What Will Win, and What Should Win, at the 90th Academy Awards

Courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Courtesy of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

 

The 90th Academy Awards coming up on Sunday, March 4th, and there are some award categories with clear frontrunners, while other categories could go to any of the nominees. 2017 has been a great year for movies. We have seen films from familiar legends, such as Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, and Paul Thomas Anderson. We have also seen impressive directorial debuts from Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, Aaron Sorkin, and Andy Serkis. In addition, this year has been filled with great acting performances. From 68-year-old Meryl Streep (The Post) to 8-year-old Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) and many in-between. Here is what I think will win and what I think should win on Sunday:

BEST PICTURE

Will Win: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Should Win: GET OUT

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water having each been winning many major awards through awards season, so it is unclear which of these two frontrunners will win, but I think Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will come out on top. If any other movie were to upset, it would be Get Out. It is an amazing film that crosses between genres and has a strong social message. Get Out gets even better with multiple viewings and each time you discover new details of the story you never noticed before. Credit to Jordan Peele for the amazing screenplay and direction. 

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Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Will win: FRANCES MCDORMAND
Should Win: FRANCES MCDORMAND

Frances McDormand portrayed a full range of emotions in her role and 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri would not have been such a successful film without her. She has also been sweeping awards season and shows no sign of slowing down. She deserves to win and I believe she will. If she wins it will be her second Oscar win; the first one being for Fargo (1996).

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Will Win: Gary Oldman
Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis

 Gary Oldman has won almost every award this year so far and should feel pretty safe about winning his first Oscar this year. He delivers a masterful performance by completely transforming into Winston Churchill and deserves an Academy Award. Personally, I think Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance in Phantom Thread is the best of the year. He takes on the role of a rigid, power-hungry craftsman so well that I was completely sucked into the world of the film. I didn’t think I would ever be interested in a film about 1950s fashion in London, but Daniel Day-Lewis seems he can keep anything interesting.

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Will Win: Sam Rockwell
Should Win: Willem Dafoe

Sam Rockwell has been winning all of the major awards so far and seems to be a clear frontrunner for best supporting actor. I was not a big fan of Sam Rockwell in 3 billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri even though I am a Sam Rockwell fan. Willem Dafoe was great in The Florida Project and was so believable in his role. He was the glue that held the hotel together as well as the film.

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Will Win: Allison Janney
Should Win: Allison Janney

I, Tonya was one of my favorite movies of the year and Allison Janney was crazy, and abusive, and hilarious. All the nominees in this category were great and I think any of them could win. I would pick Allison Janey because I, Tonya is my favorite of these five films.

DIRECTING

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro
Should Win: Christopher Nolan

Guillermo del Toro has been winning all of the directing awards thus far through awards season and is beloved by all. While The Shape of Water is a great achievement, Christopher Nolan’s direction in Dunkirk should take home the Oscar. The combination of practical effects, interweaving timelines, and overall storytelling merits Dunkirk as an Oscar-deserving film. 

Coco - Disney/Pixar
Courtesy of Disney/Pixar

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Will Win: COCO
Should Win: COCO

Coco is one of my favorite animated movies of all time. The animation, culture, and music are wonderful but what makes this movie memorable is the story. It pulls you in and really makes you care about this fictional family that feels so real. Besides Coco, Loving Vincent would be my 2nd option. The whole film is oil painted and takes you on a journey learning about the mysterious death of Vincent Van Gogh. The visually groundbreaking aesthetic of the film gives the audience a greater appreciation of the genius of Van Gogh.

COSTUME DESIGN

Will Win: PHANTOM THREAD
Should Win: PHANTOM THREAD

Phantom Thread is about dressmaking. A film basically about costume design deserves to win the academy award for costume design. Daniel Day-Lewis even spent months with real dressmakers to get completely indulged in his role.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will Win: BLADE RUNNER 2049
Should Win: BLADE RUNNER 2049

This is Roger Deakins’s 14th nomination and he has never won. He is one of the best cinematographer’s of all time and definitely deserves to win for Blade Runner 2049. The use of lighting, shadows, colors, and camerawork are incredible and make for an unbelievably immersive experience.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Will Win: Remember Me (Coco)
Should Win: Remember Me (Coco)

The filmmakers actually wrote the song Remember Me and built Coco around the song. It is a very meaningful song and has a bigger role in the movie than any of the other songs nominated. If Remember Me does not win, I believe it will be This is Me from The Greatest Showman. This song was written by the songwriters of last year’s La La Land and is a very powerful song. If this song does win, it would be the second straight Oscar for those songwriters.

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Will Win: Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)
Should Win: Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)

 Jonny Greenwood’s score for Phantom Thread is wonderful and escalates the film, but Dunkirk wouldn’t be what it is without Hans Zimmer’s score. It completely leads the film, almost as a character of its own. Hans Zimmer also composed an amazing score for Blade Runner 2049 this year, so he should win for the achievement of both of those films.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Will Win: THE SHAPE OF WATER
Should Win: BLADE RUNNER 2049

The Shape of Water has a very cool production design but nothing compared to Blade Runner 2049. The use of miniatures, as shown in the video below, is outstanding and made it possible to create a city that is essential to the tone, plot, and aesthetic to this film. Blade Runner 2049 is a film very very reliant on production design and the fact that this movie is so great should be enough evidence for this film to win the Academy Award.

SOUND MIXING/EDITING

Will Win: DUNKIRK
Should Win: DUNKIRK

War films are often the winners for sound editing and sound mixing for good reason; war is loud and chaotic. To make this believable in a war film is very difficult and that is why I think Dunkirk should and will win. Dunkirk was, without a doubt, the loudest film I have ever seen; it even hurt my ears sometimes. But the sound editors and mixers along with the director did this on purpose to help the audience know what it was like on the beach, in the air, or on a boat at Dunkirk during World War II.

VISUAL EFFECTS

Will Win: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Should Win: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

War for the Planet of the Apes, along with the two previous films of this trilogy, is an amazing use of visual effects and CGI. Being able to witness a real war between humans and apes and believing that this could really be happening shows how great these effects really are. The avalanche scene in this movie is an absolutely crazy cinematic experience to the point where I felt as if I was really there (and I was a little scared).

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Call Me By Your Name
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Will Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, James Ivory 
Should Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, James Ivory

Of the five films in this category, Call Me By Your Name is the only one nominated for best picture. This gives it very high chances to win the Oscar for the best-adapted screenplay. The writing for this film is very natural and subtle which makes it such a powerful love story. The writing helped make a very special chemistry between the two main characters.

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Will Win: GET OUT, Jordan Peele
Should Win: GET OUT, Jordan Peele

All the little details that come together to bring you into a story are what makes movies great. Jordan Peele wrote a very unique story in Get Out that has humor, horror, social commentary, and thriller aspects to it. An interesting thing about this category is that every writer is also either the director or lead actor. This year the Auteur seems to be thriving.

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