PHOTO: Stuart Weitzman
Now playing
00:39
Serena Williams and her daughter twin in new fashion ad
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
snl.fauci.vaccine.orig_00005420.png
Now playing
01:24
'SNL' has 'Dr. Fauci' helping people get vaccinated
PHOTO: Instagram Lady Gaga
Now playing
00:56
Lady Gaga's 2 dogs returned home safely, LAPD says
PHOTO: Lewis Speaks
Now playing
01:13
Principal helps student with haircut issue
The Pokémon Company announced new games during its 25th Anniversary Celebration
PHOTO: The Pokémon Company
The Pokémon Company announced new games during its 25th Anniversary Celebration
Now playing
01:01
See the new Pokémon games coming soon
PHOTO: Maui63
Now playing
01:35
World's rarest marine dolphin finds protection in this flying friend
PHOTO: ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
Now playing
01:46
Watch people struggle to identify second gentleman Doug Emhoff
PHOTO: nickelodeon/from youtube
Now playing
01:33
'Real World,' 'Frasier,' 'Spongebob:' See the reboots coming to this new streaming service
PHOTO: "The Late Late Show with James Corden" / Youtube
Now playing
01:37
See Prince Harry and James Corden tour LA on open-air bus
PHOTO: Harry Langdon/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Now playing
02:24
How Jane Fonda sparked a fitness revolution
jill biden kelly clarkson divorce advice orig mg_00001210.png
PHOTO: NBC / The Kelly Clarkson Show
jill biden kelly clarkson divorce advice orig mg_00001210.png
Now playing
01:12
Jill Biden opens up about divorce on Kelly Clarkson show
Fans Celebrate In Los Angeles After Lakers Win NBA Finals
PHOTO: (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Fans Celebrate In Los Angeles After Lakers Win NBA Finals
Now playing
01:14
Kyrie Irving says Kobe Bryant should be the NBA logo
(CNN) —  

An unprecedented lack of consensus among the guilds representing actors, directors, writers and producers has flummoxed Oscar prognosticators, with more genuine uncertainty surrounding the best picture race than is usually the case this close to Sunday’s ceremony.

The changing face of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the awards, has further complicated the guessing game, since trying to anticipate the future based on the group’s past isn’t a simple task after the Academy made a concerted effort to expand and diversify its membership.

Still, there are some key races where the outcome looks pretty clear and frontrunners have definitely emerged. With that as a disclaimer, here’s a rundown of what likely will win – and what in this critic’s estimation should – in most Oscar categories heading into Sunday night’s festivities, which, if form holds for the current awards season, are sure to prompt plenty of grousing whatever the outcome.

Your complete viewing guide to this year’s Oscars

BEST PICTURE

The cast of Alfonso Cuarón's Neflix film "Roma."
PHOTO: Carlos Somonte/Netflix
The cast of Alfonso Cuarón's Neflix film "Roma."

Will win: “Green Book.” Should win: “Roma.”

Despite considerable criticism of “Green Book” and various off-screen controversies, the fact-based historical film checks off a lot of boxes of past Oscar winners, and already has a Golden Globe and the Producers Guild’s top prize under its belt.

What appear to be its principal competitors both face hurdles: “Roma,” not only because it’s a foreign-language film, but thanks to its release via Netflix, which continues to stubbornly withhold box-office data; and “Black Panther,” which has already claimed a Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding ensemble cast.

Both those films are deserving, but “Roma” left a deeper impression than virtually anything else this year. As for “Black Panther,” given the long history of superhero movies being ignored by award shows, Marvel’s breakthrough really does feel like one of those cases where the adage “It’s an honor just to be nominated” applies.

ACTOR

Rami Malek in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox
Rami Malek in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Will win/should win: Rami Malek.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” wasn’t a great film, but the extent to which it’s a good one depends almost wholly on Malek’s electric performance. Christian Bale is the stiffest competition, but “Vice” will likely have to settle for a makeup/hairstyling Oscar for the wizardry that somehow transformed the former Batman into Vice President Dick Cheney.

ACTRESS

Glenn Close in 'The Wife'
PHOTO: Sony Pictures Classics
Glenn Close in 'The Wife'

Will win/should win: Glenn Close

Close has marched through awards season for her role in “The Wife,” and there’s undeniable sentiment behind crowning her distinguished career with this seventh-time’s-the-charm nomination. As for Lady Gaga, her powerful debut has to overcome that playing a rock star doesn’t feel like much of a stretch, while Olivia Colman’s splendid work in “The Favourite” was questionably submitted as a lead performance, leaving co-stars Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone in the supporting bracket.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in 'Green Book'
PHOTO: Patti Perret/Unive
Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in 'Green Book'

Will win/should win: Mahershala Ali

Two years after “Moonlight,” Ali should add a bookend for “Green Book,” which, it’s worth noting, easily could have placed him alongside co-star Viggo Mortensen in the lead actor race. It’s a loaded category, but even with the complaints directed at the movie, hearing any other name would be an upset.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Regina King in 'If Beale Street Could Talk'
PHOTO: Annapurna Pictures
Regina King in 'If Beale Street Could Talk'

Will win/should win: Regina King

King already has a Golden Globe for her steely portrayal of the concerned mother in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” standing out amid a strong ensemble. Amy Adams was just as terrific in “Vice,” but in a role that didn’t offer as many of the character beats that tend to impress Oscar voters.

DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuarón poses poses in the press room during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards
PHOTO: Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Alfonso Cuarón poses poses in the press room during the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Will win/should win: Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”)

The Mexican director’s deeply personal film about the women who raised him was clearly a labor of love, which – even with misgivings about its Netflix status – should be enough to hold off Spike Lee’s belated directing bid for “BlacKkKlansman.” Cuarón should also prepare two speeches, given the likelihood he’ll walk away with a second statuette, equally merited, for cinematography.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Emma Stone in the film 'The Favourite'
PHOTO: 20th Century Fox Yorgos Lanthimos
Emma Stone in the film 'The Favourite'

Will win/should win: “The Favourite.”

The movie’s satirical wit and juicy situations should carry the day for writers Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, although frankly, the Writers Guild made a better choice with the indie movie “Eighth Grade,” which didn’t make the Oscar cut.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Adam Driver, John David Washington in 'BlacKkKlansman'
PHOTO: David Lee
Adam Driver, John David Washington in 'BlacKkKlansman'

Will win: “BlacKkKlansman.” Should win: “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

The WGA clouded this race by honoring “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” but a win here feels like an appropriate consolation prize for Lee and his “BlacKkKlansman” collaborators, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott. Still, Barry Jenkins’ lyrical adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel deftly mixed a sobering look at racial injustice with a touching, heartbreaking love story.

MUSICAL SCORE

Will win/should win: Nicholas Britell (“If Beale Street Could Talk”).

Britell’s melancholy score should top a strong field of nominees, with “Black Panther” and “BlacKkKlansman” among the worthy alternatives.

SONG

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in "A Star is Born."
PHOTO: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga star in "A Star is Born."

Will win/should win: “Shallow” (“A Star is Born”).

The Lady Gaga-Bradley Cooper duet is plenty deserving, but even if it wasn’t, it’s hard to believe Oscar voters would be shortsighted enough to pass up the opportunity to serve viewers another Gaga acceptance speech.

ANIMATED FEATURE

'Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse'
PHOTO: Sony Pictures Animation
'Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse'

Will win/should win: “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse”

Disney actually released a pair of excellent sequels in “Incredibles 2” and “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” but the dazzling animation of this Sony feature possessed a freshness that they inevitably lacked, and should complete its triumphant swing through awards season.

FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks to high school students in 'RBG'
PHOTO: CNN Films
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks to high school students in 'RBG'

Will win: “RBG.” Should win: “Free Solo.”

This is a toss-up category, but the opportunity to laud a liberal superhero, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, might be too much for the Academy to resist. That said, the climbing documentary “Free Solo” and its dizzying visuals feels more distinctive, although frankly, two omitted movies – the Mr. Rogers doc “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” and separated-at-birth story “Three Identical Strangers” – would have topped either of them. (Disclosure: Both “RBG” and “Three Identical Strangers” are from CNN Films.)

FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM

Will win: “Roma.” Should win: “Cold War.”

Yes, it’s counter-intuitive to say “Roma” should win best picture but that Poland’s entry should garner the foreign-language prize, but director Pawel Pawlikowski’s version of a personal, haunting and gloriously black-and-white film deserves its moment in the spotlight too.

VISUAL EFFECTS

'Solo: A Star Wars Story'
PHOTO: Lucasfilm
'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

Will win: “Avengers: Infinity War.” Should win: “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

The “Avengers” sequel was plenty impressive, but the quality of “Solo’s” visual achievement – and the variety of looks in its rich palette – was somewhat lost amid the cool reception the movie received and its disappointing box-office results.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Chadwick Boseman (left) and Michael B. Jordan in 'Black Panther.'
PHOTO: Marvel Studios
Chadwick Boseman (left) and Michael B. Jordan in 'Black Panther.'

Will win: “The Favourite.” Should win: “Black Panther.”

Although the Academy usually loves an old-fashioned costume drama, the immersive look and feel of the Blank Panther’s fictional kingdom of Wakanda is among the year’s most remarkable accomplishments and a major part of the movie’s success.

As for trends, if “Black Panther” begins piling up wins in technical categories early – including production design, costume design and sound – it could represent momentum toward a “Wakanda Forever!” kind of night.