PAUL PREDICTS (SOME OF) THE OSCARS WINNERS
This year’s Oscar race will no doubt come with some surprises. The acting categories seem pretty locked in place given that the four frontrunners (Oldman, McDormand, Janney, and Rockwell) have won every other major award so far. It’s the Best Picture and Best Director races that seem a bit more ambiguous as you can make cases for a variety of the nominees. Here are my thoughts on the top six categories
And the nominees are…
1. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
3. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
4. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
5. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Gary Oldman is the clear frontrunner here. The Academy loves a good “transformation” type of performance, and Oldman disappears into Winston Churchill. He’s the quintessential character actor and is long overdue for some recognition from the Academy.
WILL WIN: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
DARK HORSE: Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
1. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Margot Robbie, I,Tonya
4. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
5. Meryl Streep, The Post
Frances McDormand gives a stirring and powerful performance as a grieving mother looking for answers in her daughter’s death. Much like Gary Oldman, she’s won every acting award so far leading up to the Oscars. Plus, McDormand is loud, outspoken, and doesn’t play by the rules.
WILL WIN: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
DARK HORSE: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
2. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
4. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
5. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It was easy to hate Sam Rockwell’s character in Three Billboards as he played a racist cop. It’s the villain role of the film, and Rockwell frequently plays these types of sleazy roles to perfection.
WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
DARK HORSE: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
2. Allison Janney, I, Tonya
3. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
4. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
5. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
This category comes down to the two dysfunctional mother roles played by Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird). Metcalf’s mother is the grounded, often misguided one in her choices. Janney gives the “showier” performance playing the mother from hell to Tonya Harding. She’s vicious, vile, and like Sam Rockwell’s character, you absolutely despise everything about her.
WILL WIN: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
DARK HORSE: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
2. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
3. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
4. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
5. Jordan Peele, Get Out
Guillermo del Toro seems like the clear frontrunner at this point. He won the Director’s Guild of America award and is widely admired by his colleagues. His film The Shape of Water represents his love of the creature features of Old Hollywood and leads the night with the most nominations.
WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
DARK HORSE: Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
1. Call Me By Your Name
2. Darkest Hour
4. Get Out
5. Lady Bird
6. Phantom Thread
7. The Post
8. The Shape of Water
9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
It’s the toughest race to call, as it’s a three-way tie at this point between Get Out, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. All three are vastly different films and have all been in the lead in early polls. The Shape of Water won the Producer’s Guild Award, which is usually a strong indicator. Three Billboards packs a punch but has been very divisive with audiences. In recent years the Academy likes throwing out a few surprise choices and has chosen films, like Spotlight and Moonlight, that emotionally resonate with audiences and represent the state of the world we’re living in. I think we’re going to see that trend continue to happen with Get Out ultimately being the winner. It became a huge surprise hit given Jordan Peele’s unique approach to telling its themes of racism.
WILL WIN: Get Out
DARK HORSE: The Shape of Water