Awards Season is coming to an end and tonight all eyes will be on the Dolby Theater, where the 90th Academy Awards will crown the best films of the year. Many questions are still unresolved: Will the Shape of Water claim the award for Best Picture, or will Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri put the cherry on top of a brilliant season? Without further ado, here are my final predictions – and opinions – on all 24 categories.
Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Critics seem to be rooting for The Shape of Water in this category, especially after Martin McDonagh’s snub in the Best Director category, but after winning the Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG Award – and embodying this year’s social movement for women’s rights – this tale of revenge and justice has a great shot. Guillermo del Toro’s exquisite fairy tale should however not be ruled out, as Academy voters have often proven to follow their own rules and the voting system could favor a consensual option.
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro – Nobody can take the Oscar away from del Toro, after winning every major award, including the Critic’s Choice, Golden Globe, DGA, BAFTA among others… Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see a woman claim the Oscar for Best Director after Kathryn Bigelow’s win almost a decade ago.
Best Actor: Gary Oldman – This year’s acting categories leave no room for improvisation. All four actors have claimed every major award this season and are expected to take home the biggest prize of the year. Oldman has one of those roles Academy voters love, a complicated historical figure that enables the actor to disappear behind a character. Despite being this year’s sensation, Timothée Chalamet has no chance to become one of the youngets Oscar-winners in history.
Best Actress: Frances McDormand – After winning every award this season, McDormand is finally going to win her second Oscar, after her win for Fargo. Sally Hawkins would have won the Oscar any other year for her performance in The Shape of Water, but tonight’s award will go to McDormand’s complex character of a grieving mother looking for justice.
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboard’s second win in acting categories, this one seems a sure bet. Despite not being the initial favorite, after the Golden Globes it seemed clear that Rockwell would become the undisputable front-runner for a role that is both controversial and timely.
Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney – At the start of awards season it looked like the battle for Best Supporting Actress would be between Janney and Laurie Metcalf, but after winning the Golden Globe, Critic’s, SAG and BAFTA nobody will be able to take that award from Janney for her portrayal of Tonya Harding’s unconventional mother in I, Tonya.
Best Original Screenplay: The Shape of Water – The battle is on in this category between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. McDonagh’s picture won the Golden Globe, but del Toro’s picture is this year’s most nominated feature. It looks like the recent lawsuit from the estate of Paul Zindel for alleged plagiarism could tip the scale.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name – The only nominee in this category that is also up for Best Picture, this could be a well-deserved win. Let’s not rule out Academy sweetheart Aaron Sorkin for Molly’s Game, a feature that for me relies too much on voice over but that critics seemed to have loved anyway.
Best Animated Feature Film: Coco – The boss Baby and Ferdinand are not Oscar worthy and The Breadwinner nor Loving Vincent have caught the Academy’s attention. This well-deserved award goes to Pixar.
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman – After its Cannes win The Square seemed like the obvious front-runner, but things changed when In the Fade – one of the most shocking snubs of this year’s Oscars – took home the Golden Globe. A Fantastic Woman has recently received critical praise and would be, in my opinion, the best choice.
Best Documentary Feature: Last Men in Aleppo – A timely documentary about the Syrian Civil War, which is also the first Syrian produced and directed film nominated for an Oscar. It would definitely be a statement against President Trump’s policy, and could emulate The Salesman’s win last year – Last Men in Aleppo’s director was initially denied his visa to the US due to President Trump’s travel ban.
Best Documentary Short Film: Heroin(e) – A short about West Virginia’s opioid crisis is a timely subject that can reach Academy voters for its domestic topic. This is a tricky category where anything could happen.
Best Live Action Short Film: My Nephew Emmett – Again, a tricky category, but after winning the Student Academy Award for Best Narrative Kevin Wilson Jr’s short could claim the biggest honor of the season.
Best Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball – Probably not the best option, but definitely the one that is most likely to be seen by Academy voters due to its subject, writer and narrator, Kobe Bryant.
Best Original Score: The Shape of Water – Desplat is always a sure bet at the Oscars, and his involvement in an Oscar front-runner such as the Shape of Water is the perfect combination.
Best Original Song: Remember Me (Coco) – This song could bring anyone to tears, just as any Pixar song – and movie for that matter. This Is Me however should not be ruled out after winning the Golden Globe for best Song.
Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk – With eight nominations, Dunkirk’s victories should be in the technical categories, especially for sound, considering the movie’s suspens is mostly based on sound effects. Blade Runner 2049, Star Wards or even Baby Rider could also take home the award.
Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk – Based on the previous prediction I guess it would be a safe bet.
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water – If The Shape of Water wins big tonight this could be a safe bet, although Beauty and the Best is the kind of movie Academy voters could also praise.
Best Cinematography: Dunkirk – Shot in 65mm large-format stock, Dunkirk is a true prodigy that has to be enjoyed on the big screen.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour – The British feature could pull an “Iron Lady” and claim the award from Gary Oldman’s transformation into former British PM Winston Churchill.
Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread – A movie that revolves around fashion and that has garnered seven Oscar nominations? This would make sense.
Best Film Editing: Dunkirk – Best Editing has always been considered a good indicator for Best Picture. However, I believe Dunkirk should take the award – and in fact lead the technical categories wins. Baby Driver would also be a great choice, but it is clearly not the kind of films voters acknowledge and the fact it received a nomination should already be seen as a a triumph.
Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049 – In my opinion, one of the most underrated movies of the year, by both the critics and audience. Star Wars could also claim the award, but we could also witness the same scenario as two years ago, when Ex-Machina defeated all the other frontrunners.