My Picks: Oscar Nominations 2018

This time of year again to start predicting the Oscars. We have a few months before the actual award ceremony, but the nominations are out now. This list is purely what I am hoping for, so none of you will be that happy.  This is a tough year for the Oscars since some categories have multiple movies I love. I can say that this is one of the best lineups of films at the Oscars in years. Some of these movies I am shocked to see on there, but those same movies are what I wanted to see get a nomination since I first saw them back in 2017. If you read my list of top movies last year, you will know how happy I am by The Shape of Water, Get Out, Baby Driver, and Logan. Now let’s dive into the nominees now to see who will win my Oscars that mean absolutely nothing.

A side note: Some of these movies I have not had a chance to see, so things may be skewed certain ways for particular categories. For example, I did not see any foreign language or animated films, so that will be skipped. Sorry to say, but time restraints are there as a student and I just simply suck in every way for missing out on some of these movies, but I will do my best, only the best for my readers.

Best Picture

Call Me by Your Name
Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges and Marco Morabito, Producers

Darkest Hour
Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten and Douglas Urbanski, Producers

Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers

Get Out
Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Jordan Peele, Producers

Lady Bird
Scott Rudin, Eli Bush and Evelyn O’Neill, Producers

Phantom Thread
JoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Megan Ellison and Daniel Lupi, Producers

The Post
Amy Pascal, Steven Spielberg, and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, Producers

My Pick: The Shape of Water
Guillermo del Toro and J. Miles Dale, Producers

A love story between a woman and a creature that a fish man sounds ridiculous, but it is easily one of the best love stories in years. The Shape of Water has everything from romance, comedy, drama, suspense, violence, and so much more. This will go down in history as a cinematic masterpiece.shapeofwater


Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Jordan Peele, Get Out

My Pick: Jordan Peele, Get Out

Jordan’s debut movie, Get Out was not on my radar. Word of mouth got me to go with no idea what it is about. A horror comedy is all I knew. Get Out is so much more. The best movies tend to blend a lot more than just a pure comedy, or whatever genre that it is. There is a lot of humor, tension, suspense, and more. The story is unique, and every aspect is perfectly crafted. The most prominent accomplishment is Jordan’s attention to detail that gives the story and tone everything that it needs.


Best Actress

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Meryl Streep, The Post

My Pick: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

The winner here did not have to say a word. Sally’s performance as a mute character was phenomenal. She was able to be funny, enthusiastic, and envoke so much emotion to the audience that was gripping throughout the entire movie. It is one thing to say a word the right way, but it is different when all you have is your facial expressions, posture, and hand gestures.


Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

My Pick: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Let’s add Daniel Kaluuya to the list of actors who seemed like a genuine American by his acting, but you realize after looking on IMDB that he is from England. How British actors do it will always be a mystery. Besides his great accent, his overall performance was incredible for his lead role in Get Out. You felt his true emotions from his painful memories about his mother, awkward moments with his girlfriend’s family, and his relationship with his friend back home (who was the real star of the film, if you saw this movie then you know what I mean). 33251490846_4e20637775_b


Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

My Pick: Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Octavia is full of hits such as Snowpiercer, and more recently she starred in Hidden Figures. Like the rest of the main cast in The Shape of Water, Octavia is able to bring a lot to the table. This movie is full of different emotions and tones. Octavia brings a comedic side to her character while able to be grippingly compelling for scenes that are much more intense. There is no stopping her from continuing her great career as an actress._Hidden_Figures__Screening_at_the_White_House_(NHQ201612150008).jpg



Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

My Pick: Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Yes, another win for the cast of The Shape of Water. Richard Jenkins plays Giles, the next door neighbor to Sally Hawkins’ character Elisa. Quirky, funny, and a loyal friend that makes you care for him more than just about anyone else in the movie. One word to describe his character and performance is rememberable. Just like all of his past work. After one previous nomination that he lost out on, it is about time for Richard to take home his prize.
richard jenkins.jpg


Best Original Screenplay

The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani)

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig)

The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh)

My Pick: Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Get Out is unique and will stick with you forever. When I was trying to pry information out of people to know what this movie was about, I was glad that I got nothing significant out of them. Go in knowing as little as possible, and you will not regret it. The movies nominated here are all great and unique. Whether it is a woman falling in love with a fish creature, or a comedy-drama about a woman wanting the murder of her daughter to be solved. Yet, the disturbing comedy that Jordan Peele has created is phenomenal on all levels.


Best Adapted Screenplay

Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory)

The Disaster Artist (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber)

Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin)

Mudbound (Dee Rees & Virgil Williams)

My Pick: Logan (Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold)

I am not sure how you will feel about any of my picks, especially this one. I am not a fan of Wolverine, but Logan is genre defining. Not only is it one of the best superhero movies, but it is also just great on its own compared to any genre. The Western style brings it a unique tone along with how dramatic it is. This story is compelling and brutal. Hugh Jackman is getting the perfect sendoff for his iconic role. logan


Best Cinematography

Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins)

Darkest Hour (Bruno Delbonnel)

Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Mudbound (Rachel Morrison)

The Shape of Water (Dan Laustsen)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Hoyte van Hoytema)

Despite my overall negative opinions of Dunkirk, (I know everyone loves it, sorry, but I strongly disliked it) I loved the way everything looked. Hoyte did an excellent job shooting to make everything fit the movie’s tone. Beautiful shots that were breathtaking were filled throughout the entire film.Dunkirk_immediately_after_British_evacuation.jpg



Best Film Editing

Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Dunkirk (Lee Smith)

I, Tonya (Tatiana S. Riegel)

The Shape of Water (Sidney Wolinsky)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Jon Gregory)

My Pick: Baby Driver (Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss)

Besides excellent characters, acting, music, and action that made Baby Driver come to life, it was the editing. Jonathan Amos and Paul Machliss. The cuts were perfectly done, and there was just a sense of style. The movie had style, so the editing cut everything in a way to showcase that.


Best Sound Mixing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin, and Mary H. Ellis)

Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

Dunkirk (Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo)

The Shape of Water (Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern, and Glen Gauthier)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce, and Stuart Wilson)

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049 (Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill, and Mac Ruth)

If you read my review of this movie, then you know my negative feelings. Just like Dunkirk, it does not matter how you feel about the film, you have to give credit where credit is due. Blade Runner 2049 is beautiful both from a visual standpoint to even the sounds. The sound mixing done by Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth were both able to properly execute their job in a way to capture the essence of the movie and its overall tone.bladerunner


Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver (Julian Slater)

Blade Runner 2049 (Mark Mangini and Theo Green)

Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

The Shape of Water (Nathan Robitaille, and Nelson Ferreira)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Matthew Wood, and Ren Klyce)

My Pick: Dunkirk (Richard King, and Alex Gibson)

For any war movie, you need excellent sound editing. Some of the best moments in Dunkirk was the sound itself. The various sounds from explosions, gunshots, and more from the battle scenes were tremendous. This movie sounded and looked just beautiful.Dunkirk-Teaser-Poster-640x949.jpg


Best Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049 (John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, and Richard R. Hoover)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, and Dan Sudick)

Kong: Skull Island (Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, and Mike Meinardus)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan, and Chris Corbould)

War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

My Pick: War for the Planet of the Apes (Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, and Joel Whist)

The Planet of the Apes trilogy is incredible on all levels. Visually it is stunning from the environment to the apes. Motion capture is no longer what is used, it is performance capture. The actors of the apes all do a phenomenal job while the special effects team make them look alive. The combination of actors and crew prepared for lifelike apes as they move through their journey.apes


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, and Lucy Sibbick)

Victoria & Abdul (Daniel Phillips, and Lou Sheppard)

Wonder (Arjen Tuiten)

My Pick: Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick

The transformation for Gary Oldman to Winston Churchill is unbelievable. Gary Oldman typically has his look, but not here. I could not believe what I saw. Not just that, the makeup and hairstyling for everyone in the movie is fantastic. Kazuhiro, David, and Lucy did an outstanding job that needs this award.darkesthour.jpg


Best Costume Design

Beauty and the Beast (Jacqueline Durran)

Darkest Hour (Jacqueline Durran)

Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)

The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Victoria & Abdul (Consolata Boyle)

My Pick: The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira)

Any fan of Guillermo Del Toro knows that the movie will look stunning with its practical effects. This means that any creatures will be men in suites. Of course, some added CGI will be the final touches to bring the beast to life, but it is all in the costumes. Luis Sequeira knocked it out of the park. Not only does the creature look amazing, so does everyone else to capture the look during that era. This is a stunning movie from all aspects, especially the costume designs.shapeofwater


Best Production design

Beauty and the Beast
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Darkest Hour
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood
Set Decoration: Katie Spencer

Production Design: Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration: Gary Fettis

The Shape of Water
Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry
Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

My Pick: Blade Runner 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner
Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola

Blade Runner 2049 is a stunning movie. The production design perfectly crafted this fascinating world in such a beautiful way. I may not have found it to be the most interesting, but I was amazed by the way it looked. This movie is easily one of the prettiest movies of 2017.bladerunner


Original Score

Dunkirk (Hans Zimmer)
Phantom Thread (Jonny Greenwood)
The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Carter Burwell)

My Pick: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (John Williams)

How could I resist this one? Whether you like it or not, you can never go wrong with John Williams working on the song for a Star Wars movie. Fitting every moment of the film. The music in this franchise is a character of its own, especially in the latest installment of the current trilogy.Star_Wars_Episode_VIII_The_Last_Jedi_Word_Logo_-_White_teaser_poster_variant.svg


Those are my picks! I am sure I probably upset some of you. What are your choices for the Oscars? You can watch the Oscars on March 4th.

Images via Shutterstock and Flickr


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