2018 Oscar Predictions

When the Academy Award nominations were announced in January they came with their expected favorites and a few upsets that weren't completely unexpected, but for the first time in some time it seems the Oscars got it more right than wrong which has led to a couple of interesting races-especially in the biggest one of the nigh, Best Picture. In my mind, there are three possible contenders for the top prize with The Shape of Water still leading the pack. I am hesitant to even make that declaration though, as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri could certainly still be the top contender for that award (it is all but guaranteed two acting trophies) whereas, per the trend of more recent years, the Academy might split the Picture/Director winners as The Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro is the front-runner for Best Director. If del Toro takes this, Three Billboards walks away with two acting trophies, and if Greta Gerwig takes home Best Original Screenplay for Lady Bird my bet is that the Best Picture winner could be Get Out as I don't see the Academy sending Jordan Peele or his film home empty-handed; not right now and not when that film speaks for so many during a time they feel isn't theirs or doesn't represent who they are. Get Out has become something more than a cultural event, but a cultural representative for many state's of mind and I just don't see Academy voters letting that go unstated this weekend. I also don't see them letting Gerwig or her lovely film walk away without a win as well which is why the Writing win would seem to make sense. Still, this could go a completely different way than I'm expecting it to and The Shape of Water could indeed sweep in Picture/Director and a number of technical categories as it's record number of nominations have foretold while Three Billboards gets the acting wins along with Gary Oldman's "lifetime achievement award" and Allison Janney's final box to check on her rather incredible awards season run. This doesn't leave much room for anything interesting to happen which is why the Best Picture race has maybe been made to feel so interesting and the least predictable this year, but maybe most are indeed just overthinking it.

The 90th Academy Awards air Sunday night, March 4th at 7 p.m. Eastern on ABC and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Clockwise from top left: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, Get Out.
As stated in the introduction this will by far be the most interesting race of the night. Most Oscar prognosticators have The Shape of Water taking the top prize, but others are still holding out for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri despite director Martin McDonagh not receiving a Best Director nomination. Given the actors branch is the biggest in the Academy and Three Billboards is across the board great in this respect (it has two actors in the race for Best Supporting Actor) some think McDonagh's picture still has a shot here. Personally (and maybe this is just me rooting for it to happen because it was my favorite film of the year), I think it is Get Out's to lose. There is an outside chance Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird takes it home, especially if Jordan Peele wins for Best Original Screenplay, but I see that being flipped and Jordan Peele walking on stage to accept the statue for Best Picture for a movie that came out in theaters before last year's Oscar ceremony. Who Will Win: Get Out  

Truth is, any of these people are deserving of this award as each film is so drastically different from one another and each excel in their own personal goals and intentions, but the two that clearly took the most skill to pull off as a creator of cinema are that of The Shape of Water and Dunkirk. That isn't to say that what Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, and Paul Thomas Anderson have done isn't as notewrothy-they've been nominated for Best Diretor, so there ya go-but it does mean their films didn't require as much planning in terms of how they were going to pull something off visually as more of their job zeroed in on how do they convey the story they've written successfully. It is of note that all five of the nominees in the directing category this year were also the writers of their respective films. It is del Toro and Nolan that walked that line of storytelling and production technique and innovation the most making them the front-runners in my mind, but del Toro is the clear winner here as he has been cleaning up so far this awards season with Dunkirk being shut out of almost everything including the BAFTAs which, if this WWII based film around British soldiers couldn't win there, it likely has little chance at the Oscars. Who Will Win: Guillermo del Toro

Best Actor

Will Win: Gary Oldman

Could Win: Timothée Chalamet

Best Actress

Will Win: Frances McDormand

Could Win:Saoirse Ronan

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Sam Rockwell

Could Win:Willem Dafoe

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Allison Janney

Could Win: Laurie Metcalf


Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: André Aciman (Call Me by your Name)

Could Win: Dee Rees & Virgil Williams (Mudbound)

Original Screenplay

Will Win: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Could Win: Jordan Peele (Get Out)







Animated Film 

Will Win: Coco

Could Win: Loving Vincent

Documentary

Will Win: Faces Places

Could Win: Icarus

Foreign Language Film

Will Win: A Fantastic Woman

Could Win: Loveless







Music & Score

Sound Editing:  Baby Driver

Sound Mixing: Baby Driver

Original Song: "This is Me" from The Greatest Showman

Original Score: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Technical

Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

Production Design: The Shape of Water

Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes

Editing: Dunkirk

Costumes: Phantom Thread

Make-Up: The Darkest Hour