Tonight marks the 400 billionth Academy Awards, the glitziest night of the year. There will be dresses to fawn over, political statements to agree with or be infuriated by, Casey Affleck won’t be there, and you can rest assured that the Best Picture award presentation will go off without a hitch.
The conversations that surround the Oscars tend to either focus on the increasingly political nature of the awards or just how irrelevant they are. While I have no intention of touching any of the heated political debates currently raging with a ten-foot pole, I will agree with the oh so very controversial statement that no, the Oscars don’t matter. Every year great films are nominated, and great films are snubbed. Every year, mediocre films are nominated, and fan favorites are snubbed. That’s the danger inherent in ranking the quality of art, which is experienced differently by every viewer.
I say all of that to say this: The Oscars are entirely unimportant, but they are a hell of a lot of fun. There’s a tension to the proceedings that appeals even to people who couldn’t care less about the films or filmmakers, and there is always the possibility of a crazy upset or Warren Beatty doing something monumentally stupid to keep you thoroughly entertained – even during the categories that the Academy probably doesn’t even care about. So regardless of the value of the awards or what they stand for, let’s all take a moment to stop, smell the roses, and enjoy the show for what it is.
Below I will list out each and every one of the nominees in all 24 categories. I’ll also be including my predictions for what will win, as well as the film I would personally award were anybody to make the mistake of asking me. Keep an eye out during the show, as I’ll be updating the list to indicate winners as they’re announced. Winners will be shown in **red**.
Clearly, my picks were not in sync with those of the Academy.
Call Me by Your Name
**The Shape of Water**
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
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.
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
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
**Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri**
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
**Allison Janney – I, Tonya**
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson
**The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro**
The Boss Baby – Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
**Coco – Lee Unkrich Darla K. Anderson**
Ferdinand – Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman
**Dear Basketball – Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant**
Garden Party – Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
Lou – Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
Negative Space – Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
Revolting Rhymes – Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer
**Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory**
The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan – Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound – Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
The Big Sick – Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
**Get Out – Jordan Peele**
Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh
**Blade Runner 2049 – Roger Deakins**
Darkest Hour – Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound – Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen
Best Documentary Feature:
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Edith+Eddie – Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
**Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 – Frank Stiefel**
Heroin(e) – Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
Knife Skills – Thomas Lennon
Traffic Stop – Kate Davis, David Heilbroner
Best Live Action Short Film:
DeKalb Elementary – Reed Van Dyk
The Eleven O’Clock – Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
My Nephew Emmett – Kevin Wilson, Jr.
**The Silent Child – Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton**
Watu Wote/All of Us – Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen
Best Foreign Language Film:
**A Fantastic Woman – (Chile)**
The Insult – (Lebanon)
Loveless – (Russia)
On Body and Soul – (Hungary)
The Square – (Sweden)
Baby Driver – Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
**Dunkirk – Lee Smith**
I, Tonya – Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water – Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Jon Gregory
Baby Driver – Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049 – Mark Mangini, Theo Green
**Dunkirk – Alex Gibson, Richard King**
The Shape of Water – Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood
Baby Driver – Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
Blade Runner 2049 – Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
**Dunkirk – Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo**
The Shape of Water – Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick
Beauty and the Beast – Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
Darkest Hour – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
Dunkirk – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
**The Shape of Water – Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau**
Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood
**The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat**
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Carter Burwell
“Mighty River” from Mudbound – Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name – Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from Marshall – Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman – Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
Makeup and Hair:
**Darkest Hour – Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick**
Victoria and Abdul – Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Wonder – Arjen Tuiten
Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour – Jacqueline Durran
**Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges**
The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira
Victoria and Abdul – Consolata Boyle
Right as I am, my pick was wrong, and I am the last thing from mad. A beautiful film, and a graceful win.
My Prediction: Well, I guess we’ll start with the most difficult one right out of the gate. As of now, there’s really no way to tell what will actually take home the highest award, and there are no extremely clear frontrunners. The best guess as of the Golden Globes was Three Billboards, but since then a great deal of controversy has sprung up regarding a perceived redemptive arc for Sam Rockwell’s racist character. It’s worth noting that he has continued to sweep up awards for his performance in the film, so maybe the academy won’t put much stock in the backlash towards the movie.
The other major contender is The Shape of Water, which has taken home some pretty significant honors, including Best Director and Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice awards. Combining that with the film’s 13 Oscar nominations, I’m going to give it a slight edge on Three Billboards. It’s always possible that Get Out or Lady Bird will sneak up from behind and nab the trophy, but given the Academy’s prejudice against horror and comedy films, I’ll stick with The Shape of Water for now. That having been said, with a race this close I can do little more than speculate.
My Pick: This is a painful one. Asking me to choose the best of these films requires that I decide between Dunkirk, Three Billboards, and Call Me by Your Name, all of which were phenomenal. I suppose it’s a mercy that I, Tonya wasn’t nominated after all, lest my task be made even harder. When put to the wire, I suppose I’ll throw my support behind Three Billboards. With direction that solid, a script that fine-tuned, and performances that memorable, it is a formidable contender indeed.
With a fittingly nonexistent pause before the announcement, the award was presented to the man who was very much deserving of it.
My Prediction: Where Best Picture requires a great deal of speculation, Lead Actor requires precisely none. Gary Oldman will almost definitely take home the little gold man for his portrayal of Winston Churchill. It checks off all of the Oscar voter boxes, not the least of which is their predilection for biopics.
My Pick: As much as I want to be a contrarian and say that Timothée Chalamet deserves an award for the closing credits of Call Me by Your Name alone, I’ll have to go with Gary Oldman as well. Even though I did not much care for Darkest Hour, he became Churchill in an authentic way, and the fact that he was able to wear that hefty prosthesis like a second skin is worthy of recognition.
A predictable win for a brilliant performance.
My Prediction: Here’s another easy one, Frances McDormand all the way. Her performance rose to the top in a film filled with wildly talented actors, and she’s already swept up just about every award leading up to the Oscars.
My Pick: While I would love to see I, Tonya take home everything it was nominated for as some kind of justice for having been ignored in the Best Picture race, Frances McDormand’s Mildred Hayes was too perfect not to vote for. Every movement was carefully controlled rage, each action perfectly tempered to her character. Truly a performance for the ages.
My Prediction: Despite the backlash, Sam Rockwell has consistently won in this category, including at the Screen Actors Guild, which is usually a decent indicator of the way the Academy will lean. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to see The Florida Project so I can’t speak to the strengths of Willem Dafoe’s performance, but I’ve heard nothing but good, and it’s possible that the controversy surrounding Rockwell will give him the edge he needs.
My Pick: Since I can apparently have nothing nice and Michael Stuhlbarg wasn’t nominated for Call Me by Your Name, I’ll have to go with Rockwell too. I’m bitter.
Correct. My goodness I, Tonya was good…
My Prediction: Coming off of multiple previous wins, Allison Janney seems poised to take this one home with little competition. There are a fair number of people hoping for Laurie Metcalf to cause an upset for her role in Lady Bird, but I think Janney has this one in the bag.
My Pick: Allison Janney with ease, and not just because of my secret wishes for I, Tonya. The way she played Harding’s mother was hysterical and ferocious at the same time, which is a pretty impressive balancing act.
Well done Mr. del Toro. You deserve it.
My Prediction: Barring any major surprises, it looks like it’s Guillermo del Toro’s year to win. Not only did he emerge victorious at the Golden Globes last year, but he also won the honor at the Director’s Guild of America, which is a pretty good indication of a repeated win tonight at the Oscars.
My Pick: This is another difficult one for me. I’ve greatly enjoyed most of Paul Thomas Anderson’s filmography, but Phantom Thread wasn’t the best-directed film of the year. Nor were Get Out or Lady Bird, despite being wonderfully unique and benefiting tremendously from their directors’ unique voices. I’m torn between Nolan and del Toro, each of whom has a library of impressively well-directed films to their name, and would be entirely deserving of the award. If I must choose, I’d have to side with Nolan, if only by a hair. Dunkirk was brilliantly well directed, and I’ve not seen a movie so well structured in years.
Correct. Holy shit yes. I’m so glad I don’t have to live in that horrifying Boss Baby world.
My Prediction: There’s quite literally no point in discussing it; it’s going to be Coco. End of story.
My Pick: Even though I’ve had a chip on my shoulder about Pixar ever since Inside Out beat Anomalisa in 2016, even I have to admit that Coco was delightful. Also, I refuse to live in a world where Boss Baby has won this award.
Almost guaranteed to have been incorrect.
My Prediction: It’s time for some honesty. I’ve not seen a single short on this list except for Lou, so I’ll go with Lou.
My Pick: Similar to my frustration when Anomalisa lost to Inside Out, I’m still salty over Borrowed Time losing to Piper. That’s not particularly relevant, I’m just trying (clumsily) to distract from the fact that I still haven’t seen any of the shorts but Lou. But come on, you’d have to be stone not to feel anything while watching that short, and it’s almost upsettingly well-animated.
IT WASN’T WISHFUL THINKING.
My Prediction: Given the allegations against James Franco, it seems doubtful that The Disaster Artist will claim this award, and there has been a general lack of buzz surrounding the other nominees. My guess is that Call Me by Your Name walks away with the distinction, but that could just be wishful thinking.
My Pick: My vote goes to Call Me by Your Name. Having never read the book on which it’s based I can’t say whether or not it’s a faithful adaptation, but I can say that the screenplay finds a wonderful balance between lightheartedness and melancholy. Also, I have read The Disaster Artist, and the screen adaptation is far weaker than the original novel.
A well-deserved win for a remarkable film. I’m glad to have been wrong.
My Prediction: It has to be Three Billboards.
My Pick: It has to be.
A hard decision to make, and I’m glad to see this visionary work rewarded. But damn… Dunkirk was beautiful. I was incorrect in my prediction though, so admonish me commensurate to the severity of my error.
My Prediction: This is a showdown for the ages. Roger Deakins’ groundbreaking and vivid work on Blade Runner 2049 in a winner-takes-all slugfest with Hoyte Van Hoytema’s stunning achievement on Dunkirk. In most cases, I would say that Oscar voters would be more inclined to go with the WWII movie over a sci-fi noir flick, but in this category, it’s harder to tell than in most above the line groups. I’ll venture a guess that Dunkirk edges it out if for no other reason that it’s been nominated for more awards than Blade Runner, and it performed better at the box office.
My Pick: This category, more so than any other, has threatened to drive me insane this year. Dunkirk was a singular visual achievement, and Blade Runner 2049 is one of the best-looking film’s I’ve ever seen. It pains me to choose at all, but if I must, I’ll go with Blade Runner. But damn, Dunkirk is beautiful.
Best Documentary Feature:
My Shame: It’s time for some more honesty. I have seen precisely none of these films, so this guess will not be of the educated variety.
My Prediction: I’ve heard of Last Men in Aleppo, so let’s go with that.
My Pick: Still haven’t seen them, still going with my obviously well considered first choice, Last Men in Aleppo.
Best Documentary Short Subject:
I mean, I was close? If nothing else my love for long titles was validated, so that’s cool.
My Shame: Here we go again. You know the drill by now.
My Prediction: Um… how about Heroin(e)? Its got a neat play on words.
My Pick: Well, heroin is bad in real life so why not Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 because I like things with long titles.
Best Live Action Short Film:
Hah! My air travel preferences win again!
Also, I feel incredibly shallow after the acceptance speech. Sorry to fun police the (few) readers and to minimalize the work of the artists. I’ll watch it as soon as I can.
My Shame: I’m not proud of this.
My Prediction: The Silent Child, because I like those on airplanes.
My Pick: If my name were Emmett then I would be someone’s nephew Emmett, so I’ll go with My Nephew Emmett for its relatability.
Best Foreign Language Film:
Correct (somehow). Well! How about that?
My Shame: I really do miss living in a city with a theater that showed arthouse and foreign films.
My Prediction: I’ve heard really great things about A Fantastic Woman and The Square so it could go either way. I’ll side with A Fantastic Woman as it seems topical enough to sway some voters.
My Pick: I think I’ll hold fast with A Fantastic Woman as it’s the one I’m most excited to see once I’m able.
My Prediction: I suspect that, for voters, this will come down to Dunkirk and Baby Driver. My guess is that Dunkirk will pull more votes as it was really made memorable by its structure and it is the more celebrated film in general.
My Pick: While the editing in Baby Driver was the best part of the film, the subtle intelligence of Dunkirk‘s temporal manipulation makes it the clear winner in my mind.
My Prediction: This will likely be essentially the same competition as film editing, although with the addition of Blade Runner 2049. While I do think Baby Driver has a far better chance in this category than in the previous one, I suspect that Blade Runner may claim the prize.
My Pick: Despite my overall opinion of the film, the sound editing in Baby Driver was a triumph, and it should be recognized.
As wrong as above unless you consider my prediction that both sound editing and mixing would share a victor.
My Prediction: Boasting a list of nominees identical to that of sound editing, I believe that the winner will be the same as well. Blade Runner‘s unique soundscape should be enough to convince voters of its superiority.
My Pick: Yet again, I find myself torn between Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049. In this instance, though, my decision is somewhat easier, as Blade Runner‘s sonic landscape is as vivid as it is memorable.
My Prediction: If there is one other contest at the 2018 Oscars to rival the intensity of Cinematography, its Production Design. This time around, the contenders are The Shape of Water and Phantom Thread. Despite the Academy’s favorable view of Paul Thomas Anderson and the fact that his film is about a dressmaker who lives in a stunning house, I think that the positive momentum behind The Shape of Water will be enough to gain it another win.
My Pick: While Phantom Thread is undeniably beautiful, The Shape of Water is both more unique and more memorable. If there’s one thing del Toro has always excelled at, it’s his detailed and tactile production design.
A beautiful score and a talented composer. Desplat takes it again, after Grand Budapest.
My Prediction: Honestly, this one could go to anyone. However, I’ll go out on a limb and say that Alexandre Desplat edges out John Williams and Hans Zimmer for his work on The Shape of Water. It’s far more traditional than Zimmer’s score, and The Last Jedi‘s soundtrack was mostly reprises and variations on themes Williams composed for The Force Awakens – for which he did not win the Oscar.
My Pick: As beautiful as all of these compositions were, none are nearly as essential to their films as Hans Zimmer’s score for Dunkirk. While hardly a pleasant listen by itself, it is quite literally the glue that held Nolan’s film together, and for that alone it is a remarkable achievement.
I am pleased. “Remember me” is thoughtful, reflective, and emotional.
My Prediction: In this category, the award typically goes to something topical or old-Hollywood inspired. In this case, I’m terrified to say that it could easily be awarded to the repetitive and blunt “This is Me,” but I’ll live in the hope that it goes to “Remember Me.”
My Pick: As a long time fan of Sufjan Stevens’ music, I am thoroughly baffled and more than a little irked that the Academy chose to nominate “Mystery of Love,” and not “Visions of Gideon,” which is clearly the better song. Even so, it would be nice to see Stevens win, even if “Remember Me” is a wonderful little song.
Makeup and Hair:
My Prediction: Here’s another category for which speculation is useless. Darkest Hour has about as much chance of losing as I do of getting all of the Documentary and Foreign Film categories completely right.
My Pick: As much as Darkest Hour was dull Oscar-bait, its makeup and prosthetics were some of the best I’ve ever seen.
My Prediction: If the academy considers the monster suit from The Shape of Water to be a costume, then you have your winner right there. Otherwise, it’s going to be impossible to beat Phantom Thread – a film about costume design.
My Pick: See the above prediction.
My Prediction: In recent years, it has seemed that the Academy tends to favor films that make more subtle use of special effects rather than giant CG showcases. This being the case, I’m guessing that the little gold fellow will go to Blade Runner 2049.
My Pick: I’m sticking with Blade Runner. The filmmakers used CG as an accent to the excellent production design, not the focal point of it. Additionally, this film boasts some of the very best facial motion-capture of all time. Now if only the effects team could teach ILM how not to make Grand Moff Tarkin look like he was made of Silly Putty and Carrie Fisher look like she was molded out of cheap vinyl.