The Oscars will be awarded Sunday night. Jimmy Kimmel will be back. Last year’s ‘envelope guardians’ from PWC, Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, won’t be for obvious reasons. I’ve seen enough movies and shorts to make up 90 of the nominations here. And to think just before Christmas, the only big-time contender I saw was Dunkirk. Whatever the situation, I succeeded again for the seventeenth year in a row in seeing all of the Best Picture nominees before Oscar night.
And now here are my predictions:
BEST PICTURE WRAP-UP:
Interesting how last year I did ‘summaries’ where I reviewed three in one blog. This time I had the energy to do one blog per film. So here’s my summary. All titles have links to my reviews:
-Call Me By Your Name– This is an excellent story about a love that’s meant to be, but is only temporary. It’s best quality is the story happening in a picturesque background. Excellent film, but I don’t think it has what it takes to win Best Picture.
-Darkest Hour– This is one film that was not considered a huge threat to the Best Picture race, but it did it. It has a lot to admire, especially Oldman’s acting. However I don’t think it has what it takes both as a picture and in terms of campaigning to win.
-Dunkirk– This is a film that first appears like it has Best Picture material. This makes for n excellent case, but the script is lacking and there’s no single acting performance that stands out for this year. Excellent film, nevertheless.
-Get Out– This is one of the Top 3 bets for Best Picture. It has a lot of what it takes to win, and especially since this is a come-from-nowhere story. However the Academy has never taken well to horror movies. I think this is the first ever to be nominated for Best Picture? I think the Academy will back off in favor of the ‘other two’ contenders.
-Lady Bird– This is a charmer of a film and one of the more significant films of the year. It’s a film written and directed by a woman and sends the message about how much of an impact women can have in film. Excellent work, but usually the Academy doesn’t normally reward movies where a teenager is the central character.
-Phantom Thread– This is a film that had the luck of a ‘late surge.’ The film was first seen having its best chances in nominations in Day-Lewis’ acting, Anderson’s writing and Bridges’ costuming. Instead it also acquired Best Picture and Best Director. Very good film, but lacks the muscle of some of the other contenders.
-The Post– This is another excellent Spielberg film. However it doesn’t compare to some of his more legendary works like Schindler’s List or Saving Private Ryan or even E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Not this time Steven.
-The Shape Of Water– This is the one film of the bunch that I can truly describe as ‘having it all.’ Top acting, top directing, top script, and even a lot of pluses along the way like top set design, excellent costuming, excellent make-up and excellent music. This is my pick for Should Win and Will Win.
-Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri– This is a film packed with top acting and a top script. I liked it because of its unpredictability. I don’t think it will win Best Picture, but I think this is the film that has the best chances of upsetting The Shape Of Water.
Should Win & Will Win – Guillermo del Toro, The Shape Of Water
How many of you have seen Pan’s Labyrinth? How many of you fell in love with that film? I’m one that has. I’ve been waiting for the longest time for Del Toro to get his acclaim as a director. Finally he gets his chance with The Shape Of Water.
Should Win and Will Win – Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Many people have felt that Gary Oldman is one of the most underrated actors around. He’s given us a lot to appreciate ever since he burst onto the scene with Sid And Nancy. After so long, he finally gets his long overdue respect. And if you saw Darkest Hour, you’d know it’s for all the right reasons.
Should Win and Will Win – Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Frances knows how to mix the comedic with the dramatic. Those who saw Fargo ought to know. That’s where she won her first Best Actress Oscar. I read that Frances tried to adopt John Wayne as an influence for Mildred Hayes. In retrospect, I think she was dead on! It’s no wonder she’s favored to win her second Oscar here.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Should Win and Will Win – Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
This year’s favorites for the acting categories are rather predictable. All of them have won the Golden Globe, The SAG and the BAFTA awards. The Oscar is a forgone conclusion. Same here for Sam Rockwell. Nevertheless he is deserving of it as he does some excellent character acting that makes him unrecognizable.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Should Win and Will Win – Allison Janney, I, Tonya
I’m sure all of you can name at least one movie where you saw Allison Janney catch your eye in a supporting role. Primary Colors, American Beauty, Nurse Betty, The Hours, Hairspray, Juno, The Help, The Way Way Back, the list goes on. Even if the role is small, she helps make the movie. Now it’s her turn for Oscar glory, and rightly so. She’ll leave you wondering if the movie’s about Tonya or LaVona.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
Should Win – Jordan Peele, Get Out
Will Win – Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It’s a tough call between the two scripts. I’d like to see Get Out because everybody loves a come-from-nowhere story. I think it will go to Three Billboards on the strength of it Best Picture buzz.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Should Win and Will Win – James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
I can see why it’s so highly acclaimed. It plays out like a lot of European films, even though it’s actually a love story about two Americans in Europe. Nevertheless the best choice in this category.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
Should Win and Will Win: CoCo
2017’s line-up of animated movies really couldn’t compare to that of 2016. We’re talking a year where The Boss Baby was nominated and there was even the mere release of The Emoji Movie! However it’s like they saved the best for the end of the year with Ferdinand, CoCo and Loving Vincent. A lot of people loved the humor of Ferdinand, but I went with CoCo. I always love it when an animated movie takes you to another world, and CoCo is the movie that did it this year.
BEST ART DIRECTION:
Will Win: Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin, The Shape Of Water
Will Win: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Will Win: Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Will Win: Faces Places
BEST FILM EDITING:
Will Win: Lee Smith, Dunkirk
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Will Win: The Square (Sweden)
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
Will Win: Darkest Hour
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Will Win: Alexeandre Desplat, The Shape Of Water
It seems like every time John Williams creates a film score, it gets nominated. Actually his score for The Post–which had bigger nomination expectations than his score for The Last Jedi— didn’t get nominated! That’s odd. I always considered a nomination for John Williams a default. Whatever the situation, Alexandre Desplat looks to be the film composer most poised to be the next great one. He won for The Grand Budapest Hotel and he’s highly likely to do it again.
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Should Win & Will Win: ‘Remember Me’ from CoCo
BEST SOUND MIXING:
Will Win: Dunkirk
BEST SOUND EDITING:
Will Win: Dunkirk
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Will Win: Blade Runner 2049
BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM:
BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM:
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT:
Will Win: Edith+Eddie
JUST ONE MORE – TOP OSCAR UPSETS
Here are the five upsets I feel are most likely to occur:
- Three Billboards wins Best Picture
- Willem Dafoe wins Best Supporting Actor for The Florida Project
- Jordan Peele wins Best Original Screenplay for Get Out
- ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman wins Best Original Song
- A Fantastic Woman from Chile wins Best Foreign Language Film
And there you have it. My predictions for this year’s Academy Awards. The 90th edition. I’m expecting them to show a lot of memories of the past. One thing I hope for this year is that they have all their envelopes right. Whatever the situation, it looks to be one entertaining night.