Below are my predictions for the 2017 Academy Awards, in all 24 categories.
The list has some commentary in the major categories, and then simple “Will Win” predictions for the undercard choices along with “Should Win” opinions.
In a night that won’t see any one film dominate, the year’s big winner will be Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
What would be a good return on these predictions? My own personal standard for prognostication success is going 20-for-24 or higher. That may appear a fairly high bar but, for me, anything below 20 is, at best, really just good guessing based on being well-informed.
To get 20 or more requires a level of intuition that goes beyond creating a metric based on outcomes throughout the Oscar race, to a level of hunchery that’s really worth something. And if memory serves, I think I’ve only broached 20+ a handful of times in my life (yes, this is an annual hobby, occasionally with money on the line). So we’ll see.
The 90th Academy Awards Ceremony will take place on Sunday night March 4, 2018, at 8pm EST/7pm CST. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, it will air on ABC.
My Predictions for
THE 90TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
(and total number of nominations)
– Call Me By Your Name (4 Nominations)
– Darkest Hour (6 Nominations)
– Dunkirk (8 Nominations)
– Get Out (4 Nominations)
– Lady Bird (5 Nominations)
– Phantom Thread (6 Nominations)
– The Post (2 Nominations)
– The Shape of Water (13 Nominations)
– Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (7 Nominations)
Oscar pundits and gurus have called this the most wide open race in memory (for Best Picture, anyway). I disagree. I think it’s been obvious since even before the nominations were announced: Three Billboards is on track for a Best Picture win.
Last year’s Moonlight upset has prognosticators spooked, but the writing has been on the, well, the awards season billboards: Best Picture wins for Three Billboards at the Globes and BAFTAs, SAG Ensemble win, plus Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell winning every industry award in sight. Add a Woody Harrelson nomination for good measure. There’s many more awards season precedents I won’t bore you with.
Doubters say that a divisive film doesn’t do well on the Preferential Ballot system, which is how Best Picture is decided, and Three Billboards has been divisive in the broader culture. My hunch, though, is that it’s not as divisive in Hollywood. More to the point, the Acting branch clearly loves it and they make up 1/4 of the entire Academy membership. One branch out of 20-plus branches is 25%. That’s dominant, and that’s why Three Billboards will win Best Picture.
It’s this year’s American Beauty: the Middle America caricature that Oscar voters won’t be able to resist.
Guillermo del Toro has won ever major precursor for directing. A loss here would be a shock. Plus, after recent wins by his fellow “Three Amigos” Mexican directors Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant), the Academy will take joy in having honored the entire triad.
All four acting categories are locks. The same winners have swept every awards show, including SAG. But of the four, this is the lock to bet the farm on. Gary Oldman is not losing.
Hard to see anyone other than McDormand winning, unless Hawkins can somehow pull an upset.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
– Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
– Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
– Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
– Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
– Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Hard to see anyone other than Rockwell winning, unless Dafoe can somehow pull an upset.
Hard to see anyone other than Janney winning, unless Metcalf can somehow pull an upset. (At least Janney is the best thing about a movie that, otherwise, I have mixed feelings on.)
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
– The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani (on Amazon Prime)
– Get Out, Jordan Peele
– Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
– The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
– Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh
Get Out deserves this, hands down, and it’ll be the best place for the Academy to honor Jordan Peele and his breakthrough work. But if it had to lose to something, my personal choice would be the one with the least chance: The Big Sick.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
– Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory
– The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
– Logan, Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
– Mudbound, Dee Rees and Virgil Williams (on Netflix)
– Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
As the director of the Merchant / Ivory prestige films of the 80s and 90s, films that racked up countless Oscar nominations (and inspired other period filmmakers to copy them), this is the perfect chance to honor James Ivory with a long overdue competitive Oscar and give something to Call Me By Your Name.
Will Win: Coco
Should Win: The Breadwinner (although I really do love Coco)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
– A Fantastic Woman
– The Insult
– On Body and Soul (on Netflix)
– The Square
Will Win: The Insult
Should Win: The Insult (or so I’ve heard)
Will Win: Icarus
Should Win: Strong Island, from an extremely strong and worthy field from top to bottom
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
– Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
– Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
– The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
– Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
– Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
– “Mighty River” – Mudbound (on Netflix)
– “Mystery of Love” – Call Me By Your Name
– “Remember Me” – Coco
– “Stand Up for Something” – Marshall
– “This Is Me” – The Greatest Showman
Very tight race between “Remember Me” and “This Is Me”; could go either way.
Taking a bit of a risk here. Deakins won for Blade Runner 2049 at both the ASC Guild Awards and the U.K.’s BAFTA awards. That combo hasn’t lost the Academy Award in 11 years, so the safe money is on Deakins. But I’m going with the recent trend of Director and Cinematography Oscars going to the same film over the past 5 years, making The Shape of Water the winner.
If Three Billboards somehow turns up with a win here, it could end up having an even bigger night than I thought.
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
(my review of all five)
– DeKalb Elementary
– The Eleven O’Clock
– My Nephew Emmett
– The Silent Child
– Watu Wote / All of Us
Will Win: DeKalb Elementary
Should Win: Watu Wote / All of Us
BEST ANIMATED SHORT
(my review of all five)
– Dear Basketball
– Garden Party
– Negative Space
– Revolting Rhymes
Will Win: Negative Space
Should Win: Negative Space
Will Win: Heroin(e)
Should Win: Anything other than Traffic Stop (my personal favorite may be Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, but the other three are excellent as well)
Click on links below for other Critics Group Awards and Guild Nominees that have been announced so far for the 2017 / 18 season:
Writers Guild of America winners
Directors Guild of America winners
Screen Actors Guild winners
Producers Guild of America winners
Critics Choice Awards winners
Golden Globe Winners
National Society of Film Critics
Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Chicago Film Critics Association
Atlanta Film Critics Circle
San Diego Film Critics Society
Philadelphia Film Critics Circle
Toronto Film Critics Association
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Boston Society of Film Critics
Washington D.C. Film Critics Association
AFI Top 10 of 2017
Los Angeles Film Critics Association
New York Film Critics Circle
The National Board of Review