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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions Production Design

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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 Makeup and Hairstyling

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Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Makeup and Hairstyling

Focus Features

Oscar 2018 Winner Predictions: Makeup and Hairstyling

What a difference 365 days make. Last year, the makeup and hairstyling category legitimized the phrase “the Oscar-winning Suicide Squad.” Now, the category’s second Trump-era Academy Awards slate is dominated by fusty prestige pictures, and to an extent that we haven’t seen since 1998, when Elizabeth bested Shakespeare In Love. In the midst of a four-alarm idiocracy, any move toward respectability, no matter how hollow, has to be commended.

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

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2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

Fox Searchlight Pictures

2018 Oscar Nominations: The Shape of Water Leads Field, James Franco Shut Out, & Rachel Morrison Makes History

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced Tuesday morning amid what had been proving to be one of the more unpredictable awards seasons in years, until the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild Awards marched in lockstep in multiple categories, turning hopefuls into frontrunners. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water led the nomination count with 13, followed by Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk with eight, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri with seven, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread and Joe Wright’s Darkest Hour with six.

Phantom Thread, Slant’s number one film of 2017, made a surprisingly strong showing, with Anderson claiming his second nomination for best director (we predicted McDonagh to fall short in this category but anticipated Sean Baker to take his spot) and Lesley Manville sneaking into the race over SAG nominees Holly Hunter and Hong Chau. But perhaps the biggest surprise of the morning was James Franco failing to be nominated for The Disaster Artist, proving that Oscar voters who were late in filing their nomination ballots took into account the allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor.

Elsewhere, Rachel Morrison became the first woman in the Academy’s history to be nominated for best cinematography, for her work on Dee Ree’s Mudbound, while Meryl Streep was nominated for the 21st time in her career, extending a record that seems likely to stand for time immemorial.