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Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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Best Live Action Short Film

my nephew emmett Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmet
Silent Child
Watu Wote: All of Us

What should win: Watu Wote: All of Us

What will win: My Nephew Emmett

Okay, so the short film categories are always tough, simply because it’s so rare that anyone outside of Academy voters or festival audiences has even seen them. That being said, this year’s crop of live-action nominees has some solid choices, including the harrowing DeKalb Elementary and haunting Silent Child. Watu Wote looks to be a tense retelling of the Mandera bus attack on the Kenya-Somali border in 2014, but the cultural moment will likely swing votes over to the disquieting Emmett Till dramatization, My Nephew Emmett. –Clint Worthington

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Best Foreign Language Film

the insult film Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica)
The Insult (L’insulte)
Loveless (Нелюбовь)
On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről)
The Square

What should win: Loveless

What will win: The Insult

The Square came out of Cannes with the heat of a thousand takes. It’s a gnarly, stylish ribbing of not only the art scene, but established systems, vanity, and culture at large. Then, time cooled it. Backlash emerged. Schisms were born. And now, even though we really like that freaky and mean film – it’s just so not Academy material. Loveless, a grim and endlessly compelling indictment of apathetic Russian culture is a hugely deserving effort. But that, too, is a bit grim for the Academy. A Fantastic Woman deserves praise matching the adjective of its title … but Sony didn’t push it hard enough. So, at the end of the day, it’s maybe The Insult and On Body and Soul. And for the insane Oscar gamblers of the world: Bet on The Insult. Please don’t ask for your money back if I’m wrong. –Blake Goble

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Best Animated Feature Film

coco Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

What should win: Coco
What will win: Coco

Academy Award-nominee The Boss Baby. Just really take the time to chew on that one for a few minutes, here.

Meanwhile, given that CG-based animation rules the category, it’s going to be the best-executed example of it by far that runs away with what we’d call the most guaranteed category lock of the night. Coco is a visual feast, one of the most richly detailed films from minute to minute that Pixar has ever released, and it’s likely going to become the studio’s ninth feature to win in this category. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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Best Documentary Feature Film

abacus Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

What should win: Faces Places

What will win: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

If there’s any justice in this world, Agnes Varda and JR’s Faces Places will win all the awards. A celebration of citizenry, architecture, and the long paths of our lives, it’s an incredible, uplifting work from one of cinema’s most influential filmmakers. Varda is pushing 90, and yet she’s at the absolute top of her game, which is something that should be rewarded. However, Steve James’ Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, with its empathetic look at both Chinese immigrant cultures and the 2008 recession, has just enough heat and visibility to pull through. Plus, it’s a long-awaited Oscar nom for the acclaimed director of Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters, so a win for James wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. –Clint Worthington

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Best Adapted Screenplay

call me by your name Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

What should win: Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green, Logan

What will win: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

Look, it’s already a win that we can even talk about Logan at this year’s Oscars. Sure, in a perfect world, the film would also be celebrating nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor, but Hollywood, for all its glamour and gloss, is hardly perfect. So, while we’d love for their screenplay to snikt! snikt! its way to the top, we’re putting our money on Ivory, seeing how the Academy will have to “spread the wealth”, and it’s very unlikely Call Me By Your Name gets Best Picture. Though, we do like Neustadter and Weber as an unlikely dark horse candidate. Would be a cool story, Mark. –Michael Roffman

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Best Original Screenplay

get out Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Emily V. Gordon & 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

What should win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

What will win: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Talk about a Sophie’s choice, huh? Yeah, you know you’re in for a shit show when McDonagh is the easiest candidate to dismiss outright. (We’ll probably eat crow for that line. Ugh.) That leaves four incredibly smart and highly imaginative screenplays, all at the top of their respective genres. But if we have to chisel this down to two names, we’re going to zero in on Gerwig and Peele. Both have the sharpest scripts of the bunch, which says a lot, and both have the critical acclaim to back up both wins. Splitting hairs, we have to go with Peele, whose screenplay serves as the entire blueprint behind his horror subversion. This will likely be the only award Get Out sneaks away with, seeing how the Academy is terrified of the genre. Babies. –Michael Roffman

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Best Supporting Actor

sam rockwell billboards Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

Who should win: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project or Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Who will win: Sam Rockwell,Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Out of all the seemingly guaranteed wins, this is one category that bothers us the least. After all, Rockwell has been an underrated character actor his entire career, as he recently played up during his hosting gig on Saturday Night Live, and he’s more than deserving of the accolades. Three Billboards has been ludicrously overrated these past few months, but his role in the film embellishes his strongest qualities as an actor. Having said that, we’d really, really, really love it if Dafoe could pull out a win for The Florida Project or if Jenkins could similarly be commended for his time around Hollywood. –Michael Roffman

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Best Supporting Actress

i tonya Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

Who should win: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Who will win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Ask anyone a month or two ago, and they’d tell you Laurie Metcalf had it in the bag for her acerbic, passive-aggressive mom in Greta Gerwig’s revelatory Lady Bird. However, awards season has been pretty kind to Allison Janney, playing a similarly acid-tongued mama bear in I, Tonya. Already, she’s won the Golden Globe, SAG, and Critics’ Choice awards, and there’s no reason to think she won’t complete the collection come Oscar time. Sure, Spencer and Blige’s nominations are well-deserved, and it’s a very pleasant surprise to see that Lesley Manville’s steely glares secured her a nod. But it’s a shame to leave Metcalf’s magnetic performance in the dust. –Clint Worthington

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Best Actor

gary oldman darkest hour Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq

Who should win: Let’s not talk about it.

Who will win: Gary Oldman

What a snore of a category. Considering that Oldman has won just about every accolade for his performance as Winston Churchill, including the coveted SAG Award, the Oscar is all but his to lose. Sure, they could toss the award to future retiree Day-Lewis for his understated role in Phantom Thread, one that was severely overshadowed by the virtually ignored Vicky Krieps, but that’s pretty unlikely. The Academy loves using this category to “give back” and Oldman is next in line. In the event that Chalamet and/or Kaluuya do win — the only contenders that are remotely interesting here — well, this writer may walk back to the kitchen and have a fourth quarter slice of pizza to celebrate. But, that ain’t happening, folks. –Michael Roffman

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Best Actress

three billboards Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

Who should win: Fuck it, let’s join the backlash! Anybody but McDormand.

Who will win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

It’s gonna be Frances McDormand. And hey, that’s cool. Really, we’re fine with that on a general level where we’re still kinda wilding out over the shit she gets away with in Three Billboards. Molotov cocktails, racial epithets, kicking teenage girls in the crotch. Hoo doggy, this performance tore down the house in a big way, and McDormand never flinches, not even once. And yet. Should we reward attention-grabbing and bad behavior on screen when we can dig into richer, deeper, and far more complex performances from four other fabulous nominees? Like Robbie’s empathetic portrayal of ‘90s tabloid athlete Tonya Harding? Or Meryl’s finely arced work as Kay Graham? Or what about Ronan’s delightfully teenaged Lady Bird McPherson? Or maybe we should award Sally Hawkins for bringing depth to The Shape of Water without uttering a word? Just a thought. –Blake Goble
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Best Director

del toro shape of water Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

What should win: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

What will win: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

For the first time in, like, ever, the narratives for this category are agreeable no matter the winner. On one hand, you have three proven veterans hungry for some of that sweet Oscar gold, and in the other hand are two talented n00bs who hit the jackpot on their first pull. All would be welcome additions to the “Oscar-winning directory” field, but as the Highlander taught us, there can only be one. If we’re going by sheer filmmaking, this award belongs to Nolan, who delivered a flawless piece of filmmaking with Dunkirk. But, given the sheer number of awards, and the fact that it’s pure auteur filmmaking, and that the Academy loves spectacles, and that the buzz is deafening, all signs point to del Toro walking away with the coveted award. –Michael Roffman

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Best Picture

lady bird Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

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

What should win: Get Out

What will win: Lady Bird

Come on. How cool would it be if, in a great year for movies all around, it was the first horror movie to be nominated for Best Picture in years that took home the prize? This is an exceedingly solid year for the Best Picture race, at least depending on your perspective, and it’s a shame only that some of our favorites in the race are among the least likely to take home this year’s crown.

That said, Lady Bird was the kind of formidable coming-out party as a filmmaker that’s going to make Greta Gerwig a household name in the years to come, and we believe it has the best chance of swaying the Academy in a year where several other films are being met with skepticism as winners, whether because of their controversial subject matter (Three Billboards) or the familiarity of their storytelling (The Post).

We’re voting for Lady Bird. It’s going to take home the big one on March 4th, and that’s hella tight.–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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