Oscar Picks 2018

Oscar Statues

Writing (Original Screenplay)

All solid nominees this year, but my favorite is Get Out. Like most horror movies, things fall apart a bit at the end, but it’s a really original and thought provoking story.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

I haven’t read any of the original works here, but my favorite script from this batch is The Disaster Artist.

Visual Effects

All of this years nominees featured outstanding visual effects, but one of them blew me away - Blade Runner 2049.

Sound Mixing

I don’t have a strong opinion on this one, but my vote would be for Baby Driver.

Sound Editing

It amuses me somewhat that all the nominees are the same as for Sound Mixing. Perhaps because very few people really know what the difference is. :) I could see this going to any of the films, but probably Dunkirk or Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Short Film (Live Action)

All very good this year, but The Eleven O’Clock was my favorite.

Short Film (Animated)

I usually have one ore more of these which I do not like. This year was different, but I do have one favorite - Negative Space.

Production Design

Blade Runner 2049 or The Shape of Water

Music (Original Song)

I think Mystery Of Love is the favorite, and I think it’s great, but I’d choose Stand Up For Something from Marshall.

Music (Original Score)

Dunkirk or Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Makeup and Hairstyling

Tough call this time but I’d choose - Wonder

Foreign Language Film

I only saw one of these - The Square. I’d like to think that was not the best this year, so I’m picking the only other film that played near me - A Fantastic Woman.

Film Editing

Several good choices this year, but I’m going with I, Tonya.

Documentary (Short Subject)

This is much tougher than it usually is for me. I really enjoyed all of them. My favorite is Knife Skills. Traffic Stop had a lot of potential. If it had explored some of the more difficult questions related to that traffic stop, it would have been my pick for sure. Instead, I think Heroin(e) will win. It explores what is a huge, and growing problem in the U.S, and shows a glimmer of hope dealing with it.

Documentary (Feature)

I did not see Faces Places but the others were all very good. All stories that needed to be told. All told well. I found myself confused throughout most of Icarus and I’m still not sure how the film was made (who knew what and when did they know it, etc.) but if I had to pick one over the others, this is the one.

Directing

I think this if one of those years where Best Picture and Directing will be split. I think the Directing award goes to Jordan Peele for Get Out.

Costume Design

I think Phantom Thread is the least deserving, but I would not be surprised if any of these win. My pick is The Shape of Water.

Cinematography

I still don’t know quite how this is measured, but I was very impressed with all of these films. Two of them stand out for me above the others, though - Blade Runner 2049 and The Shape of Water.

Animated Feature Film

I think this one is a lock for Loving Vincent.

Actress in a Supporting Role

I think Vicky Krieps stole the show in Phantom Thread so I was surprised not to see a nomination for her. In the end, I think she would not have beaten Allison Janney or my pick - Laurie Metcalf.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Though one performance stands out far and away above the others for me, I love seeing five spectacular actors nominated this year. All five of these men are consistently outstanding. Sam Rockwell turned in the performance of a lifetime and I would be shocked if he doesn’t win.

Actress in a Leading Role

Once again, this is the toughest category for me. McDormand and Steep are outstanding and turned in excellent performances this year, but I think the other three were better. I’d give Sally Hawkins a very slight edge over Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan just slightly behind her. I’d be thrilled to see any of those three win it.

Actor in a Leading Role

This might be a rogue pick (I’m not sure, I try not to read too much about who is the favorite, etc.) but I’m going with Denzel Washington. I almost didn’t see this film because he is not one of my favorite actors, but he really, really impressed me with this performance.

Best Picture

The best I can do is divide these films into two batches:

Should Win

Should Not Win

I liked three of these movies, but don’t think any of them should win.

My original pick was The Shape of Water but Get Out and Lady Bird really started to grow on me.

I think Best Picture and Directing will be split between Get Out and Lady Bird. I think Lady Bird takes Best Picture.