Awards season will finally come to a close this Sunday with Hollywood’s biggest show, and it has certainly been quite the rollercoaster. Never in recent memory have awards shows been so difficult to predict as this one. Almost every year, we have a clear frontrunner by now in each category, and while it has seemed for the past few weeks that some categories have been set in stone, especially after the BAFTAs, I would still expect some major surprises in several main categories, especially Best Picture.
Here are my predictions for the 90th Academy Awards for who Will & Should Win.
WILL WIN: The Shape of Water
With probably the most difficult to predict Best Picture win in recent memory, I ultimately have to choose ‘The Shape of Water’ as the winner over the other frontrunner, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. I still take this choice with extreme doubt, as there are several key factors that indicate this win isn’t as set in stone as it might seem.
Firstly, the film wasn’t nominated at the SAG Awards on the Ensemble category, something that most past Best Picture winners have had. It is also undeniable the huge and unexpected success Three Billboards has had in almost every main awards show, taking the top prizes in both the Golden Globes and BAFTAs. The biggest thing working against ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘, though, is its huge snub in the Best Director category for Martin McDonagh. Only a handful of films have managed to win the top prize when not even being nominated for director – and even then they’re extremely rare cases. The film has also been proven to be a bit divisive, something that has harmed films before, especially with the arrival of the preferential ballot, and it’s what some people speculate cost both ‘The Revenant’ and ‘La La Land’ their respective wins in the past few years.
The Shape of Water seems to have the upper-hand as of now because of its daunting amount of nominations and the general love the film has received, but don’t be at all surprised, and I know I won’t be, if another film emerges with a huge upset, something that is seeming more likely by the day. Will voters feel bad for the snub for the director and give it to Three Billboards? Will Phantom Thread surprise everyone with actual wins in what seemed at first to be just usual Paul Thomas Anderson love by the Academy? Or, something I think is very likely, will Get Out or Lady Bird take advantage of the preferential ballot and pull-off an incredible win? We’ll see.
SHOULD WIN: The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro crafted a beautiful fantasy with this film and it’s undoubtedly the best-made film of the nominees. While I enjoy Lady Bird more as a personal favorite, The Shape of Water’s craft is undeniable and unmatched.
WILL WIN: Guillermo del Toro, ‘The Shape of Water’
No other category is as set in stone as this one: Del Toro has won the DGA, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and almost any other awards ceremony there is, so there is almost no chance he is losing this one.
Only potential hurdle could be the copyright lawsuit being thrown against the film, but I doubt it will have enough impact to rob del Toro of a win here.
SHOULD WIN: Guillermo del Toro, ‘The Shape of Water’
Greta Gerwig and Nolan also do tremendous job, but they don’t come close to what the Mexican director accomplished with this truly beautiful film.
WILL WIN: Frances McDormand, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’
Frances McDormand, like Oldman and del Toro, has won almost every single major award, including the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA, and many others, with a loss here looking extremely unlikely. Look for her to win her second Oscar with this film.
SHOULD WIN: Margot Robbie, ‘I, Tonya’
While McDormand is amazing, and both Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan also give great performances, nothing comes close to me to what Robbie achieved with ‘I, Tonya’, a transformation for her, and no other acting scene is as powerful for me as the court scene in this film – truly remarkable work.
WILL WIN: Gary Oldman, ‘Darkest Hour’
Most Oscar predictors could see this win for a mile away ever since the first trailer came out, and it seems like a sure thing. Oldman’s transformation into Winston Churchill is unbelievably amazing, and he’s long overdue. This race is Oldman’s to lose.
SHOULD WIN: Gary Oldman, ‘Darkest Hour’
While Timothee Chalamet also does incredible work, Oldman still comes out on top for me. It’s a career defining performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
WILL WIN: Allison Janney, ‘I, Tonya’
This win is the clear definition of the Academy giving awards for career-work and not necessarily for their performance, but hey, at least it’s Allison Janney, who has done remarkable work throughout the year, and I have nothing against this year being hers. She has this one on the bag.
SHOULD WIN: Laurie Metcalf, ‘Lady Bird’
While Janney was great, there was always a certain campiness to her performance for me that never stroke me as “Oscar gold”, especially after seeing what Laurie did in Lady Bird. It’s a heartbreaking performance that is very subtle but at the same time, very touching.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
WILL WIN: Sam Rockwell, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’
As awards season started, Willem Dafoe seemed to be the frontrunner in this category, that was until the Golden Globes, when Rockwell pulled-off an upset, and has won every single award he’s been nominated since. It’s a very deserving performance, for a character only someone as talented as him could play.
SHOULD WIN: ‘Christopher Plummer, ‘All The Money in the World’
The only reason why I think maybe Plummer shouldn’t win is because he just won in the same category just a few years back, but I still think this performance deserves the recognition. It’s already criminal that it’s the only nomination of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, so why not recognize it in some way?
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
WILL WIN: James Ivory, ‘Call Me By Your Name’
Look for this to be the only win this romantic drama ends up with once the Oscars wrap-up, but it’s a great one. It would also make James Ivory the oldest Oscar winner in history, so that’s a nice fact right there.
SHOULD WIN: Aaron Sorkin, ‘Molly’s Game’
It’s almost cliché to say Aaron Sorkin is an incredible writer, but he is, and again, he showcases his truly incredible talent with a film that was criminally overlooked by the Academy almost altogether, so I think Sorkin should get this win.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
WILL WIN: Jordan Peele, ‘Get Out’
As with ‘Call Me By Your Name’, this is probably the only real chance ‘Get Out’ has of winning something, and it’s very likely Peele will get it. He created a massive hit with this film and that’s all thanks to his script, which is remarkable for being both scary and hilarious without being jarring, and it will probably be the first of many wins for Peele’s career.
SHOULD WIN: Greta Gerwig, ‘Lady Bird’
Greta Gerwig’s script is the best of the year. No doubt in my mind about it. No other screenplay managed to feel so real and touching than this one, and I truly hope ‘Lady Bird’ takes it at the end of the day.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
WILL WIN: ‘Coco’
SHOULD WIN: ‘Coco’
Will Win: Alexandre Desplat ‘The Shape of Water’
Should Win: Hans Zimmer, ‘Dunkirk’
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Will Win: ‘A Fantastic Woman’, Chile
Should Win: ‘A Fantastic Woman’, Chile
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
WILL WIN: ‘This is Me’, The Greatest Showman
SHOULD WIN: ‘Remember Me’, Coco
WILL WIN: Roger Deakins, ‘Blade Runner 2049’
SHOULD WIN: Hoyte Van Hoytema, ‘Dunkirk’
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
WILL WIN: ‘Darkest Hour’
SHOULD WIN: ‘Darkest Hour’
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
WILL WIN: The Shape of Water
SHOULD WIN: Blade Runner 2049
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
WILL WIN: ‘Phantom Thread’
SHOULD WIN: ‘Phantom Thread’
BEST FILM EDITING
WILL WIN: Dunkirk
SHOULD WIN: I, Tonya
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
WILL WIN: War for the Planet of the Apes
SHOULD WIN: War for the Planet of the Apes
BEST SOUND EDITING
WILL WIN: Dunkirk
SHOULD WIN: Baby Driver
BEST SOUND MIXING
WILL WIN: Baby Driver
SHOULD WIN: Baby Driver
The 90th Academy Awards will air on ABC Sunday, March 4th, at 5 pm PST.