Blade Runner 2049 * – Broderick Johnson, Andrew A. Kosove, Bud Yorkin
Dunkirk – Emma Thomas
Blade Runner 2049 was my favourite movie of the year, Three Billboards was my second favourite, Lady Bird and Get Out were good too. I found Dunkirk to be overrated, confusing and far from Nolan’s best. I am the only person besides my mom that didn’t like Wonder Woman. Mudbound was very boring to me. I like the idea of The Florida Project which has landed on several best of lists winning because of its underclass nature & humble beginnings, a true underdog. I have not seen The Shape of Water but its awards attention has caught my interest and Call Me By Your Name has as much chance of winning as it does being interest to me.
Actress In A Leading Role
Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game
Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman
Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand* – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
This is a runaway for Frances McDormand who gives her best performance since Fargo. Gal Gadot is good but her nomination would be the story here. Sally Hawkins gives an impressive performance as a deaf-mute. I think Saoirse only gets acclaim because she has a flawless american accent. Jessica Chastain does good character work and deserved the Oscar for Zero Dark Thirty which Jennifer Lawrence won for Silver Linings Playbook (which I love but is not Best Actress worthy).
Actress in A Supporting Role
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Hong Chau – Downsizing
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Allison Janney all the way here. Holly Hunter is good in The Big Sick and Octavia Spencer always knows what she’s doing (still haven’t seen Shape of Water or it would fill up the supporting actor category). Hong Chau got raves out of Downsizing, additionally annoying and unfair because the Oscars have become so politicized in recent years this would be seen as a win for diversity after the 87th & 88th #OscarsSoWhite controversies. It’s ironic that her possible nomination would come from writer/director Alexander Payne indulging in his stereotypical racist tendencies. I guess Hollywood takes diversity where they can get it.
Actor In A Leading Role
Hugh Jackman * – Logan
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
James McAvoy – Split
Gary Oldman – The Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel Esq.
This race is Gary Oldman’s to lose. He has turned in a career full of good performances and this is icing on the cake. If anything would hamper him from winning it’d be that the choice is too obvious playing historical figure Winston Churchill. Denzel always makes a great oscar campaign push and he has been hungry for a third win despite being the weakest reviewed movie of the bunch. I didn’t include Timothy Chalamet from ‘Call Me’ because I think his praise is due to the fact that reviewers aren’t aware he’s playing himself in role better written than he is like all first time actor nominees. Hugh Jackman deserves it for Logan even though I’m not a huge fan of that movie he deserves recognition for what he brought to the character. Daniel Kaluuya gives a subtle understated performance that rewards repeat viewings. And James McAvoy has been close to forgotten for his memorable turn in Split as someone with multiple personality disorder I’d like him to get recognized.
Actor In A Supporting Role
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Jamie Foxx – Baby Driver
Christopher Plummer – All the Money In the World
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Patrick Stewart * – Logan
At the beginning of the campaign I would have said this was an easy win for Willem Dafoe’s warm performance in The Florida Project but another career character actor Sam Rockwell has upstaged him for Three Billboards. Christopher Plummer is good I imagine many people are still amazed he’s in themovie after the Kevin Spacey debacle. I thought Jamie Foxx gave one of his best performances in Baby Driver, he even makes an Oscar reference. Patrick Stewart was so good in Logan that it’s impressive he makes you believe his senile swearing version of Professor X is the same person.
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049
Denis Villeneuve made a sequel to a classic that was better than the original while making it his own thing. He received a BAFTA (British Oscars) nomination for this and might repeat all the categories for last year’s Arrival. Jordan Peele, Guilllermo del Toro, and Martin McDonaugh are shoe-ins for the nomination and Greta Gerwig is likely to actually be nominated for Lady Bird, a movie I liked a lot but has modest aims. I originally threw in a Shyamalan twist because he had been nominated before and Split was a big step forward in directing, but I was convinced to put in Christopher Nolan because he’s on track for the award anyway and his omission would generate a backlash.
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
Hampton Fancher and Michael Green – Blade Runner 2049
James Ivory – Call Me By Your Name
Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – The Disaster Artist
I think side by side with Three Billboards, Blade Runner is the best script this year and they happen to qualify for two different categories so yay! The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game and Call Me are all favourites because it’s a weak year for this category which is why there will likely be a few surprises. I threw in Wonder because it’s high on the betting pool, commercially and critically successful, and it’s the movie every book lover expected to love and every movie lover expected to hate (but surprisingly didn’t) and The Perks of Being A Wallflower was pretty decent. Mudbound could score a nomination here to but I didn’t put it personally because its incremental pacing felt like a slog for me that just didn’t flow.
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water
If Lady Bird doesn’t end up getting completely shut out come Oscar night for being good enough to get noticed but not enough to take home (typical Lady Bird amirite?) it’ll win here as Get Out and Shape muscle in on their visual splendor. Of course I don’t think any movie this year takes as many risks as the unpredictable 3 Billboards does in its screenplay so it should win. The Big Sick was in my top list for this year but original? C’mon its based pretty much on the real life story of its writers, it should be adapted if anything however rules are rules.
Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049
The 68 year old is the closest thing to a sure thing this year and has been nominated 13 times before without winning and this is his best work which everyone has said from the beginning. Some of his previous nominations include: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, A Beautiful Mind, No Country For Old Men, Skyfall & Sicario. He absolutely deserves this one.
Best Original Score
Hanz Zimmer – Dunkirk
I didn’t like this movie but I listened to the score countless times while putting together my harsh review of it. The rarely idle Hans does the devil’s work here. And his Inception score was much better than Trent Reznor’s The Social Network which won that year. #robbed
Best Visual Effects
War for the Planet of the Apes
Another much hyped movie on my website I was let down by. I have never seen a director so obviously confident behind the camera its annoying that this series now so well realized spends its last chapter doing a prison break riff. Good Visual Effects are all about enhancing the story and I’ve never seen effects pushed so hard in that regard. Surprisingly, this rebooted series with state of the art effects that take YEARS to render has yet to win but unless members of the academy decide to feel sorry for Blade Runner or reward the epic looking latest Transformers: The Last Knight this should be a steal.
Updated: After a moment of clarity, Reddit user/ swagonair passionately convinced me that I was crazy to leave Christopher Nolan out of the Best Director race for Dunkirk. Even though I didn’t like it as detailed in my review I realized that choosing M. Night Shyamalan a previous Oscar nominee who has matured greatly as a director is a less official choice. If it’s about protecting a backlash I have to go with and be able to agree that Nolan makes more sense as a choice.