After watching most of the Oscar nominated films I’m actually interested in, I feel like I’ve seen enough to make my predictions for what will actually win – and what should. I’m still not quite at the point where I can make my own “best of 2017” film list as there’s a couple more films which missed out on Oscar nominees that I still need to see, but of the Best Picture nominees, only two would currently make my top five.
I really, truly hope that Phantom Thread wins. It’s my favorite of these films by a very wide margin. The problem is, it lacks the buzz, but that’s hopefully a symptom of its late release. After all, no-one expected it to pick up the six nominations that it did, so I’m keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that it could surprise again on the night. It’s a beautifully funny and emotional romance, and I absolutely love it. Contrast that to current frontrunner The Shape of Water, a film which I really did not like. The trailer was really misleading; I was expecting a sweet fairytale of unrequited love but instead got monster porn (plus a good 30 minutes of cold war subterfuge which the film really didn’t need). I really hope this doesn’t win. It was a bad film. But then, I hated Birdman, so what do I know? I felt really let down by Three Billboards. I’m a big fan of Martin McDonagh’s early work and, again, the trailer looked good. But this was not what I was expecting at all and I was left thoroughly disappointed. The performances were great, but it felt like McDonagh’s sole purpose behind making this movie was to try to win an Oscar. Not saying he won’t. It worked for the Coens when they did Old Country. Of the remaining Best Picture nominees I’ve seen, Get Out is the champ. I don’t think it’s Best Picture-worthy, but it’s got a lot going for it, and is better than the other frontrunners. Lady Bird was very good, but we’ve seen this film before, and I don’t see what was so remarkable about this iteration. Dunkirk was a big disappointment which came across as a pure Chris Nolan technical showcase devoid of any of the emotion you’d expect from such a epic tragedy. I haven’t seen Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, or The Post. I currently have no real interest in seeing either of the latter two of those.
Should win/will win: I’d love it if Phantom Thread wins. It really should. Of the others, I’d say Get Out because I couldn’t stomach a win for Shape of Water. Plus a big award like that for Blumhouse would be incredible. But I’m gonna go for Phantom Thread because it’s my favorite and have to believe that The Academy by and large has good taste.
It’s kind of an unnecessary rerun of Best Picture, with the added bonus of insulting those directors whose film was good enough to get a nomination but whose directing specifically wasn’t. (Seriously, go back to just 5 Best Picture nominees, please.) So I really don’t have much more to say here. I hope PTA wins and GDT doesn’t. Of the others, I think Get Out’s strength was its script rather than its directing, but it has as good a chance as any here.
Should win/will win: I’m going to go with PTA for Phantom Thread. I’m giving him the edge over Jordan Peele for Get Out, only because Phantom Thread didn’t get a screenplay nomination, so The Academy has another chance to reward JP personally there.
Best Actor in a Leading Role
I’ve heard Gary Oldman is really good in Darkest Hour, but I haven’t seen it. Daniel Day-Lewis is great, and if this is really his final ever film role, chances are good that The Academy will want to send him out with a bang. Let’s be honest, all the others are also rans.
Should win/will win: It’s DDL’s to lose. Aside from everything else, my wishful thinking for other Phantom Thread wins is likely only that. This is where the film will get its recognition.
Best Actress in a Leading Role
Saoirse was good and I’m sure Meryl was too, but this isn’t their year. The Academy loves to christen new starlets, but I don’t think this is Margot’s year either. It’s really between Frances McDormand and Sally Hawkins, both for films I didn’t really care for. Of the two, I think it should absolutely be Sally Hawkins. She carried the film and didn’t say a single word.
Should win/will win: Sally Hawkins
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
I have no emotions for this one at all, so I’m just going to think logically here. Let’s say Woody and Sam split the Three Billboards vote. Jenkins was fine, but he’s done the same thing better before. Given the lack of other nominations for The Florida Project, let’s assume that film doesn’t have a ton of fans and count him out too. That leaves Christopher Plummer. Given the story behind his role – they reshot his parts of the film right before Christmas as a last minute replacement for Kevin Spacey after all the allegations against him “came to light” – it’s a Hollywood ending, am I right?
Should win/will win: Christopher Plummer
Best Actress in a Supporting Part
Lesley Manville is incredible in Phantom Thread, but even I’m not so optimistic to think The Academy will recognize two understated performances in the same year, let alone in the same film. Let’s be honest, the two favorites here are the mom characters from I, Tonya and Lady Bird. Allison Janney appears to be the current frontrunner from what I hear, and while I do love Allison Janney, from the trailer she doesn’t seem to be doing anything we haven’t seen from her before. So I’m going to stick Laurie Metcalf on my ballot.
Should win/will win: Lesley Manville should, Laurie Metcalf will
Best Original Screenplay
Suppose The Academy give JP the Directing award, there’s a very good chance they’d give Greta this one. The problem is, the Get Out Script was the star, as opposed to the directing. And it’s going to be one of those two in this category, for sure.
Should win/will win: Get Out
Best Adapted Screenplay
The only one of these films I’ve seen is Logan, and it’s currently within my top 5 films of the year. But the two frontrunners are conceivably either Call Me By Your Name (one of the Best Picture nominees no-one’s really talking about) or Mudbound (which everyone seems to love but not enough to earn it any major nominations). I haven’t heard great things about Molly’s Game, and The Disaster Artist has the James Franco problem.
Should win/could win: Logan did great things with the superhero genre, but is it really Oscar-worthy? (See also, is The Shape of Water really Oscar-worthy?) I’m going to go with Mudbound, since it has the added bonus of Rees being the first African America woman ever to be nominated in this category, which means she’d also be the first to win it.
Those are the “biggies” right? Here’s the rest of my predictions: