Sunday, March 4, 2018

Chelsea's Dream Oscar 2018 Predictions [Contributor: Chelsea]

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Last year when I asked for chaos at the Oscars, I did not ever imagine Moonlight winning in such a disastrous fashion. This year, the Oscar race has felt like a lifetime with the winter Olympics extending the wait period between nominations and the ceremony, and giving all of us Oscar fans and predictors way too much time to dream up every scenario for each nominee to win Best Picture. The only real unknowns are Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, and many Oscar followers are expecting those two to match this year and be any indication of this confusing year in film. While none of us really know what’s going to happen before those envelopes are opened, here are my last-minute predictions, along with what my heart wants to win.

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

While all the other televised award shows have a plurality vote — where the nominee with the most votes wins — preferential ballot is a little more complicated, as it asks the voters to rank all of the films from their favorite to least favorite and a consensus winner is found. Some sort of stat is missing from each nominee that will make it difficult to win. Three Billboards doesn’t have directing, The Shape of Water doesn’t have SAG Ensemble, Lady Bird and Get Out don’t have editing or craft nominations, and Dunkirk doesn’t have writing or acting. Of all of these stats, I think Get Out, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards have the least to overcome, but Three Billboards is divisive on the preferential ballot — similarly to La La Land — while Get Out, Lady Bird, and Dunkirk perform very well.

It would be hilarious if Call Me By Your Name or Phantom Thread came out of left field to win. If you want to play it safe, predict Three Billboards but if you want to take a risk, go with Get Out. I only see it winning two awards but Spotlight did the same only two years ago. If The Shape of Water can manage to overcome not having a SAG Ensemble nomination, then it would be a fun genre winner. My heart of course wants Lady Bird to win with Call Me By Your Name and Get Out as my second and third choices, but I’ve learned to never get my hopes up win it comes to awards. The nomination is the real win and plenty of great films have never won awards.

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

It’s rare to have a category where all the nominees are deserving, but arguments can be made for each of these filmmakers. After sweeping all the precursors, Guillermo del Toro should have this in the bag. The Shape of Water is visually stunning and recently all the Best Director winners have been for visually challenging films like Gravity, Life of Pi, and The Revenant. If I had to predict an upset, it would be Paul Thomas Anderson. The man has been nominated for eight Oscars across five films, including Best Director a decade ago. Phantom Thread surprised us all on Oscar morning, and I could see it surprising us again. I would LOVE to see Greta Gerwig take it home because I think she was the most accomplished director in putting her vision to the screen — her or Christopher Nolan, who never seems to catch a break with these voters.

Best Actor
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.

Why hasn’t Daniel Kaluuya been talked about more for this? His face is the most iconic image of 2017 film, and he deserves to be celebrated more for his subtle performance. Gary Oldman is amazing in Darkest Hour and will win but it would have been fun to see more people challenge him leading up to this night and have a real race.

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Frances McDormand will rightfully win her second Oscar, and I won’t be mad about it. Three Billboards is easily my least favorite film nominated in this bunch but her performance is the saving grace of that film. Without her, the film would not have made it into the Oscar race at all.

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

I will forever be upset that Armie Hammer wasn’t nominated and isn’t winning for his beautiful performance in Call Me By Your Name. Sam Rockwell is riding the Three Billboards wave to a win here, and while his character is the big reason the film is divisive, he is such a great and beloved actor that the backlash won’t hurt him. Richard Jenkins is my personal favorite of this bunch, and I really hope he wins one of these one day. With every project, he brings so much heart, depth, and character to the role, and The Shape of Water really rests on his and Sally Hawkins shoulders.

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

Never bet against Allison Janney. She is a treasure in the industry and great at everything. I never thought I’d want Allison Janney to lose an award but I, Tonya is just not something I would award. Yes, Laurie Metcalf is easily my favorite of this bunch but Mary J. Blige and Lesley Manville give more nuanced performances than what Janney was allowed. She will win though and I will happily call her Academy Award-winner Allison Janney. Never bet against her.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Molly's Game

Call Me By Your Name should and will win. James Ivory has somehow never won one of these and is more than deserving. I hate that this field is so weak, with Logan and Mudbound being the only other really great scripts.

Best Original Screenplay
The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards

I’ve said this many times that my dream would be for The Shape of Water to win Picture, Lady Bird to win Director, and Get Out to win Screenplay. Sure, my favorite screenplay is Lady Bird, but the BEST and most original screenplay is Get Out. Every beat in that film is layered with suspense, humor, and an eerie real world nerve that never stops pulsing. It’ll be a real battle between Writers Guild winner Get Out and Three Billboards. And since Three Billboards wasn’t eligible for the WGA, we don’t know how it’s going to pan out. It would delight the heck out of me to see The Big Sick win this and throw everybody off and because it would be so well-deserved.

Best Animated Feature Film
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

Coco will win this because you should never bet against Disney, but my nephew and I watched Ferdinand and it is so fun and has more to say than your average animated film. There is a great little mix of films this year in terms of animation style and story, and it isn’t dominated by Disney favorites.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Insult
On Bodo and Soul
The Square
A Fantastic Woman

This will be a tight race between The Square and A Fantastic Woman, but I’m giving the edge to A Fantastic Woman. The film’s star Daniela Vega will be presenting at the Oscars — a first for a transgender actress — and it would be great to see a wholly well-rounded film with great story, visuals, and acting win.

Best Film Editing
Baby Driver
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I really want Baby Driver to win for the chaos of it all. Sure, I should be smart and bet on Dunkirk because it was a perfectly-edited film with a complex timeline. Both are very deserving of this but I could swap out the other three for more accomplished nominees. It was risky filming and editing Baby Driver to the beat of every song, but it paid off and became a huge hit because of it. And this is the technical category that while good at predicting Best Picture, it does occasionally go to non-Best Picture nominees like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Bourne Ultimatum when the craft is just too good to deny.

Best Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

I’m always scared to bet on Roger Deakins to ever win this because he’s like Charlie Brown and the Academy is holding that football in front of him yet again with this Blade Runner 2049 nomination. He’s easily the frontrunner, but don’t be surprised if Dunkirk picks up steam in the technical categories and steals this one. Dunkirk is a beautiful film and I think more deserving than Blade Runner 2049, but so many of these cinematographers have stood on the shoulders of Roger Deakins. My personal favorite would be Mudbound or Dunkirk in terms of “best” but Blade Runner has the “most” cinematography because what else can Deakins do to try to win at this point?

Best Original Score
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I would be shocked if The Shape of Water lost this. The score sold so much of this fairytale story and really brought it all together. It’s my favorite thing about the film and my favorite in the category.

Best Original Song
"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

I just really want Call Me By Your Name to win this if your best song also looks at the best use of the song within the film. I would also love for Mary J. Blige to win something for Mudbound, and this would be the easiest category for it. But again, don’t vote against the Disney favorite Coco or last year’s winners Pasek and Paul for "This Is Me." While I think this was a weak year for original songs, the performances will be a lot of fun and a nice break from the ceremony.


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