2018 Oscar Predictions

The 2017 Oscar nominations represent the start of a much needed shift in Hollywood culture. The past few years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which hands out the awards, has faced highly publicized controversy. In 2015, every single acting nominee was white, prompting the viral hashtag #OscarsSoWhite criticizing the blatantly undiverse pool. Women and people of color have historically hardly been nominated for technical roles like “Best Director” or “Best Cinematographer.”


The nominees of the next Academy awards presenting in February 2018 show a shift favoring diversity of race and gender. “Mudbound’s” Rachel Morrison became the first female cinematographer ever to be nominated for an Oscar, and its director and screenwriter Dee Rees became the second black woman to be nominated for screenwriting. “Get Out’s” Jordan Peele became the first black filmmaker ever nominated for directing, writing and producing in the same year and is only the fifth black person to be nominated for Best Director. Lady Bird’s Greta Gerwig was nominated for several awards including Best Director, for which she became only the fifth woman to be nominated in that category. Yance Ford is the now first transgender director ever to be nominated, with a nomination in the Best Documentary category for Strong Island.


Part of the reason the nominees are so much more diverse this year is because the Oscar voting pool has changed to reflect the diversity of cinema. According to a Los Angeles Times survey of the 6,028 Academy Award voters, the population was 76 percent men and 94 percent white with an average age of 63 in 2014. If this was today’s Academy pool, films that traditionally adhere to Oscar standards like 2017’s ‘The Post’ would be frontrunners for awards, rather than indie films like ‘Get Out’ and ‘Lady Bird’. Consequently, it’s hard to predict who the Academy will favor this year as the Academy rightly begins to honors all participants of film, regardless of their race, gender or sexuality.




Best Picture


Who Will Win: The Shape of Water

With a whopping 13 Oscar nominations, ‘The Shape of Water’ is obviously beloved by the Academy. Its technical feats — one of much is making a literal merman-fish-creature as one of its main characters — and powerful story of love and empathy are reminiscent of the 2009 film ‘Avatar,’ another Oscar favorite. It faces competition from ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,’ but due to backlash against the film for its portrayal of race, it may be easily trumped by ‘The Shape of Water.’


Who Should Win: Dunkirk

If the Academy’s purpose is to recognize excellence in cinematic achievements, ‘Dunkirk’ should be on top of their list for Best Picture. The film conquered many laudable tasks — shooting almost entirely in IMAX and 70mm wide format, pointedly using cinematography and sound as methods of storytelling as powerful as dialogue, and telling a war story with no gore and only one brief appearance of the enemy. ‘Dunkirk’ deserves to be recognized as the most groundbreaking movie of 2017.


The Nominees:

Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


Best Director


Who Will Win: Guillermo Del Toro

Del Toro has won just about every directing award already in the film awards season, including the Golden Globe for Best Director. His management of a creating a widely technical film while maintaining a powerful, emotional story practically guarantee he’ll go home with a trophy.


Who Should Win: Anyone else

This year’s nominees feature several worthy contenders. Christopher Nolan is due to receive recognition from the academy for his impressive, uncompromising films that challenge audiences and the art of filmmaking. Jordan Peele had an extremely impressive directorial debut with the audience favorite ‘Get Out,’ creating the first horror-satire to be nominated for Best Picture. Greta Gerwig is the fifth woman ever to get this nomination, and she deserves the recognition for her indie masterpiece, ‘Lady Bird.’  


The Nominees:

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


Best Actor in a Leading Role


Who Will Win: Gary Oldman

For his portrayal of Winston Churchill, Oldman practically won the Oscar before getting cast. He’s won several awards, including a Golden Globe, and left quite an impression on every audience member who saw his cankering, debating Churchill. However, actor Daniel Day-Lewis who starred in ‘Phantom Thread’ may snag Oldman’s spot as he is reportedly retiring from acting. The Academy may want to give him some final recognition.


Who Should Win: Timothee Chalamet

Young and relatively a newcomer, Timothee Chalamet gave an extremely compelling performance as a 17-year old boy falling in love and dealing with its baggage over a summer vacation in ‘Call Me By Your Name.’ His precocious, coming-of-age character leaves the audience crying with him after an impressive journey into a whirlwind of human emotions. It’s time the Academy recognizes actors for acting human.


The 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.


Best Actress in a Leading Role


Who Will Win: Frances McDormand

McDormand’s characteristic ferocity and intensity is at it’s best in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.’ Her performance as a mother whose daughter’s rape and murder never led to a conviction is both timely and powerful. The other frontrunners in this category, Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins, had great performances but both are overshadowed simply by how well McDormand fits in her role.


Who Should Win: Frances McDormand

This is a performance to remember.


The 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




Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Who Should Win: Willem Dafoe

Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell


The 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


Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Who Should Win: Allison Janney

Who Will Win: Allison Janney


The Nominees:

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


Best Cinematography

Who Should Win: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk

Who Will Win: Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water


The Nominees:

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


Best Original Score

Who Should Win: Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Who Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water


The Nominees:

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


Best Original Song

Who Should Win: “Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name

Who Will Win: “Remember Me,” Coco


The Nominees:

“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
“Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman


Best Adapted Screenplay

Who Should Win: Call Me by Your Name

Who Will Win: Call Me by Your Name


The Nominees:

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


Best Original Screenplay

Who Should Win: Lady Bird

Who Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri


The Nominees:

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