2018 Oscars: Nomination Predictions

The 2018 Oscar nominations come out tomorrow, so let’s get right into it…

BEST PICTURE
The top five have been relatively unchanged for weeks now. The Post has kind of fallen on hard times on the awards circuit lately, but its timely subject matter should keep it in the conversation. There’s a lot of media and industry push for Wonder Woman, but I don’t see that being the superhero movie to crack into Best Picture contention. More likely, we’re looking at Call Me By Your Name and The Florida Project which have significant social themes. I’m betting there’s enough division to make the Best Picture cutoff land at eight this year, although I hope that one of my three favorites of the year sneak in.

Locks
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Additional Predictions
The Post
Call Me By Your Name
The Florida Project

Contenders
Darkest Hour
I, Tonya
Mudbound
The Big Sick
Wonder Woman
All The Money In the World

What I’d Like to See Here
Logan
Molly’s Game
Wind River

BEST DIRECTOR
Usually, you’d consider the top five locks for Best Picture to get the five director slots, but Get Out is really getting pushed more for its story than great direction, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a first timer like Jordan Peele miss the cut. Greta Gerwig should get pushed up not only because the great direction and pacing really made Lady Bird sing, but it also helps that she’s the only serious female candidate in the current climate (Patty Jenkins is getting some talk for Wonder Woman, but I don’t see it given the awards to this point). I’m torn between Luca Guadagnino and Sean Baker, but will go with the former because of the look and feel of Call Me By Your Name.

Locks
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Additional Predictions
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Luca Guadagnino – Call Me By Your Name

Contenders
Steven Spielberg – The Post
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Sean Baker – The Florida Project

Who I’d Like to See Here
Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049
James Mangold – Logan
Edgar Wright – Baby Driver

BEST ACTRESS
In great news for women in Hollywood, this is the most interesting race of the year. There’s just a ton of great lead actress performances this year, which is kind of unusual. The top three are absolute locks: McDormand took home the Golden Globe, and the other two completely dominate their respective films. I’m going to go way out on a limb and put Chastain ahead of Streep – not only because I think Jessica absolutely KILLED it as Molly Bloom, but because Sorkin wrote the shit out of her role and the film deserves a top line nomination for something. I have yet to see Robbie’s performance, but have to think she’d be a lock if not for Streep looming in the background. But look for potential spoilers from Williams – who should not be overlooked for her fabulous performance in All The Money in the World, but yet is for some reason – as well as veterans Benning and Dench. Despite her age, I would like to see seven year old Brooklynn Prince pick up a nomination here.

Locks
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

My Additional Prediction
Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Contenders
Meryl Streep – The Post
Annette Benning – Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool
Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul
Michelle Williams – All The Money In The World

Who I’d Like to See Here
Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

BEST ACTOR
The Academy might as well put Gary Oldman’s name on the gold statue already, so that’s one spot down. Daniel Day-Lewis is probably retiring and is basically always awesome, so that’s two. Timothée Chalamet stormed onto the scene and made a name for himself in THREE(!!) best picture contenders, so he’s a lock. I’d be surprised to see Kaluuya miss given Get Out’s run thus far, but Hanks is on the edge for The Post, and James Franco took home the Golden Globe, so perhaps he just misses the cut. Franco would normally be a shoe-in based on his Golden Globe win, but his sexual harassment allegations hit with just a few days left in voting, so that’s going to be tough. Hugh Jackman should get a spot, but I’ll stick with Franco and Kaluuya – a win on national TV is hard to forget, and Get Out is the socially relevant film of the year.

Locks
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

My Additional Predictions
James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Contenders
Tom Hanks – The Post
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger
Hugh Jackman – Logan
Christian Bale – Hostiles

Who I’d Like to See Here
Jeremy Renner – Wind River
Chadwick Boseman – Marshall
Andy Serkis – War for Planet of the Apes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Another race with essentially four locks based on previous awards. There’s a lot of contention for the fifth spot, but I’m taking Armie Hammer, whose Call Me By Your Name role was probably the most showy in the film. Patrick Stewart should get a look for Logan, but there’s not a whole lot of talk surrounding the former Charles Xavier.

Locks
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Additional Prediction
Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name

Contenders
Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name
Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes
Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

Who I’d Like to See Here
Patrick Stewart – Logan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
There’s little drama here once again, with only Spencer’s spot seeming to come into question (but not really). The biggest spoiler could be the relative newcomer Chau for Downsizing, but that film was divisive among critics and Hollywood faithful alike, giving it little push come awards time.

Locks
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

My Additional Prediction
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Contenders
Hong Chau – Downsizing
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Kristin Scott Thomas – Darkest Hour
Catherine Keener – Get Out
Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Who I’d Like to See Here
Bria Vinaite – The Florida Project
Elizabeth Olsen – Wind River

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
God, I loved Roger Deakins’ photography in Blade Runner. van Hoytema’s shots in Dunkirk were terrific, and Lausten’s in Shape of Water actually helped shape the film into the classical Hollywood fairytale it ultimately became, so it’s hard to make a call as to who will follow. There’s a lot of talk about Mudbound, but I’m betting that one falls off due to it just being a Netflix release with little publicity. So give me Darkest Hour and Call Me By Your Name, though I’d take John Mathieson’s brooding warm shots in Logan over either.

Locks
Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
Hoyte van Hoytema – Dunkirk
Dan Laustsen – The Shape of Water

My Additional Predictions
Bruno Delbonnel – Darkest Hour
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – Call Me By Your Name

Contenders
Rachel Morrison – Mudbound
Ben Davis – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Janusz Kaminski – The Post
Anthony Dod Mantle – First They Killed My Father
Vittorio Storaro – Wonder Wheel

Who I’d Like to See Here
John Mathieson – Logan

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The screenplay awards are typically where films that were just on the outside looking in on Best Picture get their due, and I don’t think it’ll be any different this year. Take Get Out, Lady Bird and Three Billboards first, though I’m dropping off Shape of Water because that film lives in its visuals and performances. I’d like to see first-timer Liz Hannah pick up a nomination for The Post (she almost quit writing when the script got picked up), and also Gordon/Nanjiani for creating the most original romantic comedy in years with The Big Sick.

Locks
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Additional Predictions
Liz Hannah & Josh Singer – The Post
Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick

Contenders
Steven Rogers – I, Tonya
Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Who I’d Like to See Here
Taylor Sheridan – Wind River

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Oddly, there’s more Best Picture consideration in the original category this year than the adapted one. Start with the two Best Picture contenders, and then throw in Sorkin for the kick-ass Molly’s Game script which, as always with The West Wing helmer, lives in its writing. The Disaster Artist has gotten some love in other award series, though I’d call this the most tentative pick on my list overall this year. Finally, Logan’s got to get something, so let’s roll with that one in the last spot. If so, it’d be the first superhero film to pick up a nomination.

Locks
James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name
Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees – Mudbound

My Additional Predictions
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – The Disaster Artist
Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green – Logan

Contenders
Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad & Jack Thorne – Wonder
Allan Heinberg – Wonder Woman
James Gray – The Lost City of Z
Lee Hall – Victoria and Abdul
Rian Johnson – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Who I’d Like to See Here
I’m good.