House Logo
Explore categories +

Film (#110 of 3287)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Cinematography

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Cinematography

Since Slant started making awards predictions in 2002, we've made the mistake—though not as often as others—of calling this category for Roger Deakins, feeling that Oscar was finally ready to make amends. This year, for Blade Runner 2049, this titan of the medium was nominated for the 14th time, and if he loses, he will become the person most nominated in this category without winning. Deakins's lensing of Denis Villeneuve's sequel to Ridley Scott's Blade Runner earned the cinematographer awards from both the American Society of Cinematographers and BAFTA. The last time Deakins managed that feat was in 2002, for his work on the Coen brothers' The Man Who Wasn't There, and while we predicted that Deakins would complete the hat trick on Oscar night (we even thought he was due after five nominations), he lost to Andrew Lesnie's epic-scale lensing of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which surely benefited that year from being the only film in this category that was also up for best picture.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Visual Effects

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

20th Century Fox

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Visual Effects

As they say, the third time’s the charm. Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes both earned visual effects artists Daniel Barrett, Joe Letteri, and Dan Lemmon nominations in this category, and all three (along with Joel Whist) are nominated here for War for the Planet of the Apes, the ostensible final film in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series. We called this race for Rise of the Planet of the Apes way back in 2012, underestimating that Hugo, which isn’t without its own fair share of impressive visual effects, would benefit from the “prestige” factor that comes with being a best picture nominee. We learned our lesson, and four years later we rightfully called the race for Interstellar, as it was the most nominated film in this category. There is, then, a case to be made for Blade Runner 2049, which enters the Oscar race with five nominations and is a strong competitor in at least three of them. But there’s a reason why War for the Planet of the Apes both outperformed Blade Runner 2049 at the box office and at the Visual Effects Society Awards, as the photorealistic effects that dominate Matt Reeves’s pop masterpiece set a bar so high that not only is it impossible to imagine it being cleared any time soon, but they make the FX work from Rise of the Planet of the Apes seem like it’s from the Ray Harryhausen era. While it’s worth noting that the VES Awards previously gave their top prize to the first two films in the rebooted Planet of the Apes series, it’s difficult to imagine AMPAS not wanting to give Andy Serkis’s swan song as Caesar a pat on the head for a job well done across the three films.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Editing

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Editing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Editing

As much hash was made out of the Golden Globes's decision to file Get Out as a comedy, there were surprisingly few skeptical words directed toward the same taxonomy being given to Baby Driver or I, Tonya. After all, if there are two things as funny as the systemic devaluation of black Americans by purportedly well-meaning white power-holders, they would have to be Kevin Spacey taking a sensitive young thing under his wing and a talented working-class woman being exploited and beaten down by her family, husband, and the snobby gatekeepers adjudicating her field. The ACE Awards similarly didn't feel any compunction about grouping those three films together as comedies, even throwing noted side-splitter Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri into the same classification, a bridge too far for even the Hollywood Foreign Press Association—and we expect Oscar voters as well.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Adapted Screenplay

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

Sony Pictures Classics

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

Usually the victory laps that play out on the stage of the Academy Awards are kicked into motion as early as a year prior to the ceremony, when a film, say, premieres at a festival and the media's whipped-up buzz incentivizes a studio to get to work on an awards campaign. Sometimes, though, the victory laps begin as early as the first time a future legend loses out on an Oscar, and then another, and then another, at which point it's only a matter of time until AMPAS gives said legend his or her so-called due. These particular laurels are handed out so reflexively that it's easy to imagine a studio's bean counters breathing a sigh of relief once a nomination has been secured. Case in point: James Ivory, who seemed destined to win this award even before he initiated an arbitration hearing late last year that led the Writers Guild of America to acknowledge that he be credited as the sole screenwriter of Luca Guadagnino's Call Me by Your Name. This year, Ivory became the second oldest person nominated for an Academy Award. The oldest? The great Agnès Varda, eight days Ivory's senior and also nominated this year, for Faces Places in the documentary category. This is Ivory's fourth Oscar nomination, his first for screenwriting, and unlike Varda, he'll arrive at the Dolby Theatre on March 4 without the distinction of being an honorary Oscar winner. Indeed, Ivory will win because he's due, and deservedly so, both for his astutely configured adaptation of André Aciman's acclaimed novel of the same name—about the love affair between two men that plays out against the background of a dreamy Mediterranean summer—and as a tribute to his 44-year working partnership (and romantic relationship) with Ismail Merchant.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Song

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Song

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Song

Sufjan Stevens's nomination for Call Me by Your Name scratches an emo itch that this category hasn't truly felt since Elliott Smith's Good Will Hunting ballad “Miss Misery” was nominated two decades ago. Though some felt that Stevens's tunes were a mismatch to the surrounding soundtrack's volley between Maurice Ravel and the Psychedelic Furs, the meek “Mystery of Love” is the best song in the lineup both in and out of context, charting the impatient but hesitant undercurrent of the film's romantic leads, at the same time as it approximates their shared, vaguely pretentious cultural interests. In 1998, Smith found himself hopelessly drowned out on all sides by power pop (the eventual winner, James Horner's anthemic “My Heart Will Go On”) and cartoon showtunes. The more things change…

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Director

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Director

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Director

“Since childhood, I've been faithful to monsters. I have been saved and absolved by them, because monsters, I believe, are patron saints of our blissful imperfection, and they allow and embody the possibility of failing,” said Guillermo del Toro while receiving his award for best director earlier this year at the Golden Globes. It's a beautiful sentiment that goes a long way toward explaining the appeal of the filmmaker's The Shape of Water. Case in point, the comment left by one Marisa Damele to a Variety article announcing that del Toro had been selected to head the jury at the next Venice Film Festival: “Guillermo del Toro knows how to make us realize, with every one of his films, that some monsters have beauty inside, while some good looking humans are hiding a monster in their interior. Not everything is what it looks like. See through the package. This is the message. He is brilliant.”

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Production Design

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Production Design

In a weird double-dipping twist of fate, the nominees behind Beauty and the Beast and Darkest Hour will be competing against themselves in two separate Oscar categories. That could spell hard luck for production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer (as it could also for costume designer Jacqueline Durran in her category). Still, production design winners have traditionally skewed more toward the plummy and the plush, and both of Greenwood and Spencer's vehicles over-qualify in that regard. But neither film successfully amalgamates its overall look into the mise-en-scène itself; instead, both deploy their baroque sets to distract from the hollowness of their thematic surroundings. There's an argument to be made that Blade Runner 2049 is guilty of the same, just on the other, more Film Twitter-friendly side of the coin. But we're of the opinion that Dennis Gassner, a previous winner for Bugsy, actually finds cunning ways to walk back from the occasionally shallow excesses of the 1982 Ridley Scott original, adding gravity without sacrificing any dystopian opulence. (It's the 2046 to the original's In the Mood for Love, if you prefer.) The original Blade Runner infamously lost to Gandhi, and many other years would find us putting our money on Academy members voting to, like Quantum Leap's Dr. Sam Beckett, put right what once went wrong. But not this year, which will see the AMPAS going back in time for entirely different reasons.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Animated Feature

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Animated Feature

There's no use dragging this one out, not least of which because this category contains, by most accounts, the worst film nominated for an Oscar this year: The Boss Baby. That film, which will be lucky to engender goodwill even from fans of Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Donald Trump, did well at the box office, but we dare you to find someone who's actually not embarrassed to have contributed to that gross. Last year, Eric Henderson took Ferdinand to the library for not offering tomorrow's virtue signalers a better hero. That's something that can't be said about either Nora Twomey's The Breadwinner or Lee Unkrich's Coco, two films entirely populated by individuals who our boss baby in chief is committed to keeping out of the United States. The Breadwinner focuses on an 11-year-old girl who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and experiences an unusual sense of freedom by dressing as a boy in order to support her family, while Coco concerns a 12-year-old Mexican boy who mysteriously enters the realm of the dead and discovers his family's history. These good-hearted, if programmatic, cartoons are kindred spirits, but even if Coco wasn't the product of a studio whose mojo is far from tapped out, you would have to agree that in a year where Americans are especially obsessed with the problems in their own backyard, Unkrich's film enjoys the so-called home-field advantage.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Score

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Score

At 48 years old, Jóhann Jóhannsson tragically died last week. A still-flourishing talent in the field of movie scoring, Jóhannsson was nominated twice for an Oscar, and we predicted that he would take the trophy for his work on The Theory of Everything. But that he lost his second bid for his brilliant work on Sicario to Ennio Morricone, who at 87 years of age and on his sixth nomination was finally given his due, points to the tendency for this category to withhold making endorsements that only Rip Van Winkle would characterize as hasty. Which explains how John Williams earned a record-extending 51st nomination this year, and for now the fifth time lightly reworking his leitmotifs for the Star Wars franchise.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Actress

Comments Comments (...)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actress

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Actress

Is Frances McDormand's Mildred in Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, a film about a woman's vigilante efforts to get justice for her murdered daughter by publicly shaming the town's police for failing to sufficiently investigate the crime, made of Teflon? Case in point: After throwing Molotov cocktails into the town's police station, setting it ablaze, the only reprimand she receives after being provided with the flimsiest of alibis is the side-eye of the town's temporary police chief.