It’s that time again. The 90th annual Academy Awards are upon us, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see most of the nominated films.I have picked the films I think will win along with the ones I think should win.
Here are the nominations with my thoughts and my predictions:
Phantom Thread was my favorite film of 2017 and I think it should be the winner. I think that the voters are likely going to be split between several great options this season, and The Shape of Water is likely going to come out the winner. I’m okay with that choice, since it’s also an excellent movie.
- And the Oscar goes to: This is such a tough category most years, and 2017 gave us a lot of great options. The Shape of Water was a great movie, and I’m glad to see one of my favorites win the big one this year.
Gary Oldman should finally take home an Oscar this year. His performance was incredible, and I think the voters will see this as a way to honor a great career.
- And the winner is: Gary Oldman made Darkest Hour one of my favorites of 2017. I’m so happy to see his talent recognized.
With the exception of Meryl Streep, I think any of the nominees would be deserving of a win this year. I think that Sally Hawkins had the most challenging role given to any of the nominees this year. Her performance is solid, and she deserves to be recognized. The voters, however, seem likely to give Frances McDormand the win for another great performance.
- And the winner is: Frances McDormand is a great actor, and her performance was great. even the weakness of the script couldn’t hold her back.
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 – Should and will win.
This is a pretty interesting and somewhat difficult category to pick this year. While I haven’t had a chance to see The Florida Project, I hear nothing but great things about Dafoe’s performance. With the buzz that The Shape of Water has received, I think Sam Rockwell takes this one home. He’s my pick as well.
- And the winner is: Just as I predicted and hoped, Sam Rockwell got the win. While I didn’t love the movie, his performance was clearly deserving.
I can’t imagine anyone winning except Allison Janney. Her performance is great, and I think that the voters will agree. While most of the nominees would be deserving of a win, I think that Blige should not be on the list this year.
- And the winner is: Allison Janney! I couldn’t be more happy about an award this year. She’s a talented actress who finally got some recognition.
This is one of the tough choices voters were faced with this year. I think that this one is probably going home with Guillermo del Toro for his work on The Shape of Water. I would’ve chosen Paul Thomas Anderson, but I think that’s unlikely. The only upset I see happening here would be a win for Jordan Peele.
- And the winner is: It’s about time that Guillermo del Toro took home an Oscar. This is a great win for a wonderful film.
The Boss Baby, Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
The Breadwinner, Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
Coco, Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson – Will win.
Ferdinand, Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart – Should win.
I think this category might seem like an easy pick for most people. Coco was a commercial success and critically acclaimed. I think it’s the clear favorite heading into the Oscars. The only film I see with an outside chance to play the spoiler is Loving Vincent. I loved the work done on that ambitious and unique animated film.
- And the winner is: Coco is a wonderful film, and I can’t say that it wasn’t deserving.
Dear Basketball, Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant – Will win.
Garden Party, Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
Lou, Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
Negative Space, Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata – Should win.
Revolting Rhymes, Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer
I have seen three of the five nominated shorts in this category, and they’re all very very good. I can see the vote going to Dear Basketball with its connection to Kobe Bryant. I would prefer to see Negative Space take home the win.
- And the winner is: Just as I expected… Now we’re stuck with the “Kobe Bryant, Oscar winner…” for the rest of our lives.
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory – Should and will win.
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
I really enjoyed several of the nominated films in this category. I think that the likely winner is Call Me By Your Name. That film would also be my pick, although I’d love to see The Disaster Artist win.
- And the winner is: Call Me By Your Name might not have been my favorite movie, but I love the work that James Ivory has done throughout his career. This is a great win for a talented man.
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 – Should and will win.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh
This is one of the most diverse collection of films in any category. Within the list of nominations are a romantic comedy, a horror film, a coming-of-age drama, a black comedy, and a science-fiction fantasy film. I believe that the voters are going to give this one to The Shape of Water. That would be my pick as well, although I’d be happy to see The Big Sick upset this one.
- And the winner is: It’s nice to see a horror movie like Get Out win. I just don’t think it was the best of the nominated films this year.
Can we please see Roger Deakins win an Oscar?! That isn’t just because of his incredible body of work; Blade Runner 2049 is stunningly shot. I can’t imagine this one going to anyone else this year. I think that the voters will agree.
- And the winner is: I’m so happy to see Deakins take this one home for Blade Runner 2049.
Best Documentary Feature:
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Edith+Eddie, Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Frank Stiefel
Heroin(e), Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon – Should and will win.
Knife Skills, Thomas Lennon
Traffic Stop, Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
I think that there is no better choice than Heroin(e) in this category. Based on the subject and the execution, I think the voters will agree.
- And the winner is: I did not see this one going to Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405. I think it’s a bit of an upset given the broader socially important subject matter of several of the other nominees.
Best Live Action Short Film:
DeKalb Elementary, Reed Van Dyk – Will win.
The Eleven O’Clock, Derin Seale, Josh Lawson – Should win.
My Nephew Emmett, Kevin Wilson, Jr.
The Silent Child, Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
Watu Wote/All of Us, Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen
I didn’t get a chance to see any of the nominees in this category. I’ll rely on the good work by Ernie Trinidad with this one.
- And the winner is: It seems that The Silent Child must have impressed the many members of the academy. I didn’t get to see any of these shorts, but I hope to catch up eventually.
A Fantastic Woman (Chile) – Should win.
The Insult (Lebanon)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden) – Will win.
As with the last category, I didn’t get a chance to see any of these nominees. I’ll rely on Ernie Trinidad with this one, too.
- And the winner is: A Fantastic Woman. Not the movie my reliable source expected to win, but from all accounts it’s very deserving.
Baby Driver, Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss – Should win.
Dunkirk, Lee Smith – Will win.
I, Tonya, Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water, Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Jon Gregory
There are a couple interesting options for voters in the mix here. All of the nominated movies are deserving. I think this one should go to Baby Driver. I think that the voters are going to give it to Dunkirk.
- And the winner is: Another great win for Dunkirk. It’s hard to argue with such a wonderfully paced and tense film.
Baby Driver, Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049, Mark Mangini, Theo Green – Should win.
Dunkirk, Alex Gibson, Richard King – Will win.
The Shape of Water, Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood
This is a tough category and the voters could make this a close race. I think it boils down to Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk. My choice would be Blade Runner, but I think that Dunkirk might take it home.
- And the winner is: Dunkirk deserved to win. It’s a technical masterpiece that’s also a beautiful movie.
Baby Driver, Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
Blade Runner 2049, Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
Dunkirk, Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo – Should and will win.
The Shape of Water, Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick
I think this category will likely be identical to the Sound Editing award choice. That leaves me pulling for Blade Runner 2049 while the voters award this one to Dunkirk.
- And the winner is: Dunkirk was the clear favorite in this category. Another great win for a seriously good movie.
Beauty and the Beast, Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
Blade Runner 2049, Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – Should win.
Darkest Hour, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Dunkirk, Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
The Shape of Water, Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau – Will win.
I think that there are a couple of possible winners here. Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner 2049, and The Shape of Water could all get my vote. I’ll stick with Blade Runner 2049. I think that the voters will send this home with Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, and Shane Vieau for their work on The Shape of Water.
- And the winner is: I expected this to go to The Shape of Water. While it wasn’t my first choice, it’s a deserving film.
Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood – Should win.
The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat – Will win.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell
My pick for this category is Phantom Thread. The score to that film stands out to me as the best work of last year. I think that the voters might disagree and send it home with Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water.
- And the winner is: The Shape of Water has an incredible score, and now an Oscar to prove it.
“Mighty River” from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez – Will win.
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall, Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul – Should win. (If they look at the film as a whole.)
I think that I would be happy to see The Greatest Showman to win, but I think they nominated the wrong song. I would expect the voters to award this to Coco.
- And the winner is: “Remember Me” is a wonderful song. I still feel that the wrong song choice cost The Greatest Showman an Oscar.
Makeup and Hair:
I think it’s safe to say that Darkest Hour will take this one, and I’m okay with that.
- And the winner is: No surprises here. Darkest Hour deserved the win.
I’m going with Phantom Thread all the way. I think it’s one of the more beautifully costumed films in a long time. I think that’s where the voters will lean as well.
- And the winner is: Phantom Thread seemed like the obvious choice.. Such a beautiful movie where the costumes play like characters in the story.