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Our Full 2018 Oscar Predictions (Wherein an Angry Woman Battles a Fish-Man)

PM Film Editor Sean Collier offers his picks in every category in anticipation of Sunday night's Oscar ceremony.

Photo by Merrick Morton. courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures.

When it comes to forecasting this year’s Academy Awards, there’s one prediction I can offer with utter confidence: The ceremony won’t be as dramatic as last year’s.

If you missed it, last year’s ceremony ended with the wrong film (but the film everyone expected to win) being incorrectly announced as the Best Picture winner, thanks to a starstruck accountant and a somewhat befuddled Warren Beatty, only for a producer of the incorrectly announced champion to interrupt his own team’s acceptance speech to display the proper envelope, which revealed that the scrappy underdog had in fact prevailed.

So no, nothing like that is going to happen again. I guarantee that much.

I’m also confident when it comes to this year’s acting races, each a near lock. Frances McDormand, who is already being congratulated on area billboards, is expected to claim her second Oscar for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Despite turning in what is, in my opinion, the third- or fourth-best performance of the nominees, Gary Oldman’s prosthetically aided Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour” will be awarded. Sam Rockwell will take home Best Supporting Actor for “Three Billboards.”

The only acting category where there could be a slight upset is Best Supporting Actress; while I expect Allison Janney to prevail for her bilious turn in “I, Tonya,” the award could go to another maternal portrayal: Laurie Metcalf in “Lady Bird.”

The toss-up races are mostly in more cinephile-friendly categories; I don’t have a good read on Best Documentary (I’m slightly leaning toward the charming “Faces Places”) or Best Foreign Language Film (the excellent “A Fantastic Woman” had better win). I expect “Dunkirk” to do quite well in the technical categories, although there could be more support for “Blade Runner 2049” than I’m anticipating.

Then there’s Best Picture. Unlike most of this year’s races — and most campaigns for the Academy’s top prize — I truly don’t have a good guess on which film has the edge.

The betting favorite remains “Three Billboards,” but something about that doesn’t feel right to me. The staggeringly complex Best Picture voting system is notoriously difficult to understand — let alone predict — but as far as I comprehend it, I think it’s set up to push “The Shape of Water” to the top spot. Throughout Oscar season, there has also been a vocal contingent convinced that “Get Out” will claim the prize. And a “Lady Bird” upset, while unlikely, would not be a true stunner. (The five other candidates should prepare their honor-to-be-nominated remarks.)

Whichever of those four names is announced at about 11:15 p.m. this Sunday will not be a shock, but I’m calling it for “The Shape of Water.” If you want to fill out your Oscar pool conservatively, “Three Billboards” might be a slightly safer bet, but I think it’s a good year to be a fish-creature.


2018 Oscar Predictions

Best Picture — “The Shape of Water”

Best Director — Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Best Actor — Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Best Actress — Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Best Supporting Actress — Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Best Supporting Actor — Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Original Screenplay — “Get Out”
Best Adapted Screenplay — “Call Me By Your Name”

Best Animated Feature — “Coco”
Best Documentary Feature — “Faces Places”
Best Foreign-Language Film — “A Fantastic Woman”

Best Original Score — “The Shape of Water”
Best Original Song — “Remember Me” from “Coco”

Best Cinematography — “Dunkirk”
Best Costume Design — “Phantom Thread”
Best Editing — “Dunkirk”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling — “Darkest Hour”
Best Production Design — “The Shape of Water”
Best Sound Editing — “Dunkirk”
Best Sound Mixing — “Dunkirk”
Best Visual Effects — “Blade Runner 2049”

Best Animated Short — “Lou”
Best Live-Action Short — “DeKalb Elementary”
Best Documentary Short — “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405”


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