Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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Oscar Predictions

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90th Academy Awards - Predictions

This is now the sixth year I’m making predictions for the Academy Awards, and unlike years past I’m getting these out more than just a few hours before the ceremony starts! 2018 was an off year for me in terms of getting to the theater and see a lot of the nominees. My goal every year is to see all the Best Picture nominees, a feat I was able to accomplish three times (for the 85th, 87th, and 88th Academy Awards — and only one or two away the other years). Unfortunately, I only saw four of the nine nominees this year (I’m hoping to get to the theater this weekend to see one or two more, and will update this post if I do, but my predictions are locked).

Of all the years to not see most of the nominees, I chose a year when there were a lot of good films to choose from. As I’ll mention in a few of my explanations below about why I chose my “Most Deserving” and “Most Likely” picks, I’m really disappointed in myself for not having seen more. I’ve only heard outstanding things about Get Out, Coco, and Baby Driver (my semi-dark horse pick for Best Film Editing) among others. Lady Bird was less universally praised but still phenomenal and deserving of its nominations from what I’ve heard.

Every year around Oscar time I always get back into the swing of things, watching and reviewing a lot of movies. It is my way of prepping for the Oscars and always like a reset button for me. It wasn’t until I saw Three Billboards and The Post last weekend did I realize that woah, the Oscars are in a week! They really snuck up on me this year which is why I’m scrambling a bit. I make a promise every year to use this as an opportunity to really re-commit myself to this blog and these reviews, and hopefully I keep that commitment more than I have in years past. It’ll never get to the level I was in Year 1 where I met my goal of watching 365 films in 365 days, but hopefully it is more than the meager 15 films I reviewed in 2017.


BEST PICTURE

Academy Awards

Film
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Most Deserving: Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Most Likely: Get Out

Why: A lot of people are predicting The Shape of Water to go home with the big win. It is nominated down-ballot for a lot of the technical awards and is posed to bring many of them home. In many ways, The Shape of Water is the easy, straightforward, and probably smart pick for everyone filling out ballots at home — the probabilities are in this film’s favor. But I’m choosing to go with a bit of an underdog here for a few reasons. First, Best Picture is voted on using a preferential ballot as many people are quick to mention, and can be seen as the reason Moonlight and Spotlight pulled out semi-underdog wins the past two years. Second, as other, smarter, people have also noted, while winning Best Director was often a good predictor of the Best Picture winner, the last few years have split these awards, opening up greater possibilities.

So, while I unfortunately haven’t seen Get Out, it will be my risky choice for my Most Likely nominee this year. As I said in my review for The Shape of Water, it was a good film but wasn’t my cup of tea. I understand the hype about it, but, similar to my opinions about Silver Linings Playbook back in 2013, I’m kind of rooting for the anti-The Shape of Water angle as my form of mini-protest; nothing personal, I just think there’s other, better, choices — albeit, ones I haven’t seen because I missed a lot this year.

I’ll be very curious to see who ends up walking home with the trophy. Is it the expected favorite, or will the ballot voting rules wash up more of an underdog pick. Three Billboards would be a good second choice pick, and more conventional one than Get Out for the underdog vote, but I’m sticking with my gut and choosing the February 2017 release (!) of Get Out (and then hopefully get a chance to watch it soon after).


BEST DIRECTOR

Director Film
Christopher Nolan Dunkirk
Jordan Peele Get Out
Greta Gerwig Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water

Most Deserving: Guillermo del Toro

Most Likely: Guillermo del Toro


BEST ACTOR

Actor Film
Timothee 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.

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: Gary Oldman


BEST ACTRESS

Actress Film
Sally Hawkins The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan Lady Bird
Meryl Streep The Post

Most Deserving: Frances McDormand

Most Likely: Frances McDormand


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Actor Film
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

Most Deserving: Sam Rockwell

Most Likely: Sam Rockwell


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Actress Movie
Mary J. Blige Mudbound
Allison Janney I, Tonya
Lesley Manville Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer The Shape of Water

Most Deserving: Octavia Spencer

Most Likely: Allison Janney


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Film Writer(s)
The Big Sick Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out Jordan Peele
Lady Bird Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri Martin McDonagh

Most Deserving: The Big Sick

Most Likely: Get Out


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Film Writer(s)
Call Me by Your Name James Ivory based on the novel by André Aciman
The Disaster Artist Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber based on the book by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
Logan Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold
Molly’s Game Aaron Sorkin based on the memoir by Molly Bloom
Mudbound Virgil Williams and Dee Rees based on the novel by Hillary Jordan

Most Deserving: Logan

Most Likely: Call Me by Your Name


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Film
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: Coco


BEST FOREIGN FILM

Film Country
A Fantastic Woman Chile
The Insult Lebanon
Loveless Russia
On Body and Soul Hungary
The Square Sweden

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: A Fantastic Woman


BEST DOCUMENTARY

Film
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: Faces Places


BEST DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

Film
“Edith+Eddie”
“Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”
“Heroin(e)”
“Knife Skills”
“Traffic Stop”

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: “Heroin(e)”


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Film
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul

Most Deserving: The Shape of Water

Most Likely: Phantom Thread


BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Song Film Artist
“Mighty River” Mudbound Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson
“Mystery of Love” Call Me by Your Name Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from Coco Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” Marshall Music by Diane Warren; Lyrics by Common and Diane Warren
“This Is Me” The Greatest Showman Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: “This Is Me”


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Film Composer
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

Most Deserving: Dunkirk

Most Likely: The Shape of Water

Why: Far and away my favorite aspect of Dunkirk was its score. It is memorable, propulsive, and core piece of the film’s identity. I even have several tracks saved on my Spotify — great for work to get one of the songs to turn up on shuffle. Hans Zimmer’s music does always sound of the same ilk, but his past several scores have always stood out to me for different reasons and Interstellar was my choice for the 87th Academy Awards. In an odd coincidence, just like in 2015, it appears that Alexandre Desplat will once again walk away with the Oscar for his work on The Shape of Water.


BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Film
Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul
Wonder

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: Darkest Hour


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Film
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

Most Deserving: The Shape of Water

Most Likely: The Shape of Water


BEST FILM EDITING

Film
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Most Deserving: Dunkirk

Most Likely: Baby Driver

Why: The consensus seems to be split between Baby Driver and Dunkirk. Dunkirk was the favorite by count of the sites I track when making these predictions, and war films often win this category. Baby Driver is my pick for its recent win at the BAFTAs, even though it may be a slight underdog odds-wise. There are a lot of films I wish I’d seen this year, and Baby Driver is probably at the top of that list. Trailer editing is completely separate from film editing, but based on the trailer alone I’m going to give this the win. Dunkirk was phenomenal and is the most deserving of the films I saw, but even so, there were a few story-related problems that I would say are a cause of editing — everything doesn’t need to always be a time-altered mess of the mind Christopher Nolan.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Film
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water

Most Deserving: Dunkirk

Most Likely: Blade Runner 2049


BEST SOUND EDITING

Film
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Most Deserving: Dunkirk

Most Likely: Dunkirk


BEST SOUND MIXING

Film
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Most Deserving: Dunkirk

Most Likely: Baby Driver


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Film
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Most Deserving: War for the Planet of the Apes

Most Likely: War for the Planet of the Apes


BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Film
“Dear Basketball”
“Garden Party”
“Lou”
“Negative Space”
“Revolting Rhymes”

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: “Dear Basketball”


BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Film
“DeKalb Elementary”
“The Eleven O’Clock”
“My Nephew Emmett”
“The Silent Child”
“Watu Wote/All of Us”

Most Deserving: N/A

Most Likely: “DeKalb Elementary”