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Oscar Predictions 2018: How Did We Do?


The Guys from {FILM} is a discussion on movies and films from all eras and genres

Oscar Predictions 2018: How Did We Do?

Shaun Cordingley

As is tradition, Dave and I did our annual Oscars Predictions Podcast this past Friday, in our standard style (wherein I do research, check odds, keep an eye on trades, and Dave mumbles something about Boston sports and picks things off a list using his "gut"), and because we are not cowards like some outlets, we always take a look back to see how we did. 

Overall the Ceremony was fine-- Jimmy Kimmel is an excellent host for the 220 minute event (yeah, it ran 220 minutes), and while he was a little bit all over the place in terms of tone and subject matter, so was the whole ceremony. I don't think anything felt as awkward as it has in some years past, but there were some dramatic shifts as the Oscars tried to be a little bit of everything all at the same time. 

And yeah....220 minutes is a bit much....I was even feeling it by the end, and I am one of those few people who have always really enjoyed Awards Shows like the Oscars...though I have to say I did like the slough of montages (and enjoyed trying to name every film as they came up--I was as good as anyone who listens to the pod, or knows me would expect). The set (pictured above) was insane...and ridiculous...but I feel like The 90th Academy Awards were trying to up the spectacle again, while honoring their history, and I appreciate that, because in the end, that's what the Oscars are supposed to be about--the spectacle.  It's a Superbowl for film after-all.  

Anyway, let's get to how we did: 

Best Sound Mixing:

Dave: Blade Runner 2049

Shaun: Dunkirk

...And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk

War movies man. If there is a heavily nominated war film at the Oscars, they are usually pretty tough to beat when it comes to the sound categories, just because of everything that needs to take place to make them sound as real as possible. I still wish Baby Driver had gotten some love for what they did, but I definitely see why this went the way it did.

Best Sound Editing: 

Dave: Dunkirk

Shaun: Dunkirk

...And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk


Best Documentary Short:

Dave:  Heroin(e)

Shaun: Edith + Eddie

...And the Oscar goes to: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405

Yet again, neither of us were able to go 3/3 in the shorts categories (unlike that one year Dave struck magic), but I have to say that the acceptance speech for Heaven was absolutely lovely, and I hope that I do actually get to see this film at some point....
...and just saying that makes me, again, miss the old short-film channel we used to have up here in Canada...that's now yet another 1980s film with commercials every 30 seconds channel instead.
I know it makes more money...But....

Best Live Action Short: 

Dave: My Nephew Emmett

Shaun: DeKalb Elementary

...And the Oscar goes to: The Silent Child

If you listened to us talk about this category in the podcast, we both had completely random reasons for taking the films we did (a dog and a neat word basically), and again, in the case of short film, I hope I get to see all of them, but hearing the acceptance speech about having to grind to get the film made, and telling the story of a young, deaf girl, I have to say that this film sounds incredible, and we will see if I can track it down at some point soon. 

Best Animated Short: 

Dave: Dear Basketball

Shaun: Dear Basketball

...And the Oscar goes to: Dear Basketball


It's still strange that Kobe Bryant is tied with Martin Scorsese in Oscars, but that is the world we now live it. The animation style on the film looks super cool, and the passionate story about following a dream sounds like it is well worth the watch....
Are there some questions to be asked about Kobe though, in this the year of #timesup? 
Yeah. There are. 

Best Animated Feature Film: 

Dave: Coco

Shaun: Coco

...And the Oscar goes to: Coco

PIXAR won the PIXAR award.

Imagine that. 

Best Cinematography: 

Dave: Blade Runner 2049

Shaun: Blade Runner 2049

...And the Oscar goes to: Blade Runner 2049

Fourteenth nomination for Roger Deakins and he finally won an Oscar. I am very, very happy for him, as he has created the visual look of several films that I absolutely adore. It's just so nice that he was finally able to pull this out. As I said in the podcast, if Deakins had not won and Rachel Morrison had, I would have been 100% that would have been cool for the first woman to ever be nominated in the category to win, but from everything I have seen from Mudbound, there is little question to me that she will be back, and get hers too. And hopefully that will be soon. 

Best Production Design: 

Dave: The Shape of Water

Shaun: The Shape of Water

...And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water

I feel like The Shape of Water, with the eye for design that every Guillermo del Toro film has, was a clear front-runner for this award, as everything about it just screams thoughtful, intricate, planned detail. What a sumptuous, art deco piece this film is.
I also feel like, with only a few changes, we could keep those sets and make a pretty damn good Bioshock film (which, come on now, I totally want to see) 

Best Costume Design: 

Dave: Victoria & Abdul

Shaun: Phantom Thread

...And the Oscar goes to: Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson made a film about the fashion industry...I mean...that (to me at least) screamed costume design Oscar industry? On the podcast, Dave made some excellent points about historical costuming, and yeah, there were some beautiful costumes in Victoria & Abdul, industry. 

Best Makeup & Hair

Dave: Darkest Hour

Shaun: Darkest Hour

...And the Oscar goes to: Darkest Hour

I hate that this category is only three nominees. I mean, yes, Darkest Hour...that Churchill build was spectacular, but are you sure there are no genre films that are doing good enough work to warrant a nomination? 
I beg to differ. 

However, I'd say neither of us have any qualms about this win; it is gorgeous work. 

Best Visual Effects

Dave: Blade Runner 2049

Shaun: War for the Planet of the Apes

...And the Oscar goes to: Blade Runner 2049

Oh man, the poor WETA folks working on the Apes...they are doing such good work but can't seem to buy a break with the competition. After the ceremony, I did a bit of looking into this and now I regret not doing more research, as it became very apparent how groundbreaking Blade Runner is in Visual Effects (especially projection), and I feel like had I done a bit more reading, I would've sided with Dave on this one. 

Regardless, hooray for Blade Runner. 

Best Original Song: 

Dave: "This is Me" - The Greatest Showman

Shaun: "Remember Me" - Coco

...And the Oscar goes to: "Remember Me" - Coco

Even though the performance for "Remember Me" was far from great (I don't think I'm the only one who noticed that there were some problems with staying in tune), it really is a cool song. I think this was also a year that had 5 really excellent songs nominated, and I love this trend of getting more folks who work in a Broadway style creating music for film. Plus, having amazing artists like Mary J. Blige and Common help too...

Best Original Score: 

Dave: Dunkirk

Shaun: The Shape of Water

...And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water

As I said in the pod, I feel like the fact that the main character is a mute woman in The Shape of Water lent itself to the score taking a pronounced importance within the film, as it is there to do the usual elevation of moments, but also needed to establish, and maintain the tone. 

Plus, it's also a beautiful score.   

Best Editing

Dave: The Shape of Water

Shaun: Dunkirk

...And the Oscar goes to: Dunkirk

There was a time when this was a key indicator on the road toward Best Picture, but lately Editing has taken more of a diverse role in honoring excellent construction in films that have complex structure (technically), but may not have the acting/story to take an overall award, and I feel that is what is going on here, especially considering Dunkirk feels like one of those big, technical war films that lives and dies on it's structural integrity (and that is all about the editing). 

Best Adapted Screenplay: 

Dave: Logan

Shaun: Call Me By Your Name

...And the Oscar goes to: Call Me By Your Name

It was lovely that James Ivory, at age 89 (the, now, oldest ever winner of an Academy Award) got an Oscar. He has contributed so much to the film community, especially as a key part of Merchant Ivory Productions, with often heartfelt, thoughtful films being created for many, many years. While you may not have been a fan of Merchant Ivory (which as a kid, usually meant "boring adult movie"), any avid film fan would appreciate them. 
And while Call Me By Your Name may not be Merchant Ivory, with the two other members having passed away now, it was sweet to see him adapting another heartfelt, thoughtful story and getting that recognition. 

Best Original Screenplay: 

Dave: Get Out

Shaun: Get Out

...And the Oscar goes to:  Get Out

I cannot explain how excited I was for this win for Jordan Peele. Not only is he a great person, but to see a HORROR movie win Best Original Screenplay, and to have it be an African American man, who created a new sub-genre that also paid homage to so many great horror films of the past. 
I mean, this was pretty damn sweet.

Best Foreign Film: 

Dave: The Insult

Shaun: A Fantastic Woman

...And the Oscar goes to: A Fantastic Woman

I have heard so many good things about A Fantastic Woman, I am not surprised by this at all...and my thought process of "avoid the comedy" paid off as well. From the few pieces/trailer I have seen, this looks like it is a really fascinating film, and I love the style of what I have seen. 

Though I do have to say I still want to see both The Square and A Fantastic Woman

Documentary Feature: 

Dave: The Last Man in Aleppo

Shaun: Faces Places

...And the Oscar goes to: Icarus

This felt like a surprise for me. Interesting that the Academy (finally) gave an award to a Netflix film, and they have been developing excellent documentaries for a few years now, but I just did not see this one coming. The story of state-run Russian doping sounds like an interesting (and timely) film, it's added to My List so I will have to check it out. 

Though I'm still weirded out that all of the pre-announcement favorites were not even nominated (and seemingly won everywhere else), but congratulations to the team from Icarus and Netflix.  

Best Supporting Actress: 

Dave: Octavia Spencer- The Shape of Water

Shaun: Allison Janney - I, Tonya

...And the Oscar goes to: Allison Janney - I, Tonya

She was winning so many awards for this performance, I just felt like Janney was the front-runner, and that turned out to be the case here. I am super happy to see that she won, and that the old "oh, they are a TV actor" feeling that the Academy always used to have is well and truly gone. 

Best Supporting Actor: 

Dave: Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Shaun: Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

...And the Oscar goes to: Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Nice. I know how happy Dave was about this award, and quite frankly, it seems like it was the clear choice from the outset (when it came to predictions). 

Sam Rockwell is a great actor, and I'm happy he now has an Oscar. 

Best Actress: 

Dave: Margot Robbie - I, Tonya

Shaun: Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

...And the Oscar goes to: Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A great actress in everything she is in. 
A great speech-giver at every awards ceremony (and this was no exception--a great, great moment with her on stage getting all of the women nominees to stand, and her last two words)
A great performance. 

What else can I say, this just felt right before, and it feels right now. 

Best Actor: 

Dave: Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour 

Shaun: Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour 

...And the Oscar goes to: Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour 

Quite frankly, this award felt like an inevitability. It had everything that an Oscar-winning performance needs, and quite frankly, it felt like it was time that Oldman won an award, as he has been an excellent actor for many, many years. 
Now, are there questions to be asked? 

Best Director: 

Dave: Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk

Shaun: Guillermo del Toro - The Shape of Water

...And the Oscar goes to: Guillermo del Toro - The Shape of Water

This award made me very happy. I really love del Toro as a person (from everything I have seen/read that is; I have not met the man), and I love the fact that he is a filmmakers' filmmaker-- he has an eye for creating, and a heart that comes through in everything he does...and he sticks in such a beautiful, genre-heavy style of film-making that is wholly his own, and just stunning to watch. 

Plus, despite Emma Stone belittling the achievements of an African American man (the 5th ever to be nominated in the category; the same number of women who have been nominated--too few in both cases, but that is hopefully changing), and a Mexican immigrant (more representation there in this category for sure, but...) in the presentation, del Toro handled everything with a sweet, "I love being here, and I love movies" charm, and grace, then proceeded to directly tackle diversity and inclusion in his speech.  


Dave: Dunkirk

Shaun: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

...And the Oscar goes to: The Shape of Water


My heart won for once...that never happens. 

I wanted The Shape of Water to win; to have what is essentially a creature feature win Best Picture just felt like a bridge too far (the Academy never votes for genre films, right?), so I went with the other film that I felt had the best chance (especially after the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs) but here we are. 
A beautiful, fantastical film by one of the true, fun, auteurs working today took the Best Picture award. 

I could not have been happier to be "wrong". 

Dave? Well Dave loved Dunkirk, had seen Dunkirk, had written about can you blame him? 
Yeah....but you shouldn' it also had quite the good night, especially in the technical categories. 

Well there you have it. With how everything shook out, here are the final tallies: 

DAVE: 10/24 - An excellent rebound year for Dave this year. I had asked Dave right before the ceremony what he was hoping for in his total this year and he said "six" the fact that he made it into double digits and was pushing toward being half right makes this one feel like a win for him for sure. 
And it means he will continue to do zero research....because now it is tradition. 

SHAUN: 19/24 - I was above my average this year (which had slipped to 16/24 as I have continued at it, but it may start getting pulled back up if I have more years like this one. I feel pretty good about what I got wrong (and hey, short films? Guessing game at best usually), and hey, I think I'm happier that I was at 19 with getting Best Picture wrong than I would have been with 20 right, so hey. Not a bad run for me, and a clear improvement after my stumble (of 15...which is a stumble for me) last year. 


The Shape of Water 4- Including Best Picture

Dunkirk - 3 (most without Best Picture)

See you again next year! 

-S (@Shauncord)

PS: Now, can we finally get the 25th Oscar added to next years ceremony for Stunt workers? Please? They very much deserve to have a category for their tireless work...AND I SAID THIS LAST YEAR TOO...AND THE YEAR BEFORE THAT.....COME ON
Best Stunt Coordinator


PPS: If you don't agree with some of my ramblings in each category, that's fine. Everything here is obviously just my opinion, but they are my opinions...and it is my feel free to comment or tweet me if you feel you must.