Once again, I have seen every nominated film in the major categories and most of the others including many of the shorts.
Other than Best Picture I don’t see any fertile soil for surprises, this year, at least in the major categories, it’s pretty much chalk.

So with all that said, here are my fearless Oscar predictions for 2018.

I will be live tweeting throughout the show, or as long as I can manage to stay awake so follow me @jjtierney and I’ll try not to be too snarky.


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

Will Win:  Allison Janney

Should Win: Laurie Metcalf

In the battle of the big screen moms Allison Janney will emerge victorious in her tour de force performance as Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona.  Janney steals every scene she is in, she makes us laugh, cringe and gasp as the hard boiled, chain smoking, profanity spewing, no fucks giving mother to the clearly super talented Tonya.  In a long career, Janney has been nothing short of excellent in every role she has had, from Drop Dead Gorgeous to Juno and everything in between, especially in her 7 years on TVs beloved The West Wing.  Predicting her win this year is one of the easiest calls in a year full of easy calls.

My vote, however, goes to Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird.  Metcalf as the over worked, over worried, under supported and with not a single nerve left to burn out mother, Marion, delivered a nuanced, funny and heartbreaking performance that was genuine and dripping with credibility.  Janney’s performance called for her to be over the top, that was the nature of the role and of the film but Metcalf’s more nuanced performance was so emotionally true and in many ways courageous, so my choice would be Metclaf

Janney has done all the campaigning that Metcalf did not do, plus a sweep in all the guilds and at BAFTA.

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

Will Win: Sam Rockwell

Should Win: Willem Dafoe

My problems with  the screenplay of Three Billboards notwithstanding, Sam Rockwell was great as the abominable Officer Dixon and I expected no less from him, the journeyman actor is unfailingly excellent.  I really like Richard Jenkins and loved the Shape of Water but my vote would have gone to Willem Dafoe.  Count me among those who think The Florida Project WAS the Best Picture of the year nominations be dammed.   Dafoe was the heart and soul of a truly brave movie.  However, all the run up awards have been falling Rockwell’s way and this one will be no exception.  This one is another layup.

Best Lead 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

Will Win: Frances McDormand

Should Win: Sally Hawkins

As you are finding out, I am one who can be counted as a detractor when it comes to Three Billboards, that said, Frances McDormand is so breathtakingly good in that film that one forgives the plot problems of the screenplay.   Her scooping up all the run up awards and guilds prior to Oscar week only solidify the idea that she will be walking away with this award, it’s a gimmie.  It will be fun just to hear her speech.  She is indeed a treasure.

But for me, it’s really hard to not give a good long look at Sally Hawkins.  Her performance in The Shape of Water was funny, heartbreaking, charming and altogether wonderful and she did it all without saying a word.  I am a big Sally Hawkins fan anyway and the anglophile in me makes it hard not to root for her.  Plus she’s so charming she made having sex with a sea monster not all that creepy, right?

That all being true, I see nothing that indicates anything but McDormand completing her sweep and that’s just fine.   Did I mention I love Sally Hawkins though?

Best Actor:

  • Timothée 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.

Will Win/Should Win: Gary Oldman

Don’t be surprised if: Daniel Kaluuya wins in the upset

Oldman was good and I was skeptical.  “Darkest Hour” provided the background that “Dunkirk” left out.  Oldman, a nervous, wiry fellow, BECAME Churchill a rotund bombastic force.    This one has gone all Oldman’s way on the run up and I see no reason why that won’t continue but if there is a surprise to be hand tonight this is the category and that surprise may well be Daniel Kaluuya .

Best Director:

  • Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele –  Get Out
  • Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
  • Paul Thomas Anderson –  Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Will Win/Should Win – Guillermo del Toro

Don’t be surprised if: Jordan Peele snatches it.

The Academy is dying to give Guillermo del Toro this award and if it does it will be well deserved.  The Shape of Water is a a magical fantasy that is beautifully visualized, every actor in it is wonderful, including the wonderfully evil Michael Shannon.  The Shape of Water is the total package and del Toro will deserve is statue.

I could see an upset with Jordan Peele coming in to grab it and that wouldn’t be terrible.  Get Out was an amazing genre redefining film and one that is long overdue.

I sure wouldn’t be upset if Greta Gerwig were to win though.

Best Original Screenplay:

  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Will Win/Should Win: Get Out

This is the part where I tell you I disliked the Three Billboards screenplay so intently I was literally angry when the damn thing was nominated for screenplay.

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

Will Win/Should Win: Call Me by Your Name

James Ivory, enough said right?

Best Picture:

Here’s the thing about best picture that you might not know.  Unlike all the other categories where voters pick a single winner on the ballot, Best Picture uses a weighted ballot where voters rank all the nominated films.  Given that the best film of the year, The Florida Project, was NOT nominated and one of the most disappointing films of the year, The Post, was, I am pretty irritated by this list, but it is what it is and I rank them this way.

  1. The Shape of Water
  2. Get Out
  3. Lady Bird
  4. Call Me by Your Name
  5. Phantom Thread
  6. Darkest Hour
  7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  8. Dunkirk
  9. The Post

But that’s just me, but sometime after 11PM, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway will announce the best picture will be Three Billboards and I will go to bed pissed off.

If you are looking for a dark horse, I think Get Out could sneak in, or perhaps The Shape of Water for a unified Director/Picture win for the first time since the academy switched to a weighted ballot.

In other awards:

  • Animated Feature: Coco
  • Documentary Feature: Last Men in Aleppo   (The producer of this film is not allowed in the US for the Oscars due to our disgusting travel policies)
  • Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
  • Original Score: The Shape of Water
  • Original Song: Mystery of Love (from Call Me By Your Name) – I don’t actually think this will win, but I love Sufjan Stevens and so should you.
  • Sound Editing: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Sound Mixing: Blade Runner 2049
  • Makeup and Hairstyling: Victoria & Abdul
  • Costume Design: The Shape of Water
  • Cinematography : Dunkirk
  • Production Design: The Shape of Water
  • Film Editing: The Shape of Water
  • Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Documentary Short: Edith + Eddie
  • Live Action Short: The Silent Child   ( This one made me cry)
  • Animated Short: Garden Party



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