Who do you think will win at the Oscars?
The awards season is closing and we have finally come to the most loved and hated of them all; the Oscars.
Best Visual Effects
This year's Oscars would be the first since its newly diversified initiative after the controversies that it found itself in from the past few years. Whether that would spell a new paradigm shift to set a new precedence for future awards, or it is still too early to see the effects of the new Academy membership would be shown in this year's Oscars?
While there are a few outstanding contenders that stand to make a sweepstakes out of its nominations, the distribution of the past few Oscars have been varied, if not cautious, on who they pick as their winners, and this year seems to be no exception.
So without being able to influence the results except through fun speculation, here are our predicted winners for the 90th Academy Awards.
1. Blade Runner 2049
2. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
3. Kong Skull Island
4. Star Wars The Last Jedi
5. War of the Planet of the Apes
While the nominees in this category are some of the best showcases of digital visual artistry that 2017 had to offer, they add little to the new technical advancements achieved in "War of the Planet of the Apes". For an aspect of filmmaking that is always on the lookout for the cutting edge of what is technically possible, "War of the Planets of the Apes" has quite secured its win, if not from its wins at the VES Awards.
Best Original Score
The Winner: "War of the Planet of the Apes"
1. Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)
2. Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)
3. Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water)
4. John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)
5. Carter Burwell (Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
This category is made up of a handful of the most respected composers that made this one to watch. On the outset, this looks a showdown between the technical and the lyrical, with Hans Zimmer's score ticking inspired rhythm matched against the freedom of expression in Alexandre Desplat's fluid tunes. However, the competition is neither over for multiple nominee John Williams, and returning Carter Burwell for his second try after "Carol", nor the constant Paul Thomas Anderson collaborator Jonny Greenwood who could surprise with his first Oscar nod.
Best Film Editing
The Winner: Alexandre Desplat from "The Shape of Water"
1. Baby Driver
3. I, Tonya
4. The Shape of Water
5. Three Billboard Outside Ebbing, Missouri
2017 has been a great year to bring out the art of editing with two of the nominees relying heavily on them to serve as its own layer of storytelling. Between keeping multiple timelines flowing seamlessly, and weaving the visual and musical beats into an extended experience, all attention would be on "Dunkirk" and "Baby Driver", with the former having something to gain for its chances at Best Picture. While the ACE Eddie Awards went to "Dunkirk", it also went to "I, Tonya", which could slice in to make an upset.
Best Foreign Film
The Winner: "Dunkirk"
1. A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
2. The Insult (Lebanon)
3. Loveless (Russia)
4. On Body and Soul (Hungary)
5. The Square (Sweden)
Last year's Foreign Film race was tinged with a political overtones, but this year's entries from the world were premised on social issues that make it far harder to judge. Although the most prolific of them all would be Sweden's "The Square" that won the Palm d'Or, its satirical jab at the politically correct privileged lacks the bite of "A Fantastic Woman" surrounded by transphobia, "Loveless" decaying the Russian family unit, or the stroked religious hate of "The Insult".
The Winner: "The Square"
1. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
2. Faces Places
4. Last Men in Aleppo
5. Strong Island
Last year, the Syrian crisis entered the spotlight with a win for "The White Helmets" in the Documentary Short category, and now it stands to gain its major Oscar recognition with the feature length treatment of "The Last Men in Aleppo". However, just as able to knot our stomachs were the expose works of "Icarus" on Russia's institutionalised doping for Olympic glory, the miscarriage of justice against the black community in "Strong Island" or the financial minority in "Abacus". This would be a hard pick for the Documentary branch of the Academy, but there should also be a reason why they also picked the Agnes Varda soul searching trip "Faces Places" to be in the list.
The Winner: "Faces Places"
1. Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
2. Bruno Delbonnel (Darkest Hour)
3. Hoyte van Hoytema (Dunkirk)
4. Rachel Morrison (Mudbound)
5. Dan Laustsen (The Shape of Water)
This is bound to be a historical year for this category in the Oscars. After earning more nominations than "The Shape of Water" has in the entire Oscars, this could finally be the year that Roger Deakins finally converts a nod to a shining golden statuette, which has almost been affirmed by his third win at the ASC that was also listed for the Oscars. With only Bruno Delbonnel being the only other cinematographer who had prior nominations of four, the newcomers in this field of competition, including its first female contender Rachel Morrison, should be overshadowed by the experience of Deakins.
Best Original Screenplay
The Winner: Roger Deakins, "Blade Runner 2049"
1. The Big Sick
2. Get Out
3. Lady Bird
4. The Shape of Water
5. Three Billboard Outside Ebbing Missouri
With only one of the nominees here not in the Best Picture race, this would be heavily watched indicator category. As for this race, it will be a match between written lines and the underlying plot that carries them. Among the WGA-nominated scripts, "Lady Bird" would stand for the former, with "Get Out" and "The Shape of Water" for the latter. While "Get Out" became the winner among these scripts, it has a new challenger from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" which did not qualify for the WGA run.
Best Adapted Screenplay
The Winner: "Get Out"
1. Call Me By Your Name
2. The Disaster Artist
4. Molly's Game
In the complete opposite of its original counterpart, only one of the scripts here is in the running for the Best Picture, but it's a win it's going to need if it has hopes for that prize. Although scoring a WGA win means well for "Call Me By Your Name" to repeat its win, but the main obstacle for that would be Aaron Sorkin's "Molly's Game", who may not have made an Oscar-worthy picture, but is still a stumble that could spoil "Call Me By Your Name's" chances.
Best Animated Feature
The Winner: "Call Me By Your Name"
1. The Boss Baby
2. The Breadwinner
5. Loving Vincent
A hotbed category for the last few Oscars, this year's lineup itself is already a disappointment. Seeing no way that "The Boss Baby" or "Ferdinand" could upset "Coco", this is really the award for Pixar to lose if it went to any of the 3D contenders. Although the animation branch has strongly favoured 3D animations over hand-drawn animation, an upset by "Loving Vincent" would give morale support to the painstaking traditional form.
Best Supporting Actress
The Winner: "Coco"
1. Mary J Blige (Mudbound)
2. Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
3. Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)
4. Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
5. Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
For a category that has seen fresh faces become Oscar award winners overnight, this year's nominations are made of mostly experienced actresses who are making their Oscar debut, with the exception of Octavia Spencer. While all indications are pointing towards Allison Janney to take home the trophy, SAG, BAFTA and the Golden Globes has not been the most reliable when it comes to predicting the Best Supporting Actress, which means Laurie Metcalf and Mary J. Blige are not out of the race just yet.
Best Supporting Actor
The Winner: Allison Janney from "I, Tonya"
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)
Despite having to compete with co-star Woody Harrelson, playing roles on the same ugly side in "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri", Sam Rockwell has become the favourite to win from the Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG. Though not always the best indicators for an Oscar win, we see the real competition would be coming from Willem Dafoe and Richard Jenkins to steal one away from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".
The Winner: Sam Rockwell from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
1. Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
2. Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
3. Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
4. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
5. Merly Streep (The Post)
With a group of Oscar winners and nominees, the Best Leading Actress seems like another hot race for any of these women. However, we didn't think any of these roles required the intensity and inner strength as much as Frances McDormand needed for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", and with the Globes, SAG and BAFTA spoken, her only real opponent is Sally Hawkins.
The Winner: Frances McDormand from "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
1. Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
2. Daniel-Day Lewis (Phantom Thread)
3. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
4. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
5. Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq)
With a less competitive field than supporting actor, this may be one of the least interesting races this category has had in a while. While Denzel Washington and Daniel Day Lewis are no strangers to the Academy, none of their roles hold a candle to the mask of Gary Oldman's Churchill in "Darkest Hour", and his win here is more of putting the cherry on top than being validated by his Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA awards.
The Winner: Gary Oldman from "Darkest Hour"
1. Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
2. Jordan Peele (Get Out)
3. Grete Gerwig (Lady Bird)
4. Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)
5. Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
2017 was the year of the writer-director, auteurs with a clear vision of how they wanted their story to be told from script to screen and it is already very gratifying to see a lineup of directing nominees who also wrote their own scripts, except for Paul Thomas Anderson (who was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for 2015's "Inherent Vice"). This would be the compromise win between the front runners who will win Best Picture, and would ultimately set the tone for the rest of the night when it is announced.
The Winner: Guillermo del Toro
1. Call Me By Your Name
2. Darkest Hour
4. Get Out
5. Lady Bird
6. Phantom Thread
7. The Post
8. The Shape of Water
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
While we like to believe that the Best Picture goes to the film that deserves the title, it has in recent years been used as a platform to make a statement by the Academy. Last year's flub may seem like a chance to give both front runners a chance to stand on the stage without compromising on its message at the end, but it would be too coincidental to see a repeat of the same incident this year. Between "The Shape of Water" and "Get Out", both genre films which is uncharacteristic to win the Oscar, it is "Get Out" that has been gaining a lot of political and social millage that's been putting a lot of momentum for it to even be in the Best Picture race so far. Voters will be split between the craftsman and the commentators, as it will be hard to find a consensus between the two. However, a house divided would be beneficial to those placed just outside the front runners range due to the preferred system of counting the votes, which could lead to a win for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" or even "Dunkirk".
The Winner: "Get Out"
Cinema Online, 04 March 2018