Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Near the crack of dawn this morning, the nominees for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony were announced. They were joined by the now-usual din, as compliments on the broader diversity of genres and faces this year was met by talk of how far the industry still has to go. With the movement resulting from last year’s flood of new and renewed sexual assault and abuse allegations hanging over this year’s awards season, just as it did so many of the nominated films, it remains to be seen just how much change is happening in Hollywood when the winners are announced on March 4th.

But the show goes on, and so do the Oscars, and in their 90th year, the nominees feel a little more reflective of the times than usual. Two filmmakers, both nominated for Best Director, made their debuts with Best Picture nominees, a big-budget industry A-lister made a tone piece about the personal hells of war, and a pair of period pieces attempted to reach back into the past to explain our fraught present. Love stories took on new forms that the Oscars have a long history of disregarding, new kinds of heroes and villains took over movie screens, and even the sequels turned out pensive and remorseful.

It’s a hell of a time to be a filmgoer, an American, a person living in this world. But the best movies, of which a great number of them are featured among this year’s nominees, can help ease the pain of the times, or help us better understand and process it. It’ll be an odd year to kick back and enjoy an awards ceremony, but it’s one that has a lot to offer this year. Whether you agree with us or not, we’ve tried to pick the likely winners for this year’s Oscars, but it’s a far harder year to call than usual. For once, it’s hard to say where the voting base’s heads are anymore, as much a sign that the times are a’changing as any.

–Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
Film Editor

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Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What should win: Baby Driver

What will win: The Shape of Water

The amount of play that went into The Shape of Water’s bubbly, muffled, magical, and quite-literally-watered-down sound was pure invention. It’s a feast for the ears as the film’s silences, musical digressions, and harmonious existence with scoring and creature effects made for an entrancing listening affair. But. If the Academy really wants to put some gas in the tank, it could award Baby Driver. It’s a film that cuts itself like crazy in what we can only describe as the world’s most high-octane mixtape movie. Vroom vroom, boom boom, you know? –Blake Goble
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Best Sound Mixing

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

What should win: Dunkirk

What will win: Dunkirk

Dunkirk should win this one by a country mile. The film’s sound design is a masterwork of meticulous, immersive craftsmanship, a tension-filled hum of bombs, splashes and ticking stopwatches that never, ever lets up. Not since Gravity has a film’s soundscape been so comprehensively interwoven with its musical score, making Dunkirk an unrelenting sensory experience. The rest of the nominees all did admirable work – Baby Driver blends music and revving engines beautifully, and Last Jedi deserves to be on here just for one perfectly calculated moment of silence – but this is clearly Dunkirk’s game to win. –Clint Worthington

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Best Visual Effects

apescover Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

What should win: Blade Runner 2049

What will win: War for the Planet of the Apes

In looking at recent winners for Visual Effects, the Academy tends to gravitate toward specific designs done well (Ex Machina, The Jungle Book), rather than the well-executed onscreen noise and chaos of a film like Guardian or The Last Jedi, even if the latter featured possibly the coolest single shot in any major studio film released in the past year. We’d love to see 2049 take the prize here for its stunning visual augmentations and its show-stopping reconstruction of a familiar face, but we think it’s time for the stylistically game-changing Apes trilogy to finally get its due. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Best Film Editing

Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What should win: Baby Driver

What will win: Dunkirk

Despite the fact that Best Editing has often tended to be an early-evening predictor of the Best Picture race, two of this year’s five nominees aren’t in the hunt. As you may have noticed by now, we were big on Baby Driver here at Consequence of Sound, as we were on all of this category’s nominees, but that film’s endless stylistic verve stood out in a great year of movies. That said, it’s going to be the elliptical visual storytelling of Dunkirk that deservedly wins out here. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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Best Makeup and Hairstyling

darkest hour gary oldman Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul
Wonder

What should win: Not, freaking, Darkest Hour

What will win: Darkest Hour

Actors wearing heavy prosthesis to add age or weight pretty much never works. Remember Dustin Hoffman’s old age makeup in Little Big Man? Like looking at a mound of chatty candle wax. And remember when DiCaprio went full jowl-monster to portray J. Edgar Hoover in J. Edgar? It’s like a mound of rubber was slapped on a legitimate actor to obstruct an otherwise decent performance. The same logic goes for Darkest Hour, where Gary Oldman went big with the latex to portray Winston Churchill. It’s a bloody distraction! So, fingers crossed on the other entries. –Blake Goble

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Best Costume Design

phantom thread vicky krieps Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria and Abdul

What should win: Phantom Thread

What will win: Phantom Thread

Phantom Thread is such a clear frontrunner here, it isn’t even funny. It’s the film that calls the most attention to its costumes (it’s a film about a haute couture tailor, for Pete’s sake), and the film’s themes of aesthetic control and the frustration of being around an uncompromising artist are literally woven into the fabric of its deceptively simple, vintage designs. There’s some other great period costumes in Darkest Hour and Victoria and Abdul, but Phantom Thread has this one in its elegantly designed handbag. (And the less said about the dull literalism of Beauty and the Beast’s straight-from-the-cartoon fripperies, the better.) –Clint Worthington

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Best Production Design

shape of water Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

What should win: The Shape of Water

What will win: The Shape of Water

You’re probably thinking, Wait, don’t you mean Blade Runner 2049 in the Will Win section? Hang on, there’s a logic here. Yes, 2049 crushed its open-world techno-mania in a way that begged for your attention. But it’s still a work of homage – to other artists like Tarkovsky and Ridley Scott. Done bigger and louder. The Shape of Water is actual creation. A turquoise amalgam of ‘60s Americana, B-movie horror, and romantic movie-going magic. It’s a beautiful blend, for sure. Actual new sights for the cinema. And that’s something you don’t see everyday, unlike war recreations, and Disney Pinterest jobs. –Blake Goble

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Best Cinematography

dunkirk cinematography Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
Bruno Delbonnel, Darkest Hour
Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk
Rachel Morrison, Mudbound
Danish Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water

What should win: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

What will win: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk

There’s a lot to laud this year as cinematography goes, and in this year’s set of nominees as well. Rachel Morrison becomes the first woman in the 90 years of the Oscars to be nominated in the category for her stunning work on Mudbound, an achievement in drawing gorgeous visuals out of the most muted palette. As grossly overdue as Roger Deakins is all around, with his work on 2049 yielding another career high, we’re going to give the edge to Hoyte van Hoytema’s gorgeously tactile work on Dunkirk. He sets the tone of the entire film. —Dominick Suzanne-Mayer
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Best Original Song

Mary J. Blige – “Mighty River”, Mudbound
Sufjan Stevens – “Mystery of Love”, Call Me By Your Name
Gael García Bernal, Libertad García Fonzi, and Gabriella Flores – “Remember Me”, Coco
Andra Day feat. Common – “Stand Up for Something”, Marshall
Kaela Settle, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul – “This is Me”, The Greatest Showman

What should win: “Mystery of Love”, Call Me By Your Name

What will win: “Remember Me”, Coco

This entire category is going to make for a great set of Oscar night performances, most of all when the venerable stars of yesteryear get to bear witness to a mid-evening Sufjan Stevens performance. While his work on the Call Me by Your Name soundtrack is one of the lustrous film’s highlights, the statue is going to another 2017 release that made its music a core dramatic component. Coco is a high-water mark for Pixar, and the performance of “Remember Me” in the film is the cornerstone of one of the studio’s best-ever storytelling payoffs. –Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

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Best Original Score

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk
Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
John Williams, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What should win: Hans Zimmer

What will win: Alexandre Desplat

This one comes down to three names: Desplat, Zimmer, and Greenwood. All three composers delivered exceptional work this year, especially Zimmer, whose Hail Mary score for Blade Runner 2049 could easily swap in for the dull, forgettable nostalgia of Williams’ latest snorefest. Still, there’s a whimsical majesty to Desplat’s romantic score, which just picked up a Golden Globe, one that Zimmer and Greenwood can’t contend with, and that could go a long way. Also, The Shape of the Water dominated this year’s slate, and this is an all-too-easy pickup for the film. Better luck next year, Hans. –Michael Roffman

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Best Animated Short Film

negative space Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

What should win: Revolting Rhymes, on the strength of that title alone.

What will win: Negative Space

Whoa whoa whoa – Kobe Bryant wrote a poem, about basketball, then produced a short film animating the aforementioned poem? Yeah, well, we’ll go with the snazzily, spindly, nastily amusing BBC adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes for now. The French Lou is nifty. The also French Garden Party is eerily photo-realistic. And the poetic Negative Space rocked the festival circuit. But yeah, Revolting Rhymes all the time, man! –Blake Goble
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Best Documentary (Short Subject)

edith eddie Oscars 2018 Predictions: Who Should Win, Who Will Win

Edith + Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

What should win: Edith + Eddie

What will win: Edith + Eddie

“All these titles make a woman from an urban area uncomfortable,” says Tiffany Haddish after reading the nominations for Best Documentary (Short Subject). That was about as exciting as this category will get for now. We get it. These categories are always a little, “that’s nice… what the hell are these now?” Well, Knife Skills is about a restaurant opening. Edith + Eddie is about interracial marriage and elder abuse. Heaven is a Traffic Jam on 405, well, just watch the damn thing here. Heroin(e) is, get this, about the opioid epidemic and is on Netflix. And Traffic Stop is about exactly what the title says and comes to HBO in March. Out of all these films, doesn’t Edith + Eddie just sound like an Oscar contender? Anyways, that’s our guess. –Blake Goble

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from Consequence of Sound http://ift.tt/2E1tEyo

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