Best Actress: - Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)  6

     “A Star Is Born” is about a country music star named Jack Maine (Bradley Cooper) who has been battling an alcohol and drug addiction. After leaving his own show early to get a drink, he meets waitress and singer, Ally (Lady Gaga). Jack believes Ally has what it takes to become a star and finds her a manager to begin her career. Jack finds himself falling in love with Ally, but his struggle with addiction constantly keeps himself from being able to further his career in music and his relationship with Ally.

    For Best Actress, Lady Gaga deserves to be recognized for her role as Ally in “A Star is Born.” Although she was not initially chosen for the role, Lady Gaga proved herself best suited for the role, as she was nominated for Best Actress by both the Critic’s Choice Award and the Oscars. Ally was an emotional character driven by her childhood dream of becoming a famous artist and her love for Jack. The emotional performance delivered by Lady Gaga is what made her deserving of an Owlie.

Best Actor - Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) 6

    “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a biographical film that centers around the life of Freddie Mercury and the creation of the band Queen. Farrokh Bulsara is working as a baggage handler at an airport when he meets lead singer of the local rock band, Smile. After visiting the show, Bulsara decides to pursue a musical career of his own. When his band grows successful, he changes his name to Freddie Mercury. America grows to love Queen and their music, which prompts their first ever U.S. tour, where Mercury begins to question his sexuality.

    Rami Malek was chosen to receive the Best Actor Owlie for his performance as Freddie Mercury inBohemian Rhapsody.” Malek fought to capture the spirit and desires that make up Mercury. Mercury spends his life trying to fit in and create a name for himself and Malek studied Mercury’s material for days to present his persona accurately. Malek also spent hours rehearsing his singing to copy Mercury’s style. The hard work and determination Malek put into capturing Freddie Mercury is what makes him the Best Actor winner.

Best Movie - Black Panther

    “Black Panther” begins by telling the story of five African tribes that have been warring for hundreds of years to obtain a fallen meteorite that contains vibranium. The earth surrounding the meteorite changes and mutates the surrounding wildlife.  When the leader of one of the tribes ingests the heart shaped plants surrounding the precious metal, he becomes the first Black Panther. The leader unites all the tribes except one, and creates a prospering country for the tribes called Wakanda. For generations, the Black Panther powers are passed down by the leader. Thousands of years in the future, the latest Black Panther, T’Chaka, has died in battle and his son T’Challa has just claimed the throne. However, he is forced to leave when Wakandan artifacts are being stolen in the United States and he must apprehend the thief.

     “Black Panther” was chosen as the Best Movie because of the influence and story it had to tell. “Black Panther” is the fourth highest grossing Superhero movie, just behind the Avengers trilogy. The movie is also the first Superhero movie to have ever been nominated for the Oscars. This phenomenal movie has themes of racism and how to deal with those who try to oppress others. The ideas and the love everyone holds for this movie is what makes it the Owlie winner for Best Movie.

Best Animated Film - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

   “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is an animated movie produced by Sony and released on Dec. 14, 2018. “Into the Spider-Verse” centers around Miles Morales, who gains spider powers and becomes the predecessor to Peter Parker, who dies during a battle with Kingpin.  Miles soon runs into another Spiderman, Peter B. Parker, who comes from a different universe. Peter B. Parker came into this universe after Kingpin activated a machine that opens portals to different universes, but could mean catastrophic consequences. The universes each have their own Spiderman and five spider people have come into Mile’s universe. These spider people include Peter B. Parker and Gwen Stacy. Miles must team up with these other spider people in order to stop Kingpin get them back to their own universes. Miles must do this while also dealing with a new prestigious school he is attending and his relationship with his father.

    This movie was praised heavily upon release and for good reason. The movie has a unique and gorgeous animation style, perfectly representing the comic book style. The characters in the movie are all diverse in terms of their origins, designs and personalities, while all being great characters. The movie also has a wonderful soundtrack full of great and catchy music. The movie was also praised for its representation of black and hispanic characters and its diverse cast of characters, both important and minor. The movie is also praised as being one of the best Spiderman movies and one of the best animated superhero movies in general. With all of this combined, it is no doubt that this is the best animated film of 2018. With its unique visuals, characters and designs, this movie truly deserves an Owlie.

Best Original Song - Black Panther, Score Composed by Ludwig Göransson, songs written by Kendrick Lamar, Al Shux, Sounwave, SZA and Anthony Tiffith)

     The soundtrack to the ever popular Marvel movie, “Black Panther,” is filled with tracks from a variety of artists, spanning different genres. Much of the musical score was composed by Ludwig Göransson, who was aided by Baaba Maal. This score is fantastic as it infuses both traditional and modern music together. “Black Panther’s” soundtrack also contained many lyrical songs written by other artists to help infuse life into the movie. These songs are often used in advertisements and shortened bits are used within the movie. Many artists collaborated to build the album up with great music. These  artists include Kendrick Lamar, Khalid Robinson, Jorja Smith and many more. The album also collaborated with many South African artists such as Yugen Blakrok and Babes Wodumo. The album brings many great and catchy songs to the movie. The song “Black Panther” is nominated for is “All the Stars,” a key song used both in advertisements and in the movie.

     “All the Stars” was produced by Kendrick Lamar and Sounwave and performed by Lamar and Solána Rowe, known as SZA. The song uses a catchy beat and exceptional lyrics to hook the listener. Lamar and SZA also did a great job performing the song, giving it the stellar vocals it deserved. The amazing song helped boost an already amazing soundtrack for an excellent film. For this, “All the Stars” from the “Black Panther Soundtrack” wins this year’s Best Original Song Owlies.

Best Visual Effects:  - Avengers: Infinity War

     Marvel’s latest crossover event “Avengers: Infinity War” brings together many of Marvel’s beloved superhero characters into one movie, filled with action and drama. Infinity Wars focuses on the Avengers’ fighting to stop the evil villian, Thanos, from wiping out the entire universe.  

    This movie is praised not only for its well rounded characters and emotional punches, but also for its special effects. Thirteen visual effect studios helped in the production of this movie. These studios helped create one of the best looking live action superhero movies in recent years. The special effects used a wide variety of techniques from cgi, facial and body tracking, physical accessories and makeup. Being an action movie, the visualization of the action needed to have an emphasis, and the effects do not disappoint. The backgrounds of destroyed cities, dynamic camera angles, and the effects of character impacts, such as punches and kicks, are all created by using special effects. Without these effects, the movie would not be as immersive. Considering these factors, the special effects in Avengers: Infinity War deserve an Owlie.