Eli’s Oscar Predictions

Elias Evans

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From coming of age stories to aquatic love stories; from the horror of hidden racism to the horrors of war, this year’s best picture nominees may be some of the most diverse selections of the decade, and while there still may be more than a few movies that seem like it was their sole purpose to get awards, there are still more than a few true standouts for this year, and not just in the best picture category. This a fairly diverse year for the Academy, not only in the acting category, but also in the films nominated. Horror and Fantasy films rarely get their due at the Oscars, so it’s surprising to see both Get Out and The Shape of Water get nominated, and while there are still the obvious Oscar bait nominations (The Post and Darkest Hour), it’s still great to see more heartfelt movies get nominated like Lady Bird and Call Me by Your Name.

The Oscars will be premiering this Sunday, and seeing as a large portion of the staff has been discussing them throughout the past two weeks, I thought it would be fun to give my picks for each category before the big night. I should openly disclose that I haven’t been able to see every single film nominated as I unfortunately do not have the time or the money, but the financial issues aside, here we go.

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

The choice for Best Picture this year isn’t an easy one. Though all the movies nominated certainly deserve to be there, three specific films have become front runners. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Lady Bird; and The Shape of Water have all risen as the most deserving, but ultimately The Shape of Water should win, but don’t be surprised if Three Billboards wins instead.

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

Best director will most likely go home with Guillermo Del Toro. The director has basically reached a legendary status among film nerds at this point in his career, and seeing as the direction of The Shape of Water was one of its most acclaimed aspects, Del Toro should have this in the bag. The Oscars have a notable tendency to award legendary actors who haven’t won as a sort of legacy pick.

Best Actor
Timothée 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.

It might come as a surprise to some that Gary Oldman has never won an Oscar, and this is only his second nomination. Similar to Del Toro, part of the reason behind Oldman’s potential win would definitely be his legacy, but this is still a highly transformative performance from one of film’s most acclaimed chameleons.

Best Actress
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

Aside from Best Picture, this might be the most stacked category of the night. Frances McDormand has major cred with the Academy and her performance in Three Billboards might be one of the best of her career. However,  both Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins also have some significant hype behind them. Though it will most likely go to McDormand, a Ronan upset is possible.

Best Supporting Actor
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

There’s some controversy behind this one. Many believe that the award should go to Sam Rockwell, but some are taking issue with the fact that his character in Three Billboards is a racist. Personally, while I think that judging an actor based on the character they play is childish and ignorant, public opinion has been known to sway the academy. Still expect Rockwell, but it could also go to Dafoe or even Harrelson.

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Allison Janney has been getting acclaim year round for her performance as Tonya Harding’s borderline psychotic mother, and she’s been picking up Best Supporting Actress awards on a borderline unhealthy level. It would be a major surprise if she didn’t pick up the Oscar too.