Predicting the Winners: The Academy Awards

THV11 Film Critic Jonathan Nettles picks the winners of the 90th Academy Awards.

Predicting winners is tough. Do you pick your favorite or do you try to get inside the many minds of the Academy voters? I tend to try and do both. Looking at how a film is trending in other awards ceremonies and then going by my personal favorites.

So here we go, my picks for (nearly) every category of the Academy Awards:

Loading ...

BEST PICTURE

Nominees:

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

Get Out

Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Who will win:

I’m afraid that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is going to win. Why? I have no idea. I’m hoping that Get Out comes through with a win. I’d be happy with Lady Bird or The Shape of Water because I honestly love all three of those films. Three Billboards was incredibly well-acted so I can easily see and support wins in those categories, it didn’t connect with me because it felt disconnected from beginning to end. It starts off as a dark comedy but turns away from it and just becomes dark. The heart of the film, as it is with most, is in its characters and how they change from the beginning of the film to the end. They’ve been on a journey and their journey isn’t over when the credits roll.

BEST DIRECTING

Nominees:

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Torro, The Shape of Water

Who will win:

I like four nominees in this category to win. Dunkirk was a very ambitious film for Christopher Nolan but not his best. Jordan Peele knocked it out of the park with Get Out as did Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird. I didn’t dig Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. That leaves Guillermo del Torro’s The Shape of Water as the winner. This adult fairy tale/romantic take on a monster movie hits home for me for its story, strong characters, and rich visual texture.

BEST ACTOR

Nominees:

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.

Loading ...

Who will win:

I’m underwhelmed by this category. That’s nothing against the nominees or their films. I didn’t like Phantom Thread so it’s hard for me to get behind Daniel Day-Lewis. I was a little wierded out by the plot of Call Me By Your Name. I felt like Denzel got nominated because he’s Denzel. I loved Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out but I’m not sure it’s an Oscar winning performance. Gary Oldman will win for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. I’m fine with that. Robert Pattinson should have been nominated for Good Time.

BEST ACTRESS

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

I loved every performance by these wonderful women. My favorite is a toss up between Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins but Frances McDormand will probably win for portraying the grieving yet angry Mildred Hayes who goes into a PR war with the local police department over the investigation into her daughters murder. She’s a rough character who changes over the course of the film but what I love the most is how she delivers curse words. There’s a lot of cursing in this movie but none of them are wasted and McDormand delivers each one with the perfect emphasis.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Nominees:

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

Who will win:

Christopher Plummer and Woody Harrelson were great in their respective films but I see them as long shots in the category. Richard Jenkins played a character that was so open emotionally, you really feel for empathize with him. His was a beautiful soul that wanted human companionship and to feel needed more than anything. Willem Dafoe was just fantastic as the manager of a hotel dealing with mischievous children in The Florida Project. Sam Rockwell is my pick for this category. He’s the best character actor in Hollywood and although it’s not his role as the redneck Officer Dixon in Three Billboards isn’t his best, it’s certainly among them.

Loading ...

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Nominees:

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janey, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Who will win:

To me, there are two front runners in this category, Allison Janey and Laurie Metcalf. Either one could win but I loved Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird. As a parent of teenagers, I saw parts of myself in her character. Also, I’ve been watching a lot of Roseanne reruns lately.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Nominees:

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

Who will win:

I don’t understand how some of these films are nominated. The Boss Baby was really generic and I haven’t heard anyone say anything about Ferdinand. In case you’re wondering, it was released the same weekend as Star Wars: The Last Jedi which is probably why no one saw it. Coco will win this category.

Here are my picks for the other categories:

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Nominees:

Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory

The Disaster Artist, Scott Neusadter and Michael H. Weber

Logan, Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold

Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin

Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Winner:

The Disaster Artist

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Nominees:

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

Get Out, Jordan Peele

Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Torro and Vanessa Taylor, Story by Guillermo del Torro

Three Billboards Ouotside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Winner:

Get Out

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Nominees:

Blade Runner 2049, Roger A. Deakins

Mudbound, Rachel Morrison

Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel

Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema

The Shape of Water, Dan Laustsen

Winner:

Roger A. Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) will win and if he doesn’t it’s a shame. He’s the best in the business.

COSTUME DESIGN

Nominees:

Beauty and the Beast, Jacqueline Durran

Darkest Hour, Jacqueline Durran

Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges

The Shape of Water, Luis Sequira

Victoria & Abdul, Consolata Boyle

Winner:

Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread

FILM EDITING

Nominees:

Loading ...

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

Winner:

Baby Driver

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Fantastic Woman, Chile

The Insult, Lebanon

Loveless, Russia

On Body and Soul, Hungary

The Square, Sweden

Winner:

A Fantastic Woman

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Nominees:

Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick

Victoria & Abdul, Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard

Wonder, Arjen Tuiten

Winner:

Darkest Hour

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Nominees:

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

Winner:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Mighty River” from Mudbound

Mystery of Love” from Call Me By Your Name

Remember Me” from Coco

Stand Up For Something” from Marshall

This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

Winner:

"Remember Me" from Coco

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Nominees:

Beauty and the Beast

Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Winner:

Blade Runner 2049

SOUND EDITING

Nominees:

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Winner:

Baby Driver

SOUND MIXING

Nominees:

Baby Driver

Blade Runner 2049

Dunkirk

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Winner:

Baby Driver

VISUAL EFFECTS

Nominees:

Blade Runner 2049

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Kong: Skull Island

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

War for the Planet of the Apes

Winner:

Blade Runner 2049