Quick Oscar Picks/Reaction

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I’ve already said what I would choose if I had an Oscar ballot. This morning, the 2018 Academy Award nominations were announced, and so I’m making my picks (along with some minor commentary) on the “major” categories. I’m betting that the SAG/Golden Globe winners (McDormand, Oldman, Janney, and Rockwell) all repeat. Feel free to disagree below in the comments.

Best Picture
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Well, given that “Disaster Artist” didn’t even get nominated (which I’ll get to in a second), and that I won’t see “The Shape of Water” and haven’t seen “Phantom Thread,” the choice really comes down to “Lady Bird” or “Dunkirk” for me. But let’s be honest – “Three Billboards” is going to win. As my wise friend Jill said, the only thing that can stop “Three Billboards” is, well, four billboards.

Best 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

If I were voting, this would be Robbie’s award to lose, with Ronan a close second. Alas, this seems to be Mildred Hayes’s year.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Daniel Day-Lewis, The Phantom Thread
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Well, those James Franco allegations certainly hurt “Disaster Artist,” no? Franco won the Golden Globe for best performance (comedy), and seemed like a lock to be nominated. The allegations of his deplorable behavior indicate that he has some repugnant personal demons, and that clearly cost him a nomination. (Of course, that isn’t to make light of the accusers: his minor suffering at losing out on a nomination is trivial compared to their hardship.) If I were voting, it’d be between Chalamet and Oldman, but I think this is one of those “he’s due!” years, and it’s Oldman’s to lose.

Best 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

Where is Holly Hunter for “The Big Sick?” I thought she gave one of the best performances of the year. Rinse, lather, repeat: Allison Janney (who was tremendous in “I, Tonya.”)

Best 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

I genuinely like Sam Rockwell movies, and have been talking them up for years. So while I wasn’t crazy about “Three Billboards,” I’m glad he’s finally getting his due. (I do think Michael Stuhlbarg should have been nominated for “Call Me By Your Name,” though.)

Best Animated Feature Film
Loving Vincent
The Breadwinner
The Boss Baby

Pardon the pun, but I loved “Loving Vincent” (though given that I’m a van Gogh fiend, this isn’t surprising). But yeah, this seems to have “Coco” written all over it. (Although if we’re really, truly being honest, this award should have been discontinued ever since “The Lego Movie” got snubbed.)

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Hoyte Van Hoytema, Dunkirk

#WokeTwitter has informed me that Rachel Morrison is the first female cinematographer to ever be nominated, and that’s fantastic. She should win, but not because of her gender – because “Mudbound” was beautifully shot. (Though Deakins would be a close second for me.)

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig,  Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Another category I thought Franco would sneak into. Given that Martin McDonagh (of “Three Billboards”) didn’t make it, and that “Shape of Water” is the most-nominated movie of the year (and because he won the Golden Globe), you could make the argument it’s del Toro’s to lose. But it’s also a year when Hollywood wants to (rightly, finally) celebrate both powerful women and people of color. Therefore, I think either Peele or Gerwig will end up winning. I’ll say Gerwig for the upset. Will be the moment of the night.

Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Martin McDonagh,  Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I included this category because it’s the one in which I have the biggest rooting interest. I loved “The Big Sick” and am very much hoping that it wins. I’d be pleasantly surprised with wins for “Lady Bird” or “Get Out” as well – maybe “Get Out” wins here, and Gerwig wins director, and then both she and Peele have been rewarded.


What does everybody else think? Let me know in the comments.