After an awards season that seems to get longer every year, the time has finally arrived for the Oscars 2018. With the Time’s Up campaign set to dominate the red carpet and politics set to dominate the acceptance speeches, it’s set to be a more resonant and weighty ceremony than usual, as long as Jimmy Kimmel can stop himself from simply relying on gags about last year’s envelope mishap. The headline battle is between Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water for Best Picture, which is more or less a 50-50 bet at this stage, with most of the acting awards already locked in.
The Oscars 2018 will be handed out tonight at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and we’ll be covering the ceremony live right here on The Popcorn Muncher, putting up with whatever random TV personalities Sky Cinema has decided to hire as pundits.
Meanwhile, here are the predictions…
Nominees: 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
It’s difficult to remember a Best Picture race as competitive as this year’s compelling two-horse race. Even last year’s battle looked like a solid win for La La Land until the proverbial poop hit the fan. As I explain in the video above, even the usual maths is no help in predicting this one, which is absolutely going to go down to the wire, with precursor prizes pretty much evenly split between the two major contenders. It’s a case of a coin flip, but I’m giving the edge to Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – with no confidence whatsoever.
Nominees: Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Guillermo del Toro has had his name etched on the Academy Award for Best Director for weeks now, ever since the Directors Guild of America handed their top prize to him. The DGA has only failed to mirror the Oscars on seven occasions in well over half a decade, so we can pretty much call this one a dead cert, as much as it would be brilliant if Jordan Peele were to win for Get Out.
Nominees: 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’s utterly mad that Gary Oldman has emerged as the insurmountable favourite for this award, given the early dominance of Timothée Chalamet and the usually reliable love for Daniel Day-Lewis. He’s almost certainly going to win now and, along with its inevitable make-up win, this points to a fantastic night for Darkest Hour, despite the fact it is by far the weakest movie in the running for any of the major awards.
Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: 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)
Despite what looked like a potentially chance-skewering backlash, this has proven to be Sam Rockwell‘s category throughout awards season. The lack of love for The Florida Project has seen Willem Dafoe go off the boil, so this is looking like it’s there for Rockwell to lose. If the Academy is going to throw a curveball all night, it will be in this category with Christopher Plummer, but the smart money is on Sam Rockwell.
Nominees: 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)
The Best Actress category at the Oscars 2018 is perhaps the most competitive it has ever been, but that hasn’t made it less predictable. As much as a Saoirse Ronan victory would be wonderful and would allow the rather modest Lady Bird its chance in the spotlight, there seems to be just one way this is going. Frances McDormand has hoovered up the precursor gongs and her performance as a defiant woman speaking out against the system seems to have fallen into the perfect social context for victory.
Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Mary J Blige (Mudbound), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
Just as with Best Supporting Actor, this category started awards season as something of a two-horse race, with Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf battling it out. They’re two very different takes on mother roles, in movies that focus on that specific parental relationship, with Janney’s performance the more showy and foul-mouthed. I wouldn’t rule out a Metcalf-shaped surprise, because she is excellent in Lady Bird, but this one looks like an Allison Janney win.
Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: The Big Sick, Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This category is very strong this year and, indeed, it’s what happens here that will give us the clearest signal as to what will win Best Picture. If Three Billboards is going to stand a chance at winning the big one, then it needs to win Original Screenplay, given its lack of a Best Director nomination. I think the award will go to Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards, but if it goes to The Shape of Water, then that will win Best Picture instead. If one of the other three wins, there are still question marks aplenty.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Logan, Molly’s Game, Mudbound
This one is a relatively easy one to call. The big hitters are all in the Best Original Screenplay category, which leaves the route clear for the octogenarian James Ivory to romp to victory for his work on the brilliant Call Me By Your Name. As the sole Best Picture nominee in the running, it’s the obvious winner. It’s a great movie, so it’s good to see that it will at least get some sort of recognition on the night,
Best Animated Feature
Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent
No need for the spiel here. It’s Coco, isn’t it?
Best Foreign Language Film: The Square
Best Documentary: Icarus
Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water)
Best Original Song: ‘Remember Me’ from Coco
Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk
Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Best Editing: Dunkirk
Best Cinematography: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
Best Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water
Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Best Make-up and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Best Live-Action Short: DeKalb Elementary
Best Documentary Short: Heroin(e)
Best Animated Short: Revolting Rhymes
What do you think of my Oscars 2018 predictions? Who do you think will win tonight and who deserves that recognition? Let me know in the comments section and be sure to come back for live coverage of the 90th Academy Awards, right here on The Popcorn Muncher.