Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Envelope Please: Your Guide to the Oscars

by Kam Williams

Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed

             If you're planning on entering an Oscar pool at the office or online, you might want to check out my pix first. After all, given my immersion in movies, movie biz and movie buzz, this is the one time each year when my otherwise useless font of film trivia knowledge can actually prove profitable to readers. 
            Fair warning, my past performance, including a perfect score in 2014, is no guarantee of future results. That disclaimer out of the way, look for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to win thrice Sunday night, for Best Picture, Lead Actress and Supporting Actor. 
 But Shape of Water's Guillermo del Toro is still the favorite for Best Director, since he won't have to compete with Three Billboards' Martin McDonagh who wasn't even nominated in the category. Despite landing 13 nominations, Shape is likely to take home only a couple of additional trophies. And don't waste a vote on perennial nominee Meryl Streep. Frances McDormand's a shoo-in.
As far as snubs, this year it was less a case of actors being overlooked by Oscar than their being torpedoed by the #MeToo movement. For instance, after winning a Golden Globe for The Disaster Artist, James Franco wasn't even nominated for an Oscar when several devastating sexual abuse allegations were leveled at him.
Similarly, Baby Driver, this critic's favorite film of the year, was only nominated in three technical categories after Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual harassment. Spacey's fall from grace ostensibly affected not only his own prospects this awards season, but also those of his co-stars Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx, as well as the picture's writer/director Edgar Wright.
The 90th Academy Awards, set to air on March 4th on ABC, and the show will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

Best Picture

Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Deserves to Win: Lady Bird
Overlooked: Baby Driver, Wind River

Best Director

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
Deserves to Win: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
Overlooked: Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Actor

Will Win: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Deserves to Win: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name)
Overlooked: James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver)

Best Actress

Will Win: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Deserves to Win: Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird)
Overlooked: Sally Hawkins (Maudie), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Deserves to Win: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)
Overlooked: Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name)

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
Deserves to Win: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)
Overlooked: Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River)

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Deserves to Win: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
Overlooked: Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Taylor Sheridan (Wind River)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name)
Deserves to Win: Dee Rees (Mudbound)
Overlooked: Allan Heinberg and Zack Snyder (Wonder Woman)

Predictions for the Balance of the Categories

Animated Feature: Coco
Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
Documentary Feature: Faces Places
Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049
Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Production Design: The Shape of Water
Film Editing: Dunkirk
Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Original Score: The Shape of Water
Best Song: "Remember Me" (Coco)
Sound Editing: Dunkirk
Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
Animated Short: Dear Basketball
Documentary Short: Edith + Eddie
Live Action Short: DeKalb Elementary

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