Oscar Predictions

Final Oscar Predictions

The 90th Academy Awards airs this Sunday at 8:00 PM Eastern Time and, surprisingly, there might actually be some intrigue in certain categories. Obviously, there won’t be a huge, shocking mix-up like the La La Land/Moonlight fiasco from last year, but a few categories that usually have a frontrunner are toss-ups right now.

So we’re going to lay out our full predictions here — including the short categories, even though we didn’t come close to watching them all — with some reasoning behind them. We’ll also include who has a shot of winning, who should actually win and, if this were a perfect world, who would have nabbed a nomination and gone home with the statue in their category.

 


BEST PICTURE

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Insha’s Picks

I mostly ignore Best Picture until some sh*t like La La Land/Moonlight happens which makes me want to watch the picture and be like HOW did you f*ck that up? I’d love to see The Shape of Water win Best Picture. Guillermo del Toro swept awards this year for Best Director, which will probably happen here. Three Billboards or Dunkirk (this would be utterly surprising) might get it, but URG, it’s such a tough call. Get Out should be recognized. It would be a surprise if it gets it but I think people are still scared of it. I love the contenders this year because you really don’t know what will happen. I think if we know the Oscars by now, they like “true” stories, WW2 and sway towards films with emotional depth. That’s a couple of these on this list.

Will Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Get Out

Should Win: The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: Get Out or The Shape of Water

 

Michael’s Picks

Best Picture might be the race with the biggest chance of impressing your friends by choosing a surprise upset. It also might be a simple win for The Shape of Water. It seems to be a two-movie race between it and Three Billboards, but the preferential balloting and strong support for movies like Get Out and Dunkirk in certain circles mean I’m not going to be totally confident until I actually hear the winner. Maybe not even then. 

Will Win: The Shape of Water

Could Win: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Should Win: Get Out

In a Perfect World: i don’t feel at home in this world anymore.

 

BEST DIRECTOR

The Shape of Water

Michael’s Picks

Guillermo del Toro has taken the prize in a lot of ceremonies this awards season, so this seems like a lock. Something tells me there will be a director/best picture split again, like last year. But I’m way more confident with this pick than The Shape of Water for best picture, so I’d lock this one in. The only real spoiler might be Christopher Nolan, but I wouldn’t bank on it.

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Could Win: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Should Win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

In a Perfect World: Sean Baker, The Florida Project

 

Insha’s Picks

I want Guillermo del Toro to win this. Fight me. I don’t think Guillermo will win Best Picture, I don’t, but I will lock down that he wins Best Director for sure. I’d also love if Jordan Peele came up and snatched this one, but del Toro is a shoo-in. He’s earned it, and it’s been a long time coming with the beautiful messages in his films. Again,  Guillermo del Toro swept awards this year for Best Director, let’s keep it going with the BIG ONE. 

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Could Win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Should Win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

BEST ACTOR

Darkest Hour

Insha’s Picks

This might sound petty, but I stopped paying attention to Best Actor a long time ago. I said this in our predictions for final nominees, but I couldn’t care less. It’s never a shortage of great men in lead or supporting actors for the Academy. Don’t get me wrong. This year has had some strong actors in films, I loved Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya, but I honestly could care less. I always love knowing Michael will add Michael Fassbender to any nomination for Alien: Covenant cause I don’t get it. 

Will Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Could Win: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Should Win: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

In a Perfect World: Sebastian Stan, I, Tonya

 

Michael’s Picks

This race was a little more competitive early on between Gary Oldman and Timothée Chalamet, but Oldman has run away with it at this point. It’s hard for the Academy to not vote for a biopic about a powerful man, apparently. Oldman has put in a lot of great performances, so this one will be easier to swallow if you consider it a lifetime achievement award.

Will Win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Could Win: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Should Win: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

In a Perfect World: Michael Fassbender, Alien: Covenant

(Insha: See… F*ckin’ told you he’d do it!!) 

BEST ACTRESS

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Michael’s Picks

Frances McDormand is a force in Three Billboards, and when she wins, it will be well-deserved. For some reason, this award seems more competitive than the other acting categories, but that may just be because I can’t nail down a second-place. Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, and Margot Robbie all feel like they’re fighting for silver.

Will Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Should Win: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

In a Perfect World: Melanie Lynskey, i don’t feel at home in this world anymore.

 

Insha’s Picks

Now THIS, this is the category everyone should keep their eyes on. We have so many strong women in this category (and supporting, but we’ll get to that). Each of them should get an award for what they’ve managed to do inside their respective films but alas… there can be only one. I agree with Michael, this category has been a very competitive one, but more because there’s so much strength this year. 

Will Win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Should Win: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Insha’s Picks

Sam Rockwell will take this one hands down. However, I would have loved to see more love for Armie, Paul, and Michael this award season. They did a damn good job in their respective movies. I WISH I could rewrite this whole category. Michael Stuhlbarg was absolutely WONDERFUL in his roles this year, but yet we shun him. Shame. SHAME. 

Will Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Should Win: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: Arnie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name, Paul Walter Hauser, I, Tonya or Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name or The Shape of Water

 

Michael’s Picks

Sam Rockwell has picked up the most awards for his performance in Three Billboards, and his BAFTA, Golden Globes and SAG wins seem to lock him in as a win. That being said, Willem Dafoe has a ton of critical support, and a backlash for Three Billboards may trickle down to the arguably most problematic character. Still, if you’re putting money on it, go for Rockwell. I also agree with Insha, Michael Stuhlbarg was the MVP of this awards season and it’s a shame he didn’t get a nod.

Will Win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Should Win: Sam Rockwell or Willem Dafoe

In a Perfect World: Jason Sudeikis, Colossal

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

I, Tonya

Michael’s Picks

It’s a two-woman race between Allison Janney for I, Tonya and Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird. Both actresses seem to be coming at it with the same amount of goodwill and equally powerful performances, so the deciding factor is previous wins. Because of that, I’m giving it to Janney.

Will Win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Could Win: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Should Win: Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

In a Perfect World: Betty Gabriel, Get Out

 

Insha’s Picks

Will Win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Could Win: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Should Win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

In a Perfect World: I’m pretty damn content with Allison Janney. 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Insha’s Picks

I loved all of the original screenplays that came out this year. Kinda shows that Hollywood still has some originality in its claws instead of turning out the same plot over and over. I think Three Billboards is going to win this one, especially if it wins Best Picture. Not saying I want it to, just saying that it very well might. HOWEVER, I want Jordan Peele to win it, and there’s a great possibility that he very well may. I feel like this category can lend itself to a La La Land/Moonlight situation. I wish other original indie movies like Colossal stood a chance. 

Will Win: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Should Win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

In a Perfect World: Nacho Vigalondo, Colossal

 

Michael’s Picks

There’s a lot of room here to give a statue to someone who won’t get it elsewhere, which means it’s totally possible for Jordan Peele to win for Get Out and be shut out everywhere else. Still, I’d bet the Academy can’t resist a more writerly screenplay and will give it to Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Will Win: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Could Win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Should Win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

In a Perfect World: S. Craig Zahler, Brawl in Cell Block 99

 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Call Me By Your Name

Michael’s Picks

This is another category which may give us a cool winner. I mean, there’s the possibility of Logan winning an Oscar, for God’s sake. I could easily see something like Mudbound or Molly’s Game taking the prize, but I think it’ll be hard to resist the only Best Picture nominee in the bunch.

Will Win: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

Could Win: Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Should Win: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

In a Perfect World: Anita Doran and Deborah Ellis, The Breadwinner

 

Insha’s Picks

Call Me By Your Name is a perfect adaptation. However, I still want Logan to win an Oscar. Not only was it the COOLEST adaptation, but they made it something completely different and changed the game for gritty, realistic superhero movies. I want to see more of that. I can see The Disaster Artist sneaking a comeback from a terrible rest of the year. 

Will Win: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

Could Win: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist

Should Win: Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green, Logan

In a Perfect World: Marc Meyers, My Friend Dahmer 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Coco

Insha’s Picks

I’m gonna be so motherf*cking pissed if The Boss Baby wins. Don’t @ me about it. That movie was utter nonsense. 

Will Win: Coco

Could Win: Coco

Should Win: The Breadwinner or Coco

In a Perfect World: The Lego Batman Movie

 

Michael’s Picks

There’s really no other option than Coco. If something like Loving Vincent or The Breadwinner upset Pixar’s film, I’d be shocked.

Will Win: Coco

Could Win: Just Coco

Should Win: The Breadwinner

In a Perfect World: The Breadwinner

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Fantastic Woman

Michael’s Picks

There were some strange snubs in these nominations — like In the Fade or BPM (Beats Per Minute) — so I’m not sure what the Academy voters will go for. I’d normally say The Square, which seems the most North American friendly, but A Fantastic Woman has a lot of awards momentum.

Will Win: A Fantastic Woman

Could Win: The Insult

Should Win: The Square

In a Perfect World: Thelma

 

Insha’s Picks

I wish they’d recognize foreign horror films cause there have been some FANTASTIC ones this year. Raw and The Lure f*cked me up something nice, and I know they did to a lot of people as well. 

Will Win: A Fantastic Woman

Could Win: The Square

Should Win: The Square

In a Perfect World: Raw or The Lure 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Icarus

Michael’s Picks

Faces Places is an extremely charming film, but it seems smarter to treat Academy voters like goldfish. The Olympics were just on, so let’s go with Icarus, the documentary related to the Olympics. I wouldn’t necessarily rule out something powerful like Strong Island either.

Will Win: Icarus

Could Win: Faces Places

Should Win: Faces Places

In a Perfect World: LA92

 

Insha’s Picks

I’m gonna let Michael pick this one for the both of us cause I…. didn’t really like most of the documentaries that came out. Strong Island is an excellent documentary, but it wasn’t as great as some other I’ve seen this year. 

In a Perfect World: Gaga: Five Foot Two, Mommy Dead and Dearest, The Defiant Ones, Becoming Bond, Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM

Heroin(e)

Michael’s Picks

These picks for the short films are all a crapshoot. It’s tough to see them all and even harder to understand whether the voters have even watched them all. That being said, I’m going with the one I’ve seen, Heroin(e), because it’s powerful, relevant and Netflix has won before.

Will Win: Heroin(e)

Could Win: Edith+Eddie

Should Win: Heroin(e)

 

Insha’s Picks

I actually just finished watching Heroin(e) and jeez, its some strong stuff. I also very much dig Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405. It was a brilliant portrait of an artist that has mental illness. It’s not going to win this year sadly, but you guys should still check it out. 

Will Win: Heroin(e) 

Could Win: Heroin(e) 

Should Win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

DeKalb Elementary

Insha’s Picks

I gotta admit, I’ve only seen two of these because I knew I needed to cause I love anything dealing with psychiatric stuff or people being ridiculous assholes. 

Will Win: DeKalb Elementary

Could Win: The Eleven O’Clock or The Silent Child

Should Win: The Eleven O’Clock

 

Michael’s Picks

I’m picking DeKalb Elementary purely because it’s, sadly, very relevant.

Will Win: DeKalb Elementary

Could Win: The Eleven O’Clock

Should Win: DeKalb Elementary

 

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Dear Basketball

Michael’s Picks

Dear Basketball is short and lovely and has name recognition with Kobe Bryant, so I’m choosing it. Still, Lou is a Pixar short, and it’s hard to rule Pixar out.

Will Win: Dear Basketball

Could Win: Lou

Should Win: Garden Party

 

Insha’s Picks

I’m gonna go the opposite of Michael. I think Lou might take it. Mostly because of that Pixar appeal, but also Revolting Rhymes would be so cool in my perfect world cause I loved it a lot. 

Will Win: Lou

Could Win: Garden Party 

Should Win: Revolting Rhymes

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Shape of Water

Insha’s Picks

SHAPE OF WATER. I don’t think I’ve been emotionally compromised by a score. It’s romantic, hypnotized and makes you want to waltz out of any room. It fits the story PERFECTLY. You can’t ignore Hans Zimmer or John Williams, but I certainly did after hearing that original score by Alexandre Desplat. 

Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Could Win: Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Should Win: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

 

Michael’s Picks

Alexandre Desplat’s score for The Shape of Water has basically steamrolled its competition throughout the awards season. But he’s going up against Hans Zimmer, Jonny Greenwood, and John Williams. I think an upset is possible but extremely unlikely. This one seems like a lock.

Will Win: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Could Win: Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Should Win: Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread

In a Perfect World: Michael Giacchino, War for the Planet of the Apes

 

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Coco

Michael’s Picks

This one is a coin toss between Coco‘s “Remember Me” and The Greatest Showman‘s “This is Me.” “Remember Me” is a catchy, heartwarming song from a critically beloved film. “This is Me” is from financial success and is by last year’s Original Song winners. I’m going “Remember Me,” but I’m not sold.

Will Win: “Remember Me,” Coco

Could Win: “This is Me,” The Greatest Showman

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

In a Perfect World: “World Gone Mad,” Bright

 

Insha’s Picks

Also in the toss-up between Coco‘s “Remember Me” and The Greatest Showman‘s “This is Me.” I can see “Mystery of Love” stealing this one, but its super unlikely. 

Will Win:  “Remember Me,” Coco

Could Win: “This is Me,” The Greatest Showman

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

In a Perfect World: Rain,” Mary and the Witch’s Flower

BEST SOUND EDITING

Dunkirk

Insha’s Picks

For any sound category, if Christopher Nolan’s movies are involved, just hand them the awards and be done with it. The team he uses craft such an art within his movies and makes you FEEL the sound. It’s so rare for you to actually notice sound in movies, but Nolan’s team absolutely kills it every single time. 

Will Win: Dunkirk

Could Win: Blade Runner 2049

Should Win: Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Dunkirk

 

Michael’s Picks

It’s hard to tell whether Sound Editing and Sound Mixing will split or go hand-in-hand. They split last year, but I’m gonna guess they’ll go to the same movie this year. I’ll probably be wrong.

Will Win: Dunkirk

Could Win: Baby Driver

Should Win: Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Alien: Covenant

 

BEST SOUND MIXING

Dunkirk

Michael’s Picks

Dunkirk is my choice because it’s a loud war movie with limited dialogue and a lot of chances for the sound design to show off. Baby Driver or Blade Runner 2049 winning one or both of the sound awards wouldn’t surprise me at all.

Will Win: Dunkirk

Could Win: Baby Driver

Should Win: Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Alien: Covenant

 

Insha’s Picks

I always look forward to the sound mixing in Christopher Nolan’s films. I know they’ll make me uncomfortable, shift me around, make me aware of my settings and I’m INTO it. As much as I want to say Last Jedi (which I REALLY f*cking don’t), I want to see Blade Runner or Dunkirk take this one. 

Will Win: Dunkirk

Could Win: Baby Driver

Should Win: Dunkirk or Blade Runner 2049

In a Perfect World: I’m content with Dunkirk.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Darkest Hour

Insha’s Picks

Blade Runner 2049. I feel like I’m filling a lot of these categories with Blade Runner 2049, which profoundly deserves whatever it accomplishes to get. Blade Runner 2049 carries a slick, futuristic design that will undoubtedly get pushed out because the future is the f*cking boogyman to these people. I feel like they’ll give it to Darkest Hour. Yeah, it pisses me off too. 

Will Win: Darkest Hour

Could Win: Blade Runner 2049

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049

In a Perfect World: Blade Runner 2049 or The Shape of Water

 

Michael’s Picks

This seems like another toss-up between The Shape of Water and Blade Runner 2049. I’m going with the former because I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Blade Runner 2049 gets shut out completely. 

Will Win: The Shape of Water

Could Win: Blade Runner 2049

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049

In a Perfect World: Alien: Covenant

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Blade Runner 2049

Michael’s Picks

I know I said Blade Runner 2049 will be shut out, but I need to cheer for Roger Deakins. Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio finally got their Oscars, and now it’s Deakins’ turn. Still… Dunkirk or The Shape of Water could easily take it. And probably will. But I’m an optimist.

Will Win: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

Could Win: Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

Should Win: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Sean Price Williams, Good Time

 

Insha’s Picks

Deakins deserves this win. He needs this win. I know he probably won’t get it, but goddamnit does it deserve it. I feel as if Delbonnel will triumph in this category, even though, I don’t think he truly deserves it. Hoytema and Deakins have the same eye, but completely different settings. That isolation is felt through their lens. (Note: Don’t get me started about cinematography. I love it.) 

Will Win: Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour

Could Win: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

Should Win: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Thimios Bakatakis, The Killing of a Sacred Deer

 

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Darkest Hour

Insha’s Picks

This is another category I really don’t give a f*ck about cause I basically just don’t get how this category works. Also, if we are doing this category, this has to be the weakest category ever. None of these movies are really deserving of Best Makeup and Hairstyling, but you know what… I don’t make the rules. 

Will Win: Darkest Hour

Could Win: Darkest Hour

Should Win: (No one…) 

In a Perfect World: Ingrid Goes West, Logan, I, Tonya, The Beguiled

 

Michael’s Picks

Gary Oldman is going to win Best Actor based purely on the makeup, so Darkest Hour may as well win the Makeup and Hairstyling award too.

Will Win: Darkest Hour

Could Win: Wonder

Should Win: Darkest Hour

In a Perfect World: Ingrid Goes West

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Phantom Thread

Michael’s Picks

Phantom Thread‘s whole deal is costume design, so if it’s going to win anywhere, it’ll be here. I’m still not completely sold on it though, and I won’t be at all surprised if The Shape of Water takes it. If it does, that will definitely bolster the chances of The Shape of Water‘s Best Picture win.

Will Win: Phantom Thread

Could Win: The Shape of Water

Should Win: Phantom Thread

In a Perfect World: The Beguiled

 

Insha’s Picks

Phantom Thread is a shoo-in for this category, but I’d love to see other films take on this title. Darkest Hour might sneak up and take this one if Phantom Thread doesn’t deliver and it would be interesting if The Shape of Water gets it. Why didn’t they nominated The Beguiled for this man? That movie was MADE for this category. 

Will Win: Phantom Thread

Could Win: The Shape of Water

Should Win: The Shape of Water

In a Perfect World: The Beguiled, I, Tonya 

BEST FILM EDITING

Baby Driver

Insha’s Picks

This is the category that was surely going to f*ck me up. I pay close attention to film editing cause I used to do it part-time back in college. Each of these films has their own different pace, and the editing definitely goes hand in hand with all of them. I, Tonya and Baby Driver are fast-paced, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water are slow and emotional. Three Billboards is a built-up and punch. URG! This is so hard… okay, here’s are my picks. 

Will Win: Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver

Could Win: Lee Smith, Dunkirk

Should Win: Tatiana S. Riegel, I, Tonya 

In a Perfect World: Matthew Libatique, mother! 

 

Michael’s Picks

This award should absolutely go to Dunkirk. The way it weaved together three staggered timelines in a comprehensible manner is expert. But it also relied on the score and sound design, and it wasn’t super show-y. Baby Driver has won critics awards for editing, and it also took home the BAFTA, so a surprise win isn’t out the question. There’s also the chance that the choice is boring and goes to the Best Picture frontrunner, The Shape of Water.

Will Win: Lee Smith, Dunkirk

Could Win: Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos, Baby Driver

Should Win: Lee Smith, Dunkirk

In a Perfect World: Ben Safdie and Ronald Bronstein, Good Time

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049

Michael’s Picks

The Academy doesn’t seem to give as much of a shit about the Planet of the Apes movies as I do. Still, there may be a strong contingent, so I wouldn’t count War for the Planet of the Apes out. I’m guessing Blade Runner 2049, but I feel like it’s a three-movie race between it, Apes and Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Will Win: Blade Runner 2049

Could Win: War for the Planet of the Apes

Should Win: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In a Perfect World: Okja

 

Insha’s Picks

This is one of those categories I always put my hand on my chin and be like “Let’s watch you make the wrong choice!” I agree with Michael 100%. There seems to be some push against even considering any Planet of the Apes film for real. If Star Wars: The Last Jedi takes this, I’m gonna be pissed, Blade Runner 2049 did an intensely fantastic job with visual effects and also, f*cking Kong: Skull Island! 

Will Win: Blade Runner 2049

Could Win: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049

In a Perfect World: Ghost in the Shell (FIGHT ME)

Michael Walls-Kelly
michaelwallskelly@gmail.com

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