05 March 2018

Oscars 2018 - Hey! Not too bad!

That's right folks, I actually didn't do terrible this year! Although I whiffed on Best Picture (and have now for the fourth year in a row - fml), this was a reasonably easy year to predict. In 2014 I nailed 20/24, but haven't gotten close besides getting 16/24 in 2012. Well, I at least hit that again and bumped up my long term average a bit. Looking back I'm kicking myself for what should have been some obvious picks. I think I could have pushed this up to 18 or so in foresight. Anyway, here's a breakdown of every single category, because you're worth it:

Best Picture

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

Predicted Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Actual Winner: The Shape of Water


Word is that because of the Academy's voting system, which ranks films rather than gives outright preferences, it's tougher for a divisive film like Three Billboards to win. Towards the end there this sure was divisive. Still, even though there are some weird and frankly, needless racist, homophobic, and uh...anti-midget moments, I still think Three Billboards is a captivating film that's a better constructed and more thematically important than The Shape of Water's fish fuckin.

Best Director

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

Predicted Winner: Guillermo del Toro
Actual Winner: Guillermo del Toro


Now I want to see him just make straight goofy monster movies for the rest of his career. Where's that Frankenstein movie? I think long since dead. Mexican directors have won this award four out of the past five years now (including two for Alejandro Inarritu), which is kind of crazy.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

TimothĂ©e Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Predicted Winner: Gary Oldman

Actual Winner: Gary Oldman


Oldman, Rockwell, del Toro, and even Janney to be honest all seemed to be winning for work that was a step down from their best, but still, this is a great acknowledgment of one of the 90s best character actors. He really should have won for the evil Russian in Air Force One (1997).

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Meryl Streep, The Post

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Frances McDormand

Actual Winner: Frances McDormand


We all need more Frances McDormand in our lives.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Sam Rockwell

Actual Winner: Sam Rockwell


Great role, great speech, wish he danced, and pumped that the Guy from Galaxy Quest (1999) has an oscar.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Allison Janney

Actual Winner: Allison Janney


All of the acting categories were pretty much given this year, although this was perhaps the least clear-cut. Allison Janney has been doing underrated steady work for years and this is a great acknowledgment.

Animated Feature Film

The Boss Baby, Tom McGrath and Ramsey Naito

The Breadwinner, Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
Coco, Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand, Carlos Saldanha
Loving Vincent, Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan Mactaggart

Predicted Winner: Coco

Actual Winner: Coco


Yep. What more do you want? Coco wins in an impeccably weak year for animation. At least without either LEGO movie.

Documentary Feature

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman

Faces Places, Agnes Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
Icarus, Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan
Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, and Soren Steen Jespersen
Strong Island, Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes

Predicted Winner: Faces Places

Actual Winner: Icarus


Faces Places was somewhat the popular frontrunner, but I'm not surprised at all considering that everyone was voting for Icarus while watching Olympic Athletes from Russia compete for two weeks. I really thought it might do it, but I went with the greater critical darling. MY B.

Documentary Short Subject

"Edith+Eddie", Laura Checkaway and Thomas Lee Wright

"Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405", Frank Stiefel
"Heroin(e)", Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon
"Knife Skills", Thomas Lennon
"Traffic Stop", Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

Predicted Winner: "Heroin(e)"

Actual Winner: "Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405"


Alright, who knows. Timeliness out the window, whatever. That's a very LA doc, so maybe that was the edge in this, the most mystifying of all categories.

Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman, Chili

Loveless, Russia
The Insult, Lebanon
The Square, Sweden
On Body and Soul, Hungary

Predicted Winner: The Square

Actual Winner: A Fantastic Woman


So, do me a favor and go back and re-read what I said about this category. I said it will probably be A Fantastic Woman but I'd DEFINITELY get it wrong no matter what I picked. Do I know my stuff or what. The Square was also really divisive. The simple thing is by my logic of picking A Fantastic Woman as the most well-known critical darling, Faces Places should have won, right? Instead I lost both categories. It's also the most relevant and timely movie, but by that logic, "Heroin(e)" should have won, right? Ugh, fuck these categories.

Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory

The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank and James Mangold and Michael Green, Story by James Mangold
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Predicted Winner: Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory

Actual Winner: Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory


I had no idea just how old and storied James Ivory was, and this is a sweet win for him.

Original Screenplay

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, Story by Guillermo del Toro
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Predicted Winner: Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig

Actual Winner: Get Out, Jordan Peele


Get Out was definitely winning this as we got closer, and here's one I probably should have gotten. No one seemed really into Lady Bird, although Greta Gerwig love still seemed high at the ceremony. This was Jordan Peele all the way, especially once it was apparent Get Out wasn't pulling the ultimate upset and nabbing Best Picture. Still, there's no precedent for this. You know what, dammit, not only did this ruin this year's predictions but it makes next year's harder. Crap!

Original Song

"Mighty River" from Mudbound, Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson

"Mystery of Love" from Call Me by Your Name, Sufjan Stevens
"Remember Me" from Coco, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
"Stand Up for Something" from Marshall, Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn
"This is Me" from The Greatest Showman, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Predicted Winner: "Remember Me"

Actual Winner: "Remember Me"


This was actually a showdown and I'm glad I got this one right. "This is Me" is fine, but The Greatest Showman is a trash movie, albeit a popular one that did pretty damn well in January. Still, Coco wins it for the feels.

Original Score

Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer

Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

Predicted Winner: The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat

Actual Winnner: The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat


A relatively easy win to call, nothing else really stood out or was in serious Best Picture contention.


Blade Runner 2049, Roger Deakins

Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte Van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Laustsen

Predicted Winner: Roger Deakins
Actual Winner: Roger Deakins


I'm glad I pulled the trigger and didn't call Deakins disappointment again, even though I really thought he'd just lose again. Blade Runner 2049 won more than I thought it might (...two), but it had the nominations to show that people dug it.

Costume Design

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul

Predicted Winner: Phantom Thread
Actual Winner: Phantom Thread


Mark Bridges closing the ceremony on a jetski is an awesome sight. This was never in doubt.

Film Editing

Baby Driver
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Dunkirk
Actual Winner: Dunkirk


Some folks were really thinking Baby Driver, but I never understood why. It's obviously deserving, but first of all, no Kevin Spacey movie would win anything this year, and second, it just never felt Oscar-y. Dunkirk was Chris Nolan's first film to really break through in some serious categories and it had to win something. It ended up cleaning up, but more on that later.

Makeup and Hairstyling

Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul

Predicted Winner: Darkest Hour
Actual Winner: Darkest Hour


Yep. Let's keep going.

Production Design

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049

Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

Predicted Winner: The Shape of Water
Actual Winner: The Shape of Water


In my predictions I called this the "Weird Period Fantasy Sweet Spot." I'm using that to determine who wins this category from now on.

Animated Short Film

"Dear Basketball"
"Garden Party"
"Negative Space"
"Revolting Rhymes"

Predicted Winner: "Dear Basketball"
Actual Winner: "Dear Basketball"


I love it. Oscar winner Kobe Bryant. That's amazing.

Live Action Short Film

"DeKalb Elementary"
"The Eleven O’Clock"
"My Nephew Emmett"
"The Silent Child"
"Watu Wote/All of Us"

Predicted Winner: "My Nephew Emmett"
Actual Winner: "The Silent Child"


Alright. Popular pundits all said "DeKalb Elementary", but as I predicted, Gold Derby always gets this shit wrong. I mean, so did I, but damn these short categories exist only to mess up perfect predictions.

Sound Editing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049

The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Predicted Winner: The Shape of Water
Actual Winner: Dunkirk


So Dunkirk swept all this shit. That doesn't happen too often! But I should have predicted this would be a year to do it since both  aural categories' nominees were exactly the same. This actually only makes five out of the past eleven years where this has happened, though. So basically....crapshoot.

Sound Mixing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Predicted Winner: Dunkirk
Actual Winner: Dunkirk


Cool, bro.

Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

Actual Winner: Blade Runner 2049


Ughhhhh no way! Blade Runner is good, but no Apes film wins this? This was actually one of the bigger upsets of the night, but considering it was the only film nominated here with obvious love from the Academy, this was maybe predictable. Still, I think everyone else wanted some Apes movie to go home with this. This is like how no Transformers movie ever won visual effects. They're good! To be fair, that holo-sex scene was amazing. Actually deserved.

So that's that. Some of these categories were crapshoots, others I think I could have pushed, but that's always hindsight. How did you do?

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