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The Shape Of Water (#110 of 17)

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions

This is a complete list of our predicted winners at the 2018 Academy Awards with links to individual articles.

Picture: Get Out
Director: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Actor: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Actress: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Original Screenplay: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name
Foreign Language: A Fantastic Woman
Documentary Feature: Icarus
Animated Feature Film: Coco
Documentary Short: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Animated Short: Revolting Rhymes
Live Action Short: The Eleven O’Clock
Film Editing: Dunkirk
Production Design: The Shape of Water
Cinematography: The Shape of Water
Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Score: The Shape of Water
Song: “Remember Me,” Coco
Sound Editing: Dunkirk
Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Picture

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Picture

Universal Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Picture

It all comes back to Faye Dunaway’s envelope. That moment when the surest best picture winner since Schindler’s List was announced, Hollywood reacted with one final weary round of applause, and Oscar-party attendees everywhere started collecting their coats. And then came the shock to end all shocks, what Mike D’Angelo correctly identified as “the greatest moment in Film Twitter history.” What’s more, PwC’s mistake has now blossomed into the gift that keeps on giving. Because absolutely no one—not even Sasha Stone, who’s been executing an exhaustive control-group ballot experiment the likes of which would make Nate Silver suggest dialing it down—is even remotely confident about what they should predict will win the top prize this year.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Supporting Actress

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actress

A24

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actress

Admit it, you saw this coming. Even if you didn’t read last week how Eric and I only allow ourselves to take so many risks during Slant’s 24-day Oscar-prediction cycle, you probably noticed how long it was taking us to get around to this category. And this call we’re making is certainly a risk: After all, Allison Janney—like Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, and Sam Rockwell—will arrive at the Kodak Theatre on Sunday with a Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA award under her belt (or attached to the bird on her shoulder). But don’t call it wishful thinking, as the tea leaves tell us that this is a more unpredictable Oscar race than most people are perhaps willing to admit.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Original Screenplay

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

Mildred Hayes begins Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri unshaken in her convictions, only to wind up in a place where her doubts hide behind a façade of bluster. Similarly, we’ve spent much of these last few weeks gradually losing assurance that the beautifully realized characters, brisk rising action, incisive dialogue, and political resonance of both Greta Gerwig’s script for Lady Bird and Jordan Peele’s for Get Out will on their merits be able to stave off Martin McDonagh’s work on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. To some extent, the momentum surrounding best picture candidates always finds a way to trickle down to Oscar’s screenplay categories, and this year’s top award is in a state of ongoing pandemonium. What else can possibly rise above that din except McDonagh’s Trumpland soliloquies?

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Mixing

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

Surviving Operation Dynamo would have been a snap compared to having to write about both sound categories for many years in a row. And while I, as a result of having to return to this particular well so many times, probably know about as much the difference between the two categories as your average AMPAS voter, there have been times where that knowledge has frankly been a liability when it comes to predicting the eventual winner. Maybe less so this year, since for the first time in the five-nominees-per-category era, both sound mixing and sound editing nominated the same five films. In the past, sound mixing has been the category where musicals have over-performed against ricocheting bullets and rolling explosions. So Baby Driver would have already been a strong pick as our spoiler here even had it not taken the Association of Motion Picture Sound award. And it would delight us and wouldn’t necessarily surprise us if the film, which dances from speaker to speaker just like music does from Baby’s earbuds, pulls it off. But there’s something about that loss La La Land suffered last year against the indescribably loud Hacksaw Ridge that feels like a terrain-altering sea change for this category. The slates match, and we’re betting the winners do too.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Sound Editing

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

Warner Bros.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

If ever a film is made about Slant’s rolling Oscar coverage, laurels will surely be given to the sound editors who had to convey the blood-curdling magnitude of the hissy fits that Eric Henderson and I throw every year when trying to dodge—or, rather, slap our way out of—having to write about this category. Last year, when this burden was also foisted on me, I obligatorily mentioned that the average Academy member probably can’t tell the difference between sound mixing and sound editing, and that when they’re caught between a show tune and so much sturm und drang, they know where to draw the line in the sand. I then called the race for Hacksaw Ridge, the nominee with the sounds that were, well, the mostest, only for Arrival, our favorite, to persevere. Baby Driver, which recently won the Association of Motion Picture Sound’s mixing award, rolls up to this party as a serious threat in both sound categories, though perhaps less so in this category that tends to favor films that are also best picture nominees. Which means that this is the recent Cinema Audio Society-winning Dunkirk’s to lose.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Supporting Actor

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Supporting Actor

Frances McDormand will all but certainly reap the benefit of staying true to form and eschewing the bulk of the Oscar campaigning playbook, thereby avoiding having to utter any defenses for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, unquestionably this year’s most #problematic awards contender. Sam Rockwell, conversely, has spent Oscar season staying true to himself and doing everything within his power to charm voters and please crowds. The results have been defter than even his ever-reliable fancy feet. He joked through his Golden Globes acceptance speech, admitting that after a career filled with indie films—and, you know, Charlie’s Angels—it was nice to be in something that people actually saw and thanking writer-director Martin McDonagh for “not being a dick.” He reasserted his renegade-outsider cred by dutifully clocking in at Studio 8H and then lacing one of his Saturday Night Live skits with an impromptu, live-TV four-letter word. He kept his tongue firmly planted in cheek even as he allowed a cardboard cutout of Agnès Varda to upstage him and everyone else at the Oscar nominees luncheon.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Costume Design

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

Focus Features

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Costume Design

That Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread spent more time on Oscar prognosticators’ shortlists as Untitled PTA London Fashion Film than it did under its actual title indicates that it probably had this award sewn up before anyone even laid eyes on it. In fact, one of the only things that would’ve given us pause about predicting it is the fact that Oscar voters have laid eyes on the ornate, complex, multi-faceted film, and now have to wrestle with their own realization that it’s far from just another runway processional. The other issue is that the last two times films explicitly centered around the world of fashion have competed in the costume design category that should’ve been a cakewalk for them, both ended up losing to regal frocks and fancy frills.

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Cinematography

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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 Editing

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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.