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Oscars 2018: Predicting The Winners

ABC / The Oscars

Finally, and I mean FINALLY, the Oscars are upon us. There was not that much of a delay thanks to the Olympics (one week later than last year), but awards season has felt super long this year. That being said, the culmination of it all happens Sunday night. My general consensus is the acting nominations are as closed to locked up as I’ve ever seen them. However, there have been a lot of reports and secret ballots  that have come out these past couple days that show there could be upsets in the Best Picture and Best Screenplay categories.

Without further ado, here are my predictions. As always, for the major categories, I will state who I believe should win as well as my prediction for who will win.

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Without a doubt, the frontrunner is “Three Billboards.” Besides the Critic’s Choice Awards, “Three Billboards” has won almost every major best picture category including wins at the Golden Globes, SAGs, and BAFTAs. However, the last three BAFTA Best Picture winners have gone on to lose at the Oscars. The “Shape of Water” is the second favorite, but I don’t see it winning. If I’m “Three Billboards,” the movie I would be most nervous about is “Get Out.” Between its popularity and universal acclaim, “Get Out” has made a late push for Best Picture especially with the two ongoing controversies with the two frontrunners. There is even a rumored coup brewing for “Get Out” to win Best Picture.

I just want to take a moment to try to explain the Preferential Voting System for Best Picture. This is why many critics believe a film like “Get Out” or even “Dunkirk” can beat “Three Billboards.” The La Times described it as the “preferential ballot turns the best picture race into a celebration of the ‘least disliked.'”

In order to win Best Picture, you need to receive more than 50% of the vote. So instead of just voting for one movie, voters rank the Best Picture nominees from best to worst. One by one, the Academy begins to eliminate the movies with the fewest first place votes. Then, those ballot’s second place votes count as first place votes. This process continues until one movie receives more than 50% of the vote. This method explains how “Moonlight” beat “La La Land.”” La La Land” probably had more first place votes, but “Moonlight” most likely had more second and third place votes that became first place votes.

Despite all of this, I still have to go with “Three Billboards” to win it all. The multiple Best Picture wins already is what sets it apart for me.

Who Should Win: “Dunkirk”

Who Will Win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:

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.”

I can go on a rant about how Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya have been the breakout stars of awards season and how their surge in popularity can lead to an upset win. I could talk about how Daniel Day-Lewis and Denzel Washington are legends and have won in this category before. I could do that, but it’s pointless. I honestly can’t see anyone beating Gary Oldman. Even if you argue that Chalamet’s and Kaluuya’s performances are better than Oldman’s, history is against you. The last Oscar winner who did not win Best Actor at the Golden Globes was Sean Penn in 2008. I’m not saying upsets don’t happen, but they are very unlikely. Plus, it’s not like Gary Oldman doesn’t deserve this award. He WAS Winston Churchill so he’ll be raising this trophy on Sunday night.

Who Should Win: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Who Will Win: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Lead Actress:

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”

The same schtick I used to explain why Gary Oldman won’t lose is the same schtick I will use for Frances McDormand. Plain and simple, McDormand is not going to lose. I can hear arguments against Oldman in Best Actor, but I won’t hear them for Best Actress. McDormand’s performance was the best one out of all the deserving nominees. Once I saw “Three Billboards,” I knew there would be no stopping McDormand.

Who Should Win: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who Will Win: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Supporting Actor:

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”

If you were to poll most critics 6 months ago, they would most likely tell you that the favorite in the Supporting Actor race was Willem Dafoe. Fast forward to right now and the clear favorite is Sam Rockwell. Just like the Oldman and McDormand, Rockwell has won most of the major trophies this awards season. The only thing I could see holding Rockwell back is the controversy surrounding his character. Rockwell’s character had a face turn at the end, but he was a homophobic and a racist. It has caused some tension throughout awards season, but I don’t see Dafoe overtaking Rockwell.

Who Should Win: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actress:

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

There are so many similarities in this category with Best Supporting Actor. Once again, six months ago, I think most critics would say Laurie Metcalf. Fast forward to now and Allison Janney is the clear favorite. Her performance as the abusive mother to Tonya Harding jumped off the screen. Janney has 7 Emmys, she’s beloved in the industry, and frankly, she’s won so many awards for this role that I can’t fathom her losing.

Who Should Win: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Who Will Win: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”


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

On Gold Derby, Guillermo del Toro has a 92.76% chance of winning. The next best chance is Christopher Nolan with a 2.41% chance of winning. How does del Toro lose? I wasn’t too crazy about “The Shape of Water,” but you can’t deny the visual appeal and attention to detail that went into the film. del Toro for the win.

Who Should Win: “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Who Will Win: “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Adapted Screenplay:

“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

I haven’t read one prediction that does not have James Ivory winning for “Call Me by Your Name.” A lot of the times, the Oscars rewards people who have been there before and have been in the industry a long time. James Ivory is 89 years old and has been nominated for four Oscars. This is a career win for Ivory.  Personally, I loved “The Disaster Artist.” Neustadter & Weber turned this weird and strange account of the worst movie ever into a funny and inspiring story.

Who Should Win: “The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Who Will Win: “Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory

Original Screenplay:

“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

A very tough category to predict. First of all, congrats to Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani. One of the funniest movies of the year got its moment in the spotlight. I see this as two horse race between Jordan Peele and Martin McDonagh. McDonagh won at the Globes and BAFTAs, but Peele has the huge win at the Writers Guild of America. I’m torn in terms of predicting the winner. I’m rooting for Peele because this is probably “Get Out’s” best chance at winning an Oscar. However, “Three Billboards” should have a big night so it would not surprise me if McDonagh ended up winning. For what it’s worth, “Get Out” is the slight favorite. I’m rooting for Peele, but I’m picking McDonagh.

Who Should Win: “Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Who Will Win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Original Song:

“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

It’s the battle of two previous winners. Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez won with “Let It Go” from “Frozen” while Benj Pasek and Justin Paul won with “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” Both performances should be great on Sunday. “Remember Me” is a the favorite, but I’m going with “This Is Me.” The song has more star power and the inspirational of story of Keala Settle will be enough to pull off the upset.

Who Should Win: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Who Will Win: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Loving Vincent”

Pixar. Pixar. Pixar.

Who Should Win: “Coco”

Who Will Win: “Coco”

Best of the Rest: For the remaining nominees, I will just predict who will win since these technical categories are extremely tough to pick.

Animated Short:

“DeKalb Elementary”
“The Eleven O’Clock”
“My Nephew Emmett”
“The Silent Child”
“Watu Wote/All of Us”

Who Will Win: “DeKalb Elementary”


“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: “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins

Best Documentary Feature:

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
“Knife Skills”
“Traffic Stop”

Who Will Win: “Heroin(e)”

Best Live Action Short Film:

“Dear Basketball”
“Garden Party”
“Negative Space”
“Revolting Rhymes”

Who Will Win: “Dear Basketball”

Best Foreign Language Film:

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

Who Will Win: “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

Film Editing:

“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,” Lee Smith

Warner Bros. Pictures

Sound Editing:

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

Who Will Win: “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King

Sound Mixing:

“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: “Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast”
“Blade Runner 2049″
“Darkest Hour”
“The Shape of Water”

Who Will Win: “The Shape of Water”

Original Score:

“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: “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour”
“Victoria and Abdul”

Who Will Win: “Darkest Hour”

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
“Victoria and Abdul”

Who Will Win: “Phantom Thread”

Visual Effects:

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