2018-03-07 / Arts and Entertainment

Irate Movies

Predicting the Academy Awards

It is that time of year. The Awards are back.

This year, the Academy Awards brings with it one of the best nominee lineups in years. I am truly excited for this year, unlike years past, although last year brought the wrong film announcement for Best Picture — incorrectly announcing “La La Land” over “Moonlight.”

It was a decision I never saw coming and one I didn’t agree with, but that is half the fun. This year should be less predictable, even with the wrong film announcement.

I would say that this year there will be more than one surprise announcement coming. At least I hope so, because there are many films that deserve recognition.

Well, let’s get to it. Here are my picks for the 2018 Academy Awards:

Actor in a Leading Role:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name;” Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread;” Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out;” Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour;” and Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Who should win:

Oldman, for “Darkest Hour.” Oldman’s performance is hands down the best I have seen this year, outperforming Day-Lewis in “Phantom Thread.” In “Darkest Hour,” Oldman out-Day-Lewises even Day-Lewis himself. Oldman is unrecognizable as Winston Churchill and his mannerisms are unforgettable, much as Day-Lewis’ was in his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln.

Who will win:

Day-Lewis, for “Phantom Thread.” He will win because his performance was great and because he is Daniel Day-Lewis, the greatest actor in the last 15 maybe even 20 years. “Phantom Thread,” by his own admission, will be his last film and when you add that in, I think he is a lock to win.

Actor in a Supporting Role:

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;” and Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Who should win:

Plummer for “All The Money In The World.” Plummer deserves this. I mean, who reshoots an entire movie in nine days after the ousting of Kevin Spacey. That is just incredible. He also nails the performance when it easily could have been mailed in.

Who will win:

Rockwell, for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Rockwell’s performance is wonderful. He deserves to win, I am just not a fan of giving awards to characters who are terrible people, and Rockwell’s character in “Three Billboards” is a terrible person.

Actress in a Leading Role:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water;” Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri;” Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya;” Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird;” and Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Who should win:

Meryl Streep for “The Post.” Streep is wonderful and refreshing in “The Post.” Her character is a strong character who makes a socially important decision. Streep also is an artist and has character mannerisms down pat. It is always a joy to watch her work.

Who will win:

Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Absolutely one of the most deserving actresses out there, and her performance in “Three Billboards” was as equally fantastic as Streep’s.

Actress in a Supporting Role:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound;” Allison Janney, “I, Tonya;” Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread;” Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird;” and Octavia Spencer, “The Shape Of Water”

Who should win:

Lesley Manville for “Phantom Thread.” Manville went toe-to-toe with Day-Lewis and kept pace with him. That says something and makes her deserving in my book.

Who will win:

Mary J. Blige for “Mudbound.” The one I least understand. I do not think Blige is a good actress, she is a far better musician. I do not understand why people like her, but they do. They like her a lot, and because of that she most likely will win.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):

“Call Me By Your Name,” screenplay by James Ivory; “The Disaster Artist,” screenplay by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber; “Logan,” screenplay by Scott Frank and James Mangold and Michael Green; story by James Mangold; “Molly’s Game,” written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin; and “Mudbound,” screenplay by Virgil Williams And Dee Rees.

Who should win:

“Logan” screenplay by Scott Frank and James Mangold and Michael Green; story by James Mangold. “Logan” was the second-best superhero film I saw last year. “Wonder Woman” not being nominated is a travesty. However, “Logan” is just as deserving and one of the best-written superhero films I have ever seen. It is wishful thinking on my part but I hope it wins.

Who will win:

“Call Me By Your Name,” screenplay by James Ivory. People love this movie. It was a decent movie.” Call Me By Your Name” is another socially important film, and in 2018 that means something.

Writing (Original Screenplay): “The Big Sick” written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani; “Get Out” written by Jordan Peele; “Lady Bird” written by Greta Gerwig; “The Shape Of Water,” screenplay dy Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, story by Guillermo Del Toro; and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” written by Martin McDonagh.

Who should win:

“Lady Bird” written by Greta Gerwig. “Lady Bird” and Gerwig are a breath of fresh air in the film industry. Doing what she did with “Lady Bird” on her first try makes her very deserving.

Who will win:

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” written by Martin McDonagh. A deep, dark film with a lot of layers and one that I feel many could relate to in some form. Relating to film comes through only through great acting and great writing. “Three Billboards” has both.


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan; “Get Out,” Jordan Peele; “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig; “Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson; and“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro.

Who should win:

“Get Out,” Jordan Peele. “Get Out” was another and probably the most socially important film in 2017 / 2018. Dealing with racism in the way it did is truly a wonderful film experience. Putting a face to the often subtleness of racism is profound and important. It doesn’t hurt that the film is also well shot and directed. The theme for the Academy Awards this year is socially important films. Out of those, “Get Out” is the most socially important. Problem is, I do not believe people will put that first.

Who will win:

“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig. First time out, Gerwig nails it. Enough said.

Best Picture:

“Call Me By Your Name,” Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, producers; “Darkest Hour,” Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony Mccarten and Douglas Urbanski, producers; “Dunkirk,” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, producers; “Get Out,” Sean Mckittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, producers; “Lady Bird,” Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’neill, producers; “Phantom Thread,” Joanne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, producers; “The Post,” Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg And Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers; “The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro and J. Miles Dale, producers; “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, producers

Who should win:

“Get Out,” Sean Mckittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele producers. For all the reasons stated above, “Get Out” is probably the best film I saw all year and it really deserves to win. Here is where I call for an upset, as “Three Billboards” seems to be the favorite. I am betting the Academy surprises this year.

Who will win:

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, producers. Here is where “Three Billboards” distances itself. Fantastic actors all the way through. Great writing all the way through. I think this film will be the big winner at the 2018 Academy Awards.

Jason Guyer is an avid moviegoer and works in the Graphics Department at the Eagle Times. For questions or comments he can be emailed at guyerj@eagletimes.com.

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