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The Oscars 2018

This years Oscars have certainly recognised some of the best films of the year and certainly made many a snub, so just a regular year for the academy. Below are each category and all the nominations for those categories. You will find my prediction for each win (In Red), who I want to win (In Blue) and after the night who actually won (In Bold) with a short note on the winner if applicable.

Apologies for missing opinion for some categories as it wasn’t possible to watch everything this year and to that end some guessing work had to be done using reviews for films to gauge their potential.

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
[Winner] “The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

This was a surprise to be sure, despite being our favourite for best picture, after its wins in other categories such as best director, I did not think The Shape of Water would win best picture. This was one of the tougher categories this year with a few strong contenders, I think after Shape of Waters’ other wins I would have liked to have seen Get Out take this as it deserved more recognition.

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
[Winner] Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

This was such a dark horse moment, Oldman certainly was a shoe-in for this but there were two other performances that stood out more especially, being Day-Lewis and Kaluuya. Despite this Oldman is a tremendous talent and has given numerous superb performances, just did not feel he deserved it this time.

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
[Winner] Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

As expected Frances McDormand takes lead actress, she gave a powerful and detailed performance in Three Billboards but it is difficult not to feel pity and eagerness for Sally Hawkins to have taken this one, her role was astonishing, subtle and touching.

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
[Winner] Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

A cheer was had as this was announced, Sam Rockwell gave a nuanced and utterly raw performance in Three Billboards, he defined that movie for what it is and stands tall as the winner here with complete certainty.

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
[Winner] Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Entirely deserving win, the category had a lot of competition notably from character actress Laurie Metcalf and Lesley Manville who holds her own against Day-Lewis however, Janney really stood tall with an unforgettable character that she brought to life “all on her own”.

Director:

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
[Winner] “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Another Surprise but a welcome one to be sure, while Jordan Peele triumphed with a genre-bending directorial debut and as usual Paul Thomas Anderson continues to show how unique of a filmmaker he is – it is the masterful and immutable talent of Guillermo del Toro that took best director. While anybody should have won, del Toro outdid himself and any other picture this year and Shape of Water as well as he stands tall as a triumph for artistic filmmaking.

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
[Winner] “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

This is by far the biggest snub of the night, Loving Vincent was an absolutely breathtaking animation achievement with a downright great film to boot, It’s a shame that Loving Vincent was not recognised for its glory.

Animated Short:

[Winner] “Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay:

[Winner] “Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
[Winner] Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

As mentioned, Get Out was an impeccable film and even greater so for writer, director Jordan Peele, a film that deserved much more recognition but this win for original screenplay does at least some justice in recognising the tightly woven, intelligent script that Peele produced.

Cinematography:

[Winner] “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Finally! After 13 previous nominations best cinematography finally goes to the genius Roger Deakins, a talent that has produced some of the most stunning and memorable stills in cinema history, he is a truly a master that brings pure poetry to his craft. It would be a damn shame if it went to anyone else this year after his visually orgasmic work on Blade Runner 2049.

Best Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
[Winner] “Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
[Winner] “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
[Winner] “The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

[Winner] “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
[Winner] “Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Film Editing really is a category that should have more prominence in the awards as it plays such a vital role, having control of the films tone, pace and final say on its quality. All of the nominations did outstanding editing work, but the real toss-up was between Dunkirk’s more experimental take or Baby Driver’s hectic elegance, still well deserved for Dunkirk.

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
[Winner] “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

This is another category in which the sound editing of all is truly remarkable, anybody could have won, Dunkirk took the prize in the end and it is deserved for its fascinating and exceptional choices.

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
[Winner] “Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Again all in this category did exceptional work but it is Dunkirk’s clarity and control of its sound that highlight sound as much of a part of storytelling as the visuals and that has to be commended.

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
[Winner] “The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

More than any other film in this category, it is in The Shape of Water where I was consciously made aware of the production design and the detail in it, it’s an aspect of filmmaking often overlooked which is a shame for such an integral part of world building which Shape of Waters production design goes above and beyond in.

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
[Winner] “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Although The Shape of Water’s music is downright enchanting I did feel that Jonny Greenwood’s score stayed with me far longer and continues to hum gently in the back of mind. It’s a score that adds a mass of identity to its respective picture and should have picked up the win.

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
[Winner] “Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

[Winner] “Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

This was never really a question, not a single doubt that the stunning work in Darkest Hour was gonna pick up best makeup and hair.

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
[Winner]“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

While Darkest Hour seemed the obvious choice with its period setting and remarkable achievements with bringing Churchill to the screen. Costume should tell time, place and character which is exactly what Phantom Thread does and excels in, showing off strikingly subtle designs that clue in moods, time, place and most importantly character.

Visual Effects:

[Winner] “Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer – Blade Runner in its 
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

War for the Planet of the Apes once again excels as a technological marvel, in which sadly the work of motion capture is under recognised at the moment but still it is undeniable that Blade Runner 2049 complemented its breathtaking visuals with equally awe-inspiring visual effects, everything from hologram people to contorted doors, rooms and so on – all made to look and are believable.

Share your predictions or thoughts on the winners with us!

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