Wednesday, February 28, 2018

MY OFFICIAL 2017 OSCAR PREDICTIONS! (Still fighting a cold so, no special gimmicks this year either, just predictions. Might be briefer than usual.)




Alright, 24 categories, 24 predictions. Let's do this. Oscars are Sunday, Happy Oscar Weekend everyone,

I'll give a few thoughts on some of these like I usually do, but I think I'm gonna run through them since, I'm still mostly trying to not fall into NyQuil-induced coma, before I take my NyQuil, so let's power through this fascinating Oscar year.

And reminder, none of these are preferences, I haven't seen enough of these to have any of those, these are just prediction. Anyway, let's start with the big eight, beginning right at the top.


BEST PICTURE
Call Me By Your Name-Producers: Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito
Darkest Hour-Producers: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski
Dunkirk-Producers: Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan
Get Out-Producers: Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm, Jr. and Jordan Peele
Lady Bird-Producers: Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O'Neill
Phantom Thread-Producers: Jo Anne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi
The Post-Producers: Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macoska Krieger
The Shape of Water-Producers: Guillermo Del Toro and J. Miles Dale
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Producers: Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh

Honestly, as long as the don't F*** up the envelopes again, I don't even really care who wins this year. (I am almost ready to begin being over that!) Well, I think I may have to eat some crow, or not, because I basically predicted a while back, that, whoever wins Best Original Screenplay was going to win Picture, and I still kinda believe that, but I'm probably not going to listen to myself again and split those two anyway. Anyway, most pundits have it between four contenders, "Get Out", "Lady Bird", "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards...." with the latter currently leading on the Gold Derby odds. So, we're gonna get either #OscarSoBlack, #OscarSoFemale, #OscarsSoStillSortaRacist, or weirdest one of all, #OscarsSo-um,eh,soFishF***ers? (Shrugs) Honestly, despite Del Toro a shoe-in for Director, I'm not buying "The Shape of Water" winning; that lack of a SAG Ensemble nomination is a red flag everyone ignored last year, and I'm not falling for that again. Frankly I think it's between "Get Out" and "Three Billboards...." and this is a very close race; I wouldn't be surprised by either winning here, I was picking "Get Out" for the longest time, but BAFTA came out is when I finally switched. Not just because McDonagh won Writing there, that was as-expected, but "Three Billboards..." won both Best Film and Best British Film there, which is shockingly rare, even when it seems like it would be obvious. (For instance, "Slumdog Millionaire" winning Best Film but losing British Film to "Man on Wire"; they like to split that up.) Last year that happened was "The King's Speech", and we tried to dismiss BAFTA that year for, well, being British and sure enough it won. That and a SAG win, I think are too much for "Get Out" to overcome, which is gonna hopefully fight to get the consolation Writing prize. #OscarsStillSortaRacist takes it this year by a nose.

PREDICTION: "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" 


DIRECTING
Paul Thomas Anderson-"Phantom Thread"
Guillermo Del Toro-"The Shape of Water"
Greta Gerwig-"Lady Bird"
Christopher Nolan-"Dunkirk"
Jordan Peele-"Get Out"

Don't overthink it. Del Toro's won everywhere he can, including DGA which has gotten it's prediction wrong once since 2000, and that was the year Ben Affleck wasn't nominated for "Argo". The rule of Picture and Director automatically matching has been long out the window for years.

PREDICTION: Guillermo Del Toro-"The Shape of Water"


ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Timothee 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."

I've heard Timothee Chalamet's campaigning everywhere trying to scrounge enough votes to Eddie Redmayne this thing, but you know, here's the thing, Hollywood didn't want to give it to Michael Keaton, but they really, really do want to give it to Gary Oldman. Chalamet's young, so is Kaluuya, they'll be back. Again, don't overthink it, he's won everywhere, including SAG, including BAFTA, including the Globes, he's playing Winston Churchill,....

PREDICTION: Gary Oldman-"Darkest Hour"


ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
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"

Wow, Saoirse Ronan's got three career acting nominations and she was born in 1994. She's not 24 yet. She's not gonna win, I just wanted to make all of us including myself feel incredibly sad about our lives and what little we've accomplished with them.  (I should post a Saffy Herndon video here, just to warn you all of what's coming, but-, eh.) I do think she's in the race actually, but it seems like McDormand's just riding the trend and is everyone's favorite and has, as usual, won everything and everywhere that matters. Sally Hawkins might be an interesting second choice here, but I'm just not seeing it. Better luck next year Meryl.

PREDICTION: Frances McDormand-"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"


ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
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"

Look, if "All the Money in the World" had gotten anything else, I might've thought to consider Plummer here, but it's just a F*** you nomination to Spacey, and you know what, fine. Plummer's already won, so he's out and that leaves four beloved amazing characters actors to choose from. I can see scenarios for all of them, but again, don't overthink, Sam Rockwell's won all the biggest prognosticators going in,- there could be a vote split between him and Harrelson, maybe, btw, the last time two nominees in this category came from the same film was 1991 with Keitel and Kingsley for "Bugsy" and the last time somebody won in this category against a cast mate, you gotta go back to 1980 when Timothy Hutton pulled the upset win over Judd Hirsch, both were up for "Ordinary People", but Sam Rockwell has been an innovative and original actor for a long time now, actors want to honor him, finally they have a chance, they're taking it.

PREDICTION: Sam Rockwell-"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"


ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mary J. Blige-"Mudbound"
Allison Janney-"I, Tonya"
Lesley Manville-"Phantom Thread"
Laurie Metcalf-"Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer-"The Shape of Water"

Okay, this is the one category where there's basically been one heavy favorite winning everything that I'm a little hesistant on, 'cause even though Allison Janney has won pretty much everything, every indication otherwise says that this race might be close between her and Laurie Metcalf. I think there might've been a few outstanding votes for Lesley Manville, but if she can't win at BAFTA I can't figure out how she'd win here. I think Laurie Metcalf is finally campaigning, she's been doing a play for most of the Oscar seasons, but Allison Janney has such an advantage in the ground game that I think it's just too late. They're both very similar roles, evil mother parts, plus these are two similar actresses with similar backgrounds, and a history of winning. Metcalf, people forget won like three Emmys in a row for "Roseanne" years ago, and who knows, she might win again now that that's back, and Allison Janney, she's like tied the Emmy record right now, and who knows "Mom"'s still going, she might keep it up. If they want to honor "Lady Bird", and I think the Oscars do, this is the most likely scenario, but god, even if Laurie Metcalf was an unstoppable force, she's running into a brick wall going up against Allison Janney. And let me tell ya, you ask anybody in town who truly are the best actors around, like, they might say Meryl first, but second or third, they're saying Allison. They know how talented she really is, and that's half the reason why she wins everything, and I don't see that changing here.

PREDICTION: Allison Janney-"I, Tonya"


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
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

Don't overthink it again, "Call Me By Your Name" is the only Best Picture nominee in the group, and three of the other nominees have only this one nomination, you have to go back to 2004 to see a non-BP nominee win at either Screenplay category and that was "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" getting an upset win, and to see a film win a Writing category with only a Writing nomination, you gotta go back to the '50s with "Designing Women" winning, and it's never happened in the Adapted Screenplay category. Plus they want to give it to James Ivory, who I can't imagine wouldn't become the oldest winner ever with this win. If there's an upset maybe "Mudbound", but boy that's the stretch and a half. Maybe to honor Scott Frank, "Logan" could be a player, but I think it needed a lot more to get in and be a player here.

PREDICTION: "Call Me By Your Name"-James Ivory


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Big Sick-Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjani
Get Out-Jordan Peele
Lady Bird-Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water-Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Martin McDonagh

This is the one I'm worried about. I think we all have "The Big Sick" out of contention, easily, and I think "The Shape of Water" is probably out considering the small plagiarism claims that's out there in the ether haunting over it. Um, Greta Gerwig could pull this off, but most the winners have been split between "Get Out" and "Three Billboards...". "Three Billboards..." has done better in this category, everywhere, but America. It won the Golden Globe, but that's the Foreign Press, "Get Out" won at WGA but "Three Billboards..." wasn't eligible there, but it was at Critics Choice where "Get Out" won, "Three Billboards..." beat it at BAFTA...- They're both one and two, by my counts for Picture...-  I said whoever wins this wins Picture,.... but....- maybe they don't.

PREDICTION: "Get Out"-Jordan Peele

Okay from the big 8, let's go to the other three film awards, Animated, Documentary and Foreign Language Feature!


ANIMATED FEATURE
The Boss Baby-Tom McGrath and Ramsey Naito
The Breadwinner-Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
Coco-Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand-Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent-Dorota Kabiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan MacTaggart

This is another easy one, "Coco" is the only film of the nominees that's consistently showed up everywhere, it's won more awards, it's the most popular and most-well known of the nominees, it's a nominee elsewhere, the fact that it's Pixar helps...- this is a relatively easy call. If there is a second choice, it's probably split between "The Breadwinner" and "Loving Vincent"...; don't overthink....

PREDICTION: "Coco"



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail-Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman
Faces Places-Agnes Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
Icarus-Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogen
Last Men in Aleppo-Feras Fayyad, Karem Abeed and Soren Steen Jesperson
Strong Island-Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes

Okay, this one's a little tricky because one of the presumptive favorites, "Jane" didn't get into this category, so it's a bit up in the air, and there's reasons to vote for each of these. "Abacus..." could get the votes as a long overdue makeup to Steve James, who the Documentary Branch has been screwing with since "Hoop Dreams", they could go to "Strong Island" which would make Yance Ford the first openly trans filmmaker to win an Oscar, but there's also "Icarus" a timely film about Russia's Olympic steroid scandal, also, "Last Men in Aleppo" is about Syria and is about the same subject as last year's short subject winner, "The White Helmets", those last three are all streaming on Netflix btw, so there's that. "Faces Places" has to be the current favorite though, that's a film by the great Agnes Varda, who the Academy just gave an Honorary Oscar to, and again, there's years of make up that could be done if they were to finally reward that French New Wave pioneer. So, it's a bit of a toss-up, but I think I'm going with "Faces Places", just because I think they're in a mood to honor Agnes Varda, above everything else.

PREDICTION: "Faces Places"


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)-Sebastian Lelio
The Insult (Lebanon)-Ziad Doueiri
Loveless (Russia)- Andrey Zvyagintsev
On Body and Soul (Hungary)-Ildiko Eriyedi
The Square (Sweden)-Ruben Ostlund

This is always a tricky category. Name-wise, if we're going by Directors, I'd imagine "The Square" and "Loveless" are favorites, for different reasons. "A Fantastic Woman" is the most easily available, currently on Netflix I believe and is probably the least divisive and most enjoyable of the group. Chile's an interesting film country anyway, that's in the midst of a modern Renaissance, they might want to honor that. "The Insult" is Lebanon's first ever nomination, and that looks like something I can see them voting for. GoldDerby has "A Fantastic Woman" pulling away with "The Square" and "Loveless" as their second choices. I can see it either way, "The Square" has some noted American actors, most notably Elisabeth Moss in it, but that didn't help the Diane Kruger movie that didn't get in here. I can't imagine Hollywood's in the best mindset to honor Russia at the moment. Hmm, this is a bit of a toss-up, but I'm gonna go with "A Fantastic Woman" until Sweden wins for a film that's not made by Ingmar Bergman.

PREDICTION: "A Fantastic Woman" (Chile)

Now, we get to the ten technical categories.


CINEMATOGRAPHY
Blade Runner 2049-Roger A. Deakins
Darkest Hour-Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk-Hoyte von Hoytema
Mudbound-Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water-Dan Lautsen

Don't overthink it, they want to give it to Roger Deakins, it's his fourteenth nomination, he's never won, they've promoted that fact, literally since before the film was made. "Dunkirk" or "The Shape of Water" might be in for spoilers, for Deakins hasn't lost anywhere, including the Guild.

PREDICTION-"Blade Runner 2049"


COSTUME DESIGN
Beauty and the Beast-Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour-Jacqueline Durran
Phantom Thread-Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water-Luis Sequeira
Victoria & Abdul-Consolata Boyle

Costume Design is interesting. The Costume Designers Guild went with "Wonder Woman" upsetting "Beauty and the Beast", so that's out,  with "The Shape of Water" upsetting "Phantom Thread", with an outside win for "I, Tonya", which didn't get nominated. I think it is between "The Shape of Water" and "Phantom Thread", gut instinct tells me they'll pick the film where the costumes are more important, other gut tells me the one with the most costumes. This could go a couple ways, the category does have a history of going against the Guilds and trends, Gold Derby's leaning towards "Phantom Thread" and I think that makes the most sense.

PREDICTION: "Phantom Thread"


FILM EDITING
Baby Driver-Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
Dunkirk-Lee Smith
I, Tonya-Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water-Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Jon Gregory

This was the other category that hurt "Get Out" and "Lady Bird" Best Picture predictions. Only once since "Ordinary People" has a film won Best Picture without an Editing nomination, and that was "Birdman..." which didn't have much any editing in it. "Dunkirk", war movie, won at A.C.E. Eddies, Lee Smith is overdue, that's a favorite. "I, Tonya" upset "Baby Driver" at A.C.E. Eddies, still wouldn't be shocked by that upset though, but I think "Baby Driver"'s more viable in Sound categories. It's possible for something to win without a Best Picture nod, normally it's some kind of chase or mystery movie though, like "The Bourne Ultimatum" or the year "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", won, I'm not seeing that here.

PREDICTION: "Dunkirk"


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Darkest Hour-Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
Victoria & Abdul-Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Wonder-Arjen Tuiten

Don't overthink this one, most makeup and most obvious makeup usually wins, and it doesn't hurt if it's a Best Picture nominee, especially if the centerpiece of that film is a performance with a lt of makeup involved.

PREDICTION: "Darkest Hour"


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

This is one category I'm not entirely sure about. "The Shape of Water" seems to have the momentum and it's definitely between that, "Phantom Thread" and "Dunkirk", but I'm not exactly sure why. A few weeks ago "Dunkirk" seems like an easy call here, but "The Shape of Water" is the one picking up the most steam. I think it's between those two, and basically a coin flip.

PREDICTION: "The Shape of Water"


ORIGINAL SONG
"Mystery of Love"-Call Me By Your Name-Music/Lyric: Sufjan Stevens
"Remember Me"-Coco-Music/Lyric: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"This is Me"-The Greatest Showman-Music/Lyric: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
"Stand Up for Something"-Marshall-Music: Diane Warren; Lyric: Lonnie R. Lynn (aka Common)
"Mighty River"-Mudbound-Music/Lyric: Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson

Another category that doesn't seem to give anybody much hints. Personally I'm cheering for "Stand Up for Something", 'cause Diane Warren is inching closer and closer to that Randy Newman number of nomination without a win, but it seems like "Coco" and "The Greatest Showman" songs have pulled ahead. Both are penned by former recent winners and both songs are popular. "This is Me" seems to be everywhere lately. There's no obvious musical in the mix or something that outright screams it must win, so I'm going with the trend.

PREDICTION: "This is Me"-"The Greatest Showman


PRODUCTION DESIGN
Beauty and the Beast-Pro.: Sarth Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
Blade Runner 2049-Pro.: Dennis Gassner; Set: Alesssandra Querzola
Darkest Hour-Pro.: Sarah Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
Dunkirk-Pro.: Nathan Crowley; Set: Gary Fettis
The Shape of Water-Pro.: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set: Shane Vieau and Jeffrey A.
Melvin

Art Director's Guild went Period Film for "The Shape of Water" beating both Darkest Hour" and "Dunkirk" while Fantasy Film went for "Blade Runner" so sorry Sarah & Katie. Between those two, I think it's close but "The Shape of Water" is a lot more popular than "Blade Runner 2049" is and that's guaranteed to get rewarded.

PREDICTION: "The Shape of Water"


SOUND EDITING
Baby Driver-Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049-Mark Mangini and Theo Green
Dunkirk-Richard King and Alex Gibson
The Shape of Water-Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Sound Editors Guild is a bit divided here between "Blade Runner 2049" and "Dunkirk". "Blade Runner" I suspect is a little too quiet to win for Sound, plus just as a general rule, especially when it's open to the wider Academy for a vote, when it's Sound Editing, they lean towards the loudest film, and that's usually the War movie.

PREDICTION: "Dunkirk"


SOUND MIXING
Baby Driver-Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis
Blade Runner 2049-Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth
Dunkirk-Gregg Landaker, Gary A Rizzo and Mark Weingarten
The Shape of Water-Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson

Sound Mixing, usually goes to the same as Sound Editing, unless, there's a musical around. Now, "Dunkirk" won the CAS Award this year, but, I'm gonna take a gamble here, 'cause there is one movie with a lot of music that's quite integral to the story, and that's "Baby Driver". So, I'm taking a chance on this one and going with "Baby Driver". (BTW, this comparison Editing goes to War films, Mixing goes to Musical, make absolutely no sense when you look up the jobs of Sound Editors and Sound Mixers, but we go with it.)

PREDICTION: "Baby Driver"


VISUAL EFFECTS
Blade Runner 2049-John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2-Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick
Kong: Skull Island-Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meanardus
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlon and Chris Carbould
War for the Planet of the Apes-Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist

Most awards at the Visual Effects Society Awards split between "Blade Runner 2049" and "War for the Planet of the Apes". Everybody's a bit reluctant to predict "War..." because "Planet of the Apes" hasn't done well in this category, getting nominated every year but then losing to something more popular. I'm tempted to think that again and go with "Blade Runner 2049" just because that's the most nominated of the bunch, but- I don't know, last year, they went with "The Jungle Book" and the year before that, "Ex Machina" was a surprise winner over three BP nominees and "Star Wars....". Maybe the trends have broken in this category?

PREDICTION: "War for the Planet of the Apes"

Now, to the three Short categories. Here's where we can win the pools.


ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Dear Basketball-Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant
Garden Party-Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon
Lou-Dave Mullins and Dana Murray
Negative Space-Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata
Revolting Rhymes-Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

I'm really worried that "Dear Basketball"'s gonna win this, but I actually saw that short and three of the other nominees, that just doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I'm being blind here but...- "Garden Party" would be my vote but I tend to know to pick the most ambitious and elaborate of the shorts, as well as entertaining one, so I'm going out on a limb here and taking "Revolting Rhymes".

PREDICTION: "Revolting Rhymes"


DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Edith+Eddie-Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wright
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405-Frank Stiefel
Heroin(E)-Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon
Knife Skills-Thomas Lennon
Traffic Stop-Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

"Edith + Eddie" is the only one of these I haven't seen, and the favorite. Of the others, I thought "Heaven is a Traffic Jame on the 405" was the weakest, but that's the second choice on Gold Derby, so what do I know. I'm just gonna play this one safe and go with the one that's won elsewhere.

PREDICTION: "Edith+Eddie"


LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
DeKalb Elementary-Reed Van Dyk
The Eleven O'Clock-Derin Seale and Josh Lawson
My Nephew Emmett-Kevin Wilson, Jr.
The Silent Child-Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
Watu Wote/All of Us-Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

When did Oscar voting start? 20th? When was the Parkland shooting? The 14th? Yeah, I'm not screwing with this, I'm going with the one about the school shooting. Maybe "The Silent Child" or "My Nephew Emmett"'s in the mix, but I'm not thinking too deeply on this one; I'm taking the most relevant nominee.

PREDICTION: "DeKalb Elementary"

Alright, that's my predictions folks, time for my NyQuil coma. G'night. see ya Oscar Sunday!

(Opens bottle of NyQuil, pours down throat.)






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