Arts & Culture

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2018 Academy Award Predictions

2018 Academy Award Predictions

with Commentary by Frank Roberts

There is a story beat to the Oscars and that can make it easy to predict. If you pay close attention to conversations in the film ether, you can be pretty sure about your chances. Of course, there are always the dark horse winners that make old ladies put their gloved fingertips over their mouth and go “Oh dear!” … The narrative I’m predicting this year is the-pat-on-the-back-for-veterans-who-done-been-ignored one. That doesn’t bode well for newcomers I’d love to see win like Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Jordan Peele (Get Out). But it does for people like Frances McDormand (Three Billboards), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), and Guillermo Del Toro (the Shape of Water). It’s the same reason people like Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington are nominated for Oscars even though they don’t deserve it this time round.

In that regard though, the Academy’s nominees this year are surprising in that there are no real surprises. This makes it harder to predict. Eventhough, the Oscars can come off as pretentious, they usually avoid true arthouse films like “Call Me By Your Name” and “Phantom Thread” (which are both nominated this year) and lean more towards stuffy bio-pics like “The Darkest Hour” and “The Post”. But those last two are not likely to win Best Picture this year. The conversation that picks up after nominations are announced are the “snubs”; movies or actors that were worthy but got left out. Yet, besides one or two like "The Florida Project" this year's choices really seem to be the cream of the crop films of 2017. 

How this is going to work is I’m going to list the nominees in twelve (12) prominent categories and give you my “Will Win” (who I think is likely to get the award) and my “Should Win” (who I would give the award to if I was lord king of the universe and got to decide everything) with a snarky remark to boot. Be sure to sound off in the comment section and let us know what some of your picks are and what you agree/disagree with us on. K? Cool …

Visual Effects:
“Blade Runner 2049,” 
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” 
“Kong: Skull Island,”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” 

Will Win: Star Wars The Last Jedi
Should Win: Blade Runner 2049
Snark-fest: Overall, I liked Blade Runner’s visual effects the most, but that scene in the Last Jedi where the purple-haired lady rips right through the bad guys’ ships at light speed and everything goes space vacuum quiet for a sec?! Yeah, I’m ok with Star Wars taking this one.

Animated Feature:
“The Boss Baby,”
“The Breadwinner,” 
“Loving Vincent,” 

Will Win: Coco
Should Win: Coco
Snark-fest: Gotta admit, I didn’t see any of these other ones. If the evil robot aliens were going to plunge our world into catastrophe and the only thing that could stop it was me watching a movie about a baby in a suit, I’d say “Plunge evil alien robots! We’ve had our fun!”

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Will Win: The Shape of Water
Should Win: Blade Runner 2049
Snark-fest: Roger Deakins is overdue. This is his 14th nomination in 23 years! Y’all couldn’t even give it to him for Fargo? Beautiful, snowy, bloody Fargo?! Give the man his statue! (Also noteworthy is Rachel Morrison, first woman ever nominated for Cinematography).

Original Song:
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Will Win: *shrug emoji*
Should Win: Mystery of Love (Call Me By Your Name)
Snark-fest: Sufjan is bae.

Original Score:
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Will Win: Phantom Thread
Should Win: Phantom Thread
Snark-fest: It’s probably mostly wishful thinking here but if Greenwood doesn’t win it imma riot and destroy shit. (Edit: Catch some of these original score & song nominees in our March playlist tomorrow - March 1).

Original Screenplay:
“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Should Win: Get Out
Snark-fest: In terms of cultural relevancy, Get Out deserves to win. I mean this movie came out a year ago before the 2017 Oscars and people are still talking about it. When was the last time anyone cared about a movie for that long? Inception?

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

Will Win: Call Me By Your Name
Should Win: Logan
Snark-fest: They’re probably going to give this to Call Me By Your Name to justify not giving it Best Picture, but I’d much rather see it go to Logan, which just might be my favorite not-really-about-superheroes superhero movie of all time (Edit: This was written before I saw "Black Panther")

Supporting Actress:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Will Win: Allison Janney
Should Win: Laurie Metcalf
Snark-fest: I’m honestly fine with either because they’re such marvelous performances but (spoiler) Allison throws a knife into Tonya Harding’s arm. She’s a bad mom.

Supporting Actor:
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Will Win: Sam Rockwell
Should Win: Willem Dafoe
Snark-fest: The Florida Project deserves some luvin’

Lead Actress:
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"

Will Win: Frances McDormand
Should Win: Frances McDormand
Snark-fest: Frances McDormand chewing out cops and punching strangers’ kids in the holy realms is a fierce force, and a guiding light unto us all.

Lead Actor:
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Will Win: Gary Oldman
Should Win: Timothée Chalamet

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro
Should Win: Paul Thomas Anderson
Sincere-fest: Greta Gerwig is my true heart pick but I think she’ll work her way to Oscar accolades very soon. That’s why I’d much rather highlight “Phantom Thread” because it is a masterpiece that I think will get overlooked because it doesn’t have an exciting premise. But Daniel Dae Lewis is in it for his last performance ever. So that’s something.

Best Picture:
“Call Me by Your Name” Luca Guadagnino
“Darkest Hour” Joe Wright
“Dunkirk” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Post” Stephen Speilberg
“The Shape of Water” Guillermo Del Toro
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” Martin McDonagh

Will Win: The Shape of Water
Should Win: Call Me By Your Name
Best Pictures are the most popular & hotly-contested category. This year, it is also the toughest to predict, because, again, the Academy has made some surprising choices. I’m almost sure “The Shape of Water” wins this (if not “Three Billboards”) because it tows the line between artsy and popular that not all these nominees are able to do. It is also a movie that heavily romanticizes Old Hollywood, which the Academy loves. But Lalaland did that too, and if I remember correctly, last year’s winner was the transcendent coming of age, love story instead ;)

(FYI -- This year's Academy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, this Sunday, March 4th at 7PM CST. The Oscars are decided by a voting block of over 7,000 people who work in the film industry. It includes a diverse range of actors, directors, producers, executives etc. These people then rank each film/performance and the scores are aggregated on a ranking vote scale. So, a movie with a lot of 2’s and 3’s is more likely to win that a movie with say 1’s and 6’s. You can also campaign for a movie which is where the desperate can do things that approach bribery. Let’s hope all the wins are clean! Ciao)

Edit: I am being told that Daniel Dae Lewis will be returning for one more performance as Oscar, the golden statue.

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