Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018 Oscar Predictions

While resigning ourselves to the inevitability that few moments during this Sunday's 90th Annual Academy Awards will come close to matching the shocking final minutes of last year's show, I have only wish for the 2018 Oscars: That they keep it about the movies.  We've had about four to six months of #MeToo, #TimesUp and Harvey Weinstein so I don't think it's asking too much, aside from the opening monologue, for the industry to spend one night focusing all their attention on celebrating and appreciating the onscreen work we've seen in the past year. That is, after all, why the Oscars exist. And boy do we badly need that celebration now, with the gap between the tastes of the general moviegoing public and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences growing by the day.

With the notable exception of box office juggernaut Get Out, there's really no 2017 film listed here that came close to permeating the culture or causing even casual chatter among the general population. And there's still the chance that may not even go home with anything. Movies just aren't at the forefront right now, but that's okay since there's still no better night all year for those who love good ones. That one of the best Oscar hosts in years, Jimmy Kimmel earned the call back can only be viewed as a positive, as is the recent news that Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway will be returning to the scene of the crime, attempting again to present Best Picture after last year's ridiculously entertaining debacle.

Speaking of which, this might be the most wide open Best Picture category we've ever had, with as many as three films or four films all with a solid chance of taking home the gold. Unfortunately for me, it could also mean owning the embarrassment of incorrectly predicting the biggest category for the third consecutive year. So, as I struggle to play catch up again and cram in viewings of all these nominees, here's hoping they build on last year's momentum to deliver another solid, well produced broadcast that doesn't run over 5 hours long. Below are my predictions, along with some comments on the major categories. As usual, I'm reserving the right to adjust these picks leading up to the start of the show.

*Predicted Winners

Best Animated Feature:
“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

Best Animated Short:
“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

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)

Best Film Editing:
“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

Best Sound Editing:
“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

Best Sound Mixing:
“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

Best Production Design:
“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

Best Original Score:
“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

Best Original Song:
“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

Best Makeup and Hair:
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick 
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Best Costume Design:
“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

Best Visual Effects:

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