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oscars-2018

by Jason F. Koenigsberg

The 90th Academy Awards are upon us. The nominations were as expected for the most part this year with no major snubs or surprises. A lot of diversity is represented and women have nominations in categories that are usually dominated by men. Last year the Oscar ceremony gave us one of the all time screw ups and biggest upsets in Academy history at the final moment. It was a twist of M. Night Shyamalanian proportions. Could that happen at this years 90th Academy Awards? Expect the unexpected because unlike last year there is no clear front runner like La La Land, nor is there a clear critical favorite like Moonlight. Four of the nine Best Picture nominees could honestly be considered heavy favorites to take home the top prize. In years past people have pointed out that I average getting about 75 to 80% of the categories correct when I do this annual prediction of mine. But this year I can honestly say is a lot tougher to accurately predict because of the diverse array of films and people nominated. I still think that the ones I predict are the safest bets to win in their respective categories, but as we learned from last year, expect the unexpected. These are not the good old Oscars from previous decades where what prognosticators said will win usually did. This decade the Academy has thrown a lot of curveballs on Oscar night and there is no way to know how the majority of the members voted until the envelopes are opened, and as Warren Beatty can tell you, even then they might not be right. 

So without any further ado, here are Pan and Slam’s predictions for the 90th Academy Awards…

Best Picture:

three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri-blogbusters-filmdatenbank

“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”

What will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Should Win: Dunkirk

What Could Upset: Get Out, Lady Bird, or The Shape of Water

The front runner is a film that does not even have its director nominated for Best Director. That’s right, Martin McDonagh was overlooked in the Directing category yet his Three Billboards keeps winning all of the major awards from the guilds such as PGA, WGA, SAG and it took the top prize at the BAFTA’s and Golden Globes. All of that adds up to Three Billboards being the most likely film to go home with Best Picture at the end of the night. However, there has been a lot, and I mean a lot of negative backlash towards the film. Since it seems to have no clear moral backbone, all of the characters are various degrees of despicable and some have even accused the movie of glorifying racist cops and police brutality against minorities and low income families. That may be the reason why it was overlooked in the Directing category. So far we do not know how much of a backlash there is until the winner is announced, but in this age of political correctness it is very possible that despite its terrific performances and a lead role being a strong female played by Frances McDormand, the Academy may not want to award a film that is so morally ambiguous when they have safer pictures to choose from. Which is why Get Out and Lady Bird should be considered heavy favorites to win Best Picture. Get Out is written and directed by an African-American and it is the feature debut of Jordan Peele, a man primarily known as a comedian. Wouldn’t that be something if the first African-American to win Best Picture and Director was Jordan Peele for a horror/comedy and not a well known auteur? It is not as far off as it seems even though Get Out debuted in theaters twelve months ago. The last time a serious Best Picture contender came out that long ago and won the top prize was The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and we all know how that turned out, it is the only horror movie to win Best Picture. But beyond that, since the past year or so has really been about equality for women, the Academy chose Lady Bird to be their film that honors women with a headstrong female protagonist and it was written and directed by a woman. Greta Gerwig has a very realistic chance of becoming the second woman to win a Best Director Oscar and that could lead to her film taking the top prize at the end of the night. Plus, the Academy loves actors who direct, just ask Ben Affleck, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, etc. The list goes on and on, why shouldn’t the Academy love an actress who directs? Lady Bird has a great shot of winning Best Picture. But so does the quirky oddball historical romance The Shape of Water which leads all films with 13 nominations. It is an even tougher film to categorize than Get Out. It’s director Guillermo del Toro did win the DGA award for Best Director and historically that means he has a very good chance of winning Best Director and Best Picture at the Academy Awards. But hold on a sec, that rule does not seem to apply this decade at the Oscars. Since 2011, only one movie, Birdman (2014), has won both Best Director and Best Picture at the Academy Awards. In 2012, Argo won Best Picture and Affleck was not even nominated. 2013 Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director for his technical achievement in Gravity, but 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. In 2015, Alejandro G. Inarritu won his second consecutive Best Director Oscar for The Revenant, but Best Picture was the surprise win for Spotlight, and then last year of course, La La Land was the heavy favorite and won Best Director, yet Moonlight was named Best Picture in a debacle of epic proportions. So on the surface The Shape of Water seems like a safe bet for Best Picture, but recent years the Best Director and Best Picture have not been matching up, and with all the awards Three Billboards has received thus far, I would not be surprised if the odds do not favor Guillermo del Toro and his team to win the big one. There is an outside chance that Dunkirk could win the top prize for its technical prowess if the other films cancel each other out for people choosing to vote in favor of a film directed by a woman, a black man, and negative reactions to Three Billboards. Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, and Phantom Thread are all typical Oscar films and are most likely to win other awards. The only nominated film that is a waste of time even talking about in this category is Steven Spielberg’s The Post which is a shame since it is a great film but its likelihood of winning here is the same as a snowstorm in Panama. 

Lead Actor:

Actor Oldman arrives for the London Critics' Circle Film Awards in London
Gary Oldman

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.”

What will Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

What Should Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

What Could Upset: Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

For what is one of the most wide open and unpredictable Best Picture categories, Best Actor should be fairly easy to call. You have two young, talented up and coming actors with very bright futures ahead of them in Timothy Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya. Their nominations should serve as a bode of confidence and hopefully lead to high profile roles and future nominations in their careers. The young guns are going up against three legendary veteran actors with five Academy Awards between the three of them. Two for Denzel Washington whose nomination came as a surprise most likely at the expense of James Franco for his performance in The Disaster Artist after accusations came out of him sexually harassing women, and Daniel Day-Lewis who has a record three Best Actor Oscars. That leaves the chameleon-like Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. He is every bit as respected as an actor as Denzel and Daniel Day-Lewis yet has no Oscars on his shelf. In fact this is only his second nomination after Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011). Darkest Hour is the type of film the Academy eats up and Oldman nails his performance as Churchill and we know Oscar voters love it when actors play historical figures. So it is the youth versus experience and look for experience to win out and Gary Oldman to finally join the winners circle and accept his long overdue Academy Award. The only very slight chance of an upset would be if the Academy chooses to honor Daniel Day-Lewis for a fourth time as Best Actor since he announced his retirement and that Phantom Thread will be his final motion picture. They may want to honor a great actor for what is likely his last great performance on screen, but since he already has three and Gary Oldman has none, I think they will want to share the wealth and honor a great British actor playing the most important British man of the twentieth century. 

Lead Actress:

75th Annual Golden Globe Awards - Season 75
Frances McDormand

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”

What will Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Should Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Could Upset: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

A slightly closer race than Best Actor, Frances McDormand is the front runner and is probably going to win her second Best Actress Oscar for Three Billboards and she certainly deserves it. But notice I said probably. If the negative buzz around the mixed messages from Three Billboards spreads further it could hurt her chances of winning and Academy voters may want to honor a fresh face. If they do then that will greatly favor Saoirse Ronan for her performance in Lady Bird, a film which the Academy loves as much if not more than Three Billboards. If this is indeed a year that the Oscars choose to honor the women then it would be extremely logical for them to honor Ms. Ronan for her confident performance in a terrific film written and directed by a woman. Plus, judging by recent winners like Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, the Academy loves to honor ingenue actresses in their twenties and Saoirse Ronan fits that mold perfectly. Sally Hawkins could win if there is a wave of votes for The Shape of Water since that is the film with the most nominations this year, and she does give an outstanding performance as a mute woman who falls in love with a very unconventional suitor. Margot Robbie and Meryl Streep both play real people which should play into their benefit but I, Tonya was not as beloved by the Academy as the other films nominated here so she may have to settle for the nomination and Meryl Streep although terrific and deserving of her record 21st nomination is not going to make it to the stage as a winner for a myriad of reasons. 

Supporting Actor:

rockwell
Sam Rockwell in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’

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”

What will Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Should Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Could Upset: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

The days of saying that Sam Rockwell is one of the most underrated actors are numbered. He has won just about every major award up to this point so him not being called to the stage as this years Best Supporting Actor will be viewed as an upset. In my humble opinion he deserves it, but there are four other nominees that have a chance to soil his night and Three Billboards the movie itself could turn out to be not as beloved by the Academy as it has other award ceremonies. Woody Harrelson is Rockwell’s costar and he is every bit as accomplished of an actor if not more than Sam Rockwell, so his appearance in this category could steal votes and he could hurt Rockwell’s chances of winning. The reason Harrelson is unlikely to win is because his turn in Three Billboards was almost too brief and he has been losing almost every Best Supporting Actor award to his costar so why would the tide shift in his favor now? Back in November before the awards season went into full swing and all the critics top ten lists were published, Willem Dafoe was the heavy favorite to win this award for his role as a kind maintenance man at a slum hotel in The Florida Project. But once the critics spoke and awards started being handed out, he was losing everything to Sam Rockwell. He has a chance to upset as a long standing figure in Hollywood and one of its hardest working actors for the past thirty plus years, this is his third nomination of his career, but since he is The Florida Project‘s lone nomination he is most likely going to settle for his nomination being the win. Christopher Plummer as an eleventh hour replacement for the disgraced two time Oscar winner Kevin Spacey in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World is absolutely deserving of his nomination, but like Dafoe, he is the films lone nomination so unless the Academy really wants to send a message and slap Kevin Spacey in the face and kick him while he is down, it is highly unlikely Plummer will win his second Academy Award this decade. Fun fact, Christopher Plummer is already the oldest actor to win a competitive Oscar and with his nomination here he is the oldest actor to ever be nominated for a competitive acting Oscar. That leaves Richard Jenkins and unless there is a big sweep for The Shape of Water he is most likely going to remain seated when the winner is called. 

Supporting Actress:

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Allison Janney

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

What will Win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

What Should Win: Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

What Could Upset: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

An easier race to call than Best Actress or Supporting Actor, Allison Janney is probably going to win on the big night as Tonya Harding’s cruel, diabolical and foulmouthed mother from Hell in I, Tonya. She is a long standing talented actress and has earned a lot of acclaim and awards for her role that at this point anyone else winning would be a surprise even though the film was not embraced by the Academy in other areas. Laurie Metcalf is in the same boat as Willem Dafoe with his nomination, everybody likes her and the movie she is in, it just has not translated into any wins or gained any momentum among voters. If there is going to be an upset it will be Metcalf taking the stage instead of Allison Janney, but that is still highly unlikely. Octavia Spencer has found a nice niche for herself playing similar roles over the past decade of her career and earning Oscar nominations for them. She has sort of turned into the African-American version of Dame Judi Dench, playing the same part and has become an Academy favorite earning Oscar nominations along the way. She has no chance of winning unless The Shape of Water makes a big splash in the voting and she can ride the wave to a Shape of Water sweep which is unlikely but not impossible. Mary J. Blige and Lesley Manville’s nominations were surprises to begin with so they are probably not going to win either, although the former is nominated in the Best Song category so it is more likely Mary J. Blige could win there. 

Director:

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Guillermo del Toro

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

What will Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

What Should Win: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

What Could Upset: Jordan Peele, Get Out or Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Much like The Best Picture category, this is one of the toughest Best Director races in memory. Four of the five nominees have a legitimate chance to take home the gold whereas in years past it is usually just a two man race. But this year it is four men and a woman and one of those men is African-American so that could play a huge part in how voters make their selection. As states above, historically whoever wins the Directors Guild Award goes on to win Best Director and has their film win Best Picture, recent years that has not been the case but looking at the numbers, Mexican born director Guillermo del Toro is considered the favorite since he won the DGA award and more awards than his fellow nominees he has emerged as the favorite for his clever and unique romance. Once again I must emphasize the favorite to win, but he is hardly a sure thing. With so many calling for more equality with women since the Harvey Weinstein bombshell, the Academy shunned Wonder Woman and it’s female director Patty Jenkins in favor of a more typical but undeniably worthy film Lady Bird which was written and directed by indie actress Greta Gerwig. She is the lone female representative in the Best Director category and has a very good chance of becoming the second woman in history to win a Best Director Oscar. But… hold your horses, there is another wild card in this race that could throw a real wrench into conventional Oscar prognosticating and that is Jordan Peele, the stand up comedian whose directorial debut from last February Get Out has surpassed all expectations as being one of the unlikeliest Best Picture and Director nominees of all time, but do not think for a second that it is because he coasted on his race, Get Out was a terrific little movie from horror specialists Blumhouse Productions and is tough to categorize, but is without a doubt very entertaining. Peele could easily become the first African-American in the Academy Awards 90 year history to win Best Director and I would not be upset with it. The last one worth mentioning is Christopher Nolan for his superb direction in Dunkirk. If the Academy decides to honor Nolan who has emerged as the Steven Spielberg of this century now would be a better time than ever and it is hard to believe that this is Christopher Nolan’s first Best Director nomination. It is possible he could squeak his way to victory since not only does the Academy seem to love his Dunkirk but they also adored Darkest Hour which is like a companion piece to Dunkirk of what was happening behind the scenes as the time of the action we see on the front lines in Dunkirk. As stated earlier, Guillermo del Toro is the safest bet, but he is only a slight favorite, with all the politically charged messages the Academy sent with this years nominations, they have a chance to send an even bigger message by giving the Best Director to a woman or an African-American, and it is possible that with all the siphoning of votes between a Mexican director, an African-American director and a female director, Christopher Nolan could emerge victorious. 

Adapted Screenplay:

call-me-by-your-name-1-1600x900-c-default1
Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer in “Call Me By Your Name’

“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

What will Win: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

What Should Win: Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green, Logan

What Could Upset: Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

An easier race to call, this one is close to a sure thing and it is very likely that we will see 89 year old James Ivory win his first Academy Award on his fourth nomination, making him the oldest winner in this category, surpassing a record set by David Seidler who won a screenplay award at age 73 for The King’s Speech (2010).   Most of the other scripts in this category are the only nominations for their film, Call Me By Your Name is the sole Best Picture nominee of the bunch, making it the heavy favorite to win here. 

 

Original Screenplay:

three-billboards-outside-ebbing-missouri-blogbusters-filmdatenbank

“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

What will Win: Any of them except The Big Sick, my guess is Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Should Win: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What Could Upset: Since it is the only one that I would legitimately consider an upset if it wins. Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani for The Big Sick

From one of the easiest screenplay races in years to one of the toughest, four of the five movies here are Best Picture nominees and they could easily win here. My gut tells me that the Academy may choose to honor Martin McDonagh here since he was shut out of the Best Director category for Three Billboards, however maybe Three Billboards will be shut out by an overly PC Academy and the voters may shun the controversial film in favor of honoring Great Gerwig, a female who wrote and directed a terrific coming of age comedy about a strong young woman with her screenplay for Lady Bird. Or they could give it to Jordan Peele if they decide to honor his outstandingly original script for Get Out. And with 13 nominations, The Shape of Water could be considered the front runner not counted out in this category as well although recent accusations of plagiarism will not help its cause. I have no idea which way the Academy will sway but I think all four of those films will get a lot of votes and the final tally which the Academy always keeps a secret will be very close. 

Animated Feature:

Coco-(2017)-1-News

“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

What will Win: Coco

Coco is the front runner and none of the other nominees seem poised to dethrone it, although it would be nice to see the beautiful animation from Loving Vincent get rewarded, I think it’s nomination is the most recognition that it will receive from voters. 

Animated Short:

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

What will Win: Negative Space

No idea, your guess is as good as mine here. 

 

Cinematography:

the-shape-of-water-logo

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

What will Win: The Shape of Water

Rachel Morrison made headlines when the nominees were announced as the first female nominated for best cinematography for her work in Mudbound, However I do not think that will translate to a win. The Shape of Water could emerge from the pack if it has a big night with its 13 nominations and Roger Deakins work in Blade Runner 2049 was not a mistake or a fluke nomination, he made one of the most aesthetically pleasing films of 2017 and this is his 14th career nomination and zero wins. He could win tonight but it is more likely that the Academy will choose to honor the gorgeous cinematography of Dunkirk. Plus the claustrophobic feel of the underground bunkers in Darkest Hour are much more visually stimulating than they should be, any of them could win but I have a hunch it will go to The Shape of Water

Best Documentary Feature:

icarus

Best Documentary Short Subject:

netflix-Heroine-bg-1

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

What will Win: Heroin(e)

Another Netflix documentary that I am predicting will win based solely on its title. Heroin as an epidemic is a topical issue and so are women doing heroic and noble things, the fact that this title suggests it combines the two will make people want to vote for it without even seeing it. 

Best Live Action Short Film:

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“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

What will Win: The Eleven O’Clock

No idea. Your guess is as good as mine. 

Best Foreign Language Film:

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

What will Win: The Square

The Square was the early front runner and when some other heavy favorites like Germany’s Into the Fade were shut out it seems like The Square is the film to beat here. However do not be surprised if a lot of Oscar voters cast their ballot for A Fantastic Woman without even seeing it simply based on its title. I may sound like I have little faith in the Academy and in some cases I do. 

Film Editing:

the-shape-of-water-logo

“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

What will Win: The Shape of Water

Dunkirk or The Shape of Water. Nothing else here has as realistic of a chance of winning, will the honor the technical mastery on display in Dunkirk or the beautiful narrative flow from the Shape of Water. I would prefer to see the former but think that the Academy may go with the latter and nobody could fault it for that. 

Sound Editing:

dunkirk

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

What will Win: Dunkirk

Once again either Dunkirk or The Shape of Water. The other films have a chance but I think they will honor the rigorous sounds of war that echoes across the beaches of Dunkirk over anything else. 

Sound Mixing:

the-shape-of-water-logo

“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

What will Win: The Shape of Water

The same five nominees as Sound Editing, with Sound Mixing the Academy usually honors the more harmonious and musically centered picture, therefore I think The Shape of Water has the edge here. 

Production Design:

the-shape-of-water-logo

“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

What will Win: The Shape of Water

I am going with the safest best and the fact that it has 13 nominations means that the Academy really loves The Shape of Water, although I would not be surprised if any of the other four deserving nominees win here. 

Original Score:

the-shape-of-water-logo

“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

What will Win: The Shape of Water

I would love to see Phantom Thread win since I think Jonny Greenwood’s score is one of the best in recent years, but realistically I know it is most likely going to go to one of the Best Picture front runners with Dunkirk, Three Billboards or most likely The Shape of Water

Original Song:

Coco-(2017)-1-News

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

What will Win: Coco

All of these have a chance to win, Coco is the big Disney/Pixar entry and usually that ends up taking the top prize but The Greatest Showman has proved to defy critics and economic odds by having long legs at the box office after underperforming during its opening weeks around Christmas. People really love this movie and one of the biggest reasons why is because of its music. Mary J. Blige who is a long shot to win Best Supporting Actress has a much better shot at winning here for Best Song, so she could take it and the song from Call Me By Your Name is the most beautiful and subtle of the nominees, although the film has not taken the box office by storm like some of the other nominees here, it has won the Academy over and is the only Best Picture nominee of the bunch so it should not be counted out either. 

Makeup and Hair:

WW2-Feature-Darkest_Hour
Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’

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

What will Win: Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour will and should win here. 

Costume Design:

phantom

“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

What will Win: Phantom Thread

This is the best chance Phantom Thread has at winning an Oscar on the big night but it could still succumb to The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour or even Beauty and the Beast, the highest grossing of the nominees listed here. 

Visual Effects:

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