The Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, air Sunday, March 4 on ABC
Will Win: Dunkirk
Should Win: Get Out
Why?: OK…I predict I’m going to be wrong here and that’s OK with me. I just figured in a year where there is no clear favorite, the preferential ballot that is used to determine Best Picture might just come out in Dunkirk‘s favor. Hard to believe that less than six months ago (and after Get Out was released), Dunkirk was the favorite to win this award. I’d love to see Get Out win here but wouldn’t be upset if Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or The Shape of Water were named either.
Will Win: Guillermo del Toro
Should Win: Guillermo del Toro
Why?: del Toro is loved in Hollywood and his movie is so totally his vision that it would be hard to deny him the award for his efforts.
Will Win: Gary Oldman
Should Win: Gary Oldman
Why?: Even though Oldman has his fair share of detractors after some questionable remarks made in a magazine several years ago, he earns and deserves this award. After Best Supporting Actress, this is the closest thing to a lock.
Will Win: Frances McDormand
Should Win: Frances McDormand
Why?: Divisive as the movie is, it’s hard to deny McDormand’s powerful turn in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Ronan will win her Oscar soon and if Robbie keeps up the good work she’ll be back in the race in no time.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
2. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
4. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
5. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Will Win: Sam Rockwell
Should Win: Sam Rockwell
Why?: While two people from the same film nominated in the same category often means both go home empty-handed (hello deserving winner Sigourney Weaver and Joan Cusack from Working Girl!), this year Rockwell will beat out Harrelson and the rest of the guys for this award. His character has polarized audiences and critics but he’s so well liked in Hollywood and has turned in consistently fine work for over a decade, this is another easy one to call.
Will Win: Allison Janney
Should Win: Laurie Metcalf
Why?: My heart breaks for this category since there are SO many deserving nominees. Janney is so damn popular and respected (with good reason!) in the industry that the odds are locked in her favor for the win. Still, as memorable as she is in the role it doesn’t seem like a huge stretch which is why my vote would go to Metcalf’s performance in Lady Bird. It’s a much more challenging role to navigate and she does it with ease. The best of all possible worlds would have Manville best them all — she’s really terrific.
Will Win: Dunkirk
Should Win: Dunkirk
Why?: Dunkirk may not be winning the top honors this year but expect it to do well in the technical categories. While you could prepare for a I, Tonya spoiler, your safe bet is to fly Dunkirk‘s friendly skies.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
2. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
3. Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick
4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
5. Jordan Peele, Get Out
Will Win: Get Out
Should Win: The Big Sick
Why?: This is another almost impossible category to select the “Best of”. I loved all of these films so would be fine with any of them going home a winner. Seeing that The Big Sick got left off of some key categories (Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress), I’d jump for joy if they got some recognition here. Still, though it has a weak third act, the power of Get Out will push it to the front of the line.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
1. Scott Frank & James Mangold, Logan
2. James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
3. Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist
4. Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game
5. Virgil Williams & Dee Rees, Mudbound
Will Win: Call Me By Your Name
Should Win: Call Me By Your Name
Why?: James Ivory is a legend in the business and has never won an Oscar. At 89, expect him to pick up his first Oscar for Call Me By Your Name (a movie he at one time was going to direct as well)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
1. A Fantastic Woman
2. The Insult
4. On Body and Soul
5. The Square
Will Win: A Fantastic Woman
Should Win: A Fantastic Woman
Why?: I usually make a point to see all of these nominees but this year proved a bit more difficult to catch them all. Luckily, the one I did see is the favorite to win. Let’s go with A Fantastic Woman from Chile, featuring transgender actress Daniela Vega who will also be presenting at the ceremony.
Will Win: Roger Deakins
Should Win: Roger Deakins
Why?: 14th time’s the charm? OMG, if Roger Deakins doesn’t win this award I’ll be SO upset. After 13 nominations, it’s more than his time. It helps the work is stellar so it won’t feel like an award for cumulative work.
Will Win: The Shape of Water
Should Win: Blade Runner 2049
Why?: Lots of credit goes to the design of The Shape of Water for adding to its fantasy fairy tale feel. I won’t be upset when it wins but felt that the sets and art direction for Blade Runner 2049 were a huge part of making that film so intoxicating to look at.
Will Win: Dunkirk
Should Win: Baby Driver
Why?: Expect Dunkirk to succeed in another technical category, even though some of the dialogue was hard to hear (maybe that was intentional?) Baby Driver has a more than decent shot to best Dunkirk…but only in this category.
Will Win: Dunkirk
Should Win: Dunkirk
Why?: It’s Dunkirk, right?
Will Win: Phantom Thread
Should Win: Phantom Thread
Why?: People were shocked when The Shape of Water recently won top honors at the Costume Guild ceremony and when you think about the monster suit (yep, that’s a costume) it’s easy to see why people were impressed. Still, the gowns and natty clothing created for Phantom Thread are almost another fully-realized character.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
1. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
2. Faces Places
4. Last Man in Aleppo
5. Strong Island
Will Win: Face Places
Should Win: Strong Island
Why?: Agnès Varda is the oldest nominee for an Oscar and the well-regard French auteur looks likely to win her first Oscar for a film I sadly haven’t seen. I have seen Strong Island on Netflix, however, and it blew me away. Gotta go with my heart on this one.
Will Win: Coco
Should Win: Loving Vincent
Why?: Everyone loves the emotional Coco and for good reason. PIXAR always makes a beeline to your heartstrings and that usually means a win in this category. I’d love to see it go to the gorgeous Loving Vincent, a fully hand-painted film that was totally electrifying to watch. I’ve heard rumors that The Boss Baby is making a late in the game come from behind play but I’m praying this baby goes to bed early…I couldn’t stand that film.
Will Win: War for the Planet of the Apes
Should Win: War for the Planet of the Apes
Why?: You want to know why War for the Planet of the Apes is going to win? Because the first two movies didn’t and they both deserved it. Here’s a chance to reward the trilogy.
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
1. Darkest Hour
2. Victoria & Abdul
Will Win: Darkest Hour
Should Win: Darkest Hour
Why?: While Wonder has the potential to spoil the night for Darkest Hour in this category, I wouldn’t count on Darkest Hour losing seeing that the make-up is praised right alongside Gary Oldman’s work in nearly every review.
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
1. Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
2. Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
3. Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
4. John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
5. Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Will Win: Alexandre Desplat
Should Win: Jonny Greenwood
Why?: Most signs point to Desplat emerging victorious but I challenge you to find a more beautiful score to any move released in 2017 than what Johnny Greenwood created for Phantom Thread. C’mon Academy, get this one right.
Will Win: “This is Me”
Should Win: “Remember Me”
Why?: Last year I gritted my teeth with Pasek and Paul won an Oscar for composing a song from La La Land but this year I think they might actually deserve it. Still, I found more emotional resonance in Coco‘s beautiful nominated tune.
Will Win: Edith + Eddie
Should Win: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Why?: Sentiment will carry Edith + Eddie over the finish line but that movie had too many one-sided conversations to feel truly complete. I found Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 to be an unflinching look at mental illness and how one artist tries to emerge from the darkness. It was magnificent and deserves an Oscar.
Best Animated Short
1. Dear Basketball
2. Garden Party
4. Negative Space
5. Revolting Rhymes
Will Win: Dear Basketball
Should Win: Garden Party
Why?: Here’s another one that would see like a no-brainer if you truly watched every nominee. Despite it’s dark twist, Garden Party’s hyper-realistic animation made it the best of the bunch of the nominees this year but somehow the favor seems to be falling on Dear Basketball. Though animated by the legendary Glen Keane and scored by John Williams, it’s a vanity project love letter from Kobe Bryant to himself that was the absolute worst nominee. Yuck.
Best Live Action Short
1. DeKalb Elementary
2. The Eleven O’clock
3. My Nephew Emmett
4. The Silent Child
5. Watu Wote/All of Us
Will Win: Watu Wote/All of Us
Should Win: DeKalb Elementary
Why?: In terms of crafting a complete story arc within the confines of the Live-Action Short narrative, Watu Wote/All of Us is the clear victor. For purely emotional raw reaction, I can’t imagine a more deserving winner than the timely DeKalb Elementary. DeKalb is 20 minutes long and is the kind of riveting, body-tense, make you sweat kind of project that’s unforgettable.