2018 Academy Awards – Predictions

by - March 2nd, 2018 - Features Oscars

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2018 Academy Awards Predictions
The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Expected to Dominate 90th Annual Oscar Telecast

For a year as wide-open and eclectic as 2017 was from an awards perspective, with around 15 credible films competing for top prizes, now that the 90th annual Academy Awards are finally here predicting the winners feels oddly easy. Outside of another La La Land / Moonlight Best Picture mix-up, easily one of the greatest moments in Oscar telecast history, all four of the acting categories feel locked up and the same goes for Best Director, while Best Picture looks to be a two horse race between Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The Shape of Water (2017)
PHOTO: Fox Searchlight

You never know, of course. Could Lady Bird or Get Out still sneak into the mix and snag the top prize? Is Gary Oldman as much of a lock for his performance in Darkest Hour as we all assume him to be? Or will someone like Daniel Day Lewis, purportedly giving his final performance in Phantom Thread, or young Call Me by Your Name upstart Timothée Chalamet surprise? Is the race closer between beloved actresses Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) than most of us think it is? Will Roger Deakins finally win an Oscar (14 nominations in his career; zero wins) for his incredible Blade Runner 2049 cinematography? Is Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a critical sensation and a box office smash, as much a sinking Oscar ship as it has appeared to be throughout awards season? Or, after losing every Best Picture battle it has been involved with up to now, is a last second, completely unexpected victory to end the war on a positive note shockingly at hand? Finally, will the year’s two most critically acclaimed movies amongst the nominees, Get Out and Lady Bird, for all of the historical significance of their respective nominations in a number of categories, go home empty-handed? And, if so, will there be any sort of backlash against the Academy if this turn of events, which appears very likely right now, indeed comes to pass?

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
PHOTO: Fox Searchlight

From a show standpoint, I’m genuinely curious how returning host Jimmy Kimmel, who in my opinion did a fairly decent job last year, especially considering the wild and wacky snafu right at the very end, handles his hosting duties. With #MeToo, #TimesUp and the Florida high school shooting tragedy on just about everyone’s mind, it will be interesting to see just how far he’ll be willing to take things from a comedic standpoint. Hosting the Academy Awards is typically a pretty thankless task where if the response afterwards is, “[insert hosts name here] did okay,” it is considered a victory, so in a year as fiercely political as this one is the spotlight on Kimmel is going to be especially bright.

Anyhow, here are my predictions in every category. Not to toot my own horn, but I’m usually pretty good at this, much better than I am in attempting to predict the nominees. If you’ve got a workplace ballot you’re turning in, I’m not saying you’ll win if you copy mine, but I do feel pretty secure stating you’ll likely finish near the top if you do. Without further ado, I predict the Oscar will go to:

BEST PICTURE
Nominees: Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Prediction: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
If There is an Upset: Lady Bird

BEST DIRECTOR
Nominees: Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
Prediction: Guillermo del Toro
If There is an Upset: Christopher Nolan

BEST ACTOR
Nominees: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Daniel Day Lewis (Phantom Thread), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)
Prediction: Gary Oldman
If There is an Upset: Timothée Chalamet

BEST ACTRESS
Nominees: Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Meryl Streep (The Post), Sally Hawking (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Prediction: Frances McDormand
If There is an Upset: Saoirse Ronan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Nominees: Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Prediction: Sam Rockwell
If There is an Upset: Willem Dafoe

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Nominees: Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Lesley Mannville (Phantom Thread), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
Prediction: Allison Janney
If There is an Upset: Laurie Metcalf

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Nominees: James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name), Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist), Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green (Logan), Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game), Dee Rees, Virgil Williams (Mudbound)
Prediction: James Ivory
If There is an Upset: Aaron Sorkin

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Nominees: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon (The Big Sick), Jordan Peele (Get Out), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Prediction: Greta Gerwig
If There Is an Upset: Greta Gerwig (Martin McDonagh is considered the frontrunner, but I’m predicting a surprise in this category)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent
Prediction: Coco
If There is an Upset: The Breadwinner

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Nominees: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Faces Places, Icarus, Last Men in Aleppo, Strong Island
Prediction: Faces Places
If There is an Upset: Last Men in Aleppo

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Nominees: A Fantastic Woman, The Insult, Loveless, On Body and Soul, The Square
Prediction: A Fantastic Woman
If There is an Upset: The Square

BEST CINEMATOGRPAHY
Nominees: Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Mudbound, The Shape of Water
Prediction: Blade Runner 2049
If There is an Upset: Mudbound

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Nominees: Beauty and the Beast, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Shape of Water, Victoria & Abdul
Prediction: Phantom Thread
If There is an Upset: The Shape of Water

BEST EDITING
Nominees: Baby Driver, Dunkirk, I, Tonya, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Prediction: Baby Driver
If There is an Upset: Dunkirk

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
Nominees: Darkest Hour, Victoria & Abdul, Wonder
Prediction: Darkest Hour
If There is an Upset: Wonder

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Nominees: Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water
Prediction: The Shape of Water
If There is an Upset: Blade Runner 2049

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Nominees: Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk), Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread), Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water), John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Carter Burwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Prediction: Alexandre Desplat
If There is an Upset: Jonny Greenwood

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Nominees: “Mystery of Love” (Call Me by Your Name), “Remember Me” (Coco), “This Is Me” (The Greatest Showman), “Stand Up for Something” (Marshall), “Mighty River” (Mudbound)
Prediction: “This Is Me” (The Greatest Showman)
If There is an Upset: “Remember Me” (Coco)

BEST SOUND EDITING
Nominees: Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Prediction: Dunkirk
If There is an Upset: Blade Runner 2049

BEST SOUND MIXING
Nominees: Baby Driver, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Prediction: Dunkirk
If There is an Upset: Blade Runner 2049

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Nominees: Blade Runner 2049, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Kong: Skull Island, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, War for the Planet of the Apes
Prediction: Blade Runner 2049
If There is an Upset: War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Nominees: Dear Basketball, Garden Party, LOU, Negative Space, Revolting Rhymes Part One
Prediction: LOU
If There is an Upset: Dear Basketball

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Nominees: Edith + Eddie, Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Heroin(e), Knife Skills, Traffic Stop
Prediction: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
If There is an Upset: Knife Skills

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Nominees: DeKalb Elementary, The Eleven O’Clock, My Nephew Emmett, The Silent Child, Watu Wote: All of us
Prediction: The Silent Child
If There is an Upset: Watu Wote: All of us

– Portions of this feature reprinted courtesy of the SGN in Seattle