2017 Oscar Nominations Predictions: Final

As is our tradition, May begins our first predictive look at the year’s Oscar hopefuls. A lot of factors will play into how well our guesses hold up. Expect many of them to fall by the wayside as the year progresses and new contenders to rise into their places.

And so we come to our final nominations predictions of the year. While we have a lot of agreement, most of our disagreements seem to come with films and individuals we have no reasonable expectation of nomination. They are contenders who are fighting for a large number of surprisingly volatile spots, but that’s where we are. Starting Tuesday, after the nominations are announced, we will announce our first winner predictions.

We have ranked our Best Picture selections in order of how likely they are to be nominated. 10 represents the highest rank, 1 the lowest. These were then tallied and the list is in order of highest result to lowest.


KEY:

Appears on Four Lists
Appears on Three Lists
Appears on Two Lists

Wesley Lovell Peter Patrick Tripp Burton Thomas LaTourrette
[New] = New Prediction
[Return] = Prior Prediction Returning
(O) = Original Predictions
(J) = June Predictions
(L) = July Predictions
(A) = August Predictions
(F) = Post-Festival (September) Predictions
(Oc) = October Predictions
(N) = November Predictions
(D) = December Predictions
(Ja) = January Predictions
(E) = Final Predictions

Introductions

Wesley Lovell: If The Shape of Water lands all the nominations it is expected to, it will tie All About Eve, Titanic, and La La Land for most nominations ever. The latter lost, but the other two won, so it will boost the film’s prospects quite a bit. Otherwise, a lot of tumult in the races makes many of them likely to go 3 for 5 or 4 for 5 in terms of accurate predictions and that would still be quite impressive.
Peter J. Patrick: It’s been a crazy year both at the movies and in real life for everyone. Will the Oscars take comfort in warm, nostalgic films like Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name, go radical with Three Billboards, embrace a horror film like Get Out or a sci-fi film like The Shape of Water? Any and all of these scenarios are possible. What is less likely is that the grand epics like Dunkirk and Darkest Hour will curry as much favor as those types of films once did, or that a political parable to our times like The Post will have much impact considering that life under Nixon now seems positively quaint compared to life under Trump.
Tripp Burton: In one of the most up-in-the-air Oscar races in awhile, there isn’t a whole lot that I feel sure of in these predictions. With little consensus so far in the precursors, anything feels vulnerable and anything feels possible. One thing I am sure of, though, is that even after the nominations there will still be a lot of questions before we have any idea what can win on March 4.
Thomas LaTourette: It is hard to believe it is already that time of year again. 2017 produced a lot of good films, even if a number of them felt sort of small in scale. As often happens when making predictions, I feel good about the first few, then it gets more difficult to bring it down to five. I enjoy making this list, though I am surprised at how painful it has been to drop certain people or films off my final list. I will be curious to see how close I am to the final slate, but, at this point, here are my best predictions.

Best Picture

  • (36) The Shape of Water (WL 10 F) (PP 7 F) (TB 10 F) (TL 9 F)
  • (33) Lady Bird (WL 7 D) (PP 10 Oc) (TB 9 N) (TL 7 N)
  • (33) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (WL 8 D) (PP 8 Oc) (TB 7 N) (TL 10 Oc)
  • (31) Get Out (WL 9 F) (PP 6 N) (TB 8 Oc) (TL 8 Oc)
  • (23) Call Me By Your Name (WL 5 O) (PP 9 O) (TB 5 O) (TL 4 O)
  • (23) Dunkirk (WL 6 O) (PP 5 O) (TB 6 O) (TL 6 O)
  • (16) The Post (WL 4 O) (PP 3 A) (TB 4 L) (TL 5 O)
  • (9) I, Tonya (WL 3 E) [New] (TB 3 E) [New] (TL 3 E)
  • (6) Phantom Thread (WL 2 O) (PP 4 L)
  • (4) Darkest Hour (WL 1 O) (PP 2 O) (TL 1 J)
  • (3) The Big Sick (TB 1 Ja) (TL 2 Ja)
  • (3) The Florida Project (PP 1 F) (TB 2 D)

Wesley Lovell: There are six films that I think are assured slots on the Best Picture slate. The Shape of Water, Get Out, Three Billboards, Lady Bird, Dunkirk, and Call Me by Your Name. Beyond that, I think there are two others films that are likely to get nominated, but wouldn’t be surprised by them missing the list. The Post, while generally well respected, hasn’t done well with critics or guilds and could be hindered by a lack of enthusiasm. Still, it’s a crucial story for our time, which is why I feel it will make the list. I, Tonya has broken out late and has earned tons of praise for its creative mode of storytelling and its engaging narrative. It has shown up at more guilds than expected and now stands a fairly good chance at a Best Picture nomination. The last two spots on my top ten list, the two that could make it, but I think may ultimately fall short, leaving us with an eight-film field, are Phantom Thread, which broke late, but seems to be following Paul Thomas Anderson’s other film, The Master, and its trajectory, which didn’t lead to an Oscar nomination in spite of suggestions to the contrary. Then there’s Darkest Hour, which nabbed a surprise Best Picture nomination at BAFTA, but which has otherwise failed to live up to expectations.

Five other films have earned buzz this season, but for various reasons don’t seem to have held on nearly as well as previously expected. The Florida Project has been entirely ignored by the guilds. While it might seem like the kind of film that can overcome that, the lack of PGA nomination suggests otherwise. Mudbound has been acclaimed, but the anti-Netlix bias seems to have sunken the film’s chances. If there’s one film that the minor changes to Academy demographics could bolster, it’s this one. If Netflix were better at playing the distribution game, like its direct competitor Amazon, it might have been a force to be reckoned with this year. Don’t count out Blade Runner 2049, although it hasn’t gotten the degree of Best Picture-like support one would have thought when it released earlier this year, it has been quietly plugging along at the guilds and is on track for anywhere from 5 to 7 nominations, which could give it just enough leverage to make a surprise appearance in Best Picture, much like its director, Denis Villeneuve, did in the BAFTA Best Director category. The Big Sick opened to terrific reviews and had some late strong support, but the film has been running on fumes for some time now and I don’t expect to see it in Best Picture unless there’s a sudden uptick in its appreciation. Finally, there’s The Disaster Artist, which has pleased critics to no end. That’s the primary reason it even has a shot. The biggest problem is that the film just doesn’t sound like something the Academy would embrace, which is why I rank its chances far below everyone else’s.
Peter J. Patrick: These are my top ten predictions in order of likelihood, though I suspect that only seven, but possibly eight of even nine of them will make the cut. The only thing I’m fairly certain of, is that there won’t be ten nominees.
Tripp Burton: In my view, there are five films that are locked into nominations for certain: Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards. Each has had a minor stumble so far but nothing major. After that, Call Me By Your Name and The Post have each faded a little bit in support, but they should hold onto nominations here, although their final total won’t be what we thought a month or two ago. I, Tonya has been a surprise in several guilds this month and I think it will surprise a lot of people on this list to. Will The Florida Project or The Big Sick hold on for an elusive ninth nomination? Will Phantom Thread surprise people? I don’t know.
Thomas LaTourette: The top five to seven on my list should be fairly safe. After that it gets tricky. I, Tonya, The Big Sickb and especially Darkest Hour are iffy, and any or all might not make the final cut. I, Tonya and The Big Sick definitely have their supporters, so I can see them making it through. Mudbound is the one other film that might sneak in, but being run mostly on Netflix certainly will hurt its chances. It may be a mistake leaving The Florida Project off my list, but it just was not a film that I was that fond of. It would not surprise me if the nominations stop at 8 or 9, so Darkest Hour would be out anyway. It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Best Animated Feature

  • The Boss Baby (TB E) [New] (TL Ja)
  • The Breadwinner (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Coco (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Despicable Me 3 (WL O)
  • Ferdinand (PP Ja) (TB Ja)
  • The Girl Without Hands (PP E)
  • The Lego Batman Movie (WL O) (TB O) (TL Oc)
  • Loving Vincent (WL Ja) (PP D) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: My predictions here haven’t changed much since December, when I added Loving Vincent to the list, based solely on its amazing creativity. The other four titles have been on my prediction list since it went up in April of last year. Coco will win, the only question is what will accompany it on the list. If this were the old rules, The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent would obviously be on the list, but now that the voting has been opened up to the entire Academy rather than just a small portion of animators and those from other disciplines that worked some in animation. That broader base of voters could result in more populist selections, ones that made more bank at the box office rather than those that are necessarily high quality. That’s why Despicable Me 3 is still on my list and its why I stick with The Lego Batman Movie in spite of the Academy’s rejection of The Lego Movie. Both seems like the kind of well received, popular animated films that make the list. There are other possibilities like Ferdinand, Captain Underpants, and The Boss Baby that could benefit from the rule changes, but until we see how the Academy votes with the new rules, we cannot know what to expect, so I’m going to stick with the more traditional slate of three big films and two smaller ones.
Peter J. Patrick: Coco is the only sure bet among my anticipated nominees.
Tripp Burton: Voting has opened up for this category to the whole Academy, so I expect these nominees to feel a little different than in other years. In this case, it is really Coco and then a bunch of also-rans, which will probably have a few more populist choices than in the past few years.
Thomas LaTourette: Coco, The Breadwinner, and Loving Vincent all seem likely nominees. The Boss Baby seems likely as another by a major studio. I am most unsure of the Lego Batman Movie as the original Lego Movie was left off the list. If that happens again, I could see either Ferdinand or perhaps Mary and the Witch’s Flower sneaking in, with Golden Globe nominee Ferdinand being the more likely nominee. The change in voting should definitely help the major studio productions rather than the independents from GKids and other companies.

Best Director

  • Call Me By Your Name – Luca Guadagnino (PP O)
  • Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan (WL O) (TB A) (TL O)
  • Get Out – Jordan Peele (WL Ja) (PP E) [New] (TB D) (TL Ja)
  • Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig (WL Ja) (PP D) (TB D) (TL Ja)
  • The Shape of Water – Guillermo Del Toro (WL F) (PP F) (TB F) (TL F)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh (WL E) [New] (PP Oc) (TB E) [New] (TL E)

Wesley Lovell: Guillermo del Toro is a lock. Everyone else has the potential to be left off for various reasons. The big question is, can the Directors Branch really afford to leave anyone off? Christopher Nolan, based on his history, has a great chance of being ignored. Not because he isn’t deserving, but because every time he’s been cited as a potential nominee, he misses. The difference here is he’s not working in genre fare and has submitted a traditionally Oscar baity war film. It’s not your typical war film, but he’s been so ever-present this awards season, him missing would immediately start the calls of bias against Nolan from all corners. The only woman with a shot of a nomination, Gerta Gerwig, has a film that doesn’t typically appear on Oscar’s radar in terms of directorial achievement, namely interpersonal comedy. Yet, the hew and cry that would arise from her absence would be deafening. Voters might not care, but prepare for more stringent pushes for diversity if they should ignore her. The same can be said of Jordan Peele, except his film falls into the genre category, the other type of film that typically gets ignored by the Academy. They are doing better, but his absence would spark further outrage as there are no persons of color in competition (though, some will claim Hispanic del Toro should sufficiently cover that base, an idea which I roundly reject, all things considered). That leaves Martin McDonagh, who has been nominated before for writing, but makes his first push for a Best Director citation. Of all of these directors, there aren’t many reasons why his failure to be nominated would raise a ruckus. That’s why I rank him as the weakest of the five, yet I suspect that Gerwig and Peele might be the ones to lose out in such a tough competition.

Who replaces any of them? There are really only five names that could and two of them aren’t very likely. Those two are Dee Rees for Mudbound. If she replaced Gerwig or Peele, the hubbub wouldn’t be too deafening, but the reason her film isn’t in competition for Best Picture is the same reason she’s a distant fifth on the replacement side. Denis Villeneuve could surprise for Blade Runner 2049, like he did at BAFTA, on the strengths of how he handled so many terrific production elements. The problem is that his film just isn’t in the Best Picture race, which makes his nomination doubtful. The other three have other detriments. Paul Thomas Anderson is one of only two with a prior Best Directing nomination, but his film hasn’t quite taken off the way critics had hoped. Yet, he would fit a fairly classic Lone Director type the directors used to pick in the days of only five Best Picture nominees. Of course, only one director since the expansion beyond five has managed to get nominated for Best Directing without a corresponding Best Picture nomination and that was Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher. Anderson has a lot of similarities to him. Steven Spielberg is the other prior nominee in competition, but with The Post struggling so is he. The man who has been nominated eleven times by the DGA couldn’t manage a nomination for this film, which means if the more Spielberg-friendly DGA won’t support him, why would the more cliqueish Directors Branch? That leaves Luca Guadagnino. Call Me by Your Name is a critical success, but the laid back style of the film is what has kept Guadagnino out of the competition. Yet, as the only openly gay director in the mix this year, his nomination would quell the frustrations over the Academy’s failure to target sexuality in its diversity push, focusing instead on observable qualities. They’ve never prohibited queer inclusion, but they’ve never adequately supported it either.
Peter J. Patrick: AMPAS and the DGA generally disagree on at least one nominee. I think Guadagnino will be the sole non-DGA nominee this year, but who between McDonagh, Nolan and Peele does he knock out of the race?
Tripp Burton: I’m going with the safe bet of the five DGA nominees, also my five surefire Best Picture candidates, although history tells us that someone will be left out. I think it will either be Craig Gillespie or Paul Thomas Anderson who sneaks in, but for the life of me I don’t know who to take off this list. My long-shot prediction: Martin McDonaugh misses here, casting doubt on a Three Billboards Best Picture win.
Thomas LaTourette: Considering how much I loved The Post, I view Steven Spielberg’s nomination as somewhat unlikely. Gerwig, del Toro, and Peele all seem likely to repeat their DGA nominations. Nolan does too, especially as this would be his first directorial nom. McDonagh seems likely to as well, considering how well Three Billboards did at the Golden Globes. That just does not leave space for Spielberg. It definitely feels that the Directors Guild nominees could all repeat here.

Best Actor

  • Timothée Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name (WL D) (PP O) (TB F) (TL N)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread (WL O) (PP L) (TB O) (TL O)
  • James Franco – The Disaster Artist (WL E) [New] (TB Ja) (TL Ja)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger (PP N)
  • Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out (WL Ja) (PP E) [New] (TB E) [New] (TL E) [New]
  • Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Oldman. Chalamet. Day-Lewis. Those are the names I am 100% certain will be on the list. I’m fairly strong in my belief that James Franco will still make the list, since he’s the season’s most nominated actor, but the revelations of sexual harassment might have come at the wrong time. While ballots had already been cast, enough might not have to sink his chances. Of course, I suspect he will probably still make the list even if his film just isn’t the Academy’s cup of tea. If he fails to appear, though, it won’t be the film, but the #MeToo movement that will earn the praise for his elimination. Daniel Kaluuya wasn’t in the competition until late in the year even though his film was released months ago. The lack of credible contenders in the category, especially actors of color, has given him a boost that wasn’t expected all year. Sure, Denzel Washington could replace him, but his film tanked and other than the SAG nomination, no one has really supported his candidacy. Tom Hanks got an early award from the National Board of Review, but has been roundly ignored since. I think him getting nominated at this point would be a huge surprise. From there, there aren’t very many options as Jake Gyllenhaal’s Stronger performance has been largely forgotten and any residual frustration from his unfair exclusion two previous times hasn’t extended to this performance at all. If Hugh Jackman’s The Greatest Showman hadn’t bombed with critics, he might be in the race, but he isn’t. He could still show up for Logan, but a comic book film getting nominated for a major award doesn’t happen often at all.
Peter J. Patrick: Chalamet and Oldman are the clear frontrunners and Day-Lewis is considered safe, with Kaluuya emerging as a strong fourth candidate and just about anyone who made a movie this past year in the running for the fifth slot. The BAFTA influence might help Jamie Bell in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, but I think Gyllenhall is a stronger bet with AMPAS.
Tripp Burton: Gary Oldman and Timothée Chalamet seem like locks here, and Daniel Day-Lewis is right behind them. I kept expecting Daniel Kaluuya to get pushed aside (it feels like a role that often gets overlooked come awards time) but he has every precursor he needs to get in here. The question is if the allegations of sexual misconduct against James Franco came out too late to affect voting or not; if he gets knocked out, however, I have no idea who fills in his slot. It could lead to a completely out of the blue nomination.
Thomas LaTourette: Chalamet, Day-Lewis, and Oldman all feel safe, having received BAFTA, Golden Globe, and SAG nominations. Daniel Kaluuya received all three as well, so will probably score his first Oscar nomination, though his might have the weakest chances of doing that. Tom Hanks seems likely to just miss again. Which leaves that final spot to either James Franco or Denzel Washington. Both received SAG nominations. At this point I would guess that it will go to Franco as the uproar against him after his Golden Globe win started just too late to affect most Academy voters.

Best Actress

  • Annette Bening – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PP E)
  • Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water (WL F) (PP F) (TB F) (TL F)
  • Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outiide Ebbing, Missouri (WL O) (PP O) (TB Oc) (TL J)
  • Margot Robbie – I, Tonya (WL N) (TB Oc) (TL N)
  • Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird (WL N) (PP Oc) (TB N) (TL N)
  • Meryl Streep – The Post (WL O) (PP D) (TB L) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Four actresses seem assured of nominations; Hawkins, McDormand, Robbie, and Ronan. That fifth slot has been a heated race for much of the year. Jessica Chastain, Judi Dench, and Annette Bening have all been pushing for the nomination, but Meryl Streep has the strength and familiarity to win out in the end. The Post might not be performing very well elsewhere, but Streep is beloved and the film is a showcase for her, which should be just the boost she needs. Dench’s film was critically lambasted, even if her performance was not and Bening’s film was a flop even if modestly well received. Chastain seems like the most likely to bounce Streep from the race as her film, Molly’s Game, has been performing better than expected at the guilds and there is a lot of admiration for Chastain who has come close oh so many times. I think she’ll come close once again, but this won’t likely be her nomination victory.
Peter J. Patrick: Hawkins, McDormand, and Ronan are solid. Streep is likely. Bening is supposedly dead in the water as far as her AMPAS chances are concerned, but Gloria Grahame is a more sympathetic character than Tonya Harding, so I’m saying don’t be surprised if she “surprises.”
Tripp Burton: Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie, and Saoirse Ronan are all locks in this category, and any of them could become a frontrunner at some point. The Post seems to be fading, but I’ve learned not to bet against Streep for a nomination, so I’m keeping her on my list.
Thomas LaTourette: Hawkins, McDormand, Robbie, and Ronan all received both BAFTA and SAG nominations, and they seem likely to repeat here as well. Robbie may be on the thinnest ice of all of them, but her gutsy performance should carry her to a nom. Meryl Streep seems likely to take the fifth spot, though she did not disappear into the character as much as she has in some other roles. Seeing that Judi Dench could not pull off a BAFTA nom, she seems unlikely to make the final cut. That leaves Jessica Chastain as the one who could pull an upset. Unfortunately, she may just miss yet again.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project (WL Oc) (PP F) (TB Oc) (TL F)
  • Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name (WL O) (PP Oc)
  • Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (TB Ja) (TL Ja)
  • Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water (WL E) [New] (PP Ja) (TB N) (TL D)
  • Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World (WL E) [New] (TL E) [New]
  • Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (WL F) (PP F) (TB F) (TL F)
  • Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name (PP O) (TB D)

Wesley Lovell: While the Best Actor category is wanting for candidates, Best Supporting Actor is overflowing. Willem Dafoe and Sam Rockwell are the only actors whose slots are secure. The remaining three slots are being fought over by nine or ten individuals. Armie Hammer, who could be argued as a potential co-lead in Call Me by Your Name could have been bumped and might have had an opportunity there. Here, however, he’s been treading water all season. With plenty of screen time and strong reviews, he seems like the kind of actor who finally makes a breakthrough, but who’s absence wouldn’t be unexpected, largely thanks to the presence of his co-star Michael Stuhlbarg, highly visible in three Best Picture nominees this year (also The Shape of Water and The Post), he has a killer scene at the end of his film, the kind of one that Hammer doesn’t have anywhere in the film, and that ever presence may help remind voters of his abilities and giving him a nomination for this film would be fitting. They are also reluctant to double-nominate films in this category (the last time it happened was with Bugsy 26 years ago). That gives two of the other contenders a bit of a pause. Woody Harrelson wasn’t meant to be a contender for Three Billboards as co-star Rockwell was, but his appearance in the film has earned plenty of attention, and he could be on track for a nomination. Having two films with double nominations would be quite unusual, but the Call Me by Your Name and Three Billboards pairs could do it. However, there is one actor who is likely to prevent that: The Shape of Water‘s Richard Jenkins. His film is quite popular and he’s gotten several nominations over the season, which bolsters his chances. Beside him is Michael Shannon in the same film who has, in the past, managed surprise nominations when it wasn’t expected and failed to get nominated when it was. If he can pull off the actual double nomination in this field, it’s likely that Shape of Water would hit 15 nominations and that would be a record. I don’t expect that to happen, but it could.

The remaining five contenders have gotten attention all season, but for various reasons aren’t competing very strongly. Patrick Stewart has been nominated several times for Logan, but genre fare gets a short shrift with the Academy. Steve Carell made surprise appearances this season and could run ahead of the evenly matched competition for a nomination, but his film just doesn’t seem to have any steam left in it, so it’s doubtful. Then there’s Jason Mitchell for Mudbound, the only actor of color in competition here. The anti-Netflix contingent isn’t likely to even consider him, especially when the more acclaimed Idris Elba, the final actor in competition in this category this year for Molly’s Game, couldn’t pull out a nomination for Netflix release Beasts of No Noation.
Peter J. Patrick: Dafoe and Rockwell seem poised to fight to the death for this one despite strong competition from numerous other fine actors this year.
Tripp Burton: Every year there is a surprise Oscar nominee in the acting categories who picks up no major precursors but still squeezes in. I have a hunch that this year it could be Michael Stuhlbarg, even with Call Me By Your Name not performing as well in the precursors as many thought it would. The other four nominees seem pretty set in stone.
Thomas LaTourette: Rockwell and Dafoe are almost guaranteed nominations, having won the lion’s share of precursors. Richard Jenkins seems well prepared for a nomination being in a well-received film and having played a strong character. I now think that Christopher Plummer will score a spot for his having stepped in last minute to replace disgraced Kevin Spacey in All the Money in the World. His picking up Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations shows strong support for him. That leaves one final spot. Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg are both competing from Call Me by Your Name, and might split the vote. I am unsure of removing Hammer from my list as he has been there so long, but I wonder if BAFTA and the Globes got it right by nominating Woody Harrelson who so impressed in Three Billboards. At this point I think that Harrelson and Plummer will end up edging Hammer out of a nomination.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Mary J. Blige – Mudbound (WL Ja) (TB E) (TL Ja)
  • Holly Hunter – The Big Sick (WL D) (TB D) (TL D)
  • Allison Janney – I, Tonya (WL Oc) (PP Oc) (TB F) (TL Oc)
  • Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread (PP E)
  • Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird (WL F) (PP F) (TB Oc) (TL Oc)
  • Lois Smith – Marjorie Prime (PP E)
  • Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water (WL E) (PP Ja) (TB Oc) (TL E) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Allison Janney is a lock. Laurie Metcalf, too. Six actresses are vying for the final three slots. Octavia Spencer seems destined for her third nomination as part of the Shape of Water ensemble. There are no real scenarios I see where she doesn’t make the list, unless three of the other five women somehow manage far more support than expected. Holly Hunter has been playing well all season and has the reputation that often secures nominations in Supporting Actress, but The Big Sick just isn’t playing to the rafters and that fact could hurt the film’s chances. Mary J. Blige has also been making a run this season, even if those who’ve seen her performance aren’t always that excited about it. Blige could be Mudbound‘s only nomination, or the Netflix connection could sink her entirely. The remaining three women are all pushing to oust one of those and it could be the late-breaking Phantom Thread that secures the slot. Lesley Manville has been building throughout the late season, but is it too late. Paul Thomas Anderson has a gift with getting actors nominated and while lead Daniel Day-Lewis is assured, she could benefit. Hong Chau has gotten plenty of attention all season for Downsizing, but the film’s flop with critics and at the box office have probably harmed her chance, probably irreparably. Tiffany Haddish is the sixth and least likely of the women to replicate her brief success early in the season. While she got a lot of attention for her performance in Girls Trip, it would be surprising to see the film follows the Bridesmaids and Tropic Thunder paths since Haddish isn’t quite the rising star that Melissa McCarthy was or that celebrated actor that Robert Downey Jr. is.
Peter J. Patrick: Janney and Metcalf for sure, Spencer probably, Manville and the long-overdue Smith for fill-ins.
Tripp Burton: I don’t know what to do with this category. Outside of the two frontrunners (Metcalf and Janney), I see a whole list of people who could make it or who wouldn’t surprise me to see left off. Love of The Shape of Water should help Octavia Spencer get a back-to-back nomination, and Mary J. Blige has held firm through a lot of precursors this year. I have Holly Hunter in the fifth slot, but I’m not feeling solid about it, and this category feels ripe for a big surprise.
Thomas LaTourette: Janney and Metcalf are assured of nominations. Hunter is likely to receive one as well. That leaves Hong Chau, Mary J. Blige, and Octavia Spencer battling for two spots. Chau played the most interesting character in Downsizing, but it was not that well liked or reviewed a movie. Spencer was strong in a beloved film, though it was not her best work. Blige’s film is playing mostly on Netflix which could hurt her chances, though I think she will likely get a nom. As much as I liked Chau and would like to see her get a nomination, I think that final spot might go to the popular Spencer.

Best Original Screenplay

  • Get Out (WL O) (PP F) (TB Oc) (TL O)
  • I, Tonya (WL E) [New] (TL E) [New]
  • Lady Bird (WL N) (PP N) (TB D) (TL N)
  • The Post (PP Ja)
  • The Shape of Water (WL F) (PP F) (TB Ja) (TL F)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (WL D) (PP O) (TB N) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: I can’t see any reason why Get Out, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards aren’t nominated, so the question is which two will join them. The Shape of Water hasn’t been the kind of screenplay people talk up as a slam-dunk nominee, but it’s gotten all the requisite attention and with Shape of Water shaping up to be a nominations juggernaut, the film is very likely to pick up this nomination. I, Tonya was on no one’s radar until the Writers Guild nominated it, then suddenly it became a strong possibility for a nomination. The film breaking late has also helped boost its profile, which means I suspect that it will end up with the fifth slot. Three other films have potential to upset those last two and I wouldn’t be surprised if it did happen. The Big Sick has also gotten a lot of attention for its screenplay. It’s a distant competitor for Best Picture, so that could bolster the interest in the film. The same could be said for Paul Thomas Anderson’s script for Phantom Thread. Arriving late on the scene might make it fresher, but it might also hinder its potential. The sixth title is The Post. All season, everyone thought it was a slam dunk nominee, but the film’s myriad failures have put those citations on ice, dropping it out of competition almost, especially after being passed over by the Writers Guild. If it performs stronger with the Academy than it has during precursor season, it could be a surprise inclusion.
Peter J. Patrick: Three Billboards, Lady Bird, and Get Out for sure, anything else is a possibility.
Tripp Burton: This is a category overflowing with possibilities and there are going to be some surprises no matter what happens. Three Billboards, Get Out, and Lady Bird are all locks here. I have The Big Sick and The Shape of Water in the other two slots, but I, Tonya, Phantom Thread, or The Post could all just as easily show up here.
Thomas LaTourette: Get Out, Lady Bird, and Three Billboards all should easily claim spots here. The Shape of Water should too. That leaves one spot available for I, Tonya, The Post, and The Big Sick. The Post has not proved that popular with the guilds, and did not pick up a Writers Guild nomination nor a BAFTA one, which could hurt its chances here. The Big Sick grabbed the WGA nom, but not the BAFTA, whereas I, Tonya picked up both. The Big Sick may have also come out just too early to have stayed on everyone’s radar. I hate to drop it off my list, but I wonder if I, Tonya peaked at just the right time to get that final spot.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Call Me By Your Name (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Disaster Artist (WL Ja) (TB D) (TL D)
  • Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PP F)
  • Last Flag Flying (PP O)
  • Molly’s Game (WL F) (PP N) (TB F) (TL O)
  • Mudbound (WL O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Wonder (WL D) (PP Ja) (TB N) (TL Ja)

Wesley Lovell: While the original category has a lot of competition, the competition in Adapted Screenplay is notably weak. That’s so strongly the case that the five I’ve mentioned, Call Me by Your Name, The Disater Artist, Molly’s Game, Mudbound, and Wonder seem like good enough guesses. While I only feel certain that Call Me by Your Name and Molly’s Game are assured, I don’t see many films directly competing for the other three slots. The Lost City of Z has gotten a lot of late chatter, but the film isn’t competing anywhere else and I doubt the early-year release is calling for late acclaim. Logan and Wonder Woman have gotten a lot of support all season, but they are comic book adaptations and the Academy doesn’t love those as prior celebrated screenplays from the genre were all ignored. The only benefit Logan has is the presence of prominent screenwriters Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green. Blade Runner 2049 could be a surprise inclusion. It has Michael Green on board as well, but the film hasn’t done nearly as well as it needed to in order to be considered.
Peter J. Patrick: Call Me by Your Name is the only one I think has a strong shot at this one.
Tripp Burton: Compared to Original Screenplay, this is a barren landscape. Molly’s Game is the only film to get WGA, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Scripter nominations, and along with Call Me By Your Name and The Disaster Artist seems like a lock. Mudbound is always questionable due to the Netflix backlash, but without many choices it should get in here even if it misses other places. For the fifth slot, I’ve been predicting Wonder all season and am going to stick with that, but look for a surprise film to easily overtake it (probably Logan, which would be the first superhero film ever nominated here).
Thomas LaTourette: Call Me by Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game, and Mudbound all have double nominations from the WGA and the USC Scripter, so they should be pretty safe repeating here as well. The final spot likely will go to Wonder, which pulls all the heart strings. Conceivably, it could be knocked out by either Wonder Woman or Logan, which would make one of them the first super hero film nominated for best screenplay, but that feels unlikely. The underdog Wonder should claim the final spot.

Best Original Song

  • Evermore – Beauty and the Beast (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Mighty River – Mudbound (WL O)
  • Mystery of Love – Call Me by Your Name (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Prayers for This World – Cries form Syria (PP O) (TB O)
  • Remember Me – Coco (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Stand Up for Something – Marshall (TL O)
  • This Is Me – The Greatest Showman (WL O) (PP O) (TB E) [New] (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Everyone is so busy trying to figure out which song from a documentary will make the list that they haven’t considered that that trend is a recent one and might just fail at any moment. Still, there is enough evidence to suggest such tracks make inroads with these voters, so it would be foolish to ignore them. “Truth to Power” from the Inconvenient Truth sequel and “Prayers for This World” from Cries for Syria seem the most likely to be included, but there are others I wouldn’t necessarily count out. That said, I think “Remember Me” from Coco is the only song that is assured a nomination. The others could easily be knocked off. “Mighty River” would be one of Mudbound‘s few chances at a nomination, but has earned a lot of support. As has “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name. Beauty and the Beast has been outperforming expectations all season and “Evermore” is the kind of gorgeous track Disney used to get nominated all the time. “This Is Me” may be from a film considered a cinematic clunker, but his inspiration message about accepting one’s flaws and being proud about them is resonant and would be a fitting anthem for the modern world. There are a lot of songs that could get in and I have no idea which ones will, so I’m not going to spend any time trying to explain the benefits of any others.
Peter J. Patrick: Lots of potential nominees this year, but these are the five I found most memorable.
Tripp Burton: I don’t know about this. Coco and Call Me by Your Name seem like locks, and the music branch probably won’t pass up the opportunity to nominate Pasik & Paul or Alan Menken for their live-action musicals. For the fifth nominee, I picked a song from a documentary (as seems to be in fashion as of late) but there are a lot of other possibilities out there.
Thomas LaTourette: Previous Oscar winners are behind the songs from Beauty and the Beast, Coco, and The Greatest Showman, and they all likely will have another nomination to their credits. The writers of “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name are likely to score a nom as well. I think the final nomination will go to “Stand up for Something” from Marshall, though Mary J. Blige’s ?Mighty River” from Mudbound could knock it out.

Best Original Score

  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O)
  • Darkest Hour (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Greatest Showman (PP O)
  • Phantom Thread (WL Ja) (TL Ja)
  • The Post (TB D) (TL D)
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL D)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (TB O)

Wesley Lovell: Alexandre Desplat seems destined for an Oscar for Shape of Water. Hans Zimmer has two films in competition that are likely to get nominated, Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049. Dario Marianelli is a prior nominee and Darkest Hour had a lovely score. The biggest question is will the Academy ignore Jonny Greenwood again. Phantom Thread is the list where There Will Be Blood was not so there is hope, but he could easily be knocked out by one of two John Williams productions, The Post and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Then there’s Carter Burwell’s score for Three Billboards, which seems to have gotten a lot of attention and the heretofore under-expected Coco could even be a spoiler. There are other scores that could surprise as well as this group loves to throw curve balls every once in awhile.
Peter J. Patrick: This one’s a tough call with The Shape of Water the only one I feel strongly about.
Tripp Burton: This is a category that can often defy expectations, so nothing is for sure here. Golden Globe winner The Shape of Water is the frontrunner, and for a branch that never passes on the chance to nominate John Williams, he could end up here twice for The Last Jedi and The Post. Dunkirk has one of the most memorable scores of the year and gets in here easily. I have Darkest Hour in my fifth slot, but Victoria & Abdul or Phantom Thread could sneak in.
Thomas LaTourette: Dunkirk’s pulsing score, the lush work from Phantom Thread and The Shape of Water and Darkest Hour all feel likely to easily score noms. Grand master John Williams’ work on The Post will probably keep Coco, Victoria & Abdul, and Three Billboards from scoring here.

Best Film Editing

  • Baby Driver (WL E) [New] (TL E) [New]
  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (TB E) [New]
  • Darkest Hour (PP O)
  • Dunkirk (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Get Out (WL Ja) (TB D) (TL Ja)
  • The Post (PP Ja)
  • The Shape of Water (WL N) (PP O) (TB O) (TL N)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PP N) (TB E) [New] (TL D)

Wesley Lovell: Dunkirk is assured. Baby Driver has arisen as a surprisingly strong contender in the category. The Shape of Water is a major Best Picture conteder and should secure the third slot. Blade Runner 2049 was nominated by the American Cinema Editors, but its slower pace might not appeal to the editors in the Academy. I have Get Out on the list as I think it’s a strong Best Picture contender and winning Best Picture without this nomination is incredibly difficult. That could also be why it’s knocked off by Three Billboard. I, Tonya has showy editing, so it could be a surprise nominee. There are other contenders as well, but these seem to be the best performing ones.
Peter J. Patrick: Even though you would think editors knew better, the likeliest nominees here are always the ones in which the editing is most obvious.
Tripp Burton: For the past five years, there has always been one film to get ACE and BAFTA nominations here and then miss out on an Oscar nod. This year, I’m betting that film is Baby Driver, with Blade Runner, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards all carrying their guild success to the Oscars. Get Out will probably take that open spot.
Thomas LaTourette: BAFTA nominees Baby Driver, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards will likely repeat here, though Baby Driver could get bumped for something else. Dunkirk, Shape of Water, and Three Billboards all are likely vying for Best Picture, so they should hope to pull off noms here. Blade Runner 2049 had the final BAFTA nom, but that film felt too long to me to merit a Film Editing nomination. The final spot, or two if Baby Driver does not make the cut, will be between Get Out, I, Tonya, and The Post. I think Get Out is most likely to get that final spot. If Baby Driver or Three Billboards falters, then The Post might sneak in.

Best Cinematography

  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Call Me By Your Name (PP Oc)
  • Darkest Hour (WL E) (PP O) (TB Ja) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL Ja) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Mudbound (WL E) [New] (TB D) (TL E) [New]
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: The Academy copies the American Society of Cinematographers somewhat frequently and I don’t see much reason why these films don’t carry over exactly that way. If that happens, Rachel Morrison will become the first woman ever nominated in the category. Maybe cinematographers won’t care about the Netflix connection as much. Other films that could surprise and knock off any of those listed are Call Me by Your Name and The Lost City of Z. The latter is unlikely and the former has a lot of a pretty landscapes, but may not quite be as obvious as this group desires.
Peter J. Patrick: The prettiest or most spectacular cinematography generally wins out here, and if a film is both pretty and spectacular, that’s the one to watch for the win.
Tripp Burton: I’m going to be boring and go with the guild nominees here, but Darkest Hour or Mudbound feel like the most vulnerable for an upset, probably the BAFTA-nominated Three Billboards or super dark horse The Lost City of Z.
Thomas LaTourette: Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, and The Shape of Water should easily claim spots. I am thinking that Mudbound might as well, as that would make Rachel Morrison the first woman ever to be nominated in this category. Darkest Hour claimed the final spot from the Cinematographers Guild, but it could knocked out by surprise BAFTA nominee Three Billboards. Both The Post and Call Me by Your Name seem likely just to miss out on a nom.

Best Production Design

  • Beauty and the Beast (WL O) (PP D) (TL D)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Darkest Hour (WL E) [New] (TB O) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL Ja) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Greatest Showman (PP O)
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (TB O)

Wesley Lovell: There are so many Art Directors Guild nominees that could carry over, it’s hard to guess which ones to outright disregard. The Shape of Water is the most likely, followed by Blade Runner 2049 and Beauty and the Beast. Darkest Hour and Dunkirk are a bit weaker since they don’t have a lot of elements that feel obviously award-worthy. That means films like Murder on the Orient Express, The Post, Phantom Thread, Downsizing, or Star Wars: The Last Jedi could also make the list.
Peter J. Patrick: The films with the most stunning sets are the ones usually nominated here.
Tripp Burton: The Shape of Water and Dunkirk seem safe here on the basis of their Best Picture runs, and Blade Runner and Darkest Hour are both impressive enough to rack up the necessary precursors here. I feel iffy about my Last Jedi pick, but I also don’t know what else to choose: Beauty and the Beast or Murder on the Orient Express are probably my next best guesses.
Thomas LaTourette: It would not surprise me if BAFTA nominees Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, and The Shape of Water all pick up nominations. The wild card could be The Post, but I am not certain what it would knock out to get a spot.

Best Costume Design

  • Beauty and the Beast (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Darkest Hour (PP O) (TL O)
  • The Greatest Showman (WL O) (PP N) (TB O) (TL E)
  • I, Tonya (WL E) [New]
  • Murder on the Orient Express (TB O)
  • Phantom Thread (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (TB E) [New] (TL D)
  • Victoria and Abdul (PP O)

Wesley Lovell: Beauty and the Beast, Phantom Thread, and The Shape of Water are likely set in stone. The wide array of costumes in The Greatest Showman could overcome the film’s lack of support elsewhere to earn a nomination. I, Tonya is one of those rare contemporary-ish films that could benefit from copious costume changes, many of them flashy, to ride to a surprise nomination. More traditional costume pieces like Murder on the Orient Express, Victoria & Abdul (even though ignored by the Costume Designers Guild), and Wonder Woman could also make an appearance.
Peter J. Patrick: Can you say prettiest designs?
Tripp Burton: This is a place where films that seem to have disappeared from the awards conversation can still hold on, so look for Victoria & Abdul and Murder on the Orient Express to still show up in this category. The Disney live-action remakes have done well here, and Phantom Thread has been praised for its costumes across the board. That leaves a fifth slot, which for now I have The Shape of Water slotted into, but this could very well be a non-Best Picture nominee category.
Thomas LaTourette: Being about the fashion industry should make Phantom Thread a sure thing. Beauty and the Beast and The Shape of Water both are likely nominees as well. The last two spots are a lot trickier to predict. Darkest Hour, The Greatest Showman, and Victoria & Abdul have lots of period costumes. Murder on the Orient Express has entered the conversation as well. I, Tonya and The Post have more modern work, but they are both strong contenders. I think I will go with The Greatest Showman and Darkest Hour just slightly edging out the rest, though I would not be surprised if something else gets a nom in place of either of them.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  • Bright (WL Ja)
  • Darkest Hour (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • I, Tonya (PP Ja) (TB E) [New] (TL O)
  • Wonder (WL O) (PP Ja) (TB O) (TL E) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Only Ghost in the Shell and Victoria & Abdul don’t seem very likely. The others could also appear. Darkest Hour went heavy prosthetics on Winston Churchill, which should be enough, but since there isn’t a lot of makeup work in it, that could hurt its chances. Bright has tons of prosthetic effects, and although the film hasn’t been competing anywhere else, it’s the kind of movie the makeup artists love to recognize. Wonder also goes the prosthetic route with its lead character, which is that film’s primary bonus. I, Tonya suffers from having no major prosethetic effects, just a bunch of hefty traditional makeup jobs. It’s got a ton of those and that could benefit it. Finally is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, which has a lot of effects, especially prosethetic ones. That prior Oscar nomination for the first film could bolster its chances.
Peter J. Patrick: An odd mix, this one, as usual.
Tripp Burton: I feel weird not having a big prosthetic-heavy action film on my list (Bright is probably next in line for a nomination), but these three films supposedly played the best at the bake off and sound like the right combination.
Thomas LaTourette: The amount of prosthetics on Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour, and Jacob Tremblay, Wonder, should guarantee them nominations. That leaves the final spot to either I, Tonya or Guardians of the Galaxy. Guardians had more characters to do, but I am thinking the subtler work on Tonya might pull it off in the end.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Baby Driver (WL E) [New] (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Greatest Showman (TB O)
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (WL E) [New] (PP O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: I rank Blade Runner 2049 as the weakest simply because the Cinema Audio Society didn’t cite it. Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and Baby Driver seem all but assured. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is also a solid potential nominee. Potential replacements for Blade Runner include Wonder Woman, Darkest Hour, War for the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Beauty and the Beast. There could be others, but these seem the most likely candidates. I suspect Wonder Woman might end up with a single Oscar nomination in this category with plenty of war effects to boost its profile.
Peter J. Patrick: Did you think you heard what you heard? Think again.
Tripp Burton: Musicals, war films, and Best Picture contenders are usually the way to go, and along with a possible tech nomination sweep of Blade Runner, that is how I made this ballot.
Thomas LaTourette: Baby Driver, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and Star Wars all had both BAFTA and Cinema Audio Society nominations, which should propel them to Oscar noms as well. The final guild spot went to Wonder Woman, but I think Blade Runner 2049 is the more likely nominee. It feels strange not to list either of the big musicals of the year here, but I do think they may get passed over in a category that normally supports them.

Best Sound Editing

  • Baby Driver (WL E) [New] (PP O) (TL O)
  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • The Shape of Water (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Wonder Woman (TB E) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Dunkirk is once again on top, followed by The Shape of Water and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Baby Driver is a potential nominee, but its profile here is much weaker than in Sound Mixing. Blade Runner 2049 is also a potential nominee here. Other films that could make an appearance include Darkest Hour, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and Alien: Covenant. I don’t envision much beyond those.
Peter J. Patrick: Did you hear that? Sound clarity is basically what they’re looking for here.
Tripp Burton: The tech giants of the year should carry over here, with a possible surprise appearance from Wonder Woman.
Thomas LaTourette: Sound mixing and sound editing do not always line up perfectly, but this year I think they are likely to. My five listed nominees seem the most likely to be named on Tuesday morning.

Best Visual Effects

  • Blade Runner 2049 (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Dunkirk (WL O) (PP O) (TL N)
  • Okja (TB Ja)
  • The Shape of Water (WL F) (PP Ja) (TB Oc) (TL F)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • War for the Planet of the Apes (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: After the Visual Effects Society nominations, there are only three titles here that I feel certain of: Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I filled out my list with The Shape of Water, which was ignored by the VES, but has that Best Picture veneer that helps bolster its chances, as does that opening title sequence. Dunkirk has a lot of effects, perhaps not obvious ones, but the Visual Effects branch still recognizes those. Kong: Skull Island did incredibly well at the VES and could be a surprise inclusion, as could Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Okja could be quite shocking if it didn’t feel like the classic odd-ball selection by this group. Think Ex Machina, The Golden Compass, or Kubo and the two Strings.
Peter J. Patrick: Hopefully, not the most obvious ones.
Tripp Burton: Blade Runner and Planet of the Apes are the only two films I feel certain about here. The Last Jedi is probably in on inertia alone, and I’m guessing that The Shape of Water’s large nomination total leads it here, too, but either of them could easily be out. The last few years have had a surprise smaller scale nominee, which could help Okja squeeze into a nomination, but Kong: Skull Island and especially Dunkirk could easily appear on this list too.
Thomas LaTourette: It would be surprising if Blade Runner, Dunkirk, Star Wars, and War for the Planet of the Apes did not pick up Oscar nominations. Both Okja and Guardians of the Galaxy have their proponents, but I wonder if the more subtle work in The Shape of Water might actually take that final spot.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • A Fantastic Woman (WL O) (PP Ja) (TB Ja) (TL O)
  • Foxtrot (WL Ja) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • In the Fade (WL Ja) (PP O) (TL E) [New]
  • The Insult (PP Ja) (TB O) (TL Ja)
  • Loveless (WL O) (TB E) [New] (TL Ja)
  • The Square (WL O) (PP Ja) (TB O)

Wesley Lovell: I haven’t gotten the pulse of a lot of these films. I think The Square will be the most likely to get bumped simply because it’s an unusual film. A Fantastic Woman missing would create an uproar. Loveless has plenty of acclaim. In the Fade has done surprisingly well in the precursors. Foxtrot has done well in spite of not seeming like an obvious choice. The others are all still possible, with The Insult, the film I most expect to upset the apple cart.
Peter J. Patrick: These seem to be the most acclaimed foreign language films in the running.
Tripp Burton: I’m not really sure here, except that the Chilean transgender drama A Fantastic Woman seems like a lock, based on both reviews and subject matter. The high profile The Square and Loveless seem like safe bets as well.
Thomas LaTourette: Having only seen one of these films, it is hard to predict how the nominations will fall. I have heard good things about A Fantastic Woman, Foxtrot, and Loveless, so I think they are pretty set. Hungary’s and Senegal’s entries seem unlikely to make it to the final. That leaves In the Fade, The Insult, The Wound, and The Square vying for the two final spots. Sweden’s Force Majeure was overlooked a few years ago, so that could happen to The Square as well. I will guess that The Insult and In the Fade will receive the final two noms, though it could go any way.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (WL E) [New] (TB O)
  • City of Ghosts (WL E) [New] (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (WL E) [New]
  • Faces Places (WL O) (PP O) (TL O)
  • Icarus (PP O) (TL E) [New]
  • Jane (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • LA 92 (TB O)
  • Last Men in Aleppo (PP O) (TL E) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Jane is the only documentary I will be shocked if it’s excluded. All of the others seem like solid choices. Faces Places may benefit from the adoration of Agnes Varda, as well as the critical acclaim. City of Ghosts is incredibly topical. Ex Libris seems like the brainiac’s choice, and Abacus is my pick for the film most likely to surprise. I wouldn’t be surprised by any of the others.
Peter J. Patrick: They usually nominate the most noble contenders. These are the ones that look to be the most noble on paper.
Tripp Burton: This category has an exceptionally strong shortlist and most anything can happen. I see Jane as the frontrunner here, and the only nominee I’m almost certain of, although Strong Island has enough support to get it in here. A lot of people are predicting Faces Places, but that feels like the sort of critical darling that this branch always snubs. Instead, I’m going with Syria (City of Ghosts), the economic collapse (Abacus), and the L.A. Riots (LA92) as subject matter than plays right into this branch’s hands. Look for Unrest, which just played on PBS, to be a very possible dark horse nominee.
Thomas LaTourette: Between the BAFTA, DGA, and PGA nominees, City of Ghosts, Icarus, and Jane have picked up at least two nominations, with City of Ghosts getting all three. Faces Places by last year’s honorary award winner Agnes Varda, seems likely to get a nom too. Last Men in Aleppo, which would make two films about Syria nominated here, will probably take the final spot over Strong Island.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • 116 Cameras (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Alone (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Edith + Eddie (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (WL O) [New] (TB O) [New]
  • Heroin(e) (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Kayayo (TL O) [New]
  • Knife Skills (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New]
  • Traffic Stop (WL O) [New]

Wesley Lovell: I made my picks largely based on the subject matters of the listed films. I would not be shocked to see a wholly different list, though Heroin(e) and 116 Cameras are the titles I have the most confidence in.
Peter J. Patrick: I am at a loss when it comes to short films predictions, but these seem interesting.
Tripp Burton: Edith + Eddie is a festival favorite, while Heroin(e) has the backing of reigning champs Netflix in this category. Both of them, as well as audience-pleaser Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405, should be safe bets to vote on. 116 Cameras is a very powerful, unique Holocaust drama that should also play well. I guess on Alone, but that slot could go to anything.
Thomas LaTourette: I know little about these films, so will go with these from what others have said about them.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Cradle (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New]
  • Dear Basketball (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Fox and the Whale (PP O) [New]
  • Garden Party (WL O) [New]
  • In a Heartbeat (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Lost Property Office (TB O) [New]
  • Lou (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Negative Space (TL O) [New]
  • Revolting Rhymes (TL O) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Animation is always a tough category to call. After the shortlist was announced, I tried to get as many of them watched as I could. Cradle is the movie I most admire and Lou is a delightful short. Fox and the Whale is pretty, but doesn’t seem to have enough to say. Life Smartphone is interesting, but not very exciting. I adore In a Heartbeat, but I fully expect it to get ignored. Dear Basketball has a lot of acclaim even if it isn’t my style. Garden Party looks like it might have gorgeous animations. Any of the others could do it.
Peter J. Patrick: Something’s gotta win.
Tripp Burton: Pixar’s Lou, Kobe Bryant’s Dear Basketball, and popular internet short In a Heartbeat all seem like safe choices for this category. Cradle is timely and powerful and should play well to voters, and the fifth slot is a toss up.
Thomas LaTourette: From what I hear, these sound like reasonable choices, though Cradle could knock out one of them.

Best Live Action Short Film

  • DeKalb Elementary (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • The Eleven O’Clock (WL O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Facing Mecca (PP O) [New] (TB O) [New]
  • Lost Face (PP O) [New]
  • My Newphew Emmett (WL O) [New] (PP O) [New]
  • The Silent Child (WL O) [New] (TB O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Watu Wote / All of Us (PP O) [New] (TL O) [New]
  • Witnesses (WL O) [New] (TB O) [New]

Wesley Lovell: I haven’t seen any of these, but I read what descriptions I could find. These are based on those descriptions, but this is generally one of my worst categories, so I don’t expect to be right.
Peter J. Patrick: These do sound like the kind of shorts the Academy often singles out.
Tripp Burton: I didn’t get to see any of these, so this is a pure guess.
Thomas LaTourette: I am mostly guessing here.

2 Comments

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  1. Excellent predictions by all of you. I would just note that Peter mentioned Greatest Showman in Original Score category, but it is ineligible.

    1. I guess that’s why it wasn’t nominated. 🙂

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