Oscars 2018: Must-See Predictions For This Year’s Academy Awards

The nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning. 2017 was undoubtedly a great year for film, making this year’s categories extremely competitive. Following the 2018 Golden Globes, the “Best Picture” nominations for this year’s Academy Awards should not come as a surprise, but that does not mean it will be easy to predict who will go home with the award. Almost every film nominated for the category can be justified as the deserving picture whether the deciding factor is the story, cinematography, relevance to 2017, or just plain good filmmaking.

Oscar 2018 Viewing Details

Time: 8:00 P.M. EST
Date: Sunday, March 4
TV Channel: ABC
Location: Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, California
Host: Jimmy Kimmel

See below for a list of the nominees for the most debated categories below along with some predictions as to who might win the Oscar.

Best Picture

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

This will easily be the hardest category to predict as every film here is doing something different and equally important. But The Shape Of Water, seen by many as the current frontrunner, is the one picture in the category that speaks to the politics of the past year both in terms of marginalized identities and politicised love, the technical accomplishments of gorgeous filmmaking and cinematography at the helm of a master director, and the simplicity of engaging storytelling. And the fact that it manages to accomplish all of this with a main character who does not speak makes it even more inspiring to watch.


Best Director

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

Greta Gerwig has officially become the fifth woman nominated in the Best Director category, which is kind of a huge deal. This was Gerwig’s debut as a director as well, which adds to the accomplishment. And for those who are familiar with Gerwig as an actress, it is easy to see how much of herself and sense of humor translated onto actress Saoirse Ronan who plays the titular role. If Gerwig’s going to win, however, her main competition can be found in Guillermo del Toro and The Shape of Water, which is also currently the predicted frontrunner in the Best Picture category, and for good reason.


Best 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.

It is likely that the Academy will follow the route of the Golden Globes and go with Gary Oldman in this category. Or perhaps the pressure of Phantom Thread being Daniel Day-Lewis’ “last movie” will influence some voters, but even if he doesn’t go home with the Oscar, not enough attention will have been paid for Timothee Chalamet’s nuanced and revelational role as Elio in Call Me By Your Name. It is a major accomplishment in itself that the actor, at only 22 years old and at the very start of his career, is even nominated alongside legends like Lewis and Denzel Washington. It may be a risky prediction to say Chalamet will take the prize, but so far he’s won in practically every award ceremony aside from the Globes, so it would not be a complete shock.


Best 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

There’s no question Frances McDormand is given a powerhouse performance in Three Billboards, but will it be enough to beat out the 21-time-nominated Meryl Streep? Perhaps, but this is once again a category that is stacked with amazingly talented performers who delivered very rich and nuanced portrayals of female characters in an era of the#MeToo revolution. Can we give the award to all of them?


Best 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

In terms of predictions for this category, the fact that Three Billboards finds two actors nominated for the gold might indicate the race is between Willem Dafoe and Sam Rockwell, with Rockwell looking like the frontrunner after wins at the SAG awards and the Globes.


Best Supporting Actress

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

The race for this one is really between Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf, but if the Golden Globes are any indication (which they often are), the award will go to Janney.


Best 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

If we are talking about screenwriting chops, which in this category we are, Lady Bird is a perfect movie. Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote Frances Ha and Mistress America with partner Noah Baumbach, has up to this point been written off as a “muse” by many, but Lady Bird proves just how witty, original, and important her voice is as a writer.


Best Adapted Screenplay

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

Not much can compete with James Ivory’s masterful adaptation of Adre Aciman’s novel Call Me By Your Name. If you read the book, you know how challenging it would be to turn into a film, being that so much of the work is narrated in Elio’s head. But Ivory so wonderfully manages to communicate so much by saying so little in a film about a young man finding the words to articulate his love for another man.


Best Animated Feature

The Boss Baby — Tom McGrath, Ramsey Naito
The Breadwinner — Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
Coco — Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand — Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent — Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart

Looking at the nominees, there aren’t any that were as talked about as Pixar’s Coco, which was celebrated by critics and audiences alike and most likely to win in this category.


Best Song

“Mighty River” — Mudbound, Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson

“Mystery of Love” — Call Me By Your Name, Sufjan Stevens

“Remember Me” — Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez

“Stand Up for Something” — Marshall, Diane Warren, Lonnie R. Lynn

“This is Me” — The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

If true love does exist then please, Academy, Sufjan Stevens must-win for his beautiful, melancholy “Mystery of Love.” The choice by director Luca Guadagnino to include the well-known singer as the musical voice of the film was a smart one as his lyrics speak to the emotional subtext of the film beautifully.

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