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Oscar Predictions 2018

– by Cate Marquis –

It’s an annual favorite: predicting the Oscars. Who will win? Who should win? Who was overlooked? The 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony takes place March 4, 2018.

If you have seen a lot of movies, you have your opinion on which are the best films and performances but will the members of the Academy agree? Their picks for awards mean both money and prestige for filmmakers, actors and studios. How can we resist taking a guess?

2017 was a good year for movies overall. Still, there are clear favorites for the Oscars and there may be fewer surprises among the winners this year. Then again, the Academy, whose membership has traditionally been dominated by older white men, opened their doors to more diversity this year, after the OscarsSoWhite backlash last year. So maybe the usual rules won’t apply so much.

I have seen many films this year, including all the nominees in the major categories. Here are my predictions and opinion on who/what will win, who/what should win, and who/what should have been nominated but was overlooked, for major categories. Take a look and see if you agree or not.

Frances McDormand in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight.

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”

Who will win:

First, you can rule out any film where the director was not nominated, since that is a usual tip-off. That means the front-runner “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is at a disadvantage to other favorite “The Shape of Water.” The long shot is “Lady Bird,” which might be a surprise nod to the current mood. While these are all worthy films, some more so than others, nearly all of the others have some aspect – too art-house, too conventional, too unconventional – that will hold them back and help push “The Shape of Water.”

Who should win:

I’m going to say “The Shape of Water” although some critics despise this kind of fantasy film. I have no such prejudice and the film is cinema magic with wonderful performances and a winning story of the overlooked and outsiders winning out, even if one of the outsiders is a fish-man.

Who should have been nominated but was overlooked:

“The Florida Project” is the biggest oversight in this category, a remarkable low-budget film about a feisty, irresistible little girl, and told from her playful, child’s-eye view as she and her loving but irresponsible single mother hover on the economic edge in a low-budget motel Florida in the shadow of Disney World. Another oversight was the touching “A Ghost Story,” another moving indie film.

Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in the film THE SHAPE OF WATER. Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

BEST DIRECTOR

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

Ideally, the Best Director award goes to the winner of Best Picture, and this year, that will most likely be the case with Guillermo del Toro winning for “The Shape of Water.”

Who should win:

I can’t argue with Guillermo del Toro winning for “The Shape of Water.”

Who was overlooked:

Sean Baker should have had a nod for “Florida Project.”

Gary Oldman (center) stars as Winston Churchill in director Joe Wright’s DARKEST HOUR, a Focus Features release. Credit: Jack English / Focus Features

BEST ACTOR

Nominees:

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.”

Who will win:

Gary Oldman in “Darkest Hour” is catnip to Academy voters, a wonderfully gifted actor heavily made up as a great historic figure he he does not even resemble, and still giving a stirring, wholly convincing performance that makes you forget the make up.

Who should win:

So many terrific performances his this category but Gary Oldman deserves it.

Who was overlooked:

Casey Affleck for “A Ghost Story,” who was able to convey an astonishing range of emotion while concealed behind a sheet, but given questions about Affleck’s sexual conduct, it was not going to happen.

(l-r) Woody Harrelson as Chief Willoughby and Frances McDormand as Mildred Hayes, in THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. Photo courtesy of Fox Searchlight (c)

BEST ACTRESS

Nominees:

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”

Who will win:

Frances McDormand seems a sure thing for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who should win:

Frances McDormand but its is tough to call because there were so many outstanding performances this year.

Who was overlooked:

Florence Pugh in “Lady Macbeth.” Not enough people saw this brooding, chilling British film but those who saw Pugh’s performance know what I am talking about. Another was Nicole Kidman, who transformed a role originally built around sexual repression into a knowing, powerful woman in “The Beguiled.”

Sam Rockwell and Frances McDormand in the film THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. Photo by Merrick Morton. © 2017 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nominees:

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”

Who will win:

Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who should win:

Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” but Willem Dafoe in “The Florida Project” is close.

Who was overlooked:

All good nominees but Michael Stuhlbarg could have picked up nominations for either “Call Me By My Name” or “The Shape of Water.”

Laurie Metcalf in LADY BIRD. Photo courtesy of A24 Films (c)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

Allison Janney in “I, Tonya.”

Who should win:

Allison Janney in “I, Tonya.”

Who was overlooked:

Holly Hunter in “The Big Sick.”

Dr Gachet (Jerome Flynn) in LOVING VINCENT. Photo courtesy Loving Vincent / Blue Integrated Communications.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

“Coco”

Who should win:

“Loving Vincent,” for its technical dazzle in animating Van Gogh paintings by having them copied in oil paint. That the film is highly entertaining is a plus too.

Who was overlooked:

The lush Japanese anime “Mary and the Witch’s Flower” which is from a studio created by animators formerly with the legendary Ghibli Studio.

(l-r) Director Agnes Varda and artist JR in FACES PLACES. Photo courtesy of Cohen Media (c)

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” or “Faces Places,” depending one whether the Academy wants to recognize the 89-year-old New Wave director Agnès Varda.

Who should win:

Agnès Varda’s “Faces Places”

Who was overlooked:

“The Rape of Recy Taylor,” a riveting doc about a black woman seeking justice after she was kidnapped walking home from church and raped in the 1950s rural South.

Daniela Vega in Chile’s A FANTASTIC WOMAN. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics (c)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Nominees:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Who will win:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

Who should win:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

Who was overlooked:

“BPM (Beats Per Minute),” a moving French drama about the early days for the AIDS epidemic.

(l-r) Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet in CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics (c)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Nominees:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Who will win:

“Call Me by Your Name”

Who should win:

“Mudbound”

Who was overlooked:

“The Beguiled”

Daniel Kaluuya in GET OUT. Photo courtesy of Universal (c)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Nominees:

“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

Who will win:

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” in part as a consolation for not winning Best Picture.

Who should win:

“Get Out”

Who was overlooked:

“Phantom Thread”

Ryan Gosling in BLADE RUNNER 2049. Photo courtesy of Alcon Entertainment (c)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Nominees:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Who will win:

Roger Deakins is due and should win for “Blade Runner 2049,” but Deakins might get edged out by “The Shape of Water.”

Who should win:

Roger Deakins for “Blade Runner 2049”

Who was overlooked:

Alexis Zabe for “The Florida Project”

Ryan Gosling in BLADE RUNNER 2049. Image courtesy of Alcon Entertainment (c)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Nominees:

Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

Who will win:

Blade Runner 2049”

Who should win:

Blade Runner 2049”

Who was overlooked:

No major oversights.

Ansel Elgort as Baby in BABY DRIVER. Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures (c)

BEST FILM EDITING

Nominees

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

Who will win:

“Dunkirk”

Who should win:

“Baby Driver”

Who was overlooked:

No major oversights

A scene from DUNKIRK. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros (c)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Nominees:

“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 D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Who will win:

“The Shape of Water”

Who should win:

“Blade Runner 2049”

Who was overlooked:

“Victoria and Abdul”

Vicky Krieps stars as “Alma” and Daniel Day-Lewis stars as “Reynolds Woodcock” in writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson’s PHANTOM THREAD, a Focus Features release.
Credit : Laurie Sparham / Focus Features

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Nominees:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Who will win:

“Phantom Thread,” set in the world of high fashion

Who should win:

“Phantom Thread”

Who was overlooked:

“Lady Macbeth”

(l-r) Judy Dench as Queen Victoria and Ali Fazal as Abdul, in VICTORIA AND ABDUL. Photo courtesy of Universal (c)

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR

Nominees:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Who will win:

“Darkest Hour”

Who should win:

“Darkest Hour”

Who was overlooked:

No major oversights

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

“Baby Driver,” which is all about the sound mixing.

Who should win:

“Baby Driver”

Who was overlooked:

No major oversights

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Nominees:

“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

Who will win:

There are so many movie music big names here but I’ll go with “The Shape of Water” score by Alexandre Desplat.

Who should win:

“The Shape of Water”

Who was overlooked:

No major oversights