Written By: Daniel Kinsley
Ah, the end of another awards season looms. The 2017-18 campaign has been a long and particularly interesting race; long in that the campaigning began nearly as soon as the previous ceremony ended, and interesting in that there are still a few major categories (notably Best Picture) which feel very much like an open race. Whereas most years the winners are foregone conclusions by this time (and in a few cases, that is certainly still true) a huge influx of new, diverse Academy members have certainly livened up the race a bit. It is an exciting time to be an awards pundit (even one as far away from the actual players as this writer) and with the 90th Academy Awards set to hand out the Oscars statuettes on Sunday, March 4th, The Porkchop Express is moving forward with our final predictions for the winners. We ran our predictions about what would get nominated and made out pretty well. Here is hoping for similar success come Sunday night! Similar to the nomination predictions, we are sticking to the major categories, and making guesses (mostly) based on what history tells us about past trends. Without further ado, our final predictions for the 2018 Oscar Winners.
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
When all was said and done, seven of the nine films we predicted to get nominated made the cut. While many of the films nominated were expected to be players, the race has remained tight up until the official end of voting. If you follow the precedent set by the guilds and other major award ceremonies (SAG, Golden Globes, BAFTA) it has remained a two-horse race between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards. While those films are still very much in the race, this writer has heard a lot of chatter that both Dunkirk and Get Out are very much in play and could very well edge out the favorite. While films like Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name are very well-liked, they are far more likely to be rewarded elsewhere. The Post and Darkest Hour are only here for posterity, and they stand no chance at winning, and while Phantom Thread got a nice push, it is not about to win after such a late arrival. At this stage, this writer is going to bet on the statistical favorite, with The Shape of Water, though Three Billboards, Dunkirk, and Get Out could take the statuette without things feeling like a huge surprise. Personally, Get Out is the film this writer believes deserves to win. It is certainly the most of the moment, which gives it an edge in these uncertain times. When push comes to shove, though, this writer is betting on it being a three-dog race between Dunkirk, Get Out, and The Shape of Water, with any of the contenders making sense as a winner. This is one of the tightest Best Picture races in years, and it is awfully exciting for us film nerds.
WILL WIN: The Shape of Water
SHOULD WIN: Get Out
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
This is another category that does not feel quite as locked up (at least to this writer) as some other pundits believe. While del Toro is the easy favorite (particularly with McDonagh out of the running) there is a lot of below-the-line support Nolan’s WWII film, which is sure to garner a lot of support, especially for a guy who many believe is one of the greatest filmmakers working on this stage, and who has seen a snub or two in his day. Look out for Jordan Peele to play the dark horse candidate, though, as his film has picked up a lot of support and Peele is undoubtedly the face most associated with the groundbreaking picture.
WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Wate
SHOULD WIN: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, The Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
We correctly predicted four of these guys getting a nomination, so this race has largely stuck to the narrative of the season. While Day-Lewis was a surprise nomination to this writer, it was not unprecedented by any means, since the dude has typically been a shoe-in; while Denzel is only here because he is Denzel, as Roman J. Israel has been long brushed aside. Though Timothée Chalamet could have enough heat to pull a shocking win, this trophy feels like it has always been (and remains) Gary Oldman’s to lose. Oldman has taken every major award there is, and that is very unlikely to change come Oscar night.
WILL WIN: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
SHOULD WIN: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
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
While this writer was a big fan of The Post, it is a bit of a throwback, the kind of film which has not been embraced by the Academy the way many thought it would early on. Meryl Streep managed to pull an obligatory nomination (to the chagrin of this writer, frankly) but that is all it stands to be. While Ronan, Robbie, and Hawkins have received deserved accolades for their roles, this category has also felt locked up for some time. Frances McDormand has won every televised award for her fiery performance, and she will collect her second Oscar on Sunday for Best Actress.
WILL WIN: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
SHOULD WIN: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Plummer, All The Money In The World
Allow this writer a moment to feel good about correctly predicting all five of these nominees; Plummer got a nod largely for the fact that he came in so late in the game and still did the damn thing, despite the film as a whole failing to catch fire. While Willem Dafoe has garnered a lot of vocal support, he has been a bridesmaid all awards season long, and he will continue to play second fiddle here to Sam Rockwell, who is a stone-lock to take home Oscar gold for his controversial role in Three Billboards.
WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
SHOULD WIN: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
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
It makes sense for Mary J. Blige to be here, as she has been the most consistently buzzed about role in a film that has not quite caught on the way folks thought it might, and she has remained in the conversation throughout the season. Spencer similarly makes sense as she turns a small role into a memorable one in the much celebrated Shape. But this race has always been about Janney and Metcalf, with the former taking the large majority of the awards until now. This writer was much more entranced by Metcalf’s subtle work, and she may have enough supporters who feel an opportunity to award Lady Bird which very may well be shut out otherwise. The safe money remains on Janney, however, as she will be the favorite to win.
WILL WIN: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
SHOULD WIN: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Martin McDonagh
The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
To this writer, the original screenplay category feels wide-open, even this late in the game. While McDonagh has picked up a lot of precursor awards (and even detractors of the film seem to be onboard with the script), a technicality kept it out of WGA contention allowing Get Out to score a major victory. Three Billboards is certainly one of the flashier scripts competing, and it is still very much in play, however it is far from a sure thing. With Best Picture and/or Best Director debatably out of its reach, voters may make a big push to reward Get Out in one of the major categories, and this would be a great place to do it. The same, however, could be said for Lady Bird, as well as The Big Sick, which this writer believed would be more of a player. Having said all that, this race is likely to come down to Three Billboards vs. Get Out.
WILL WIN: Get Out
SHOULD WIN: Get Out
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
While it is not likely to set off a revolution, it is noteworthy that the nomination for Logan marks the first writing Oscar for a comic adaptation, ever. Sadly for Logan fans, that is as far as the Wolverine swan song will get. While the original screenplay race is a toss-up, the adapted category has established James Ivory as a clear front-runner, and this writer does not expect that to change come time to hand out the awards. While Molly’s Game and The Disaster Artist in particular are savvy, clever pieces of work, Call Me By Your Name is a sharp, emotional piece of writing, and for a much-loved film that is not likely to garner a lot of other statues, expect it to be rewarded here.
WILL WIN: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name
SHOULD WIN: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name