90th Academy Awards Nominations Predictions   1 comment

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Hollywood’s biggest night is upon us once again, with the announcement of the 2017 class of Oscar nominees. After months and months of festival premieres, magazine covers, endless interviews, and awards show speeches, the newest group of Academy Award nominees will be unveiled tomorrow. For most, it will be the biggest break they can ever hope for. For Meryl Streep, it’s just business as usual.

Some of this year’s Oscar contenders had us seeing Sally Hawkins make out with a fish, Armie Hammer giving us new memories with peaches, and everyone resisting a cup of tea from Catherine Keener. It also revived interests to the likes of Tommy Wiseau and Tonya Harding. More importantly, with the timely issues surrounding Hollywood today, narratives and politics have been stronger more than ever.

I’ll try and predict all 21 film categories. You ready? Let’s begin!

BEST PICTURE

Best Picture can range from as few as five and as many as ten when it comes to nominations, but with so many contenders still qualified in the race, five films have emerged in front of the race: There’s Golden Globe and SAG winner Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, presumably our current frontrunner as of this typing, about a grieving mother who took matters to her own hands so that her voice would be heard. Guillermo del Toro’s Venice champ The Shape of Water, has just won the Producers Guild, and is likely our nomination leader. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, a coming of age comedy that has the distinction of being the critically highest rated film, Get Out by Jordan Peele, a dark comedy slash commentary which was one of the biggest stories of 2017, and Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a retelling of that important moment in history in probably his most awards-friendly film in his resume yet. All films are considered safe already.

Then we have these films who are all seemingly safe, but do not be surprised if you see them miss out. Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name, the adaptation of Andre Aciman’s best selling novel about a summer romance between two men, has the critics raving, but between Carol‘s snub and Moonlight‘s current win, will the Hollywood homophobes feel it’s too gay already? Steven Spielberg’s The Post has all the makings of an Oscar sweeper…if only we’re in the 90s. But then again the triumvirate of Spielberg + Meryl Streep + Tom Hanks is still strong enough to latch a nom despite an underwhelming guild run. On the flip side is I, Tonya which peaked right in the middle of Oscar nominee voting and has continued to overcome challenges one after the other. I expect these three to be called out as well.

Two more slots are still available, but I don’t see this being the year where we complete all 10 slots. The guilds have shown so much love for The Big Sick, and it’s the type of movie that can ride the love to end with a BP nom. Phantom Thread is the definition of a last minute contender and one that can get as few as three to as many as seven nominations come Oscar morning. The Florida Project has lost quite the momentum outside of Willem Dafoe, but it’s the kind that will have passionate supporters to squeak out a nomination. Maybe the British contingent will come full force for Darkest Hour, as shown by its great BAFTA showing to score a lazy inclusion in the Best Picture lineup.

Predictions:
• Call Me by Your Name
• Dunkirk
• Get Out
• I, Tonya
• Lady Bird
• The Post
• The Shape of Water
• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

9th (but not predicted): Darkest Hour
10th (but not predicted):
The Florida Project

BEST DIRECTOR

It’s safe to go with the DGA five as it seems like we’re in for an almost clear read at this race, but then two things are stopping me: the Oscar five last matched the DGA back in 2009, and it hasn’t happened this decade yet. Second, it’s rare that we get an all-newbie lineup at the Oscars and has only happened twice in the history of the category. That said, I think at least one of those two trends will be broken at least this year. Guillermo del Toro, this category’s frontrunner, is probably the only safe name here, and I can see a scenario of everyone else missing. As mentioned, this is Christopher Nolan’s most awards-friendly film, and after being passed over twice, it seems like this is the year when he’ll finally join the club. Martin McDonagh’s direction has been the weakest among the many categories where Three Billboards is a contender, but I still think he won’t miss out a nomination here. Too much buzz has been made about the poor statistic of women being nominated for Best Directing (only happened four times – Lina Wertmuller in 1976, Jane Campion in 1993, Sofia Coppola in 2003, and Kathryn Bigelow in 2009), I think this benefits Greta Gerwig a lot and I feel like there’s pressure to nominate her given her output and narrative. For that last slot, Jordan Peele of Get Out makes the most sense, but he’s also one I see who’s the first to miss out from the consensus five. Paul Thomas Anderson fits the bill of a returning nominee that can continue this category’s history trend, but then there’s also Sean Baker of The Florida Project who directed kids in the movie – an underlying common theme between two biggest surprises in this category the past few years (Behn Zeitlin in Beasts of the Southern Wild and Lenny Abrahamson in Room). That said, between the auteurs’ support and a more international friendly Directors branch, I’m going on a limb and predict Luca Guadagnino to translate his BAFTA nomination with an Oscar one.

Predictions:
• Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name
• Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
• Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
• Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
• Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

SPOILER: Jordan Peele, Get Out

BEST ACTOR

Four names are guaranteed to be called already for Best Actor by tomorrow: there’s potential winner Gary Oldman in his second nomination (after 2011’s surprise one for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) as Winston Churchill and Daniel Day-Lewis in what is perceived as his swansong performance in Phantom Thread. Timothee Chalamet has emerged as the critical pick for Call Me by Your Name and will surely add an Oscar nominee label before his name. Same goes for Daniel Kaluuya, the face of Get Out, and who has defied and collected precursor nomination one after the other. The last slot seems like a shoo-in for Golden Globe winner James Franco for his turn in his self-directed comedy The Disaster Artist, but him being a subject of the current Hollywood scandal, certainly gives a pause. That said, the issue erupted with two voting days left, and with him appearing at the SAG Awards yesterday means that he’s still pushing through with his campaign and bid, and I think that will still result to a nomination. Watch out for Denzel Washington though in Roman Israel Esq. Not only did he pick up surprise Globe and SAG nods (over the likes of Tom Hanks in The Post), but remember that he came quite really close to the win last year, and there might still be some leftover love that can translate to a nomination this year.

PREDICTIONS:
• Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
• Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
• James Franco, The Disaster Artist
• Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
• Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

SPOILER: Denzel Washington, Roman Israel Esq.

BEST ACTRESS

It’s astonishing that almost all four actresses who have hit a clear slate of precursor run of Golden Globe, BFCA, SAG, and BAFTA, are also starring in potential Best Picture nods, as compared to their male counterparts. Frances McDormand is back 13 years after her last nomination, and is bound to get her second Lead nomination since winning back in 1996 for Fargo. Saoirse Ronan is catching up with pal Jennifer Lawrence as the fastest from their generation to pick up nods as she’s in the hunt for her third nomination already playing the titular character in Lady Bird. After missing exactly a decade ago for her critically sweeping performance in Happy Go Lucky, Sally Hawkins is bound to get her first Best Actress career nod in The Shape of Water. And newbie Margot Robbie can make history by getting both acting and producing nominations for I, Tonya where she plays infamous skating figure Tonya Harding. As for who’s completing the list, the SAGs went for Judi Dench in Victoria & Abdul, a similar role that first put her in Oscar attention back in 1997. With Globe and SAG nods, this seems like an easy check for this 7x nominee, but the BAFTA snub is telling when they’ve nominated her for basically everything. In the Dame’s absence is Annette Bening getting a last minute push for Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. She also missed last year for 20th Century Women, but Film Stars didn’t have any momentum or presence this whole awards season except for this BAFTA resuscitation. There’s also Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, Michelle Williams in All the Money in the World, Vicky Krieps in Phantom Thread, but in the end, these are all futile since we know that the last spot is reserved for Oscar Queen herself Meryl Streep, now entering her 21st career nomination for The Post. While it’s hilarious to think that Streep will be missing for a Spielberg vehicle, the rule still stands that “When in doubt, predict Meryl.”

PREDICTIONS:
• 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

SPOILER: Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

This is probably the category that has the biggest difference from what was predicted pre-awards season to where we are right now. Sure, Willem Dafoe of The Florida Project and Sam Rockwell of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri have always been ahead of the pack, but the rest range from last minute contenders to latecomers in the race. Richard Jenkins, who first received his nomination back in 2008’s The Visitor, will add another nomination under his cap, this time as part of The Shape of Water. So much statistic has been made about the “no film since 1991’s Bugsy has collected double Supporting Actor nods” and for the most part, many films came close but sizzled out in the end (Crash, The Departed, No Country for Old Men, Spotlight), but between the SAG and BAFTA nods, this stat seems like it will rest now as Woody Harrelson will likely join pal Sam Rockwell in this group. The last spot sure is a clusterfuck – the two men who were initially perceived to break the stat were Call Me by Your Names Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg but with the internal competition, both will likely miss come Oscar morning. It’s not bust yet for both to be honest – Hammer after all has been campaigning heavily and can be considered co-lead, while co-star Stuhlbarg appears in two more Best Picture contenders (The Shape of WaterThe Post) and sometimes that’s enough. Just ask John C. Reilly back in 2002. That said, it can easily go to veteran actor and Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, a last minute addition to Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World, with a flashier performance and a narrative that will likely continue to be the talk of Tinseltown.

Predictions:
• 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

SPOILER: Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Just like last year, mothers seem to be front and center in this category. Two of the frontrunners are mothers on the opposite side of the spectrum – there’s critically lauded Laurie Metcalfe’s loving mother in Lady Bird and Allison Janney’s outlandish turn in I, Tonya. Both TV vets are on their first career nods, and it’s great to see these character actresses taking front and center. Octavia Spencer, who was just nominated last year for Hidden Figures is likely to break history yet again and be the first black actress to earn multiple nominations after winning. She’ll also be joining co-star Viola Davis as the most nominated black actresses in Oscar history. While she has been snubbed at the SAGs, The Shape of Water‘s overall strength puts her in a distant but safe third spot. Oscar winner Holly Hunter, on the other hand, only has SAG under her credits this season, but I think her stature makes her safe enough for a nod. Both Hong Chau and Mary J. Blige picked up Globe + SAG nods and are working on the same diversity narrative that will definitely earn them points. However, Downsizing is one of the biggest flops this season, and an unknown actress like Hong Chau isn’t likely to survive that. Blige is in a better position as Mudbound is contending in other categories, but Netflix pushing it still gives me pause. I think she’ll get her nomination for Original Song instead. As for that last spot, I’m tinkering with the two British contenders that BAFTA went for – Leslie Manville for a last minute push for Phantom Thread, but I guess I’m expecting Kristin Scott Thomas (whose only Oscar nomination was for 1996’s The English Patient) to coattail Gary Oldman’s undeniable Best Actor frontrunner status. When an actor is a huge contender, chances are it’s pulling a supporting contender with it (think of Jeff Bridges getting Maggie Gyllenhaal in, Leonardo di Caprio to Tom Hardy, Cate Blanchett to Sally Hawkins). As a matter of fact, you have to go back to 2006 for the last Best Actor winner who was also the solo acting nomination for the film he won for (that’s Forest Whitaker in The Last King of Scotland).

Predictions:
• Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
• Allison Janney, I, Tonya
• Laurie Metcalfe, Lady Bird
• Kristin Scott-Thomas, Darkest Hour
• Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

SPOILER: Leslie Manville, Phantom Thread

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

This year, majority of the Best Picture contenders are also original screenplays so it’s quite the busier of the two screenplay categories. The four frontrunners are all in play in this category, and I see all of them getting nominated. In the event of a snub, maybe The Shape of Water is the first to go since the film is lauded more for its visual experience as compared to its screenplay strength. That said, I’m still expecting it’ll get in. The last slot can go to quirky romance The Big Sick, or the talky and “important” The Post, but I feel like this is one of the categories where I, Tonya peaking on the week of the Oscar nomination voting will pay off.

Predictions:
• Get Out
• I, Tonya
• Lady Bird
• The Shape of Water
• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

SPOILER: The Big Sick

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

The weaker of the two screenplay categories, Call Me by Your Name should easily sweep the competition come Oscar time. Joining it are other contenders such as The Disaster Artist, Mudbound, and Molly’s Game, all of whom have garnered precursors in here as well. Now it’s the last spot that’s really tricky. Nothing makes actual sense or fits the mold or pattern among the other buzzed contenders. No superhero movie has ever been nominated for a Screenplay Oscar, but both Logan and Wonder Woman are in the hunt and can make history. Sadly for them, I think they’ll separate the votes and both end up missing, Stephen Chbosky has garnered precursors for The Perks of Being a Wallflower back in 2012 and still missed, so either he gets a make up nod for Wonder, but I don’t see that happening. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool filled the BAFTA category in this spot, but the BAFTAs seem to adore that movie more and their the outlier rather than the rule. This type of empty category makes me feel that a little film with big passion can get in; thus I’m predicting The Lost City of Z to fill the last spot.

Predictions:
• Call Me by Your Name
• The Disaster Artist
• The Lost City of Z
• Molly’s Game
• Mudbound

SPOILER: Logan

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

After picking up wins from the Globes and the BFCA, In the Fade suddenly becomes the frontrunner in this category, and I think Cannes entry Loveless is in too, as well as Chilean submission A Fantastic Woman. Meanwhile, the last two slots can go to big contenders like Foxtrot and The SquareFoxtrot was initially seen as a strong frontrunner, but finds itself lacking any precursor or buzz, and not even its studio’s priority in this category, so I can see it missing the final list. With a Palme d’Or win under its belt, Ruben Ostlund is likely getting nominated too, but a part of me wants to see him snubbed so he can video his meltdown yet again, just like what happened to Force Majeure back in 2014. In their places, I went with two underdogs – Lebanon’s The Insult, handled by Cohen Media Group, also the group behind current champ The Salesman. And South Africa’s The Wound, which I can really see missing for the most buzzed contenders. But then I’d stick with this one.

Predictions:
• A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
• The Insult (Lebanon)
• In the Fade (Germany)
• Loveless (Russia)
• The Wound (South Africa)

SPOILER: Foxtrot (Israel)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

New changes in the voting pattern for the Animated Feature Film will be kinder to the mainstream efforts than to the more obscure ones. I think nominations like those of The Secret of Kells, A Cat in Paris, and Ernest & Celestine are likely not to happen anymore. That this happened in probably the weakest year for animated also makes the predicting harder. Basically, it’s Coco or bust. But then joining it are Loving Vincent and The Breadwinner — both have gained precursors over the season. It’s sad to know that Oscar nominated The Boss Baby is happening, but it seems like we’re heading towards that path. After The LEGO Movie’s snub in 2014, I don’t know if I’m ready to predict it yet so I’m sticking with Despicable Me 3, since the second one was also nominated.

Predictions:
• The Boss Baby
• The Breadwinner
• Coco
• Despicable Me 3
• Loving Vincent

SPOILER: The LEGO Batman Movie

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

City of Ghosts is the perennial favorite in this category, which is a follow-up from the Oscar nominated director of Cartel Land. If there’s one category that Netflix can claim they’re good at, it’s this one, so I feel like the Olympic-related documentary Icarus and Chasing Coral can hear themselves getting nominated.  There’s also Jane, a playful achievement of animal advocate Jane Goodall and Sundance Documentary Prize winner Last Men in Aleppo. After winning the Honorary Oscar back in November, Agnes Varda can make history and win a Competitive Oscar in the same year she won an Honorary, but I’m quite fearing that she’ll be that big snub in this category.

Predictions:
• Chasing Coral
• City of Ghosts
• Icarus
• Jane
• Last Men in Aleppo

SPOILER: Faces Places

Now as for the rest of the technical categories…

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
• Blade Runner 2049
• Darkest Hour
• Dunkirk
• Mudbound
• The Shape of Water

SPOILER: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Mudbound‘s Rachel Morrison will be the first female cinematographer ever nominated, so there’s that to look forward to. That said, I’ll be sticking with this ASC nominated five. If there’s a spoiler to the group, it’ll likely be Three Billboards who is gaining momentum here.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
• Beauty and the Beast
• Darkest Hour
• The Greatest Showman
• Phantom Thread
• The Shape of Water

SPOILER: I, Tonya

There is a stroyline in I, Tonya‘s detailing about Tonya getting better costumes, so I think that might help its chances here, but with all the other contenders getting flashier outputs, it’s hard to identify which one it will push off the group.

BEST EDITING
• Baby Driver
• Dunkirk
• I, Tonya
• The Shape of Water
• Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

SPOILER: Get Out

I tend to feel like Baby Driver and I, Tonya, both with flashy editing are targeting the same voters here so don’t be surprised to see one of them miss for something like Get Out, which is also the film’s only realistic shot at any below the line categories.

BEST HAIRSTYLING & MAKE UP
• Bright
• Darkest Hour
• I, Tonya

SPOILER: Wonder

Darkest Hour seems like the only lock in this group, and while Wonder has been getting nods left and right (and deservedly so because look what they’ve made to poor Oscar nominee Jacob Tremblay), I think it’ll miss in to something like that of Netflix’ Bright. After all, this is the same group that nominated Norbit and gave the win to Suicide Squad.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
• Darkest Hour
• Dunkirk
• Phantom Thread
• The Post
• The Shape of Water

SPOILER: Victoria & Abdul

Never underestimate Thomas Newman who scored Victoria & Abdul. He hasn’t won yet, and if there’s one musical composer who can still get in despite an underperforming movie, it’s him. Think of how he still managed to get nominated for 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks marking that film’s lone Oscar nomination.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
• “Evermore” (Beauty and the Beast)
• “Mighty River” (Mudbound)
• “Remember Me” (Coco)
• “Stand Up for Something” (Marshall)
• “This Is Me” (The Greatest Showman)

SPOILER: “Mystery of Love” (Call Me by Your Name)

I really hope I’m wrong with this one, but I think Oscar nominee Sufjan Stevens isn’t happening. Evermore, Remember Me, and This Is Me all look pretty safe here. I’m also predicting that this is where Mary J. Blige will be receiving her Oscar nomination. And to fill that slot, I’ve went with Diane Warren who came close in 2015, and has been working real hard to get an Oscar.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
• Beauty and the Beast
• Blade Runner 2049
• Dunkirk
• The Post
• The Shape of Water

SPOILER: Darkest Hour

It’s Darkest Hour vs. The Post for that last spot for me, and while I think Darkest Hour makes more sense predicting wise, I could not shake off the idea of Lincoln pulling the upset in this category back in 2012, so I must not underestimate the same team.

BEST SOUND EDITING
• Baby Driver
• Blade Runner 2049
• Dunkirk
• The Shape of Water
• Star Wars: The Last Jedi

SPOILER: Wonder Woman

This has been the same five we’ve been seeing all season, so might as well go with it.

BEST SOUND MIXING
• Blade Runner 2049
• Dunkirk
• Life
• Star Wars: The Last Jedi
• Wonder Woman

SPOILER: The Greatest Showman

I don’t think Sound Editing and Sound Mixing went 5/5 in the same year, so there’s that. This category loves musicals so The Greatest Showman is in the hunt. However, I’m thinking that the Oscars love to reward the box office success movies of the year (just like The Avengers in 2012) with a nomination and this is where I’m seeing Wonder Woman happening.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
• Blade Runner 2049
• Dunkirk
• Okja
• Star Wars: The Last Jedi
• War for the Planet of the Apes

SPOILER: The Shape of Water

I’m currently predicting an Arrival type of snub for The Shape of Water, and in its place, predicting Okja which I’ve read really got great reception in the Academy showcase of visual effects contenders.

MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS:
12: The Shape of Water
9: Dunkirk
7: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
6: Darkest Hour, I, Tonya
5: Blade Runner 2049, Lady Bird
4: Call Me by Your Name, The Post
3: Beauty and the Beast, Get Out, Mudbound, Phantom Thread, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
2: Baby Driver, Coco, The Disaster Artist, The Greatest Showman

There you have it! Happy Oscar predicting day everyone!

Posted January 23, 2018 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

One response to “90th Academy Awards Nominations Predictions

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  1. Great predictions!

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