Predicting the 2018 Oscar Nominees and Winners

That time is already upon us.  With the SAG, Golden Globes, and Critics Choice Awards already behind us, now is the time to look ahead to the Oscars.  The 90th Academy Awards will take place on March 4, but the nominees will be announced tomorrow morning.  For most of this awards season there really hasn’t been any clear frontrunners, especially in the Best Picture category, unlike last year, when “La La Land” and “Moonlight” were about the only two films on everyone’s minds.  But some of the awards that have taken place over the last couple weeks have given us a better indication of who might be headed for Oscar, so, as usual, I’ve predicted who I think the nominees (and eventual winners) will be in the main categories.

Click the links to read my full reviews of some of the films listed below, and let me know what your current Oscar predictions are.

Best Picture

*NOTES: I’m predicting nine Best Picture nominees this year, but as there can be up to 10, I can see “Darkest Hour” sliding into the last spot.  Neither that film nor “The Post” are good enough to be Best Picture material, but they’re well made and superbly acted, which is reason enough for many voters to warrant a nomination.  “Phantom Thread” has the disadvantage of being released in many theaters after the new year, so it’s hard to say how many nominations it may or may not pick up (I have a feeling it’s going to become my new “Inside Llewyn Davis” of Oscar snubs).  But it has been well-received by critics, and “Hidden Figures” proved last year that even latecomers to the game can still pick of plenty of nominations.  Sadly, “The Florida Project” has lost a lot of steam and I don’t think it will be nominated, while “Get Out,” “Dunkirk,” and “The Big Sick,” which were released earlier in 2017, look promising based on Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations.  “Three Billboards” has been a surprise favorite this season, picking up a SAG for Best Ensemble and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama, among other wins, but “The Shape of Water” is my current pick to win.  It was awarded the Critics Choice Award for Best Picture, and was honored by the Producers Guild over the weekend, both of which are usually pretty reliable indications of potential Best Picture Oscar winners.  And it’s the kind of crowd-pleaser that Academy voters often tend to latch on to.

TheShapeofWater
Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones in “The Shape of Water”

Best Director

  • Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”—WINNER
  • Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
  • Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

*NOTES: This category is really difficult this year.  I could definitely see the Academy nominating Spielberg because he’s Spielberg, but I’m going out on a limb to say they’ll throw some new faces—namely Gerwig and Peele—in the mix.  So far my money is on del Toro, but I wouldn’t discount a split win, with McDonagh taking the directing Oscar while “The Shape of Water” wins Best Picture.

Best Actor

  • Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”—WINNER
  • James Franco, “The Disaster Artist
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
  • Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”

Best Actress

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

*NOTES: I really, really want Sally Hawkins to win this.  But at the moment, McDormand, who won the SAG and the Golden Globe, appears to be the favorite.

Call Me by Your Name
Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer in “Call Me By Your Name”

Best Supporting Actor

  • Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”—WINNER
  • Armie Hammer, “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project
  • Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name”

*NOTES: Rockwell is probably my least favorite in this category, but like McDormand, he won the SAG and the Golden Globe and so is the current favorite.  I think the first four nominees I listed are givens, with Stuhlbarg’s a bit up in the air (Woody Harrelson may sneak in there for “Three Billboards” instead).  But with appearances in not only “Call Me By Your Name,” (in which he delivers one of the film’s most pivotal moments) but also “The Post” and “The Shape of Water,” Stuhlbarg needs to be in there somewhere.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”—WINNER
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
  • Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
  • Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
  • Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

*NOTES: Hong Chau, who has been nominated for the SAG and Critics Choice for her performance in the not-so-well-received film “Downsizing,” may squeeze in there, but I’m betting on favorite Octavia Spencer to be nominated instead.

get-out
Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out”

Best Original Screenplay

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

*NOTES: This is one of the hardest categories to pick both an Oscar favorite and a personal favorite.  I’m going for Best Picture frontrunner “The Shape of Water” for now, but any of these would be fair game.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Not even going to bother picking nominees for this category.  I will be shocked if “Call Me By Your Name” doesn’t win.

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