This year’s crop of Oscar nominees contains the usual mixture of truly excellent work (Phantom Thread, Call Me by Your Name) and blatant awards-season bait (Darkest Hour, The Post). Here, a few preliminary predictions regarding the major categories:
|Nominee||TFW Rating (out of 4)|
|Call Me by Your Name||****|
|The Post||** ½|
|The Shape of Water||*** ½|
|Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri||***|
Will Win: For a while, it seemed like this was going to be a close race between The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. But Billboards’ Martin McDonagh was shut out of the Best Director category – a snub that would appear to give Shape the advantage.
Should Win: Barring a major upset, neither Call Me by Your Name nor Phantom Thread is going to take home the big prize. But none of the other nominees come even close to matching their intellectual, artistic, and thematic audacity.
Snubbed: Many good films were snubbed. But among the more flagrant omissions: A Ghost Story, The Florida Project, A Quiet Passion, and Lady Macbeth.
|Paul Thomas Anderson||Phantom Thread|
|Guillermo del Toro||The Shape of Water|
|Greta Gerwig||Lady Bird|
|Jordan Peele||Get Out|
Will Win: Guillermo del Toro, seeing as he won at both the Golden Globes and the Critics’ Choice Awards.
Should Win: Paul Thomas Anderson, who provided a masterful, remarkably self-aware portrait of obsession in Phantom Thread.
Snubbed: Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name), Terence Davies (A Quiet Passion), Sean Baker (The Florida Project).
|Timothée Chalamet||Call Me by Your Name|
|Daniel Day-Lewis||Phantom Thread|
|Daniel Kaluuya||Get Out|
|Gary Oldman||Darkest Hour|
|Denzel Washington||Roman J. Israel, Esq.|
Will Win: In light of his clean sweep of the Golden Globes, the Critics’ Choice Awards, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, Gary Oldman is the clear frontrunner in this race.
Should Win: Any of the other nominees would make a far better choice than Oldman, whose performance was the kind of physically demanding (yet emotionally empty) performance that Oscar loves to recognize. Chalamet and Day-Lewis in particular were both exceptional.
Snubbed: Robert Pattinson (the one good thing about Good Time); Adam Sandler (surprisingly good in The Meyerowitz Stories); Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne (all from Last Flag Flying).
|Sally Hawkins||The Shape of Water|
|Frances McDormand||Three Billboards|
|Margot Robbie||I, Tonya|
|Saoirse Ronan||Lady Bird|
|Meryl Streep||The Post|
Will Win: Some 20 years after her first win for Fargo, Frances McDormand looks set to take home another statuette.
Should Win: Sally Hawkins, whose twin performances in The Shape of Water and Maudie were both master classes in the art of gesture.
Snubbed: Sally Hawkins (Maudie), Rooney Mara (A Ghost Story), Cynthia Nixon (A Quiet Passion).
|Willem Dafoe||The Florida Project|
|Woody Harrelson||Three Billboards|
|Richard Jenkins||The Shape of Water|
|Christopher Plummer||All the Money in the World|
|Sam Rockwell||Three Billboards|
Will Win: Sam Rockwell. If film critics had a say in this race, Willem Dafoe would be a shoo-in. But Rockwell has taken all the awards (Critics’ Choice, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild) that matter.
Should Win: Dafoe. But let it be noted that the year’s best supporting performance – Armie Hammer in Call Me by Your Name – wasn’t even nominated.
Snubbed: Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Tracy Letts (Lady Bird), Bob Odenkirk (The Post).
|Allison Janney||I, Tonya|
|Lesley Manville||Phantom Thread|
|Laurie Metcalf||Lady Bird|
|Octavia Spencer||The Shape of Water|
Will Win: Allison Janney. As with the Supporting Actor race, this category features a split between the critics (most of whom have gone for Laurie Metcalf) and the big awards organizations (most of which have gone for Janney). As of now, Janney appears to be ahead.
Should Win: Janney and Metcalf were both marvelous to watch. But in Phantom Thread, Lesley Manville was absolutely menacing as Daniel Day-Lewis’ loyal, protective sister.
Snubbed: Elizabeth Marvel (The Meyerowitz Stories), Tilda Swinton (Okja).