The last two years for the Academy were tumultuous, to say the least. In 2016, there was the #OscarsSoWhite controversy with the nominations lacking diversity and asking Chris Rock was good damage control but it wasn’t as helpful. Then in 2017, a wrong envelope lead to massive confusion about who won the Best Picture award.
With 2018, the Academy is trying to learn from their mistakes. There is more diversity than ever, and there is a new system in place to make sure a wrong winner isn’t announced.
But the real question – Who will win the Oscars this year? Here are our predictions for the six main categories:
Last year, everyone assumed La La Land would win Best Picture, but after the whole envelope fiasco, it was Moonlight that emerged as the big winner. This year, Shape of Water has the most nominations, and the dreamy fairytale seems like the clear frontrunner, but it could easily lose out to an underdog, just like last year.
Horror hardly ever makes it to the Best Picture category, but Get Out did. It is a box office hit, an audience favourite and an incredibly timely movie about race issues in America. Jordan Peele’s first directorial debut, Get Out is the underdog in this category, and everyone loves an underdog.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is also in the running, but the Academy doesn’t like too much controversy and the movie included depiction of racially motivated police brutality which makes its chances of winning incredibly slim.
This was the year of women in Hollywood with the powerful #MeToo movement and Time Our initiative. The strong contenders in the Best Actress category are a testament to that — Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, Meryl Streep, Margot Robbie, and Frances McDormand. Any of these women could win the Oscar, and we wouldn’t be disappointed.
Though, if we had to pick one, it would be McDormand for Three Billboards where played an unrelenting grieving mother filled with rage. She represented a woman on screen who we don’t see often, and we are sure the Academy voters have noticed that too. McDormand has been nominated for the Oscar five times, and this would be her second win.
This category is the epitome of old and new, proving that talent in Hollywood has got nothing to do with experience. At one side are the first time nominees Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya, and at the other side are veterans Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Denzel Washington.
Oldman has taken home most of the awards this season, and he’s the one we think may take the Academy award home too. His portrayal of Winston Churchill in the Darkest Hour was stunning, to say the least. Last year, it was John Lithgow who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Churchill in the Netflix show The Crown. May be Churchill will prove to be a lucky charm for Oldman too and get him his first Oscar.
The competition in the Best Supporting Actress category is just as fierce as the Best Actress. The category includes inspiring actresses like Laurie Metcalf, Octavia Spencer, Lesley Manville and of course Mary J Blige. But this year, it might be Allison Janney taking the Oscar home for her portrayal of LaVona Golden, Tonya Harding’s mother in I, Tonya.
There is no denying that Laurie Metcalf and Mary J Blige had more meatier roles, but Jenny’s goodwill in the industry and her consisted performances over the years may be the reasons why she wins the golden statue this year.
While the Best Actor category is full of both young and old actors, the Best Supporting Actor category is full of accomplished veteran actors. In fact, the youngest actor in the category is Sam Rockwell, who is 48.
Rockwell’s role as an unhinged and troubled police officer in Three Billboards shows the range, and it is essentially Oscar baits which voters won’t be able to ignore. That may be the reason why Rockwell has already won a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA for his role. Willem Dafoe’s portrayal of a rundown motel owner in The Florida Project is a close second, but the chance of him winning are slim.
The directing nominee list is probably one of the most inspiring ones we have seen in a long time. There is Jordan Peele, a sketch comedy writer, who ended up writing and directing his first movie, Get Out which was full of drama, suspense, thriller, horror, comedy, and racial issues dividing modern America. Then, there is Greta Gerwig, who was an actress and made her solo directorial debut with Lady Bird. And of course, Mexican Director Guillermo del Toro who got his first nomination for The Shape of Water.
Sure, it wouldn’t be that surprising if Christopher Nolan won an Oscar for Dunkirk or Paul Thomas Anderson, who has already been nominated eight times, won for The Phantom Thread. But in this politically charged environment, it would mean a lot more if Peele, Gerwig or Guillermo won, and that’s what most people are hoping for. If we still had to pick just one, we would put our money on Guillermo del Toro.
Do you agree with our nominations? There is only one way to find out — Watch the Oscars which will be telecasted on Sunday, March 4, around the world.