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Predictions Friday – Boy Howdy This is an Unpredictable Year

The search for Best Picture continues with no end in sight. It might even come down to a few votes in the end and we don’t know which movie will edge out the competition. To a degree stats have to be thrown out in such a year since already nothing makes sense. Last year was a good year to look at stats because we had a clear consensus frontrunner. This year we do not, at least not yet.

We’ve looked at nominations for Best Picture, now let’s look at wins so far and what any of those might tell us. We’ve now had a few competitions and each of them have produced a different result.

Audience Award in Toronto: Three Billboards
Gotham Film Award: Call Me By Your Name 
Critics poll of 200 plus: Get Out
National Society of Film Critics: Lady Bird
Golden Globes: Lady Bird, Three Billboards
Critics Choice: The Shape of Water
LA Film Critics: Call Me by Your Name
NY Film Critics: Lady Bird

Best Director, by these standards, is split up too, with Guillermo del Toro winning the two biggest so far – the Globes and the Critics Choice.  If Lady Bird had won any awards last night at the Critics Choice awards it would seem to be in a mighty good place. Not winning any Critics Choice awards, not having either a Globe nod or a BAFTA nod for director makes it a really really long shot that it can pull off Best Picture — though, of course, in a year like this one anything is possible.  Also, it’s pretty rare to have DGA and Best Director match 5/5. This year they might, but there is a possibility for Luca Guadagnino, Denis Villeneuve or Paul Thomas Anderson to crash the party, which would leave which director out?

The Shape of Water is missing only a SAG ensemble nomination but actors rule the Academy, so unless things flip upside down, or unless the new blood in the Academy find this film as captivating as many of the voters so far have, it is possible, even still, it can overcome that stat. Winning the Critics Choice, plus winning the Globes for Director is a formidable momentum booster for the movie. This will be one choice voters have heading into the PGA and DGA.

Three Billboards has what a film needs, still the stats champ, and winning a surprising number of awards so far and with the potential to appeal across the board the MOST has now become a target. Can it overcome that to win? Fox Searchlight now has two prominent contenders competing against each other with this and Shape of Water.

Finally, of the ones that seem like they could win, Get Out is the only one of them that is driven by a male protagonist. Since 2004, no film has won Best Picture that had a Best Actress nominee in it, let alone a Best Actress frontrunner. Why could that be? Are voters ready for a change, or will whatever has driven them in that direction cause them to favor Get Out, along with, of course, many other reasons to favor the film.

All four of these have DGA nominations, leaving only one film left to discuss and that’s Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk which is also a film without a female protagonist – and one that does feel like the kinds of epics the Oscars were made for. Dunkirk has been very very quietly flying under the radar, which puts it in a great position to compete for the prize. Like Shape of Water, it’s missing the SAG ensemble nomination, and will enter the race very likely without a Screenplay nod.

Best Actress 

This feels like it could be the year of the ferocious woman. Frances McDormand appears to have taken the lead but we’ll have to wait for SAG to solidify that. If Jessica Chastain takes the fifth slot over Meryl Streep (which feels much more likely) then you’ll have McDormand going up against Chastain and Margot Robbie. If the other two slots are Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan one of them might squeeze through if the three power houses split up the vote.

Original Screenplay

This category remains the bear. It’s probably going to be as hard to predict as Best Picture. The reason is that Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele will compete against each other, and The Shape of Water and The Big Sick at the WGA. But then Three Billboards enters the picture at the Oscars, complicating things.

All of these things are potentially true if the nominations go the way we think they will go. But they might not.

It’s been a long, exhausting, crazy Oscar season and we still have absolutely no idea heading into the Producers Guild which film will win.

Here is how the Gurus of Gold have it for Best Picture:

And Gold Derby:

AwardsCircuit’s are here, they have Three Billboards at the top.

As of right now, here are my predictions:

Best Picture
Get Out  or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri or The Shape of Water
Lady Bird
Dunkirk
Call Me By Your Name
The Big Sick
The Post
The Florida Project
Darkest Hour

Longershots
Mudbound
I, Tonya
Molly’s Game

Best Actor
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
James Franco, Disaster Artist
OR — Denzel Washington, Roman Israel, Esq.

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards
Soairse Ronan, Lady Bird
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Margot Robbie, I Tonya
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
–or Meryl Streep, The Post

Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Or — Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Supporting Actress
Alison Janney, I Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, Shape of Water
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
–or Holly Hunter, The Big Sick, Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Best Director
Guillermo Del Toro, Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
–or Sean Baker, The Florida Project, Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name, Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Original Screenplay
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Martin McDonaugh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon,  Kumail Nanjiani
–or Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson, I, Tonya, Steven Rogers

Adapted Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Dee Rees, Virgil Williams
Wonder, Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky

Editing
Dunkirk
Baby Driver
Three Billboards
Shape of Water
Get Out

Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Shape of Water
Mudbound
Darkest Hour

Production Design
Shape of Water
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
Beauty and the Beast

Sound Mixing
Dunkirk
Baby Driver
The Shape of Water
Wonder Woman
Baby Driver

Sound Editing
Dunkirk
Blade Runner 2049
Baby
Coco
War for the Planet of the Apes

Costume Design
Phantom Thread
Beauty and the Beast
The Shape of Water
I, Tonya
Wonder Woman

Original Score
The Shape of Water
Dunkirk
The Post
Three Billboards
Phantom Thread

Foreign Language Feature
Foxtrot
In the Fade
Loveless
The Square
A Fantastic Woman

Documentary Feature
Jane
LA92
Faces Places
An Inconvenient Sequel
Strong Island

Animated feature
Coco
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent
Despicable Me 3
LEGO Batman Movie

Visual Effects
War for the Planet of the Apes
Dunkirk
Shape of Water
Okja
Blade Runner 2049

Makeup and Hair
Darkest Hour
Wonder
I, Tonya