My 2018 Oscar Picks and Predictions

It seemed like there were more movies than usual that I needed to catch up on to be able to have an opinion on the Best Picture, Lead Actor/Actress and Supporting Actor/Actress nominations. Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name, The Florida Project and Mudbound were my last holdouts and I managed to pick them off over the last week.

It’s also been tough for me to narrow things down to my picks when you have such great competition and such variety in genres. It’s doubtful that without the nominations that there would be much crossover in audience for movies like Get Out, Dunkirk and Call Me By Your Name. I understand why The Post was nominated, but I would have rather seen The Florida Project or Mudbound in its place. (Or Detroit, but I digress.)

*Nominees are marked with my pick (D) and my prediction for the Oscars (O)*

Best Picture 2018

Nominees:
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water (O)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (D)

My pick: Three Billboards Outside Ebbbing, Missouri
My prediction: The Shape of Water
Note: Two movies about the same event (Dunkirk, Darkest Hour,) horror (Get Out,) two coming-of-age movies (Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird,) a sci-fi/fantasy/romance (The Shape of Water,) a crime drama (Three Billboards…) and more traditional nominations (Phantom Thread, The Post) feel like the most well-rounded nominations I can remember.

Lead Actress

Nominees:
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (D, O)
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

My pick: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
My prediction: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Note: It’s not even close in my opinion. All the nominees were good with what they had to work with, but Frances McDormand is head and shoulders above the rest.

Lead Actor

Nominees:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” (D, O)
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

My pick: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
My prediction: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Note: It’s a pretty weak field on these nominations, but Gary Oldman’s prosthetic transformation and performance as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour really stands out.

Supporting Actress

Nominees:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” (O)
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” (D)
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

My pick: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
My prediction: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Note: The mother-daughter relationship in Lady Bird was so strong that I would have assumed that the two actresses were co-leads. Of course, the movie’s protagonist and lead is Lady Bird herself, Saoirse Ronan but it was at its best when Ronan and Metcalf were playing off each other. Allison Janney was great in I, Tonya and really got a lot of mileage out of limited screen time.

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” (D, O)

My pick: Sam Rockwell “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
My prediction: Sam Rockwell “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Note: I will admit that I have a bias toward Sam Rockwell; He’s one of my absolute favorite actors. Combine that with having the most powerful character arc in the fantastic Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and I’m sold. Willem Dafoe was excellent in The Florida Project, but still a distant second to Sam Rockwell in my book.

Director

Nominees:
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan (D)
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro (O)

My pick: “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
My prediction: “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
Note: A true toss-up for me, but I lean toward Nolan’s Dunkirk which was a much better theatrical experience than the others. I can see where if people slept on it and don’t see Dunkirk until home video where it doesn’t hold up to the others.

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