Who Will Win, Who Deserves to Win, Who Was Snubbed
If you’re planning on entering an Oscar pool at the office or online, you might want to check out my pix first. After all, given my immersion in movies, movie biz and movie buzz, this is the one time each year when my otherwise useless font of film trivia knowledge can actually prove profitable to readers.
Fair warning, my past performance, including a perfect score in 2014, is no guarantee of future results. With that disclaimer out of the way, look for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to win thrice Sunday night, for Best Picture, Lead Actress and Supporting Actor.
But Shape of Water‘s Guillermo del Toro is still the favorite for Best Director, since he won’t have to compete with Three Billboards‘ Martin McDonagh, who wasn’t even nominated in the category. Despite landing 13 nominations, Shape is likely to take home only a couple of additional trophies. And don’t waste a vote on perennial nominee Meryl Streep; Frances McDormand’s a shoo-in.
As far as snubs, this year it was less a case of actors being overlooked by Oscar than their being torpedoed by the #MeToo movement. For instance, after winning a Golden Globe for The Disaster Artist, James Franco wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar when several devastating sexual abuse allegations were leveled at him.
Similarly, Baby Driver, this critic’s favorite film of the year, was only nominated in three technical categories after Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual harassment. Spacey’s fall from grace ostensibly affected not only his own prospects this awards season, but also those of his co-stars Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx, as well as the picture’s writer/director Edgar Wright.
The 90th Academy Awards, set to air on March 4 on ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel will host the show.
Best Picture Will Win:Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Deserves to Win:Lady Bird Overlooked:Baby Driver, Wind River
Best Director Will Win: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) Deserves to Win: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) Overlooked: Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Actor Will Win: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) Deserves to Win: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name) Overlooked: James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver)
Best Actress Will Win: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) Deserves to Win: Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) Overlooked: Sally Hawkins (Maudie), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman)
Best Supporting Actor Will Win: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) Deserves to Win: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) Overlooked: Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name)
Best Supporting Actress Will Win: Allison Janney (I, Tonya) Deserves to Win: Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) Overlooked: Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip), Elizabeth Olsen (Wind River)
Best Original Screenplay Will Win: Jordan Peele (Get Out) Deserves to Win: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) Overlooked: Edgar Wright (Baby Driver), Taylor Sheridan (Wind River)
Best Adapted Screenplay Will Win: James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name) Deserves to Win: Dee Rees (Mudbound) Overlooked: Allan Heinberg and Zack Snyder (Wonder Woman)
Predictions for the Balance of the Categories Animated Feature:Coco Foreign Language Film:A Fantastic Woman Documentary Feature:Faces Places Cinematography:Blade Runner 2049 Costume Design:Phantom Thread Production Design:The Shape of Water Film Editing:Dunkirk Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour Original Score:The Shape of Water Best Song: “Remember Me” (Coco) Sound Editing:Dunkirk Sound Mixing:Dunkirk Visual Effects:War for the Planet of the Apes Animated Short:Dear Basketball Documentary Short:Edith + Eddie Live Action Short:DeKalb Elementary
OPENING THIS WEEK Kam’s Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun For movies opening March 2, 2018
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Death Wish (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Remake of the Charles Bronson vigilante classic, about a mild-mannered doctor (Bruce Willis) who takes the law into his own hands after his wife (Elisabeth Shue) is murdered and his daughter (Camila Morrone) is brutally raped and left comatose by a ruthless gang. With Vincent D’Onofrio, Kimberly Elise and Dean Norris.
Red Sparrow (R for profanity, sexuality, frontal nudity, graphic violence and torture) Espionage thriller revolving around a Russian ballerina (Jennifer Lawrence) recruited by the KGB who ends up falling for the CIA agent (Joel Edgerton) she was supposed to seduce and compromise. Support cast includes Charlotte Rampling, Jeremy Irons and Matthias Schoenaerts.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Foxtrot (R for sexuality, graphic images and brief drug use) Middle East saga, set in Tel Aviv, revolving around a couple (Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler) grieving the loss of a son (Yonaton Shiray) serving in the military. With Dekel Adin, Yehuda Almagor and Gefen Barkai. (In Hebrew with subtitles.)
Hondros (Unrated) Reverential biopic chronicling the career of Chris Hondros (1970-2011), an intrepid war photographer who covered conflicts in Iraq, Kosovo, Kashmir, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Israel and Liberia before being killed in Libya during a mortar attack.
Mohawk (Unrated) Revenge thriller, set during the War of 1812, about the pursuit of an Indian woman (Kaniehtiio Horn) and her two lovers (Justin Rain and Eamon Farren) by the survivors of the American camp they burned to the ground. With Noah Segan, Ezra Buzzington and Jon Huber. (In English, Mohawk and French with subtitles.)
Oh Lucy! (Unrated) Poignant character portrait of a lonely cleaning lady (Shinobu Terajima) who travels from Tokyo to Southern California to search for the English teacher (Josh Hartnett) she has a crush on. Featuring Kaho Mnami, Koji Yakusho and Megan Mullally. (In English and Japanese with subtitles.)
Souvenir (Unrated) Romance drama about a jaded factory worker (Isabelle Huppert) inspired by a younger colleague (Kevin Azais) to pursue her abandoned dream by entering a national singing contest. With Johan Leysen, Muriel Bersy and Fanny Blanchard. (In French with subtitles.)
Submission (Unrated) Adaptation of Blue Angel, Francine Prose’s novel about a best-selling author-turned-English professor (Stanley Tucci) who finds himself attracted to a talented new student (Addison Timlin). Support cast includes Kyra Sedgwick, Janeane Garofalo and Ritchie Coster.
They Remain (Unrated) Suspense thriller revolving around a couple of romantically-linked scientists (William Jackson Harper and Rebecca Henderson) investigating the bizarre behavior of animals on the grounds of an abandoned compound where a cult once committed mass murder.
The Vanishing of Sidney Hall (R for profanity and sexual references) Logan Lerman plays the title character in this whodunit about a writer who disappears without a trace after publishing a best-seller. With Elle Fanning, Michelle Monaghan and Nathan Lane.