Saturday, March 03, 2018

Oscar predix 2018

You've come a long way, Academy...but maybe not long enough. After nominating one of the most interesting and varied Oscar lineups in years, there's a better than even chance that its final choices will hew to traditional patterns. The Oscars, after all, are fundamentally an industry popularity contest with just a gloss of artistic high-mindedness that all too often succumbs to hive-mindedness. Still, many of the races this year are surprisingly tight and hard to predict. Nothing's likely to top last year's bizarre fakeout switcheroo from La La Land to Moonlight for sheer shock value, but there are unquestionably many worthy contenders to root for pulling the upset.

For now, here are my predictions for the Big Eight:


Will win: It's neck-and-neck between Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO and The Shape of Water. While the latter racked up more nominations, pessimistic me is betting on Three Billboards, a movie I thought had good qualities but has been seriously overpraised. Notwithstanding the inevitable backlash it's faced over its treatment of race, it still feels like more of a favorite, especially among the acting branch, than Shape of Water, which may suffer from voters weirded out by the idea of giving top prize to a romance between a woman and a fish man.

Should win: My personal favorite is Lady Bird, but I would be happy to see the gorgeous, heartfelt Shape of Water take it.

Dark horse: Pretty much all of the other nominees have an outside shot except, sadly, The Post (which I would also be happy to see win, and in another era would probably have been the frontrunner).


Will win: Guillermo del Toro, for so fully realizing his own fantastical vision in The Shape of Water

Should win: Del Toro

Dark horse: Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk


Will win: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Should win: Among this group, Timothée Chalamet gave the most poignant performance, but I'm still mad the Academy didn't even nominate Jeremy Renner for his career-best turn in Wind River.

Dark horse: None - Oldman's got this locked up.


Will win: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards

Should win: Toss-up between Sally Hawkins for her lovely, mute turn in Shape of Water and Saoirse Ronan for wonderfully capturing both how maddening and how lovable a teenage girl can be. My heart is most with Ronan, though.

Dark horse: Sally Hawkins


Will win: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

Should win: Willem Dafoe, so wonderful in The Florida Project

Dark horse: Willem Dafoe


Will win: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Should win: Lauren Metcalf, Lady Bird

Dark horse: Lauren Metcalf


Will win: Three Billboards may be the favorite, but my gut is saying Get Out will win this one

Should win: Get Out

Dark horse: Get Out


Will win: Call Me By Your Name

Should win: Call Me By Your Name

Dark horse: Mudbound