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.
It’s a bit surprising that May is already upon us, but it’s time to make our first long-shot predictions for the year. While we have a small bit of certainty about our first predictions of the year, there are far too many ifs, ands, and buts to consider, so these will most certainly change by our next post.
Looking over our list, we have a surprising amount of agreement with Best Actor being our least disagreed-upon slate while Best Actress seems like the least aligned.
Over the coming months, we’ll be adding more predictions in more categories. Stay tuned.
And here we are at the end of the road. Oscar Season 2017 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), 2017 has been filled with plenty of back-and-forth races that will only feel clear on the other side. We have a lot of close competitions. 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 and runners-up.
Peter J. Patrick: Will this year’s Oscars be a repeat of the spate of previously televised 2017 awards presentations or will the old boy have a few surprises up his sleeve? Although a repeat of last year’s mixed-up envelopes is unlikely to happen again, there could be a last-minute surprise when the Best Picture envelope is opened and the winner turns out to be something few are predicting.
Tripp Burton: With all of the talk of preferential balloting and changing memberships, I feel like there are a lot of pundits out there overthinking a lot of these categories. Or maybe I am just underthinking them and not taking the new Academy into account enough. Either way, Sunday night should have lots of surprises and twists, and I’m curious to see how it all plays out, especially the last envelope!
Thomas La Tourrette: It’s hard to believe that another year has passed and the Oscars are upon us again. It’s been an interesting Oscar season, but they usually are. Starting with the Weinstein scandal and carrying on over months, the #MeToo movement has affected everything from performers to nominations to presenters. The association with Weinstein probably kept Wind River from being in consideration. Talk about past actions kept James Franco from a second nomination and Casey Affleck from being a presenter, something a winner from the previous year basically always does. The scandal with Kevin Spacey meant he was dropped out of a fully-shot film and his scenes were re-shot with Christopher Plummer, who netted a nomination out of it. It will be interesting to see if this fallout continues after this year. One would hope so, but it is far from certain. Some years the Oscars are so set, that one can easily predict the outcome. This year some are certain – actor, actress, animated feature, director, adapted screenplay and score. Some have likely winners, but could go a couple of ways – the supporting acting races being the main ones there along with some of the technical awards. And then there are the categories where it is anyone’s guess – original screenplay, visual effects, song and surprisingly picture. Dunkirk originally looked to be the big winner of the night, but it faded over time, though it will likely clean up in the tech categories. Now it looks to be a tossup between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards, and I really am not certain which will win. It has been awhile since this has happened. With 13 nominations, The Shape of Water would have seemed a shoo-in to win, but one would have said the same about La La Land last year. The Shape of Water will probably win the most awards of the night with four or five, but it will not be a runaway sweep. In an earlier year, Steven Spielberg’s The Post would have been a likely winner, but with the changing demographic of the academy it did not even merit a nomination for best director. It was a good year for films, though perhaps not a great one. I really do not have disagreements with the picture or acting nominees, though I might have hoped that personal favorites I, Tonya or The Big Sick could have gotten more nominations. The weakest category seems to be animated feature, where Coco is the prohibitive favorite. Disney/Pixar films have done well here, and this will not be any different. But the other nominees just were not as strong as one could have hoped. The acting nominees are quite strong, and one can feel a bit of pity for the people who will be passed over for performances that might have won in a different year. I feel fairly confident about my choices, but I usually do, and that does not mean that I am necessarily going to be right. So we will see what Sunday brings. Thanks for reading and enjoy the Oscars!
For our final Rundown article, the biggest category of them all. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Picture as well as general commentary about the race. Next year, we’ll start it all over again, but until then. Enjoy the show.
There’s not much time left. Sunday, we will find out just how much we did and did not know about this Oscar season. While I’ve contributed quick thoughts to our Rundown articles, I always like to do more with my final post of the year. This will include how I think the races will finish out, what has the best chances of surprising and what I overall felt about the nominees, non-nominees and other general thoughts. Please note that I have not made it through all of the Oscar nominees, so my thoughts will be based on what I have seen and what I see as problem nominees if that applies.
The categories below are sorted in order from least competitive to most competitive.
I will not be sharing my personal thoughts on the quality of the foreign language and documentary categories, but I’ve seen both short film categories, so I can offer my thoughts on those this year.. I don’t know that my guesses would have much impact. I have still written a little something on each and these are separated out at the end of this article.
For our twenty-first Rundown article, we look at those who take all the various aural elements and fuse them together. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Sound Mixing as well as general commentary about the race. Friday, we’ll cover the only category with a 100% accuracy rate at predicting Best Picture.
Spirit Awards voters are set to recognize the best in independent cinema, which has a lot of crossover with the Oscars this year. That said, by the time the awards are given out, the Saturday before the Oscars, their voices won’t have any impact. That won’t really matter and sometimes, the Spirit Awards can be a late indication of the building strength or weakening of Oscar contenders, especially with this year’s packed slate.
Call Me By Your Name (RU:Peter, RU:Thomas)
The Florida Project
Get Out (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)
Lady Bird (Peter, RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp)
Wesley Lovell: While recent years have seen a more frequent departure from the Oscars, Spirit voters tend to support the same achievements that are nominated for the corresponding Oscar category. As such, three of this year’s five nominees could be in contention. Get Out would seem the safest bet considering how much support it’s received from critics. Lady Bird and Call Me by Your Name could either win, though I lean towards Lady Bird since it’s directed by indie darling Greta Gerwig.
Peter J. Patrick: Since they tend to go with an Oscar nominee likely as not, I’d say this one was Lady Bird‘s to lose, with Call Me by Your Name its only competition.
Tripp Burton: This is a toss-up this year, with three Oscar Best Picture nominees on the list along with critical darling The Florida Project, and you could make a case in many ways. Get Out was one of the biggest phenomenons of the year, though, and I expect it to do very well Saturday.
Thomas LaTourette: I think that Get Out will probably take this, though it does have stiff competition. Both Lady Bird and Call Me by Your Name could win, but I will still go with Get Out.
For our twentieth Rundown article, we look at the category most responsible for the coifs and facial decorations. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Makeup & Hairstyling as well as general commentary about the race. Thursday, we’ll cover a category that seldom mirrors Best Picture, but often goes hand-in-hand with a category we covered last week.
For our nineteenth Rundown article, we look at the category responsible for clothing. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Costume Design as well as general commentary about the race. Wednesday, we’ll cover the only category that can have no more than three nominees.
For our eighteenth Rundown article, we look at the men and women responsible for getting the project from paper to screen. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Directing as well as general commentary about the race. Tuesday, we’ll cover a category that often goes hand-in-hand with a category we’ve previously covered and infrequently matches Best Picture.
Although the Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylists Guild has five categories, only the special make-up effects really has any bearing on Oscar as the others are not things the typical Academy voter even looks at when voting in the Makeup & Hairstyling category, in spite of the name change. It doesn’t help that the branch members who nominate films select nominees that are mostly heavy on prosthetic makeup. Here are our predictions and comments on the five categories being handed out Sunday night.
Best Special Make-up Effects
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Darkest Hour (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas)
The Shape of Water (RU:Peter)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Wonder (Peter, RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Wesley Lovell: When they say “Special Make-Up Effects,” they really just mean best prosthetic work. The rest of the categories are focused on traditional makeup and hair effects. This is the closest category to the Oscars and two of the three nominees are here. That means there are likely only two winners. Darkest Hour is the Oscar frontrunner and everyone has praised the makeup work in the film, so it will likely win, but don’t count out Wonder as both focus mostly on a single character.
Peter J. Patrick: The adorable kid in Wonder takes this one over the creature in The Shape of Water.
Tripp Burton: I’m going with one of the two Oscar nominees, and the impressive Winston Churchill makeup of Darkest Hour will probably win everything it can.
Thomas LaTourette: I think the two Oscar nominees will be the main players here, with Darkest Hour having the upper hand. I would not be surprised by an upset by Wonder, though do not consider it too likely.
The Cinema Audio Society has, over the years had varying degrees of success forecasting the Oscars. They have three categories, but only one correlates to the Oscars and that’s the one for live-action films. Here are our predictions in those categories just in time for the awards Saturday night.
CINEMA AUDIO SOCIETY AWARDS
Best Sound Mixing – Live Action
Baby Driver (Peter, RU:Wesley, RU:Tripp, RU:Thomas)
Dunkirk (Wesley, Tripp, Thomas, RU:Peter)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Shape of Water
Wesley Lovell: Go with the Oscar frontrunner when all else fails. Dunkirk wins, though Baby Driver could surprise thanks to its terrific soundtrack.
Peter J. Patrick: As with the Oscars, this seems to be a choice between innovation and tradition. I give the edge to innovation with Baby Driver over the traditional sounds of Dunkirk.
Tripp Burton: This seems to be between Dunkirk and Baby Driver, and I’m really not sure which one will win.
Thomas LaTourette: I am thinking that either the war movie or the film that has music as a driving force will win. I will lean towards Dunkirk, but would not be surprised by a Baby Driver win.
For our seventeenth Rundown article, we look at the secondary male acting category. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Supporting Actor as well as general commentary about the race. Next week, we’ll start off on Monday with a category where Best Picture nominees are most required to feature a nomination.
For our sixteenth Rundown article, we look at the category where sound is created out of whole cloth. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Sound Editing as well as general commentary about the race. Friday, we’ll cover a category where only men can be nominated and where there has never been a tie in voting.
For our fifteenth Rundown article, we look at the only category that visually overlays something onto nothing. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Visual Effects as well as general commentary about the race. Thursday, we’ll cover the category that was once a special achievement award while its aural counterpart was a full-fledged category.
For our fourteenth Rundown article, we look at the lightest category. After the jump, you’ll find our winner and runner-up predictions for Best Cinematography as well as general commentary about the race. Wednesday, we’ll cover a category where a Best Picture nomination pretty much assures a win, unless there are multiples.