Oscars 2018 Nominations Prediction: The Final List

I never thought I would say this but I am hoping these Oscar predictions turn out wrong tomorrow.

If not completely, atleast 40 percent of them should be wrong. The reason for this wish is the unusual award season this year.

When it started, there were about a dozen contenders for Best Picture and no one became the frontrunner as it usually happens. It was ambigious and mysterious and seemed like the most exciting award season ever.

But once the precursors started, all the excitement melted into predictability.

We as cinephiles like to be correct about the winners, but not to this extent.

Between the Critics Choice, Golden Globes and The SAG awards yesterday, I can’t recall one winner which was different.

There has not been one big surprise or snub the entire season resulting in a boring-as-hell season.

Just to get some excitement back in the one and a half month that awaits us till the Oscar night, I wish there are a lot of snubs when the envelopes are opened tomorrow.

I hope some of the frontrunners do not get nominated at all and some underdogs clinch overwhelming support.

I wish the Meryl Streeps are ignored for the Bria Vinaites, the blockbusters are ignored for sleeper hits and the slam dunks of today declared the snubs of tomorrow.

Nevertheless, as the Award season enters its last leg with the Oscar nominations tomorrow 23rd January 5:18 Am (PT), 6:45 PM (IST), there are some pressing questions they will answer:

• How will the #MeToo movement affect the Academy nominations given that Harvey Weinstein was the one who started the modern day Oscar campaigns?

• Will Shape of Water be able to come close to La La Land’s record 14 nominations last year?

• Will we see #OscarsSoWhite trending again tomorrow, especially as there are only two films with black representation out of which Mudbound may get snubbed entirely?

• How much love will The Disaster Artist get in the wake of James Franco’s sexual assault allegations?

• What will be the fate of Call me by your Name and The Post, whose momentum has slowed down?

While we wait with fingers crossed for the announcement, here’s my two cents on the Oscar nominations this year.

1. Best Film

The two frontrunners after the precursors are The Shape of Water and Three Billboards. So these are a lock. Get Out and Lady Bird have also done quite well across guilds and precursors – in fact both of them are the only films not to have been snubbed by any award this entire awards season – just for that record they have a place confirmed.

Call me by your Name also has a lot of passionate supporters who would rank it number 1 on their ballot, confirming its nomination. This completes the first 5 slots. 6th on my list would be The Post, which though has shockingly underperformed this season but its name and box office performance should make it easily among the Best Picture noms. Next, I am predicting The Big Sick. It’s one of the few films this year to have gotten both a PGA and SAG. Even The Shape of Water did not manage this feat. Amazon has done a really smart campaign and no way can The Big Sick miss the Best Picture nom. Dunkirk as the 8th nomination caps my list of films I am confident about.

If the Oscars extend 9th and 10th nomination this year, I Tonya has a chance. Its graph has soared in the past few weeks and with Alisson Janney and Robbie doing very well, I can surely see this as a 9th nomination. The 10th spot, if at all, could go to Florida Project or Molly’s Game. Personally, though, I would love to see Mudbound taking the spot. It is a beautiful film and deserves all the love.

The nominations would be:

The Shape of Water
Three Billboards outside Ebbing Mussorie
Lady Bird
Get Out
Call me by your Name
Dunkirk
The Post
The Big Sick
I, Tonya

Maybe:

The Florida Project
Molly’s Game

Recommended: Oscar Best Picture Snubs: 10 Biggest Omissions of All Time

2. Best Actor

The big question here is whether James Franco will get nominated for The Disaster Artist after the sexual harassment allegations against him. The answer to which is a resounding YES, since the allegations came only on the last day of the Oscar voting. So, he’s a shoo in. That makes three locks – Oldman, Chalamet and Franco. Considering the lack of diversity this year, if the Oscars fail to nominate Daniel Kaluuya, it would be unforgivable and we would definitely see #OscarsSowhite trending tomorrow. The last slot can go to either Daniel Day Lewis or Tom Hanks. I am predicting Lewis since it is apparently his last role and his fans would want to see him nominated one last time.

The nominations would be:

Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
James Franco (The Disaster Artist)
Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

Maybe: Tom Hanks (The Post)

Pleasant surprise that won’t happen: Robert Pattinson (Good Time)

3. Best Actress

Unlike most years when the Best Actor category has most of the Best Picture nominees, this year was unusual that most Best Picture nominees are led by these women. Between such great films reside four superlative performances which are shoo ins. If any of the four between McDormand, Hawkins, Saoirse and Margot fail to be nominated, they would become the biggest snub of the nominations. I just can’t imagine any of those four not having a place this year. The 5th spot is open and the contenders are Meryl Streep, Judi Dench and Jessica Chastain. My heart says Chastain, my mind says Streep, but I would be happiest if Vicky Kreeps manages to sneak in for The Phantom Thread.

The nominations would be:
Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)
Margot Robbie (I, Tonya)
Meryl Streep (The Post)

Maybe: Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game)

Pleasant surprise that won’t happen: Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread)

4. Best Supporting Actor

This race has been the most dramatic this year where at one point everyone assumed Willem Dafoe would be sweeping this category. At that point it was also certain that the both supporting actors (from Call me by your Name (Armie Hammer and Michael Shutbarg) would feature in this list. Then came the Three Billboards whirlwind. And Sam Rockwell removed Dafoe as the formidable frontrunner and Woddy Harelson also became a strong contender. The last blow was thrown by Ridley Scott who replaced Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer and gave the already intense competition in this category a new boost.

The nominations would be:

Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water)
Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name)
Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Maybe: Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World)

Pleasant Surprise: Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me By Your Name)

5. Best Supporting Actress

Like every year, the mothers of the leading actresses find themselves going neck to neck against each other in this category. This year it has been between two veteran TV actresses who have multiple Emmy wins – Alisson Janney of Mom and Laurie Metcalf of The Big Bang Theory. Earlier it was assumed Metcalf would be the frontrunner but Janney turned this notion on its head thanks to her immense popularity in Hollywood. Also like every year, Academy seems to fill its quota of Black actors in this category, this year being no different with 2 black actors making the mark, Octavia Spencer and Marie J Blige. If Tiffany Haddish makes the cut, one of these would suffer.

The nominations would be:

Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)
Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)
Mary J. Blige (Mudbound)

Maybe: Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip)

Pleasant surprise that won’t happen: Bria Vinaite (The Florida Project)

6. Best Director

While the Academy increased its Best Picture nominees to 10 after the Dark Knight fiasco, it did not extend the same courtesy to Best Director. In an exceedingly competitive year like this, ideally I would have wanted 7 spots but let’s not be greedy. This category IMO would shape up exactly like the DGA. Guillmero Del Toro and Cristopher Nolan are the favorites to win. So them being nominated is for sure. After the backlash at the Golden Globes, The Oscar voters would remember Natalie Portman and would definitely nominate Greta Gerwig for her ingenuous work in Ladybird. Martin McDonaugh who won Best Director at the Globes would be another nomination. The last spot would be Jordan Peele for Get Out. I am leaving Luca Guadagnino for Call me by your Name and Steven Spielberg for The Post as I think both the films have clearly lost the momentum.

The nominations would be:

Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water)
Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)
Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Maybe: Luca Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name)

7. Original Screenplay

Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Ouside Ebbing Mussorie
I, Tonya

Maybe: The Post

8. Adapted Screenplay

Call Me By Your Name
Molly’s game
Mudbound
Disaster Artist
All the money in the world

Maybe: Wonder Woman

9. Foreign language

Loveless (Russia)
Foxtrot (Israel)
In the Fade (Germany)
The Square (Sweden)
The Wound (South Africa)

Maybe: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

Who do you think will make the cut tomorrow?

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

By Yashvardhan Singh

This piece was first published here.

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