A/V Blog: Oscar picks

Disclaimer – I have seen many of the films nominated for the Oscars, but not all of them. So, some of my predictions are based on outside factors, such as audience and critic reviews, trailers, images, word- of- mouth impressions, and subjectivity/bias, etc. This is just for fun!

Disclaimer II – I have left out some categories, as I don’t know enough about them or the films nominated for them to make any sort of  predictions at all.

Awards season is upon us, which means a flurry of red carpet activity, fabulous gowns and suits, and lots (and LOTS) of shiny statues that will soon be covered in fingerprints.

But the biggest and most watched event is yet to come: the Oscars.

If you and your friends are film buffs, then getting together to watch the show can be an event in and of itself. You can dress up, make themed snacks, put up decorations, and maybe even break out that wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion, but haven’t touched in two years. My favourite thing to do this time of year is print out a ballot of all the categories and guess which film or person will win. To make it more fun, distribute the ballots among friends and add a prize for who gets the most right! Maybe a homemade Oscar built from cardboard, some tape, and dollar store paint?

Or maybe none of that’s your thing. That’s cool too.

With friends or on your own, guessing what will win and what won’t can be a lot of fun, which is why I’m writing this blog post. Without further ado, here are my predictions for the 90th annual Academy Awards.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour has been getting lots of praise for Gary Oldman’s portrayal of Winston Churchill during the world’s darkest hour. But what makes a great performance? Acting skills, certainly. But also the costuming and makeup and props. Gary Oldman looks nothing like Churchill, so to make him into almost the spitting image of such a well-known historical figure, enough to make us at least partially believe that the man on screen is the same man from our history textbooks, with little to no use of CGI, is undoubtedly impressive. That’s why Darkest Hour is my pick for this category.

Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049

Now for the category where I haven’t seen almost every single film. While Star Wars: The Last Jedi had extraordinary effects, I have to give this one to Blade Runner, which, no, I haven’t seen. But let me explain. The Academy Awards don’t have a great track record for recognizing genre films. While all of the movies in this category are technically genre films, Blade Runner, I’ve heard, is the most like art cinema there is. Not only that, but just from the trailer, the visual effects look inventive and creative and new.

Also, Denis Villeneuve is my favourite Canadian director, not gonna lie.

Best Sound Mixing: Baby Driver

I have to say that Baby Driver impressed me the most with its editing to music. While not your typical Oscar film, Baby Driver expertly weaves music and narrative together to create a highly enjoyable action flick—one that deserves the award for best editing, in my opinion.

Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk

What’s the difference between sound editing and sound mixing? To my understanding, sound editing is how the effects team records and matches sound to scene, while sound mixing is the editing of sound effects, dialogue, and music all put together. That said, Dunkirk, while possessing very little dialogue, utilizes Hans Zimmer’s tick-tocking soundtrack to great effect, combined with loud, realistic sounds of war that keep you on the edge of your seat. The answer seems pretty obvious to me, but who knows? Only one way to find out.

Best Costume Design: The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water leads the charge with the most Oscar noms this year, including best costume design for the fish man alone (who never gets a name). I remember sitting in the theatre and being awestruck at the effects because the whole thing looked prosthetic and not CGI (save maybe the eyes that blink sideways). It was so impressive that I just have to give them this one.

Best Cinematography: Dunkirk

I’m mostly guessing at this one. I say Dunkirk because I’m pretty sure I heard something about Christopher Nolan having lots of trouble getting a super expensive super large IMAX camera on the plane with Tom Hardy, so the team had to find a creative workaround. This is also one of those films that should be experienced in theatres first and foremost so you can catch every detail.

Best Production Design: Darkest Hour

I think the Academy is most likely going to pick this film, since they’re probably not fond of genre films like Blade Runner (though I’ve seen neither). The production design on the other three films (which I have seen) did not stand out to me.

Best Original Screenplay: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Judging by the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (SAG), Three Billboards is set to sweep those Oscars up like a broom, including the award for best original screenplay. Really, that’s my only reason for this guess because the only other film in this category I’ve seen is The Shape of Water, which was well-written and original, but perhaps not as buzzed about as Three Billboards.

Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me by Your Name

While I would love for Logan to win because it was such a good film, I have a feeling the Academy is going to steer more towards Call Me by Your Name, which has a lot more nominations under its belt.

Best Animated Feature Film: Coco (Lee Unkrich)

Was there ever any doubt? It’s Disney. ‘Nough said. (Though I’ve also heard amazing things about this movie, so it’s definitely on my list of things to watch ASAP before the ceremony).

Best Original Score: Dunkirk

It’s Hans Zimmer. Who doesn’t love Hans Zimmer? He’s the guy who composed the soundtracks for Interstellar, The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, Pirates of the Caribbean, Inception, Pearl Harbour, Gladiator, and The Lion King, among many, many others. Sounds to me like he’s a shoo-in.

Best Original Song: “Remember Me” from Coco

Again, it’s Disney. My second choice would be crowd pleaser, “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman.

Best Director: Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Guillermo Del Toro won the Golden Globe for this category and, having seen Shape of Water, I have to agree that he deserves it. Shape of Water is full of great performances, great effects, and great writing, all pulled together by the director. Shape of Water is well-rounded with a smooth finish, due in many parts to Del Toro’s directing.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

There’s been lots of buzz around Mr. Rockwell in this role. I believe Three Billboards will pick up this Oscar in its sweep. Rockwell also won the Golden Globe and the SAG award.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Laurie Metcalf (Ladybird)

I know that Allison Janney has been getting all the buzz for her role in I, Tonya, but, having seen I, Tonya, I didn’t find it deserving of an Oscar. She was great, yes, but I kept waiting for that moment. You know, that scene that they’ll play a few seconds of during the ceremony to show off how great you were in a role. And I never really saw it. Personally, I’ve heard so many amazing things about Ladybird and Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf’s onscreen chemistry that my best guess (and hopeful win) goes to Metcalf.

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

The Academy knows Oldman. They know he’s a great actor. They know this is a fantastic performance from him. It’s probably going to be him.

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Margot Robbie and Sally Hawkins were so believable and sympathetic in their roles, but I think that due to the very nature of McDormand’s performance, she’s going to hear her name called for this award. Not to mention that she won the Golden Globe and the SAG award.

And finally…

Best Motion Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

What did I say? Sweep it up, Three Billboards. You’ve got great performances, great writing, a great director, and a relevant message. You got this.

What are your 2018 Academy Award predictions?