2018 Oscar Predictions

Back in the day I used to have this movie site where I posted my reviews. I more or less stopped when the site started overflowing with ads – that’s what you get for using a free redirect service instead of getting a proper domain. If you Google hard enough (please don’t) you just might find the remnants. This is the home-made banner for that site – considering this was July of 1998 (this was one month before the launch of Rotten Tomatoes!) and using only freeware tools I thought it wasn’t half bad.

One tradition has stuck since then though. I wrote down my Oscar predictions every year, even if they were hidden in a dark corner of the web where literally no one would read them. So for 2018 I’ve decided to put them on my WordPress blog for a change. Here goes…

Update (6 March 2018): I’ve added a little Oscar statue behind the movies that actually won.
No real shockers this year. Shape of Water, Dunkirk and Blade Runner got a little more than I was hoping for.
Total score: 58% correct, including most of the big ones. All my guesswork on categories I didn’t see failed miserably (serves me right for just guessing).

BEST PICTURE

Should go to Three Billboards, with Shape of Water coming in second. Shape of Water was a nice fairy tale, but as a movie Three Billboards has more to offer.
And just to go over the whole list:
Call Me By Your Name: not going to win because a) it feels too European and b) last year’s winner Moonlight already had a gay love theme
Darkest Hour: not going to win because its achievement is mainly Gary Oldman’s performance, not so much the movie as a whole
Dunkirk: not going to win because many people didn’t like or understand it at all
Get Out: not going to win because intelligent horror movies don’t feel like Oscar material. Also it was released in February of 2017, just too late for the 2017 Oscars, which basically means its ancient and the initial excitement about this one has disappeared from the voters’ minds.
Lady Bird: Good candidate, but slightly too subtle compared to Three Billboards and Shape of Water
Phantom Thread: Not going to win because Daniel Day Lewis has received enough Oscars
The Post: Not going to win because Meryl Streep has received enough Oscars for a while (although I suspect she’ll win a few more in the future). Same goes for Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
The Shape of Water: Not going to win because it’s maybe just too much of a fairy tale? And also the fish monster is a bit over the top.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri: Should win. Intelligent story, no less than three nominated acting performances (of which two will win if I’m right), thrilling, funny and sad at the same time.

  • 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

DIRECTING

Should go to Jordan Peele, might go to Nolan, but I think they will give it to Del Toro.

  • Christopher Nolan — Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele — Get Out
  • Greta Gerwig — Lady Bird
  • Paul Thomas Anderson — Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro — The Shape of Water 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

This one is really tricky, so many excellent choices and each very different. Could very well be Three Billboards, but let’s hope that Get Out gets its well deserved Oscar.

  • The Big Sick — Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
  • Get Out — Jordan Peele 
  • Lady Bird — Greta Gerwig
  • The Shape of Water — Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — Martin McDonagh

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Not sure, apart from the fact that The Disaster Artist is not going to win it. I keep reading it’s most likely Call Me By Your Name, so let’s go with that.

  • Call Me By Your Name — James Ivory 
  • The Disaster Artist — Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
  • Logan — Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green
  • Molly’s Game — Aaron Sorkin
  • Mudbound — Virgil Williams, Dee Rees

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Gary Oldman no doubt. Why? Because it’s long overdue. Consider it a career award. That’s how these things usually work (although Stallone didn’t get it for Creed either, come to think of it).

  • 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.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

So many great performances, but has to be Frances McDormand. Any other winner would be a surprise.

  • Sally Hawkins — The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 
  • Margot Robbie — I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan — Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep — The Post

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

I desperately want this to go to Sam Rockwell. And also I think it’s deserved. Dafoe was also very good in The Florida Project, but Rockwell sticks out because of his very believable ‘transformation’ over the course of the movie.

  • Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Richard Jenkins — The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer — All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell — Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

I keep hearing Allison Janney as the likely winner, but my money is on Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird. Admittedly this might just be because I love her role as Sheldon’s mother in The Big Bang Theory. But also she’s great in Lady Bird.

  • Mary J. Blige — Mudbound
  • Allison Janney — I, Tonya 
  • Lesley Manville — Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf — Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer — The Shape of Water

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Not a clue. I’m going with Last Men in Aleppo. Anything to do with Syria is top of mind and will stick with the Academy members.

  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail — Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
  • Faces Places — Agnès Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
  • Icarus — Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan 
  • Last Men in Aleppo — Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Søren Steen Jespersen
  • Strong Island — Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Again, not a clue. Heroin(e) is very good I hear.

  • Edith + Eddie — Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
  • Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 — Frank Stiefel 
  • Heroin(e) — Elaine McMilion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
  • Knife Skills — Thomas Lennon
  • Traffic Stop — Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

I’ve seen only the trailers. I’m thinking either The Eleven O’Clock or Watu Wote. I’m going with the latter.

  • DeKalb Elementary — Reed Van Dyk
  • The Eleven O’Clock — Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
  • My Nephew Emmett — Kevin Wilson Jr.
  • The Silent Child — Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton 
  • Watu Wote / All of Us — Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

No discussion here. Has to be Coco.

  • The Boss Baby — Tom McGrath, Ramsey Naito
  • The Breadwinner — Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
  • Coco — Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson 
  • Ferdinand — Carlos Saldanha
  • Loving Vincent — Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Haven’t seen any of this, but Lou is by Pixar, so….

  • Dear Basketball — Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant 
  • Garden Party — Victor Claire, Gabriel Grapperon
  • Lou — Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
  • Negative Space — Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
  • Revolting Rhymes — Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Haven’t seen it but A Fantastic Woman seems to be the main candidate.

  • A Fantastic Woman — Sebastián Lelio, Chile 
  • The Insult — Ziad Doueiri, Lebanon
  • Loveless — Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia
  • On Body and Soul — Ildikó Enyedi, Hungary
  • The Square — Ruben Östlund, Sweden

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Not so easy. Tempted to go for my fellow countryman Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk), but I think I’ll choose Shape of Water nonetheless. It’s a fairy tale that looks like a fairy tale, Hollywood loves that when it comes to cinematography.

  • Blade Runner 2049 — Roger A. Deakins 
  • Darkest Hour — Bruno Delbonnel
  • Dunkirk — Hoyte van Hoytema
  • Mudbound — Rachel Morrison
  • The Shape of Water — Dan Laustsen

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Also not so easy, many good candidates. Going for Shape of Water again, seems like the safest choice.

  • Beauty and the Beast — Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
  • Blade Runner 2049 — Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
  • Darkest Hour – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
  • Dunkirk — Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
  • The Shape of Water — Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin 

VISUAL EFFECTS

All of these movies have great special effects. How do you compare? Let’s pick Guardians of the Galaxy though because it has some original stuff. The Blade Runner style has been done before (in a movie called Blade Runner…), and I’ve seen plenty of dino and big ape effects, same goes for lightsabers.

  • Blade Runner 2049 
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

FILM EDITING

Should be either Baby Driver or Dunkirk. I want it to go to Baby Driver though.

  • Baby Driver — Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos
  • Dunkirk — Lee Smith 
  • I, Tonya — Tatiana S. Riegel
  • The Shape of Water — Sidney Wolinsky
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — Jon Gregory

COSTUME DESIGN

Well now, Phantom Thread is about fashion, so that seems like the best candidate, although Beauty and the Beast might steal it.

  • Beauty and the Beast — Jacqueline Durran
  • Darkest Hour — Jacqueline Durran
  • Phantom Thread — Mark Bridges 
  • The Shape of Water — Luis Sequeira
  • Victoria & Abdul — Consolata Boyle

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Darkest Hour, because of the Gary Oldman makeover.

  • Darkest Hour — Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick 
  • Victoria & Abdul — Daniel Phillips, Lou Sheppard
  • Wonder — Arden Tuiten

ORIGINAL SCORE

Alexandre Desplat is always an Oscar favorite. As long as it’s not Hans Zimmer I’ll be happy.

  • Dunkirk — Hans Zimmer
  • Phantom Thread — Jonny Greenwood
  • The Shape of Water — Alexandre Desplat 
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi — John Williams
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri — Carter Burwell

ORIGINAL SONG

Have you seen Coco? Then you’ll know this song cannot lose. It’s the key to the movie.

  • “Mighty River” — Mudbound, Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson
  • “Mystery of Love” — Call Me By Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
  • “Remember Me” — Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez 
  • “Stand Up for Something” — Marshall, Diane Warren, Lonnie R. Lynn
  • “This is Me” — The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

SOUND EDITING

I think either Baby Driver or Dunkirk. Will they give it to Dunkirk as a consolation prize for not winning anything else? Wouldn’t surprise me. So let’s go for Dunkirk, although I’m secretly rooting for Baby Driver.

  • Baby Driver — Julian Slater
  • Blade Runner 2049 — Mark Mangini, Theo Green
  • Dunkirk — Richard King, Alex Gibson 
  • The Shape of Water — Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi — Matthew Wood, Ren Klyce

SOUND MIXING

Again, it’s between Dunkirk and Baby Driver. This time I’ll go for Baby Driver because of the music.

  • Baby Driver — Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis
  • Blade Runner 2049— Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth
  • Dunkirk — Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo 
  • The Shape of Water — Christian Cooke, Bran Zoern, Glen Gauthier
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi — David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Stuart Wilson

 

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