Tag Archives: Oscar Predictions

2018 Oscar Predictions: The Shorts

All of the shorts lack precursors that could point us in much of a direction. These categories mostly come down to word of mouth, the subject matter and if there might be a studio or famous figure behind one. In addition, professional award writers, who have access to these shorts, are good sources to look to.

For documentary short, Netflix is behind Heroin(e), so with them pushing the film and the subject matter the opioid crisis, it has enough to get it there. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, a film with a hell of a title, could get there, as could Edith+Eddie. For animated short, retired NBA star Kobe Bryant is at the center of Dear Basketball and with plenty of the voting body located in Los Angeles, home of the Lakers, that could push it past Pixar’s Lou — although Pixar can win this category even when they have a film that’s just about a cute bird and not much more, so don’t discount their entry or Garden Party, which is rather popular. In live action, the subject matter is what hints toward a winner, as DeKalb Elementary is about a school shooter and the current public focus on the Douglas High School shooting gives the short film plenty of power. If anything can take the category instead, it might be The Silent Child.

Documentary Short

The Nominees
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Will win: Heroin(e)
Could win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Animated Short

The Nominees
Dear Basketball
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes
Garden Party

Will win: Dear Basketball
Could win: Lou

Live Action Short

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

Will win: DeKalb Elementary
Could win: The Silent Child


Featured image via Premium Films.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song

Best Original Song doesn’t always go to the best song. Oftentimes, it’s a popularity contest, like last year’s “City of Stars” win, and this year is no different.

The song that should be winning, Sufjan Stevens’ “Visions of Gideon,” from Call Me by Your Name, wasn’t even nominated. Out of the nominees, Stevens still has the best song with “Mystery of Love,” an endlessly moving ballad. While it won at the Guild of Music Supervisors Awards, it has next to no momentum heading into Oscar night.

Mudbound‘s Mary J. Blige double dipped at this Oscars, receiving nominations in Best Supporting Actress and in Best Original Song for “Mighty River.” That acting nomination could push plenty of voters to opt for her in Original Song.

Perhaps the second best song, Coco‘s “Remember Me,” a culturally infused, heartbreaking song that’s integral to the plot of the film, is a definite contender, as it comes from a Pixar film and plays during a point of the film that makes nearly everyone cry.

The La La Land songwriting team, massive marketing in itself, worked on The Greatest Showman, and the number “This Is Me” has certainly been the talking point of the season as it champions diversity and is almost frustratingly catchy. The song won at the Golden Globes, and was a theme at the Winter Olympics. It’s not a lock, but it’s the most obvious choice to make and, as “City of Stars” showed last year, that could easily be the right choice.

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

Will win: “This Is Me,” Benj Hasek, Justin Paul — The Greatest Showman
Could win: “Remember Me,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez — Coco
Should win: “Mystery of Love,” Sufjan Stevens — Call Me by Your Name
Should’ve been nominated: “Visions of Gideon,” Sufjan Stevens — Call Me by Your Name


Featured image via Twentieth Century Fox.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture

This has been the most difficult to predict Best Picture race in recent memory. On Oscar day, as many as five films could have a legitimate shot at winning. Those are: The Shape of WaterThree Billboards outside Ebbing, MissouriGet OutDunkirk and Lady Bird.

To be upfront about it, I’m predicting Get Out. I came to my prediction two months ago for very specific reasons, and while nothing has made me completely confident in it, nothing has derailed my reasoning.

The obvious choice would The Shape of Water. It has 13 nominations. It’s going to win multiple awards. It’s going to win Best Director. It won the PGA award. That seems like it would be enough to overcome the lack of a SAG ensemble nomination.

But that’s what we said about La La Land last year, and The Shape of Water certainly has far less hype going into Oscar day than La La Land did.

The next obvious choice would be Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. It not only received a SAG ensemble nomination, but it won. It won the BAFTA award for Best Picture. It received PGA and DGA nominations. That seems like it would be enough to overcome the lack of a Best Director nomination.

But, when Ben Affleck was passed over for a Best Director nomination, he still won the DGA award and Argo still won the PGA award. And as we know from Hidden FiguresAmerican Hustle and The Help, a SAG ensemble win doesn’t mean a Best Picture win. Three Billboards also falls into a La La Land-esque situation in regard to backlash; there has been plenty of press intensely critiquing the film’s racial politics.

At first, Lady Bird seemed like the preferential ballot friendly film that could sneak its way to a win. But it needed something throughout the awards season, and it didn’t really get anything.

That’s what brings me to Get Out. The last two Best Picture winners have been at least partially unexpected. Most people were predicting The Revenant two years ago — and if not The Revenant, many were predicting The Big Short due to its PGA win — and most people were predicting La La Land last year. So I looked at where Spotlight and Moonlight succeeded, at places that may have hinted at their potential win. At first, it seems like Spotlight‘s indicator might have been the SAG ensemble win. But like I said before, Hidden FiguresAmerican Hustle and The Help all won that award without winning Best Picture. After further deduction, it came down, in my opinion, to the Best Original Screenplay WGA award (in addition to having some of the big prerequisites). Both Spotlight and Moonlight won that award, and then moved on to win their screenplay awards at the Oscars (Moonlight was nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars). Get Out‘s WGA win could be bigger than most people think it is.

Why I say “could” is because Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri was ineligible for the award. Had it been eligible and Get Out still won, things might be more clear. It wasn’t, though, so this angle is not entirely bullet proof.

But because I’m predicting Get Out in Best Original Screenplay, I believe that the film will also win Best Picture. In only five of the last 20 years has a film won Best Picture without winning a screenplay award and in each of those five years, the film that won Best Picture still had a Best Director nomination, with those directors winning three out of the five times. That suggests to me that if Martin McDonagh loses Best Original Screenplay, there is no chance that Three Billboards wins Best Picture without that Best Director nomination and without any of the guild wins that Argo had.

Some of the troubles Get Out runs into is its lack of below-the-line nominations, specifically a film editing nomination. Not since 1980 has a film won Best Picture without any below-the-line nominations. Get Out also only has four Oscar nominations, and a film hasn’t won Best Picture with that few in 84 years.

The reason why details like that don’t scare me this year is because each of the top five contenders will break or impact a stat/detail like that. Dunkirk doesn’t have any acting nominations or a screenplay nomination, and it’s been 85 years since a film won Best Picture in the same scenario. The Shape of Water, as said before, lacks a SAG ensemble nomination, and it’s been 22 years since a film won Best Picture in the same scenario. Lady Bird has five nominations, but it also lacks below-the-line nominations, and, as said before, it’s been 37 years since a film won Best Picture in the same scenario. As stated already, Three Billboards lacks a Best Director nomination, and before the Argo situation five years ago, a film hadn’t won Best Picture in the same scenario since 1989.

One of these stats is going to break or be impacted significantly. It’s just a matter of which one it’ll be. And because it is guaranteed that one will be broken/impacted, we also have to look at factors outside of stats, at the cultural feeling and the cultural moment. Black Panther released in February and the hype surrounding it occurred at the same time that Oscar voting did. The film features Daniel Kaluuya and engages in racism like Get Out does. And as Black Panther becomes its own cultural phenomenon, Get Out, a year after its release has solidified itself as a cultural landmark.

The helpful thing is, however, that Get Out, in fact, does have support from below-the-line branches.

Get Out received an American Cinema Editors nomination, a guild equivalent of the Best Film Editing category. So while it may not have received an Oscar nomination, there is support there. It also received nominations from the Art Directors Guild and the Costume Designers Guild (the contemporary category of each often doesn’t translate to Oscar nominations, but they are still evidence of support), and it won the Publicists Guild award (Public Relations is a branch of the Academy). There is support across the board. And with an acting nomination, a Best Director nomination, a SAG ensemble nomination and not only a screenplay nomination, but a potential screenplay win, Get Out is looking pretty good.

What’ll throw this angle off drastically is if Three Billboards wins Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars, which is definitely possible. But if Get Out wins, look out for the final award of the night.

The Nominees
Lady Bird
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Get Out
The Shape of Water

The Post
Call Me by Your Name
Phantom Thread
Darkest Hour

Will win: Get Out
Could win: The Shape of Water
Should win: Get Out
Should’ve been nominated: Mudbound


Featured image via Universal Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Lead Actor

It seemed as though Gary Oldman was going to win Best Lead Actor for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour all the way back when the first photo of him in full makeup released. And as the film released at festivals, nearly every critic suggested that it was his time.

Then, Timothée Chalamet and Call Me by Your Name came. Chalamet picked up nearly every single critic group award. But as the industry awards started coming, the momentum shifted back to Oldman, with him winning the BAFTA award and the SAG award. And with him also winning the Critics’ Choice award and the Golden Globe, it’s difficult to choose anyone other than him.

Chalamet did win a Best Lead Actor award as recent as last night at the Indie Spirit awards. And it’s terribly sad that that might be where it stops for him. His performance is clearly the best of the bunch.

Oldman might’ve had a more serious contender had Christian Bale been nominated for Hostiles, as age bias couldn’t play a role there. Had Hostiles been acquired by a better distributor sooner, Bale would’ve put up a fight.

The Nominees
Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour
Daniel Day-Lewis — Phantom Thread
Timothée Chalamet — Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out
Denzel Washington — Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Will win: Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour
Could win: Timothée Chalamet — Call Me by Your Name
Should win: Timothée Chalamet — Call Me by Your Name
Should’ve been nominated: Christian Bale — Hostiles


Featured image via Focus Features.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Lead Actress

Sigh. These acting categories have become so boring. Best Lead Actress, in particular, could’ve been really, really interesting. As the awards season started, it seemed as though any of these five outstanding performances could’ve picked up awards. But then, Frances McDormand swept the precursors. It’s disappointing, as her performance is the most explicit and, thus, least fruitful. Out of all of the races, it’s difficult to be as frustrated here because McDormand is such an awesome figure. But again, things could’ve been more interesting.

The beloved Sally Hawkins might have an outside shot to spoil, as might Saoirse Ronan and even Margot Robbie (see? the fact that all of these feel as though they have outside shots shows how strong this category is). However, the right bet is the safe one.

The Nominees
Frances McDormand — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saoirse Ronan — Lady Bird
Sally Hawkins — The Shape of Water
Meryl Streep — The Post
Margot Robbie — I, Tonya

Will win: Frances McDormand — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Could win: Sally Hawkins — The Shape of Water
Should win: Margot Robbie — I, Tonya
Should’ve been nominated: Jessica Chastain — Molly’s Game


Featured image via Fox Searchlight Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

Like Best Supporting Actress, the Best Supporting Actor category has, in industry awards, differed from the critics. Willem Dafoe was an overwhelming critic favorite. But Sam Rockwell has swept the precursors like Allison Janney has, winning the Golden Globe, the Indie Spirit award, the Critics’ Choice award, the BAFTA award and the SAG award.

Plenty of people in the industry adore Willem Dafoe, but he needed some kind of bump to hang on here.

The Nominees
Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project
Sam Rockwell — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins — The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer — All the Money in the World
Woody Harrelson — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will win: Sam Rockwell — Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Could win: Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project
Should win: Willem Dafoe — The Florida Project
Should’ve been nominated: Jason Mitchell — Mudbound


Featured image via Fox Searchlight Pictures.

2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

What a disappointing result in this category. It may not be official, but it might as well be. I, Tonya‘s Allison Janney won the Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice award, the Indie Spirit award, the SAG award and the BAFTA award.

While there’s still hope that Laurie Metcalf might garner just enough love from the entire Academy — never say never — one would think that Metcalf would take at least one or two of those. And though Metcalf may be beloved, so is Janney, and Janney has apparently been schmoozing at parties and such during the awards season — a key part of campaigning.

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

Will win: Allison Janney — I, Tonya
Could win: Laurie Metcalf — Lady Bird
Should win: Laurie Metcalf — Lady Bird
Should’ve been nominated: Tatiana Maslany — Stronger


Featured image via Neon.

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