Monthly Archives: September 2017

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Christopher Nolan finally got his long awaited first Oscar nomination for Best Director, almost a decade overdue after being snubbed for 2008’s The Dark Knight. In fact, Nolan should be on his third nomination, as he was also snubbed for Inception.

And while he deserves to win (and in this writer’s opinion, it shouldn’t even be close), he won’t. He’s the one that could put up the biggest fight, but there’s a clear favorite.

Guillermo del Toro has won both the BAFTA award and the Directors Guild of America award, the two massive indicators that all but tie a bow on this race.

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

Will win: Guillermo del Toro — The Shape of Water
Could win: Christopher Nolan — Dunkirk
Should win: Christopher Nolan — Dunkirk
Should’ve been nominated: Luca Guadagnino — Call Me by Your Name


Featured image via Fox Searchlight Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay

This category is very tough to work out. Martin McDonagh won the BAFTA award and the Golden Globe in this category, but one could suggest that BAFTA is more British-leaning (McDonagh is British) and that the Golden Globes don’t matter too much (because they don’t). Jordan Peele won Critics’ Choice award, which has lined up plenty with the Oscars in this category, as well as the WGA award; although, McDonagh wasn’t eligible to compete for the WGA award as he’s not part of the organization, so it’s difficult to tell whether or not Peele’s win puts him ahead of McDonagh.

I’m going to lean toward Jordan Peele, mostly because of the WGA win, but also because of the Critics’ Choice parallel and the fact that I think it’s the best nominated original script (and I believe that the Academy mostly gets this category right). And while McDonagh won the BAFTA, Peele also received a Best Director nomination, something that could boost his chances in this category. McDonagh did not receive a director nomination.

It’s tough to eliminate Lady Bird, though, especially because of how prevalent and prominent of a figure Greta Gerwig has been throughout the awards season. If Lady Bird could jump back into contention anywhere, it would likely be here.

Finally, don’t completely rule out Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for The Shape of Water, as its widespread love will send votes to this category.

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

Will win: Jordan Peele — Get Out
Could win: Martin McDonagh — Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Should win: Jordan Peele — Get Out
Should’ve been nominated: Paul Thomas Anderson — Phantom Thread


Featured image via Universal Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay

When nominations were announced, this category was a two horse race between Call Me by Your Name and Mudbound, with a dark horse contender in Molly’s Game. But the awards season and the precursors have really clarified exactly who the winner will be.

James Ivory has picked up the WGA award, the BAFTA award, the Critics’ Choice award and the USC Scripter award — all of them being major precursors.

So, while a win for Mudbound would be very deserved and very exciting, this is entirely Ivory’s to lose.

The Nominees
Dee Rees, Virgil Williams — Mudbound
James Ivory — Call Me by Your Name
Aaron Sorkin — Molly’s Game
Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber — The Disaster Artist
James Mangold, Scott Frank, Michael Green — Logan

Will win: James Ivory — Call Me by Your Name
Could win: Dee Rees, Virgil Williams — Mudbound
Should win: James Ivory — Call Me by Your Name
Should’ve been nominated: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves — War for the Planet of the Apes


Featured image via Sony Pictures Classics.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature

The back to back snubs of the two LEGO movies in this category is absolutely bizarre and intensely infuriating. The Boss Baby over The LEGO Batman Movie? Give me a break.

The anger may be worthless, though, as nothing was ever going to compete with Coco. The Pixar film has unsurprisingly racked up precursor awards and is one of the surest bets of the night — which makes it even more interesting considering that I would put both The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent above it.

The Nominees
Loving Vincent
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner

Will win: Coco
Could win: Nothing other than Coco
Should win: The Breadwinner
Should’ve been nominated: The LEGO Batman Movie


Featured image via Pixar.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Production Design

This race is a bit close. The Art Directors Guild gave their fantasy award to Blade Runner 2049 and their period award to The Shape of Water.

However, The Shape of Water also won the BAFTA award, pushing it over Blade Runner 2049 ever so slightly. While the Denis Villeneuve film may be a bit more deserving, its design astoundingly stunning, The Shape of Water would seemingly take some craft award somewhere beyond music when considering Guillermo del Toro’s massive lead in Best Director, and production design is the most likely and perhaps most obvious place to award it.

The Nominees
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola — Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer — Darkest Hour
Paul D. Austerberry, Jeff Melvin, Shane Vieau — The Shape of Water
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis — Dunkirk
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer — Beauty and the Beast

Will win: Paul D. Austerberry — The Shape of Water
Could win: Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola — Blade Runner 2049
Should win: Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola — Blade Runner 2049
Should’ve been nominated: Rick Heinrichs, Richard Roberts — Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Featured image via Fox Searchlight Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography

All signs point to Roger Deakins winning his first Oscar for Blade Runner 2049, after a staggering 14 nominations.

Deakins won the BAFTA and the American Society of Cinematographers award this year, and the combination of those two precursors gives him a pretty significant lead.

Deakins is clearly the pick to make, but it’s difficult to completely rule out Hoyte van Hoytema for Dunkirk or Dan Laustsen for The Shape of WaterDunkirk is a craft heavyweight and the visuals, especially for those who had the pleasure of seeing it in 70mm, IMAX or IMAX 70mm, are absolutely stunning. Those technical aspects could be a benefit for it in this category. And Dan Laustsen could potentially ride the widespread adoration for The Shape of Water to a win.

But again, all signs point to Deakins. On another note, shifting out either Laustsen or Delbonnel for Hostiles‘ Masanobu Takayanagi would’ve greatly improved this crop.

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

Will win: Roger Deakins — Blade Runner 2049
Could win: Hoyte van Hoytema — Dunkirk
Should win: Hoyte van Hoytema — Dunkirk
Should’ve been nominated: Masanobu Takayanagi — Hostiles


Featured image via Warner Bros.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Costume Design

The simple fact that Phantom Thread is about fashion and the lead character is a dress designer whose work is shown off in the film positioned it as the frontrunner before any awards were handed out.

And we’re still sticking with it. It won the BAFTA award for Best Costume Design and, well, it’s about fashion — not to mention, Bridges has won this award recently, for The Artist.

But this race became a bit tricky when Phantom Thread lost the Costume Designers Guild award to The Shape of Water, which was a bit surprising, especially because The Shape of Water doesn’t necessarily stand out as a “costume” kind of movie, at least enough to win. It could, though, steal the award.

I’m going to stick with Phantom Thread though. The Shape of Water feels like a guild-specific win, whereas Phantom Thread feels like a film that the Academy would award.

The Nominees
Mark Bridges — Phantom Thread
Jacqueline Durran — Beauty and the Beast
Consolata Boyle — Victoria and Abdul
Luis Sequeira — The Shape of Water
Jacqueline Durran — Darkest Hour

Will win: Mark Bridges — Phantom Thread
Could win: Luis Sequeira — The Shape of Water
Should win: Mark Bridges — Phantom Thread
Should’ve been nominated: Jennifer Johnson — I, Tonya


Featured image via Focus Features.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Film Editing

There are two major precursors for the Best Film Editing category: the American Cinema Editors (their awards titled the Eddies) and the BAFTA.

The BAFTA went to Baby Driver, which has created the potential for a true spoiler here. Dunkirk came in as the frontrunner and is still considered the frontrunner by many. But considering the fact that BAFTA predicted a few recent film editing spoilers such as Whiplash and Hacksaw Ridge, and the acclaim of Baby Driver‘s film editing, it could certainly steal the award.

The American Cinema Editors awarded their Eddies to I, Tonya in the comedy category and to Dunkirk in the drama category. The comedy Eddie doesn’t usually translate to the Oscar. And while the BAFTA may seem more prestigious, the drama Eddie does, in fact, line up more with the Oscar, which is part of the reason why I’m going to stick with Dunkirk.

As seen last year with Hacksaw Ridge, intense war films can certainly perform well in this category, and Dunkirk does have its fair share of visceral sequences. But the film also has the non-linear structure going for it as well and it could’ve also received even more of a push considering the snub of Lee Smith for Inception.

The Nominees
Lee Smith — Dunkirk
Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss — Baby Driver
Tatiana S. Riegel — I, Tonya
Sidney Wolinsky — The Shape of Water
Jon Gregory — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will win: Lee Smith — Dunkirk
Could win: Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss — Baby Driver
Should win: Lee Smith — Dunkirk
Should’ve been nominated: Joe Walker — Blade Runner 2049


Featured image via Warner Bros.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Makeup & Hairstyling

There’s not much to say here. Darkest Hour was the frontrunner before it came out. Darkest Hour was the frontrunner when it came out. Darkest Hour has been the frontrunner throughout the awards season, throughout the precursors. Darkest Hour will win.

If anything were to possibly spoil it, it would be Wonder. But with the talk around this specific aspect of the film, guild and BAFTA wins and the connecting power of Gary Oldman in the Best Lead Actor category, this is the closest thing to a lock.

And while it wouldn’t have competed, a nomination for Logan was certainly in order, and could’ve made this category a bit more interesting.

The Nominees
David Malinkowski, Lucy Sibbick, Kazuhiro Tsuji — Darkest Hour
Arjen Tuiten — Wonder
Daniel Phillips, Lou Sheppard — Victoria and Abdul

Will win: Darkest Hour
Could win: Wonder
Should win: Darkest Hour
Should’ve been nominated: Logan


Featured image via Focus Features.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Sound Mixing

Whereas sound editing is the creation of sounds, sound mixing is the combination of all of those sounds to create an atmosphere. Sound editing creates the sound of a gunshot bursting through the side of a ship. Sound mixing mixes together the tens of gunshots going off at once while voices scream and water rushes in.

As mentioned in the Best Sound Editing write-up, the BAFTA award for Best Sound often lines up more with the Best Sound Mixing category than it does the Best Sound Editing category. Slumdog MillionaireLes Miserables and Whiplash are all examples. While it’s not a perfect parallel, it is reliable, and Dunkirk‘s win should line it up to take home this award at the Oscars.

In addition, Christopher Nolan’s war epic won the Cinema Audio Society award, giving it two precursors. And, as shown by Hacksaw Ridge last year, a war film with intense and brutal sound design could do well in this category.

It’s not without reason to suspect a possible upset by Baby Driver. The film’s mix is its biggest sound asset, the tequila shootout coming to mind as an example of mixing brilliance. Edgar Wright’s film is rather popular and if it turns out stronger than anticipated, it take this award from Dunkirk.

Finally, Blade Runner 2049 is also not out of competition. There can be a lot of crossover between the sound categories and how voters judge/vote on them, and 2049‘s constant presence and sound editing wins make it a stealth contender here.

The Nominees
Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten — Dunkirk
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, Stuart Wilson — Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, Mac Ruth — Blade Runner 2049
Tim Cavagin, Julian Slater, Mary H. Ellis — Baby Driver
Christian Cooke, Glen Gauthier, Brad Zoern — The Shape of Water

Will win: Dunkirk
Could win: Baby Driver
Should win: Dunkirk
Should’ve been nominated: The Lost City of Z


Featured image via Warner Bros.

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