Well, here we are. In a few days the Academy Award season will end. But before it does, I’ve done a list of Oscar predictions for every category, including possible upsets and why certain films may win or lose.
I hope all who read this enjoy it. Not to pat myself on the back, which I obviously am, but large publications like “Vanity Fair,” “Rolling Stone,” and “The Hollywood Reporter,” typically have full staffs of people who put their predictions together. I’m working on my own, so it took a lot of time, effort, and work (especially to watch all of the films). Please, share on Facebook, Twitter, or WordPress, and I this helps someone as a cheat sheet, or maybe look forward to watching the nominated films.
Also remember, the Oscars aren’t as “useless” as some would have you think. Especially for a category like Live Action short, which features “The Silent Child,” a film that’s advocating for greater awareness for the hearing impaired and their charities. An Oscar win would go a long, long, long way for the creators, and many others who either can’t depend on a large Hollywood budget or are making true passion projects. In short, not everyone nominated is going home to a mansion. Enjoy!
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will win: The Shape of Water. I previously outlined why I think this film will win, but Best Picture is the most open category this year. I suspect this will win on preferential.
Possible upset: Dunkirk. Why not Three Billboards? One, because it wouldn’t be an upset (cheeky, I know). Two, because Dunkirk has been steadily rising in the rankings, and could really pick up steam in the preferential.
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.
Will win: Gary Oldman. I outlined why Gary Oldman will win in my prior Best Actor rundown, but he’s won every major award coming in and there’s no one left to vote against him.
Possible upset: Timothée Chalamet. Chalamet is the next closest contender. Why would the #2 contender be an upset? Because the #1 is so far ahead. CMBYN stans will most likely find themselves starring into an open fire as tears stream down their cheeks.
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
Will win: Frances McDormand. Like Oldman, I don’t think there’s a chance in Ebbing hell (I know, that was a stretch), that McDormand loses. No one is left to vote against her, as I outlined in a previous rundown (shameless plugging never stops).
Possible upset: Sally Hawkins. Like Chalamet, the only reason this would be an upset is because McDormand is so far ahead.
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
Will win: Sam Rockwell. When I first did my supporting actor rundown, the prospects of Rockwell winning still seemed shaky, but it’s quickly solidified itself.
Possible upset: Willem Dafoe. This has always been my sentimental pick. I absolutely love Dafoe’s performance. It’s incredibly nuanced. Unfortunately, nuance almost never gets it done at the Oscars.
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Will win: Laurie Metcalf
Possible upset: Laurie Metcalf. Not only do I think Metcalf will win, it will also be an upset if she does win. I, Tonya came into the Oscars shaky, with the exception of Allison Janney. I don’t see Lady Bird going home empty handed. I think this is their one win, and therefore, the one upset of the acting categories.
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Will win: Guillermo del Toro. As I said in my rundown, Del Toro has a lead and he’s running away and hiding. Expect it to hold up.
Possible upset: Christopher Nolan. If it doesn’t hold up, I’ve got Nolan as spoiler. As Dunkirk has risen, so has Nolan in my standings. A first time director, Peele, isn’t winning. Gerwig seems like she scraped into the category. And Anderson has no momentum.
Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will win: Jordan Peele. This might be another category made for an upset. I still believe that Peele will win this award, especially after his WGA prize. I also believe that this is Get Out‘s only shot at an Oscar, and after #OscarSsoWhite, they won’t let a black zeitgeist film go home empty handed.
Possible upset: Martin McDonagh. This is also a canary in a coal mine situation. If McDonagh pulls off the upset, then the Best Picture will be Three Billboards. If not, then there’s still a chance for Best Picture, but the odds are much longer.
James Ivory, Call Me by Your Name
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green, Logan
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound
Will win: Jame Ivory. Call Me By Your Name is winning one award, and this is probably it. Ivory is one of the oldest nominees, and has never won an Academy Award. He has won the WGA, the BAFTA, and USC’s Scripter Award for his CMBYN screenplay.
Possible upset: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber. If an upset does happen, it’ll be The Disaster Artist. The film sank like a rock the second the James Franco allegations emerged. The fact that it hung on here, says that it still has strong standing with screenwriters.
Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito, The Boss Baby
Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo, The Breadwinner
Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson, Coco
Carlos Saldanha, Ferdinand
Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman, Loving Vincent
Will win: Coco
Possible upset: None. I don’t think there’s a chance in Hell or Mexican heaven that Coco will lose this award. I could go cute and make a case for my favorite, Loving Vincent, but it’s not happening.
Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda, Faces Places
Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan, Icarus
Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen, Last Men in Aleppo
Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes, Strong Island
Will win: Faces Places
Possible upset: None. There are a ton of categories this year that have essentially been over for months. This is one of them. This year, Agnès Varda accepted an Honorary Oscar. Amazingly, for the 89 year old, it was probably too soon. She’ll have a second to add to mantle piece soon.
Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water
Will win: Roger Deakins. Finally, a race. It feels like Deakins has been edging further and further ahead, but it’s not assured. He’s 0/14 at the Oscars. Sentimentality might be creeping in, but sentimentality rarely creeps in with the tech awards.
Possible upset: Dan Lausten/Hoyte van Hoytema. And because the tech awards are filled unfeeling bastards (not a bad thing), this is a three-man race. Either Van Hoytema or Lausten winning could be a precursor to a Best Picture win.
Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)
Will win: A Fantastic Woman. I haven’t had the chance to review either of the two, but I can tell you after watching them that A Fantastic Woman is the most connectable. Nothing is more human than the right to be yourself, to mourn, to love. Expect an amazing story from a transsexual perspective to win.
Possible upset: The Square. Guys, The Square is a weird film. It’s amazing, especially the dinner scene. I just think that it may be too esoteric to win, but then again, it could be just esoteric enough.
Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss, Baby Driver
Lee Smith, Dunkirk
Tatiana S. Riegel, I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky, The Shape of Water
Jon Gregory, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will win: I, Tonya
Possible upset: I, Tonya. Most people have Lee Smith of Dunkirk winning. This could be another Best Picture precursor. If Dunkirk wins here and in cinematography, then Best Picture looks closer in reach. Both Dunkirk and I, Tonya won ACE awards. Since I think Janney will lose, I think this I, Tonya’s won award.
Julian Slater, Baby Driver
Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Blade Runner 2049
Alex Gibson, Richard King, Dunkirk
Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira, The Shape of Water
Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Win win: Alex Gibson and Richard King (Dunkirk). Lately, the tech sound categories have become more “common” sense, usually the loudest film wins. What’s more common sense than awarding a war film with sound editing, especially when considering the loud sounds of the spit fire sand stukas?
Possibly upset: Julian Slater (Baby Driver). I don’t think Baby Driver will play upset here, but it’s next closet competitor. I always felt like Baby Driver could have gotten more nominations if the Kevin Spacey allegations hadn’t dropped. The techs tend to be more focused on the craft, so this is a category that could see an upset.
Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, Baby Driver
Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill, Blade Runner 2049
Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Dunkirk
Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, The Shape of Water
Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Will win: Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, (Dunkirk). Here, Dunkirk is actually shakier than in sound editing. Only 17 films have swept the sound categories. If Dunkirk gets the sweep, this could be a sign of Best Picture.
Possible upset: Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, (The Shape of Water). The odds are long for The Shape of Water in sound editing, but they’ve got 13 nomination, and they’re bound to win some. You could see it here.
Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer, Beauty and the Beast
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola, Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer, Darkest Hour
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis, Dunkirk
Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau, The Shape of Water
Will win: Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau, (The Shape of Water). Another shaky category, Production Design, should be a runaway for The Shape of Water. It took the BAFTA and Art Directors Guild.
Possible upset: Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola, (Blade Runner 2049). Here’s the wrench. Blade Runner 2049 really is an aesthetic masterpiece, and I believe this category is only 60/40 in The Shape of Water‘s favor. This is more of a gut play.
Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will win: Alexandre Desplat. When a score is really good, it adds another component of storytelling. When it’s great, it becomes its own character. The latter happened in The Shape of Water. I think Desplat has this.
Possible upset: Hans Zimmer. I’m mostly including Zimmer because he always ups his game for Nolan, and this could be another sign of a Dunkirk Best Picture win
“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
Will win: “This is Me.” Beating a song from a musical in Original Song is difficult. Also, I think the more integral the song is to the film, the higher chance it has of winning.
Possible upset: “Remember Me.” If anyone could beat a song from a musical, it’d be an animated musical from Disney. “Remember Me” could win because the scene it takes place in is probably the best scene of the film, when Miguel sings to Coco.
Makeup and Hair
Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick, Darkest Hour
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard, Victoria and Abdul
Arjen Tuiten, Wonder
Will win: Darkest Hour. I mean, just look at Gary Oldman! That should be enough to get Darkest Hour the win.
Possible upset: Wonder. This is Wonder‘s one nomination, and it has a good chance to play spoiler. The work it took to create Jacob Tremblay’s character is nothing short of spectacular.
Jacqueline Durran, Beauty and the Beast
Jacqueline Durran, Darkest Hour
Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water
Consolata Boyle, Victoria and Abdul
Will win: Jacqueline Durran (Beauty and the Beast). Durran has two Oscar nominations, and usually, the bigger and more ornate the film, the higher chance for a win. Expect it to go to Durran and Beauty and the Beast.
Possible upset: Luis Sequeira. The only other ornate and large-scale film? Victoria and Abdul. One of its only two nominations, it could make the move for the win.
John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer, Blade Runner 2049
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus, Kong: Skull Island
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist, War for the Planet of the Apes
Will win: Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist, (War for the Planet of the Apes). I’m still of the belief that War for for the Planet of the Apes should have been given far more nominations. However, it’s been the runaway favorite in the Visual Effects category for sometime. That’s not going to change.
Possible upset: None
“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
Will win: “Dear Basketball.” I guess we’re going to have to get used to the phrase “NBA Champion, MVP, and Oscar winner, Kobe Bean Bryant.” The craft of sketched animation is still incredibly attractive.
Possible upset: “Lou.” Never count out Pixar. And I mean never. “Lou” has got a really good shot here (pun intended). Better than Kobe’s? Well, he was a .447 field goal shooter, so he does miss (told you, pun intended).
Best Documentary Short
“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
Will win: “Heroin(e).” I wish I could you more depth, but honestly, this is another category that was decided months ago (also, you and I are almost at the end).
Possible upset: None.
Best Live Action
“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
Will win: “DeKalb Elementary.” A 20-minute short about a school shooter who gets talked into giving himself up, “DeKalb Elemntary” became the most prescient of the nominees in the instant of the Parkland shooting.
Possible upset: None
That’s it! We made it! The only event left is the award ceremony. As I said, please feel free to use this as a cheat sheet. And good luck to all of the nominees!
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Photo credit: Variety