MARCH 3 — It’s finally here, this coming Sunday (or Monday over here in Malaysia), and after setting it all up in the past few weeks with my reviews of the competing films for this year’s Oscars, here are my predictions!
Unlike other standalone awards, the Oscars are pretty unique in that you can actually see patterns forming from the many other awards and ceremonies that precede it, by virtue of the Academy sharing membership with the voters of a lot of the other preceding awards.
Having won Best Film at the Golden Globes, the Baftas and the Screen Actors’ Guild awards, surely this year’s Best Picture award is a lock for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, despite what may have at first looked like a close race.
If there’s ever going to be an upset, then it’ll probably come from Get Out or Call Me By Your Name, two films that might steal it by virtue of being in the top two on most of the voters’ lists and scoring a lot of points that way.
Will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (with Get Out possibly pulling an upset.)
Should win: Call Me By Your Name
If we’re really comparing artistic achievements here, then this category would’ve been a straight shootout between Greta Gerwig (only the fifth woman to be nominated here, and the second woman to win if she manages to go all the way) and Jordan Peele (who could become the first black director to win this).
But the Academy is known to be quite sentimental as well, and there are two big mainstream directors here this year who’ll probably not have a better chance again to get nominated (and win), simply by virtue of them normally operating within the more commercial and genre-friendly areas of Hollywood.
So it looks like this one will have to go to either Nolan or Del Toro, but since Del Toro has already won at the Directors’ Guild awards (a very reliable precursor award for this category), then he’ll probably be the one onstage giving his acceptance speech this year.
Will win: Guillermo Del Toro
Should win: Jordan Peele
The Academy loves to reward acting with a capital “A”, more so if it also involves a pretty radical physical transformation.
Personally I’d love to see Call Me By Your Name’s Timothee Chalamet become the youngest ever Best Actor Oscar winner, because his performance is that good.
But when your opponent is Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill (also brilliantly, I must add), who’d also won at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and Screen Actors’ Guild awards, then I guess there’s just no contest here.
Will win: Gary Oldman
Should win: Timothee Chalamet
Another case of bulldozing through all the preceding awards shows, it would be one of the biggest upsets of all time if Frances McDormand didn’t win this one.
As much as I loved Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird and Meryl Streep in The Post (a bit of an unheralded performance, if you ask me), there’s no denying the many captivating nuances brought by McDormand into her performance in Three Billboards. Again, there’s simply no contest here.
Will win: Frances McDormand
Should win: Frances McDormand
Best Supporting Actor
I’ll always maintain that the biggest snub at this year’s Oscars was to the lovely The Florida Project, and whose only nomination was for Willem Defoe’s achingly tender yet tough performance as a hotel manager.
But having also won almost all the other precursor awards, Three Billboards’ Sam Rockwell is the clear favourite here.
Having been a fan of his since I first noticed him in Lawn Dogs back in the late 90s, it’s about time this brilliant character actor takes home this award.
Will win: Sam Rockwell
Should win: Willem Defoe
Best Supporting Actress
A similar situation has developed in this category as well, in which a beloved character actor (with even a host of Emmys to her name) has pummeled her way through all the precursor awards and won everything in her category.
So, like me, you can love Laurie Metcalf’s performance in Lady Bird as much as you want, but there’s simply very little chance of Janney losing this one.
Will win: Allison Janney
Should win: Allison Janney
Best Original Screenplay
At first this seems pretty hard to call, because Three Billboards is a leading favourite and Lady Bird is a dazzling piece of casually tossed off wisdom and insight masquerading as a screenplay and Get Out a pretty daring movie of the moment masquerading as a horror flick.
But as soon as Get Out won at the Writers’ Guild awards you can pretty much see where the chips are going to fall at the Oscars, and it’s pretty much in the way of Get Out. It will fully deserve the win too.
Will win: Get Out
Should win: Get Out
Best Adapted Screenplay
Not as hard to call because Call Me By Your Name is the only nominee here that’s also up for Best Picture, its win at the Writers’ Guild and USC Scripter awards are pretty much sure signs that it’ll also pick up a win here at the Oscars.
When you also add to that the fact that screenwriter James Ivory is also a much loved veteran and at 89 will also make him the oldest ever winner at the Oscars, a record which he just took at the recent Baftas, he’s also clearly the favourite here.
I may have loved Aaron Sorkin’s work on Molly’s Game, but there’s no going around how luminous Call Me By Your Name is, and surely part of it came from Ivory’s contributions as the screenwriter.
Will win: Call Me By Your Name
Should win: Call Me By Your Name
* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.