2018 Oscar Winner Predictions: FINAL

And here we are at the end of the road. Oscar Season 2018 ends this weekend and we have our final predictions to present to you. Before we get into the meat of the predictions, here are some introductions written by our contributors. After you finish reading our introductions, head into the predictions and see where we stand and how you compare.

Wesley Lovell: Compared to the low suspense year that was 2016 (which ended up with one major suspenseful conclusion) and 2017’s back-and-forth races, 2018 has been comparatively a nail-biter. Even with several major categories locking into winners. Many categories, though, seem to be up in the air still, or at least seem like anyone could win even if a frontrunner is almost certain. In several races, I could have swapped first and second (and even third or fourth) place finishers with one another and still felt I had a solid prediction set. I’ve spent a lot of time writing about these categories. If you want to read my thoughts in more detail, take a look at my article Oscar Guy’s Final Thoughts to know more about what I see as this year’s best bets, runners-up, and my personal opinions.
Peter J. Patrick: I can’t recall a year in which I had no clear idea of what would win Best Picture while at the same time being sure of most of the other categories. If that’s not a good reason to stay awake until the last envelope is opened Sunday night, I don’t know what is.
Tripp Burton: The guilds have all awarded a different film this year, and things are more up in the air than any year I can remember. The show might be a disaster this year, but we are sure in for a lot of surprises, mostly because there aren’t a lot of consensus predictions going on. I could get half of these wrong and not be surprised!
Thomas La Tourrette: Having seen all but three of the nominees, it is time to put my predictions to rest. While some categories are easy, there are several including best picture, that are proving to be bears this year. Editing, documentary feature, sound mixing and editing, and costume and production design are all categories that could go one way or another. It keeps it both interesting, but also difficult. I am still second guessing some of my choices even as I get ready to send this. It has been a decent year for films, though not an exceptional one, but there are still lots of good choices in most categories. I just found that I liked more movies in 2017 than I did in 2018. I have never been on the Roma bandwagon, and I still do not know why it is the frontrunner in many categories. And many will not agree with me, but I thought Black Panther was just another Marvel film. Many of the other best picture nominees were enjoyable, but not what I would consider worthy of winning. Of the eight nominees, BlacKkKlansman and Green Book are probably my favorites, with BlacKkKlansman being the better made film. Though I doubt it could win. No film will truly dominate this year’s awards, which probably makes it harder to predict. But here are my predictions and I will call it good, though I may change my mind on a couple before Sunday night.

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 Prediction
(R) = Rundown Series
(F) = Final Nomination Predictions

Best Picture

  • Black Panther
  • BlacKkKlansman
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book (WL F) [New] (PP O)
  • Roma (TB O) (TL R)
  • A Star Is Born
  • Vice

Runners Up

  • BlacKkKlansman (TB O)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (PP R)
  • Green Book (TL R)
  • Roma (WL F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: While Green Book, Roma, BlacKkKlansman, and The Favourite remain in a pitched battle to claim this year’s crown, I suspect the large white male majority of the Academy will give the boost to Green Book instead of BlacKkKklansman, a much more incisive film about racism. The Favourite could shock everyone with a victory and Roma could duplicate its BAFTA win in spite of anti-Netflix sentiment.
Peter J. Patrick: It’s been such a crazy year that anything can happen. I may be dead wrong, but I don’t think Roma is going to win the big one with the preferential ballot where it has to get 50% plus one on the first go-around. I’m expecting Green Book to win on the second go-around, but am prepared for anything including the crazy notion that least likely nominee, Bohemian Rhapsody, pulls off another surprise.
Tripp Burton: You could make a lot of cases for a lot of nominees here, and with the guilds so split up, we might be in for a complete surprise.
Thomas La Tourrette: Almost any of the eight nominees could win, but Roma seems to be in the driver’s seat. Green Book is its strongest competition, especially if people balk at giving this to a foreign language entry.

Best Animated Feature

  • Incredibles 2
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

Runners Up

  • Incredibles 2 (TB O) (TL O)
  • Isle of Dogs (WL F) [New] (PP O)

Wesley Lovell: One of the biggest shocks in years would be if Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse loses to either Isle of Dogs or Incredibles 2.
Peter J. Patrick: Everybody loves Spider-Man.
Tripp Burton: Spider-Man has won everything under the sun, but don’t count out the Disney-Pixar machine.
Thomas La Tourrette: Spider-Man looks to have this one sewn up.

Best Directing

  • BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee
  • Cold War – Pawel Pawlikowski
  • The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos
  • Roma – Alfonso Cuaron (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Vice – Adam McKay

Runners Up

  • BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee (WL O) (PP R) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Can Alfonso Cuaron lose? Probably not, but anti-Netflix backlash combined with Spike Lee’s status as a legend could cause the mother of all Oscar upsets with the DGA winner going down.
Peter J. Patrick: Cuaron is likely going to claim his second Oscar for directing and his second of the evening after winning the Cinematography award. Spike Lee is his closest competition.
Tripp Burton: I don’t see Cuaron losing here. He has every precursor.
Thomas La Tourrette: Cuaron will win this one easily.

Best Actor

  • Christian Bale – Vice
  • Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
  • Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
  • Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody (WL O) (PP F) [New] (TB R) (TL R)
  • Viggo Mortensen – Green Book

Runners Up

  • Christian Bale – Vice (WL O) (TB R) (TL O)
  • Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate (PP F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: At one point, Rami Malek and Christian Bale were running neck-and-neck. Now Bale has fallen to a distant second while Malek is in the lead for his Bohemian Rhapsody performance.
Peter J. Patrick: Malek’s infectious performance is virtually a slam dunk. If there is a surprise, I would expect it to be Willem Dafoe a la Art Carney in 1974.
Tripp Burton: People love Malek and he is probably the most assured acting winner.
Thomas La Tourrette: Malek surprisingly passed Bale as the frontrunner, and looks to become a winner on his first nomination.

Best Actress

  • Yalitza Aparicio – Roma
  • Glenn Close – The Wife (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Olivia Colman – The Favourite
  • Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born
  • Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Runners Up

  • Olivia Colman – The Favourite (WL O) (PP R) (TB R) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Glenn Close will probably win on her name alone, but a shock cold come in the form of Olivia Colman.
Peter J. Patrick: Unless there’s more support for The Favourite‘s Colman than I can see, Close will finally get her Oscar.
Tripp Burton: I know lots of people think Colman is a dark horse here, but Glenn Close has done everything right to finally win an Oscar.
Thomas La Tourrette: Glenn Close finally wins a career Oscar, but at least for a good performance, on her seventh nomination. Olivia Colman may be more deserving this year, but will be passed over.

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – Green Book (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Adam Driver – BlacKkKlansman
  • Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born
  • Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Sam Sam Rockwell – Vice

Runners Up

  • Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (WL O) (PP O) (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: It’s dispiriting that the best supporting performance of the year, given by Richard E. Grant, is going to go unrewarded while Mahershala Ali’s should-be-in-lead performance takes the prize and gives him his second Oscar.
Peter J. Patrick: Ali is virtually unstoppable in his run for his second Oscar with Grant a distant second.
Tripp Burton: I’m going with Ali, but I have this inkling that we are in for a surprise here, and Richard E. Grant has become a campaigning favorite.
Thomas La Tourrette: Ali has won most of the recent precursors and should be a lock to win this, his second Oscar in three years.

Best Supporting Actress

  • Amy Adams – Vice
  • Marina de Tavira – Roma
  • Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Emma Stone – The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite

Runners Up

  • Rachel Weisz – The Favourite (WL F) [New] (PP F) [New] (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Regina King has been the race leader all year and while the speed bumps at SAG and BAFTA might have had their effect, she should still come out on top in the end, though Rachel Weisz could give her a run for her money.
Peter J. Patrick: King will win if enough voters have bothered to watch her film. If not, Weisz seems the most likely to benefit.
Tripp Burton: I’m sticking with King, but this is a wide open field.
Thomas La Tourrette: Regina King remains the front runner, even without nominations from SAG or BAFTA. She is not a strong leader, but I expect her to prevail.

Best Original Screenplay

  • The Favourite (WL O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • First Reformed (PP F)
  • Green Book
  • Roma
  • Vice

Runners Up

  • First Reformed (TB F) [New]
  • Green Book (WL R) (PP F) [New] (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: While The Favourite should be running away with this, Green Book‘s ardent supporters want to give it something, even if it loses Best Picture. This is their second-best opportunity. Of course, good taste would result in anything else winning with The Favourite a better bet with so few other places it can be fully recognized.
Peter J. Patrick: I’m all over the map on this one, but Paul Schrader might well join Close and Lee as a longtime Hollywood contributor who takes home his first Oscar this year.
Tripp Burton: With Green Book losing WGA this weekend, it feels like things might have finally caught up with the film. I’ll go with either The Favourite or the long overdue Paul Schrader for First Reformed, which would be a complete surprise.
Thomas La Tourrette: Green Book had been the early favorite, but enough has been written about it to derail its frontrunner status. I expect The Favourite to win. If Green Book does, then it may be a sign that that film will also win best picture.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • BlacKkKlansman (WL R) (PP R) (TB O) (TL R)
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • If Beale Street Could Talk
  • A Star Is Born

Runners Up

  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (WL R) (PP F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: If Beale Street Could Talk used to be the frontrunner, but is now running second and third in an even heat with Can You Ever Forgive Me? Expect Spike Lee to win his first competitive Oscar on one of his nominations this year for BlacKkKlansman.
Peter J. Patrick: Spike Lee will most likely pick up his first Oscar for BlacKkKlansman, with former winner Barry Jenkins well in the distance for If Beale Street Could Talk.
Tripp Burton: Will they finally give this to Spike, or does the WGA upset mean that things are up in the air here? I think Spike Lee climbs that stage finally.
Thomas La Tourrette: Spike Lee should finally win a competitive Oscar for his work on BlacKkKlansman.

Best Original Score

  • Black Panther (PP F) [New]
  • BlacKkKlansman (TB F) [New]
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (WL O) (TL O)
  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mary Poppins Returns

Runners Up

  • Black Panther (TL F) [New]
  • BlacKkKlansman (WL R) (PP F) [New]
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (TB F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: If there is justice in the world, If Beale Street Could Talk will win. Otherwise, any of the other nominees could take this and, right now, I half expect an upset even if I don’t want one.
Peter J. Patrick: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, and If Beale Street Could Talk are all possible with Black Panther the score most people seem to be familiar with.
Tripp Burton: If Beale Street Could Talk is the most acclaimed score of the bunch, but Best Picture nominees tend to win over non-nominees, and Terrence Blanchard has made his presence known on the circuit.
Thomas La Tourrette: The cello heavy score from Beale Street probably will get this one.

Best Original Song

  • All the Stars – Black Panther
  • I’ll Fight – RBG
  • The Place Where Lost Things Go – Mary Poppins Returns
  • Shallow – A Star Is Born (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Runners Up

  • All the Stars – Black Panther (TB R) (TL F) [New]
  • I’ll Fight – RBG (WL O) (PP F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Can anything beat “Shallow?” Lady Gaga’s 2015 co-nominee, Diane Warren, could ride a wave of sentiment to a long overdue Oscar. It’s her 10th nomination and “I’ll Fight” is empowering. That said, “Shallow” probably has this one sewn up.
Peter J. Patrick: Lady Gaga wins her first Oscar for “Shallow” and Diane Warren becomes a ten-time loser with “I’ll Fight.”
Tripp Burton: “Shallow” is the most certain winner of the year.
Thomas La Tourrette: This feels like one of the surest bets in all 24 categories.

Best Film Editing

  • BlacKkKlansman (PP F) [New]
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (WL R)
  • The Favourite
  • Green Book
  • Vice (TB O) (TL F) [New]

Runners Up

  • Bohemian Rhapsody (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]
  • The Favourite (PP F) [New]
  • Vice (WL F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: The best edited film isn’t nominated. The best edited film that’s nominated won’t win. What’s to stop Bohemian Rhapsody from winning this? Propriety? Nope. It’s probably a safe bet.
Peter J. Patrick: This one’s a tough call between BlacKkKlansman and The Favourite. Either could win.
Tripp Burton: This category is completely up in the air, and feels like a coin toss. I’ll go with the “most edited” nominee.
Thomas La Tourrette: This could go to almost any of the nominees, but I will guess Vice just because it was the showiest. Bohemian Rhapsody could easily win as well. Or BlacKkKlansman. It is a difficult category.

Best Cinematography

  • Cold War
  • The Favourite
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma (WL O) (PP R) (TB O) (TL O)
  • A Star Is Born

Runners Up

  • Cold War (WL O) (PP R) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Roma has won it all, except the award from the one group that knows this category better (American Society of Cinematographers). Cold War won there and it could be a threat. Then again, what do most Academy members care what cinematographers think? They don’t, really.
Peter J. Patrick: One of the two black-and-white films should take it, with Roma the more likely.
Tripp Burton: Alfonso Cuaron seems certain to win here.
Thomas La Tourrette: Alfonso Cuaron looks to become the first director to also win the cinematography award for work on the same film.

Best Production Design

  • Black Panther (TB O)
  • The Favourite (WL R) (PP F) (TL O)
  • First Man
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Roma

Runners Up

  • Black Panther (WL R) (PP F) [New] (TL R)
  • The Favourite (TB O)

Wesley Lovell: The competition doesn’t seem nearly as fierce as it might once have. The Favourite is probably a solid bet, but any of the others could surprise.
Peter J. Patrick: Another tough call, with The Favourite probably having a slightly better chance than Black Panther.
Tripp Burton: I’m predicting that the expanded Academy embraces Black Panther in these below-the-line categories, and fantasy films have done well recently in this category.
Thomas La Tourrette: In a tight race, The Favourite feels more like the type of film that wins here, so I expect it to do that. It could easily go to Black Panther though.

Best Costume Design

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
  • Black Panther (WL O) (TB O)
  • The Favourite (PP O) (TL O)
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Mary Queen of Scots

Runners Up

  • Black Panther (PP R) (TL R)
  • The Favourite (WL R) (TB O)

Wesley Lovell: Two gladiators enter the ring and only one will come out. Will it be Ruth Carter or Sandy Powell. Both are legends in their own right, but will inventive and original beat out familiar and fancy? We shall see. Black Panther has a razor thin edge right now.
Peter J. Patrick: A very close one here, but The Favourite seems to have a bigger “wow” factor than Black Panther.
Tripp Burton: The Favourite is the more traditional winner here, but I don’t see people passing over Ruth E. Carter and her much talked about costumes.
Thomas La Tourrette: In an even tighter race, I am going with the period costumes over the more modern ones, but I am most uncertain of this choice among all my predictions.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling

  • Border
  • Mary Queen of Scots
  • Vice (WL O) (PP F) [New] (TB O) (TL O)

Runners Up

  • Border (PP F) [New] (TB O)
  • Mary Queen of Scots (WL O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: Vice is the most convincing and Border will be the least seen, so there’s not a lot of competition unless Mary Queen of Scots beats out the only Best Picture nominee of the bunch.
Peter J. Patrick: They all rave about Christian Bale’s transformation into Dick Cheney in Vice, and it’s all due to the makeup.
Tripp Burton: Vice feels like a lock. It’s the only Best Picture nominee of the bunch.
Thomas La Tourrette: I think Vice will easily win here.

Best Sound Mixing

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (WL R) (PP O) (TB R) (TL R)
  • First Man
  • Roma
  • A Star Is Born

Runners Up

  • Black Panther (PP R) (TB R)
  • First Man (WL R) (TL R)

Wesley Lovell: Bohemian Rhapsody doesn’t deserve to win over First Man or Black Panther, but it probably will.
Peter J. Patrick: This one’s an easy win for Bohemian Rhapsody.
Tripp Burton: With its sound guild wins, Bohemian Rhapsody seems like the comfortable leader here, but I’m not sure how this will go.
Thomas La Tourrette: The concert scenes of Bohemian Rhapsody will take it to the winner’s circle.

Best Sound Editing

  • Black Panther
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • First Man (PP F)
  • A Quiet Place (WL O) (TB O) (TL R)
  • Roma

Runners Up

  • Black Panther (TB R)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody (WL F) [New] (PP F) [New] (TL R)

Wesley Lovell: It would be a travesty if anything other than A Quiet Place wins, but Bohemian Rhapsody might just be the injustice inflicted on this category. First Man wouldn’t be a bad winner, though.
Peter J. Patrick: First Man should win for its sound effects, but so many voters don’t know the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Bohemian Rhapsody take both prizes.
Tripp Burton: A Quiet Place feels like a risky prediction, but Emily Blunt’s surprise SAG win shows that a big part of the industry loved that movie, and sound is so important for the film’s success that I don’t see them passing it up.
Thomas La Tourrette: In another tight race, I think that the quiet of A Quiet Place will win over both First Man and Bohemian Rhapsody, though it could go to any of them.

Best Visual Effects

  • Avengers: Infinity War (WL R) (TL O)
  • Christopher Robin
  • First Man (PP F) [New] (TB R)
  • Ready Player One
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

Runners Up

  • First Man (TL O)
  • Ready Player One (WL R) (PP F) [New] (TB F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Any of these really could win, but I think the race comes down to Avengers: Infinity War, First Man, and Ready Player One, with Avengers my current prediction.
Peter J. Patrick: I can’t read their minds on this one, so I’m just going with my gut which tells me it will either be First Man or Ready Player One.
Tripp Burton: This is a three-way race between First Man, Ready Player One, and Avengers. VES went with First Man and Avengers, and First Man is the only nominee with other nominations, but don’t count out the Spielberg factor.
Thomas La Tourrette: Even though superhero films have not always done well here, I think Avengers will triumph.

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Capernaum
  • Cold War
  • Never Look Away
  • Roma (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)
  • Shoplifters

Runners Up

  • Cold War (WL O) (PP O) (TB O) (TL O)

Wesley Lovell: It would be foolish to bet against Roma, but stranger things have happened and Cold War could be the beneficiary in the case of a backlash.
Peter J. Patrick: A vote against Roma here would be something of a shock, but if they do, expect Cold War to win.
Tripp Burton: No Best Picture nominee has ever lost this award. Roma should win easily.
Thomas La Tourrette: Even though Roma was my least favorite of the nominees, I think it will easily win.

Best Documentary Feature

  • Free Solo (WL F) [New] (PP R)
  • Hale County This Morning, This Evening
  • Minding the Gap
  • Of Fathers and Sons
  • RBG (TB O) (TL O)

Runners Up

  • Free Solo (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]
  • RBG (WL F) [New] (PP F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: Free Solo has done the best among these nominees this season, but RBG would be a poke in Trump’s eye, so that could be the way these voters go.
Peter J. Patrick: The popular Free Solo should take this one with RBG its only real competition.
Tripp Burton: Most people see this as between RBG and Free Solo, and in today’s political turmoil, I think the Academy will want to honor one of their heroes.
Thomas La Tourrette: This is another toss-up. Will the likable supreme court judge win over the less likable mountain climber? Originally I thought no, though the precursors have swung more in Free Solo’s favor lately. Still, I wonder if love for Ruth Bader Ginsburg will take the day. It really could go either way.

Best Documentary Short Subject

  • Black Sheep
  • End Game (PP F) [New]
  • Lifeboat (WL F) [New]
  • A Night at the Garden
  • Period. End of Sentence. (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]

Runners Up

  • End Game (TB F) [New] (TL F) [New]
  • Lifeboat (PP F) [New]
  • Period. End of Sentence. (WL F) [New]

Wesley Lovell: I couldn’t tell you which of these poignant subjects will win the Oscar and my choices are largely guess work, even at this late stage.
Peter J. Patrick: A Night at the Garden about Nazis celebrating at Madison Square Garden in 1939 is the one most in their wheelhouse, but it’s only 7 minutes long, so expect either End Game or Lifeboat to win instead.
Tripp Burton: I think this is between the two Netflix documentaries, and I’ll give the edge to the heartwarming Period. End of Sentence. Lifeboat’s striking visuals could be a dark horse too.
Thomas La Tourrette: Period is the most feel good of these, which may help propel it to a win.

Best Animated Short Film

  • Animal Behavior
  • Bao (WL F) (TB R) (TL O)
  • Late Afternoon (PP O)
  • One Small Step
  • Weekends

Runners Up

  • One Small Step (WL F) [New] (TL F) [New]
  • Weekends (PP O) (TB R)

Wesley Lovell: Will the Academy want to go with something warm and familiar (Bao) or something expressive and creative (Late Afternoon) or something sad but inspirational (One Small Step). It’s anyone’s guess.
Peter J. Patrick: I have no idea, so I’ll take a guess and say Late Afternoon or Weekends.
Tripp Burton: Will the most popular film, Bao, win? Or the festival favorite Weekends? This is a tight race.
Thomas La Tourrette: The Pixar film has been dominant in this category and I expect it to win.

Best Live-Action Short Film

  • Detainment
  • Fauve
  • Marguerite (WL R) (TB R) (TL R)
  • Mother
  • Skin (PP F) [New]

Runners Up

  • Fauve (TB R)
  • Mother (PP F)
  • Skin (WL F) [New] (TL R)

Wesley Lovell: I have no idea what voters will fancy, but hope (Marguerite) may win out over shock (Skin).
Peter J. Patrick: Another wild guess.
Tripp Burton: This is a dreary bunch, and when that happens, the Academy tends to like the most uplifting nominee, which is Marguerite. The tense Fauve could hold on, though.
Thomas La Tourrette: Detainment would have been my choice, but enough controversy about it will keep it from winning. So I think it will go to the bittersweet Marguerite over the more polarizing Skin.

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