My annual tradition.
Since Oscar season will always be my Super Bowl, I take this prediction game quite seriously. No, it’s not necessarily evaluating what’s and who’s the best (but I’ll also be giving my personal favorites though) — it’s about knowing how Oscars work. I’ve been an avid follower and spectator of the Oscars since 1999, and I just started doing the predictions game in 2008 with a 99% accuracy rate (I failed at Mark Rylance in Bridges of Spies for Best Supporting Actor a couple of years ago — but seriously, who saw that coming?). For my 10th anniversary as an Oscar buzzer, what an immense pleasure it is to share it to you here on Cinema Bravo!
Let’s break it down:
The Best Picture race is quite tricky. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has always been a solid frontrunner: won the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, Critic’s Choice — but failed to get a Best Director nod (Martin McDonagh). Very few films have won Best Picture without a Directing nod (Affleck’s Argo being the most recent). Its closest rival is The Shape of Water — Guillermo Del Toro has sweeped every directing award this year, and is most likely to win Best Director (but I’ll get to that later). The catch? It was snubbed for a SAG nomination. The last film to have won Best Picture without a SAG nomination was Braveheart in 1995. And remember last year’s La La Land? Its Best Picture train stopped when it failed to get a SAG nod, too — hence, Moonlight won. With both films having their respective disadvantages, one’s odds have to be slimmer than the other, right?
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
WILL WIN: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
COULD WIN: The Shape of Water
SHOULD WIN: Call Me By Your Name
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Baby Driver
Let’s cut to the chase: without Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) in the game, it’s quite obvious that Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water) will win this thing. I’m incredibly happy for Jordan Peele (Get Out) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) for their well-deserved nominations; I couldn’t care less about Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread) — seriously, not his best. And of course, I’m absolutely ecstatic for Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk) for finally getting his long overdue Oscar nomination after several snubs in the past (Memento, Inception, The Dark Knight, Interstellar), especially in a film where he showcased his chilly, monumental brilliance. In a nutshell, Dunkirk sums everything about Nolan’s capability as a tour de force director. I would love for him to win, but it’s Del Toro’s turn this year.
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, The Shape of Water
COULD WIN: Nobody else
SHOULD WIN: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
Here’s a category where it’s an absolute lock. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) has won the Golden Globe, the SAG, the Critic’s Choice, and the BAFTA. She will win. However, it’s hard to not look at Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) as this year’s dark horse who could possibly pull an upset (but not really) for giving one of the year’s most iconic performances — not to mention, she has won the Golden Globe – Musical/Comedy category, too. Personally, Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) gave the best female performance of the year, where she didn’t need any words to convey every emotion in her body. Margot Robbie gave the performance of her career in I, Tonya, plus won the Critic’s Choice for Best Actress Comedy. And Meryl Streep… is Meryl Streep.
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, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MIssouri
COULD WIN: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (But not really)
SHOULD WIN: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Jennifer Lawrence, mother!
I am incredibly happy for Daniel Kaluuya for getting this far, after a year when Get Out was released. It goes to show the kind of magnitude the film has given us for it to survive 12 months in everyone’s radar. Timothee Chalamet reminds me of Jennifer Lawrence’s first Oscar nomination for the small indie film Winter’s Bone about 8 years ago. He will definitely not win, but it’ll be, for sure, the first of his many nominations in the future. But, when you’ve seen Darkest Hour, it’ll make sense why Gary Oldman will win this thing. Not only he has won, literally, every single other pre-cursor award, but you’ll see how this shape-shifting actor has brought, almost literally, Winston Churchill to life. There’s nothing left to say except congratulations on your Oscar win!
Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel
WILL WIN: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
COULD WIN: None.
SHOULD WIN: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Hugh Jackman, Logan (I could easily replace Daniel Day Lewis with Jackman. That is, if it’s a perfect world).
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Locked. Allison Janney has won everything else for finally giving the performance of a lifetime. I’ve always wondered what it’s like if J.K Simmons’ Terence Fletcher in Whiplash had a female counterpart. Well, here you go. But, I would like to rave about Laurie Metcalf for her genuine, effortless, and universal performance in Lady Bird. She’s not a close second, but she’s a runner-up, for sure. Also, can I rant a little? Lesley Manvale (Phantom Thread), although a legendary actress, does not deserve that nomination at all. She did absolutely nothing in the film but be a wallflower and an unnecessary character foil. It was a nothing performance, and I could think of countless female supporting performances more deserving of that spot than her. I’m calling it: it’s the weakest acting nomination of all time.
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manvale, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
WILL WIN: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
COULD WIN: Nobody else.
SHOULD WIN: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Holly Hunter, The Big Sick; Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled; Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread; Allison Williams, Get Out
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
I’ve always thought that Sam Rockwell is one of the most criminally underrated actors of all time. I’m beyond happy that he is finally getting his moment with a performance that’s already a lock. Aside from winning every other award, he has given one of the most powerful performances by a male actor this year. I have no further arguments. He will win.
WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
COULD WIN: Nobody else.
SHOULD WIN: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE: Sebastian Stan, I, Tonya
What are your predictions?
The 90th Academy Awards will be on 4 March 2018, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.