The time has finally come to write and publish my final awards predictions article of the season. It's my final chance to predict and acknowledge the best in film in 2017. This year I'm proud to say that I have seen all 59 Oscar nominees across every single category being awarded tomorrow night. It was a challenge and I had to go to great lengths to see all 59 nominees, but I did it. That being said, I'm going to give my predictions and "should wins"/my favorites for every single Academy Awards category. I may even give some quick thoughts or reasonings for my predictions; we'll see how this article goes. To be honest, as much as I love awards season and the great films I've watched to prep for this year's Oscars, I'll be relieved come Monday morning when awards season is finally over and we can all go back to just watching mediocre-to-okay theatrical releases until next awards season. Thankfully there are always some hidden gems in the summer, so I look forward to discovering those gems this year. But that's not what this is about; let's jump right into my Oscar predictions!
Best Live Action Short
-The Eleven O'Clock
-My Nephew Emmett
-The Silent Child
-Watu Wote/All of Us
What will win: DeKalb Elementary
What should win: The Eleven O'Clock
Best Documentary Short
-Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
What will win: Edith+Eddie
What should win: Edith+Eddie
Best Animated Short
-Revolting Rhymes (Part 1)
What will win: Dear Basketball
What should win: Revolting Rhymes (Part 1)
It's still a shame that In a Heartbeat and World of Tomorrow Episode Two: The Burden of Other People's Thoughts were snubbed from nomination.
Best Foreign Language Film
-A Fantastic Woman
-On Body and Soul
What will win: A Fantastic Woman
What should win: The Insult
Best Documentary Feature
-Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
-Last Men in Aleppo
What will win: Faces Places
What should win: Faces Places
Best Animated Feature
-The Boss Baby
What will win: Coco
What should win: Coco
Someone needs to reevaluate this category every year because the Academy gets these nominees wrong constantly. It's almost as if the Academy just never watches animated films. Where's The LEGO Batman Movie? Where's Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie? I'd even take Cars 3 over a couple of these nominees.
Best Visual Effects
-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 will win: War for the Planet of the Apes
What should win: War for the Planet of the Apes
This is the closest Andy Serkis may ever get to winning an Oscar so please, Academy, let Apes win this award!
I have a hot take here - I don't even think Oldman should be nominated. Too many people are hyping up his performance based on his appearance as Winston Churchill. Darkest Hour absolutely deserves to win Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and it should, but it doesn't do anything else award-worthy. Riddle me this: Do you still think Oldman's performance would be award-worthy if he looked like his normal Gary Oldman self instead of looking so much like Churchill? I don't think so.
I know Jordan Peele just won Best Director at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, but that's only because The Shape of Water was surprisingly nowhere to be found at the Spirit Awards. Nobody stands a chance against del Toro right now.
-Call Me by Your Name
-The Shape of Water
-Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What will win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
What should win: The Shape of Water
I'm always going to be bummed that The Post and Darkest Hour got in over The Florida Project and Mudbound, but those movies perfectly pandered the older Academy voters. For 4 years running the winner of Best Feature at the Spirit Awards has also won Best Picture at the Academy Awards - 12 Years a Slave, Birdman, Spotlight, Moonlight. That streak is coming to an end. Get Out just won Best Feature at the Spirit Awards, and deservedly so, but there's been too much unjustified backlash against Get Out from older Academy voters. Many Academy voters, after submitting and revealing their ballots, informed us that they never saw Get Out basically because "it's not their cup of tea" - pun intended. If you've seen the film, you'll understand that pun. Like last year with La La Land and Moonlight, we have another two clear frontrunners in this year's Best Picture race in The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
The Shape of Water leads the pack in terms of total nominations, much like La La Land did last year. However, much like La La Land, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has a more passionate base that either loves it or doesn't love it due to a divisive ending. Three Billboards has fewer total Oscar nominations, much like Moonlight last year, while the consensus opinion of The Shape of Water is far less divisive, also much like Moonlight. It's kind of bizarre, actually, how both of this year's frontrunners can draw comparisons like these to both of last year's frontrunners. Many people are counting Three Billboards out of the Best Picture race since its director, Martin McDonagh, isn't nominated for Best Director, but I don't think it matters. Three Billboards has won the SAG Ensemble Cast award and enough Best Picture awards from smaller ceremonies to keep it firm in the running.
Oftentimes, when there are two clear frontrunners like this, the Academy loves to split the awards by giving one Best Director and the other Best Picture. We saw it last year with Damien Chazelle winning Best Director for La La Land and Moonlight winning Best Picture. Two years ago Spotlight won Best Picture while Alejandro G. Iñárritu won Best Director for The Revenant. All signs right now are pointing to another split in which Guillermo del Toro wins Best Director for The Shape of Water and Three Billboards wins Best Picture. I guess we'll find out really soon.
Tune in to the 90th annual Academy Awards tomorrow, March 4, 2018, at 8pm EST on ABC.