My 2018 Oscar predictions

Best Picture: Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

  • Will Win: The Best Picture race appears to be wide open this year, though two of the frontrunners, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards, are wildly uneven, undeserving messes. I can easily see Get Out or Lady Bird swooping in and winning, but I believe The Shape of Water will do well in several other categories so I’m giving it the edge here.
  • Should Win: My pick would be Phantom Thread, though it’s inclusion here was a surprise as it is. Of the movies that have an actual shot at winning, I’d pick Lady Bird.
  • Left out:  A pretty solid line up this year, though I would have left out The Shape of Water, Three Billboards, Darkest Hour and Dunkirk and nominated A Quiet Passion, Good Time, The Meyerowitz Stories and Nocturama.

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

  • Will Win: Guillermo del Toro. I’ll pretend it’s for Crimson Peak.
  • Should Win: Any of the others would be a preferable, though I would choose Paul Thomas Anderson.
  • Left out: I’d nominate the Safdie Brothers for Good Time and Luca Guadagnino for Call Me by Your Name instead of del Toro and Nolan.

Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

  • Will Win: I think Gary Oldman has had this award locked up for several months.
  • Should Win: Timothée Chalamet gave the year’s best breakout performance in Call Me by Your Name, but just like with the Best Director race, any of the other nominees are preferable.
  • Left out: Robert Pattinson deserved serious awards consideration for his volatile performance in Good Time.

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Meryl Streep (The Post)

  • Will Win: Frances McDormand is another pretty sure bet, though if the potential Three Billboards backlash reaches far enough into this category, Hawkins could pull an upset.
  • Should Win: Saoirse Ronan continues to prove herself one of the great actresses of her generation in Lady Bird. She’s by far the most deserving nominee in this category.
  • Left out: I would leave Ronan and replace the others with Cynthia Nixon in A Quiet Passion, Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread, Kim Min-hee in On the Beach at Night Alone and Aubrey Plaza in Ingrid Goes West.

Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards)

  • Will Win: Rockwell seems the heavy favorite, but again if some kind of Three Billboards backlash manifests, Dafoe could very well win.
  • Should Win: Of the movies I’ve seen, Dafoe is the only one in this category who deserved a nomination. (Haven’t seen All the Money in the World)
  • Left out: Keep Dafoe and add in Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories, Buddy Duress for Good Time, Daniel Craig in Logan Lucky and Armie Hammer for Call Me by Your Name

Best Supporting Actress: Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

  • Will Win: All of the acting categories seem to be locks, and Janney very well could continue her winning streak.  However, I want at least one upset, and the upset I want the most is for Laurie Metcalf, so I’m picking her.
  • Should Win: Metcalf and Manville would each be very deserving winners.
  • Left out: Leave Blige, Metcalf and Manville and add in Michelle Pfeiffer in mother! and Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip.

Best Original Screenplay: Get Out (Jordan Peele), Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig), The Big Sick (Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon) The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro), Three Billboards (Martin McDonagh)

  • Will Win: Peale
  • Should Win: Peale of Gerwig would each be a fantastic choice
  • Left out: I’d keep Peale and Gerwig and add in Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread, Terence Davies for A Quiet Passion and Noah Baumbach for The Meyerowitz Stories and

Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by your Name (James Ivory), Logan (Michael Green, James Mangold and Scott Frank), Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin), Mudbound (Dee Rees and Virgil Williams), The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustatdter and Michael H. Weber)

  • Will Win: Ivory seems likely to be the sole winner for Call Me by Your Name…
  • Should Win: … and he deserves the award.  Rees and Williams would also be worthy winners for Mudbound.
  • Left out: Sofia Coppola for The Beguiled, James Gray for The Lost City of Z and Brian Selznick for Wonderstruck

Predictions in the remaining categories (Will win/Should win)

Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049/Mudbound

Animated Feature: I haven’t seen any of these, but I believe Coco will win

Costume Design: Phantom Thread/Phantom Thread

Production Design: The Shape of Water/Blade Runner 2049

Editing: Dunkirk/Dunkirk

Foreign Language Film: I also haven’t seen any of these, but I believe A Fantastic Woman will win

DocumentaryStrong Island is the only one in this category I’ve seen, and it’s excellent. However, I believe Faces Places will win.  

Makeup: Darkest Hour/Sure why not

Original Score: The Shape of Water/Phantom Thread
(I’d love to see Jonny Greenwood pull an upset here)

Original Song: “Remember Me” from Coco/”Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name

Visual Effects:  War for the Planet of the Apes/Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Editing: Dunkirk/Dunkirk

Sound Mixing: Baby Driver/Dunkirk

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