Jo’s 2018 Oscar Predictions

Written by Jo Craig

2017 has been a great year for film, especially in the visual effects department. Features like ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2’, ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ and ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ left our eyeballs with third degree burns, but we regretted nothing. It was also a year where emotions ran high after watching releases like ‘Logan’, ‘Only the Brave’ and ‘IT’ for viewers with a pathetic fear of clowns. But 2018 is an awards season full of outstanding female performances from the likes of Allison Janney, Margot Robbie and front-runner Frances McDormand, as well as Gary Oldman in full form and Timothée Chalamet pegged as the next rising star.

So, before the music begins to drown me out, have a gander at my predictions below.

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

Prediction: The Shape of Water
Personal Choice: Get Out

”Three Billboards’ have dominated in this category during awards season so far, but my gut feeling is anticipating an Oscar’s curveball to award Best Picture 2018 to ‘The Shape of Water’. The dark horse has won the race before and I think the Academy will not be able to resist del Toro’s sixties charm. However, ‘Three Billboards’ could sneak in ahead if the Academy continues to back the female supremacy trend which is the only reason that explains ‘Lady Bird’s entry. Personally, I would love to see ‘Get Out’ be awarded purely for its originality and brilliant play on the black comedy aspect (no pun intended) in a horror, but sadly, we don’t live in a perfect world.

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
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.

Prediction: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Personal Choice: Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name

I don’t think there’s a doubt in anyone’s mind that Gary Oldman won’t collect for Best Actor, as his performance imitating Winston Churchill was near perfect and is truly deserved. While I back Oldman to the hilt, Timothée Chalamet has had a great start to 2018 with appearances in ‘Hostiles’, ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘CMBYN’ that he is nominated for. Being a relatively new fan of his suave, I would also be happy to see the youngster applauded.

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
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

Prediction: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Personal Choice: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

There is no conflict between my prediction and personal choice in this category as my hero (to be gender neutral), Frances McDormand, is clearly the front-runner for her slick and devilishly sarcastic role of a grieving mother in ‘Three Billboards’. Her performance gave a lot of laughs and quiet tears that only added to the already awesome lady she is.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
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

Prediction: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Personal Choice: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

‘Three Billboards’ have given us two outstanding performances for this awards season and Sam Rockwell really brings the big guns as a troubled cop. His role as Sheriff Dixon is not only a dynamic character, but one with a great arc as well and Rockwell captures him to a tee. Need to give a shout out to Woody Harrelson for being solid as per and also a huge honourable mention to Christopher Plummer for stepping into Ridley Scott’s movie ‘All the Money in the World’ for a whirlwind of rapid re-shoots in such a short space of time. Grand job gents.

ACTRESS IN SUPPORTING ROLE:
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Personal Choice: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Allison Janney gave me a couple of laugh out loud moments from her portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother in ‘I, Tonya’. While her character is brutal at points, I’ve always been a fan of her direct humour and is not in short supply during this feature. While my second choice would be Mary J. Blige’s performances in Netflix’s ‘Mudbound’, I’m having a hard time understanding why Octavia Spencer is nominated for the highest of awards for a terribly bland and forgettable performance in ‘The Shape of Water’.

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ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Prediction: Coco
Personal Choice: Loving Vincent

In a category that seemed to be scrambling for nominees this year, enough to add ‘The Boss Baby’ to the line-up, ‘Coco’ seems to be the animation that’s coming out on top and quite rightly so for its visuals, music and heartfelt messages. Purely for the amount of work that was done to create ‘Loving Vincent’, I would like to see it praised for its intricacy and British acting talent.

CINEMATOGRAPHY: 
Roger A. Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel – Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema – Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison – Mudbounnd
Dan Laustsen – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Roger A. Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
Personal Choice: Roger A. Deakins – Blade Runner 2049

The return of Ridley Scott’s concept ‘Blade Runner’ was a heavily anticipated release, and for most, it did not disappoint especially on the visual side. Therefore, it is only right that the intense colours of a futuristic world and the richness of every shot should be awarded for Best Cinematography to Roger A. Deakins’ sophisticated work. This category also features the first ever nomination for a woman, and that woman is Rachel Morrison up for her cinematography in Netflix’s ‘Mudbound’.

COSTUME DESIGN:
Jacqueline Durran – Beauty and the Beast
Jacqueline Durran – Darkest Hour
Mark Bridges – Phantom Thread
Luis Sequeira – The Shape of Water
Consolata Boyle – Victoria & Abdul

Prediction: Mark Bridges – Phantom Thread
Personal Choice: Jacqueline Durran – Beauty and the Beast

‘Phantom Thread’ boasts the makings of lavish dresses and a win for Mark Bridges would be well deserved for his elegant creations, but my inner nostalgia and general love for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ causes my personal choice to be heavily biased. Looking at the amount of work that went into each costume for BATB and how authentic and glamorous it makes the whole production look is a fine achievement for double nominee Jacqueline Durran.

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

Prediction: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Personal Choice: Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

A valid entry from fairy-tale legend Guillermo del Toro — even if it wasn’t my cup of tea — and well deserved Best Director award if the pattern extends to the final hurdle. As my favourite skipper, I have to give my personal choice to Christopher Nolan, for a film I enjoyed a lot more and for his ingenuity and intricate attention to detail in telling a powerful story with his own added quirks.

FILM EDITING:
Lee Smith – Dunkirk
Tatiana S. Riegel – I, Tonya
Jon Gregory – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Paul Machliss & Jonathan Armos – Baby Driver
Sidney Wolinsky – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Lee Smith – Dunkirk
Personal Choice: Lee Smith – Dunkirk

I did have an underlying feeling that fan favourite ‘Baby Driver’ would be geared up for the winning commending those swift car chases, but the complexity of matching up every component in Christopher Nolan’s war epic was already a challenge from its inception and has delivered a captivating feature.

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MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
Arjen Tuiten – Wonder
Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski & Lucy Sibbick – Darkest Hour
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard – Victoria and Abdul

Prediction: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick – Darkest Hour
Personal Choice: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick – Darkest Hour

As much as I would like everything that Jacob Tremblay touches to win, the makeup, prosthetics and I suppose hair styling for ‘Darkest Hour’ — specifically Gary Oldman’s transformation — is such a stunning achievement it couldn’t possibly be overlooked. ‘Victoria & Abdul’ only being nominated for makeup and costume design is so typical for the Oscars it makes me sick.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE):
Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk
Carter Burwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water
Personal Choice: John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

I do grasp how lovely and gentle Alexandre Desplat’s score was for ‘The Shape of Water’ and will most definitely win the Oscar for Best Score, but it certainly didn’t ignite the spark that lit the burning fire that every Star Wars fan recognises when John Williams’ iconic theme kicks in, and I would love to see a reprise of acknowledgment for him. Even the introduction of Rey’s Theme from ‘The Force Awakens’ that carries on in Episode 8 is an underrated gem.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG):
“Mighty River” – Mudbound
“Mystery Of Love” – Call Me by Your Name
“This Is Me” – The Greatest Showman
“Stand Up For Something” – Marshall
“Remember Me” – Coco

Prediction: “Remember Me” – Coco
Personal Choice: “This Is Me” – The Greatest Showman

Being a huge fan of the music from ‘The Greatest Showman’, I would love to see the Oscars follow the Golden Globes and award Best Original Song to “This Is Me” that will fill you with joy during every listen unless you’re dead already, but I’m confident the touching ‘Coco’ is going to trump poor Hugh Jackman’s brain child.

PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer – Beauty and the Beast
Dennis Gassner and Alessandra Querzola – Blade Runner 2049
Nathan Corwley and Gary Fettis – Dunkirk
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer – Darkest Hour
Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jess Melvin – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Paul D Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jess Melvin – The Shape of Water
Personal Choice: Dennis Gassnner and Alessandra Querzola – Blade Runner 2049

The scale of sets on ‘Blade Runner 2049’ should guarantee the golden man be handed to Mr. Austerberry and co. but I’m willing to bet the Academy will lean towards ‘The Shape of Water’s authentic artistry and reconstruction of a quaint sixties setting over grand scale, which is a shame really.

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SOUND EDITING:
Mark Mangini and Theo Green – Blade Runner 2049
Richard King and Alex Gibson – Dunkirk
Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Julian Slater – Baby Driver
Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Richard King and Alex Gibson – Dunkirk
Personal Choice: Richard King and Alex Gibson – Dunkirk

Yet another category that could have seen ‘Baby Driver’ come out winning, but let’s be honest, very few can match the electric sound of a Christopher Nolan film, especially when you’ve got Hans Zimmer rumbling in the background too.

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

Prediction: Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Mark Weingarten – Dunkirk
Personal Choice: Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Mark Weingarten – Dunkirk

Beginning to think ‘Baby Driver’ will be completely snubbed and not win any sound categories, long live ‘Dunkirk’!

VISUAL EFFECTS:
John Nelson, gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover – Blade Runner 2049
Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist – War for the Planet of the Apes
Ben Morris, Mike Mullholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus – Kong: Skull Island
Chris Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick – Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2

Prediction: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lamberta and Richard R. Hoover – Blade Runner 2049
Personal Choice: Ben Morris, Mike Mullholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Agreeably, the team behind the visuals for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ are in dire need of a pat on the back and a golden man for a stunning display of effects, however my personal choice lies with ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ where a busy opening battle sequence and a conclusive 40 minutes of pure visual euphoria, in my opinion, needs recognition. I would also have preferred to see Andy Serkis in the Best Actor category for essentially bringing Caesar to life in ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ and the entire Apes trilogy. Give that man a medal already!

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY):
Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees – Mudbound
James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green – Logan

Prediction: James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name
Personal Choice: Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green – Logan

Having not read the book, but hearing from many sources that it was adapted brilliantly and is currently the bookies favourite, ‘Call Me by Your Name’ should scoop up the glory for Best Adapted Screenplay for a wonderfully adapted story. Every molecule of my existence is dead set on backing ‘Logan’ to the end, for James Mangold’s original take on a superhero character that won everybody’s hearts and is my personal choice. I would also like to give an honourable mention to Aaron Sorkin for a fabulous, fast-paced adapted screenplay for ‘Molly’s Game’, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY):
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water

Prediction: Jordan Peele – Get Out
Personal Choice: Jordan Peele – Get Out

Through and through, Jordan Peele deserves a shiny statue for his originality and it would be great to see a wonderful and modern comedian get recognised for his talents and for creating the “Get Out Run”.

 

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