my picks for tonight’s 90th Academy Awards (the Oscars for 2017’s films) (winners indicated)

academyawards.jpgUPDATE: Winners are now indicated. I correctly guessed 15 out of the 24 categories, which is one of my better showings ever, I think.


Just under the wire!

I’ve now seen as many of the nominated films as I will be able to before tonight’s ceremony, and here finally are my educated guesses about who will take home each award — projected winners are Xed at the lefthand side. Keep in mind: those Xes don’t represent whom I think should win Oscars but whom I think will win, based on what little I can grasp about how the Academy thinks. I’ve also noted which nominees I think should win. Kindly note that this is not necessarily my take on who did the best performance/writing/FX/whatever of the year, but whom I think is best among the nominees.

The only films I have not yet seen are: feature documentary nominees Abacus: Small Enough to Jail and Last Men in Aleppo; On Body and Soul, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film; and Marshall, which has a Best Song nomination. I’ve made guesses in those categories anyway. (I still hope to see and review these films soon.)

PREVIOUS 01.24.18:

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — of which I am, alas, not a member — has announced the nominees for its 2018 awards. Links here go to my reviews, with reviews to come for most if not all those I haven’t yet reviewed.

The Oscars ceremony takes place on Sunday, March 4th. Shortly before then — or sooner, if I’ve seen as many films as I’ll have access to — I’ll post my predictions of the winners.

Check out my still ongoing, not yet completed ranking of 2017’s films.

(See the Academy’s site at and ABC’s site at for your further Oscar needs.)

And the nominees are:

Best Picture
[   ] Call Me by Your Name
[   ] Darkest Hour
[   ] Dunkirk
[   ] Get Out should win
[   ] Lady Bird
[   ] Phantom Thread
[   ] The Post
[ X ] The Shape of Water WINNER
[   ] Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Lead Actor
[   ] Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
[   ] Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread should win
[   ] Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
[ X ] Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour WINNER
[   ] Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Lead Actress
[   ] Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water
[ X ] Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri WINNER
[   ] Margot Robbie – I, Tonya should win
[   ] Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird
[   ] Meryl Streep – The Post

Supporting Actor
[   ] Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project should win
[   ] Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
[   ] Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
[   ] Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
[ X ] Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri WINNER

Supporting Actress
[   ] Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
[ X ] Allison Janney – I, Tonya should win WINNER
[   ] Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
[   ] Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
[   ] Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

[   ] Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
[   ] Jordan Peele – Get Out
[   ] Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
[ X ] Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
[   ] Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water should win WINNER

Animated Feature
[   ] The Boss Baby – Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
[   ] The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
[   ] Coco – Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson WINNER
[   ] Ferdinand – Carlos Saldanha
[ X ] Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman should win

Animated Short
[   ] “Dear Basketball” – Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant WINNER
[ X ] “Garden Party” – Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
[   ] “Lou” – Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
[   ] “Negative Space” – Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata should win
[   ] “Revolting Rhymes” – Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay
[ X ] James Ivory – Call Me by Your Name WINNER
[   ] Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber – The Disaster Artist
[   ] Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green – Logan should win
[   ] Aaron Sorkin – Molly’s Game
[   ] Virgil Williams and Dee Rees – Mudbound

Original Screenplay
[   ] Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani – The Big Sick
[ X ] Jordan Peele – Get Out should win WINNER
[   ] Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
[   ] Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor – The Shape of Water
[   ] Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

[ X ] Roger Deakins – Blade Runner 2049 should win WINNER
[   ] Bruno Delbonnel – Darkest Hour
[   ] Hoyte van Hoytema – Dunkirk
[   ] Rachel Morrison – Mudbound
[   ] Dan Laustsen – The Shape of Water

Best Documentary Feature
[   ] Abacus: Small Enough to Jail – Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
[ X ] Faces Places (Visages, Villages) – JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda should win
[   ] Icarus – Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan WINNER
[   ] Last Men in Aleppo – Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
[   ] Strong Island – Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject
[   ] “Edith+Eddie” – Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
[ X ] “Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405” – Frank Stiefel should win WINNER
[   ] “Heroin(e)” – Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
[   ] “Knife Skills” – Thomas Lennon
[   ] “Traffic Stop” – Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film
[ X ] “DeKalb Elementary” – Reed Van Dyk should win
[   ] “The Eleven O’Clock” – Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
[   ] “My Nephew Emmett” – Kevin Wilson, Jr.
[   ] “The Silent Child” – Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton WINNER
[   ] “Watu Wote (All of Us)” – Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film
[   ] A Fantastic Woman (Chile) WINNER
[   ] The Insult (Lebanon) should win
[ X ] Loveless (Russia)
[   ] On Body and Soul (Hungary)
[   ] The Square (Sweden)

Film Editing
[   ] Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss – Baby Driver
[ X ] Lee Smith – Dunkirk should win WINNER
[   ] Tatiana S. Riegel – I, Tonya
[   ] Sidney Wolinsky – The Shape of Water
[   ] Jon Gregory – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sound Editing
[   ] Julian Slater – Baby Driver
[   ] Mark Mangini, Theo Green – Blade Runner 2049
[ X ] Alex Gibson, Richard King – Dunkirk should win WINNER
[   ] Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira – The Shape of Water
[   ] Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sound Mixing
[   ] Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin – Baby Driver
[   ] Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill – Blade Runner 2049
[ X ] Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo – Dunkirk should win WINNER
[   ] Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern – The Shape of Water
[   ] Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick – Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Production Design
[   ] Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer – Beauty and the Beast
[   ] Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – Blade Runner 2049
[   ] Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – Darkest Hour
[   ] Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – Dunkirk
[ X ] Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau – The Shape of Water should win WINNER

Original Score
[   ] Hans Zimmer – Dunkirk
[ X ] Jonny Greenwood – Phantom Thread should win
[   ] Alexandre Desplat – The Shape of Water WINNER
[   ] John Williams – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
[   ] Carter Burwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Original Song
[   ] “Mighty River” from Mudbound – Mary J. Blige
[   ] “Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name – Sufjan Stevens
[   ] “Remember Me” from Coco – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez WINNER
[   ] “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall – Diane Warren, Common
[ X ] “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman – Benj Pasek, Justin Paul should win

Makeup and Hair
[ X ] Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick – Darkest Hour should win WINNER
[   ] Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard – Victoria & Abdul
[   ] Arjen Tuiten – Wonder

Costume Design
[   ] Jacqueline Durran – Beauty and the Beast
[   ] Jacqueline Durran – Darkest Hour
[ X ] Mark Bridges – Phantom Thread should win WINNER
[   ] Luis Sequeira – The Shape of Water
[   ] Consolata Boyle – Victoria & Abdul

Visual Effects
[   ] John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer – Blade Runner 2049 WINNER
[   ] Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick – Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
[   ] Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus – Kong: Skull Island
[   ] Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
[ X ] Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist – War for the Planet of the Apes should win

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Laurie Mann
Laurie Mann
Thu, Jan 25, 2018 12:10pm

Well I was sad that Wonder Woman got no nominations, and that Logan, which was a violent mess with a few moving moments, did get one. I finally watched Get Out last night and liked it more than I expected to. Now I’ve seen all the Best Picture nominees except for Phantom Thread & Call Me By Your Name which are due in Pittsburgh this weekend. I feel that this was a year of good movies, but I haven’t had the feeling that anything was really great this year (no Spotlight, for example).

reply to  Laurie Mann
Tue, Mar 06, 2018 10:29pm

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Thu, Jan 25, 2018 1:21pm

For a critically lauded film that was one of the most talked-about of the year, it’s pretty incredible that Wonder Woman didn’t get ANY nominations. Not even for cinematography or those amazing Amazon costumes!

Tonio Kruger
Tonio Kruger
reply to  Bluejay
Thu, Feb 01, 2018 9:13pm

It’s a comic book movie. As such, it has more obstacles to face than the average bit of Oscar bait. But then film history is filled with critically lauded movies that never got an Oscar nomination. So Wonder Woman is in good company.

Frankly, I’m surprised that they chose to give Best Picture nominations to Get Out and The Shape of Water since Oscar rarely gives such nominations to horror movies. (And yes, one could argue that The Shape of Water isn’t really a horror movie but rather a monster movie but that genre is even less popular with the Academy than horror movies.)

reply to  Tonio Kruger
Thu, Feb 01, 2018 10:26pm

It’s a comic book movie. As such, it has more obstacles to face than the average bit of Oscar bait.

I agree there’s bias against comic book movies in the big “actor/director/picture” categories, but plenty of comic book movies have been nominated or won in technical categories such as the ones I specified.

I mean, friggin’ Batman Forever got THREE nominations in technical categories, and Suicide Squad WON an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling. Suicide Squad. Known from now on as “the Oscar-winning film Suicide Squad.

And this year, of course, another comic book movie, Logan, is up for best adapted screenplay. And in a year in which women were already noticeably shut out of several Golden Globe nominations (and a year in which much of the praise for WW was focused on Patty Jenkins, to the point where she was shortlisted for Time’s Person of the Year) perhaps it’s reasonable to wonder whether “anti-comic book bias” isn’t the ONLY factor in play here.

Tue, Jan 30, 2018 1:20pm

So…hasn’t the wonderful THE SHAPE OF WATER opened in London yet?

reply to  Beowulf
Tue, Jan 30, 2018 1:53pm

February 16, though MaryAnn saw it back in October:

And, yes, it really is that good.

Dr. Rocketscience
Dr. Rocketscience
reply to  Danielm80
Thu, Feb 01, 2018 5:51am


MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  Beowulf
Fri, Feb 02, 2018 8:49am

If you’re asking why I haven’t reviewed it yet: sorry! I’ll get to it very soon.