The greatest award show of the year is just around the corner! With the list of Oscar nominees already garnering predictions and buzz, fans will be crossing their fingers until March 4 in hopes of seeing their top picks take home a shiny golden statuette. We’ve joined in on the fun by coming up with our own predictions on who will win this coming Academy Awards 2018.
Best Picture: The Shape of Water
This is one of those years where competition is so stiff that most of the nominated films can win and few would be surprised. But among the excellent choices, Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi fantasy is likely to take away the main prize. It has nominations in more than a dozen different categories, was deemed a critical success, and is viewed by many as a major artistic achievement. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s one of the the most diverse of the best pictures nominees in a time when diversity and gender equality in the industry are major focus points.
Best Director: Christopher Nolan
If there’s one category that has two clear potential winners, it’s Best Director. Greta Gerwig’s nomination serves as the first time in eight years (almost a decade!) that a female has been nominated in the category, and marks the first time that a female director has been nominated for her directing debut –– but Christopher Nolan is also likely emerge victorious. “Dunkirk,” one of the highest grossing films of 2017, is a testament to his directorial prowess. Nolan was able to make his historical war movie — a genre we’ve all seen before — feel raw and intense without the need for excess explosions and effects.
Best Actor: Gary Oldman
Here’s a category where we’d put money down on our choice and not break a sweat. Having won Best Actor at the Golden Globes and then again at the SAG Awards a few weeks later, it’s a safe bet to predict that Gary Oldman will win this award at the Oscars. His transformation into the great Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, which required wearing a fat suit and makeup that took hours to apply, is considered one of his most impressive performances to date. This win would serve as Gary Oldman’s first Academy Award.
Best Actress: Frances McDormand
Best Actress is as competitive as ever at the 2018 Academy Awards. There were many impressive performances throughout the year that all deserve recognition, but only one leading lady is going into the Oscars with momentum. Frances McDormand has already netted Golden Globe and SAG Awards for Best Actress for her performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, making her the reasonable winner of this race. It would be a well-deserved recognition for a remarkable performance from a truly great actress.
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell
Both Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project, produced by NYFA Instructor Darren Dean), and Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), are certainly among the favorites to take home this award.
At the top of the list, however, is Sam Rockwell for his large performance in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri. This role has earned Rockwell widespread acclaim, not to mention a two SAG awards, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Award nomination. His impressive acting abilities are on full display in the 2017 crime drama alongside other incredible talents like Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson, who also received praise for their performances.
Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney
This is another extremely tight category where we can easily see the award go to more than one talented actress.
While Best Supporting Actress nominee Mary J. Blige has made Oscar history this year as the first person ever to be nominated for an original song and acting in the same year, it seems likely that the decision for this category will come down to either Laurie Metcalf for her role in Lady Bird and Allison Janney for hers in I, Tonya, with the latter being our prediction.
Janney has already won a handful of awards for her memorable portrayal of this imperious mother — a performance that created more talk than the rest of the cast.
Best Animated Feature: Coco
In a year where there aren’t many strong contenders in the animated feature category, it would be the surprise of the night not to see Disney Pixar take home the gold.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Mudbound
Dee Rees’ American period drama, based on Hillary Jordan’s novel and fueled by a fantastic screenplay, is a top contender for this category. While Rees’ exclusion from the Best Director category for Mudbound is already seen as the season’s most controversial snub, with the film receiving both Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Acting nominations, the multi-hyphenate filmmaker has absolutely broken barriers and made Oscar history as the first woman of color nominated in this category.
Best Original Screenplay: Lady Bird
This poignant coming-of-age tale has earned an impressive amount of awards and nominations in various categories, making it a likely winner in this one.
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049
The gold statuette for this category could easily go to either Dunkirk or Mudbound — the latter making history by helping Rachel Morrison become the first woman ever nominated. At the end of the day, we’re predicting that the amazing cinematographic work that went into Villeneuve’s impactful sci-fi film Blade Runner 2049 will set it apart as the winner.
Best Costume Design: The Shape of Water
With a category as unpredictable as this one, we have to go with The Shape of Water, which was snubbed in the makeup and visual effects categories.
Best Film Editing: Dunkirk
Dunkirk is a perfect example of Nolan’s ability to captivate audiences by showing the anxiety and horror of war across intertwined characters and events.
Best Makeup & Hairstyling: Darkest Hour
Like we mentioned before, the fact that Gary Oldman was able to deliver his stunning performance in a fat suit and after hours of makeup is enough to convince us.
Best Original Score: Phantom Thread
In arguably the toughest category to select a prediction, we’re placing our bets on Jonny Greenwood’s work for Phantom Thread. His moving musical score, which has already earned numerous nominations and awards elsewhere, did an admirable job of further heightening the acclaimed screenplay and direction of the film.
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water
Another close fight where any nominee can hear their name called up. At the end of the day, it’s The Shape of Water that impressed the most with a real-life twist to its fairy-tale world.
Best Original Song: Remember Me from Coco
Plenty of excellent choices but only room for one winner — and our prediction is Coco’s memorable lullaby. A close runner up is “Mighty River” from Mudbound, a nomination that made history by making Mary J. Blige the first woman of color nominated in both this category and Best Supporting Actress.
Best Sound Editing & Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
In a film with little dialogue and lots of acting, it was the excellent sound editing that helped keep us engrossed by what takes place in Nolan’s war drama.
Best Visual Effects: War for the Planet of the Apes
We feel this year is when these visually groundbreaking films finally earn an award for their cutting-edge performance-capture work.
Best Foreign Language Film: In the Fade
Though not a lock, Critics’ Choice Award and Golden Globe wins might be enough to set this German film apart as winner.
Best Documentary Feature: Faces Places
Agnès Varda’s documentary about traveling portrait painters is expected to pull ahead and win the gold. Varda, a French woman who has been a filmmaker for more than 60 years, made Oscar history this year when she became the oldest-ever nominee, at the age of 89.
Best Animated Short: Lou
Pixar Animation Studios tackles schoolyard bullying in this inspiring animated short by the iconic Emeryville studio.
Best Live Action Short: The Eleven O’Clock
Our bold prediction is that Derin Seale’s humorous live action short will upset other clear winners on Oscars night.
Best Documentary Short: Heroin(e)
For this close category we can’t help but side with Heroin(e), a doc that follows Huntington, West Virginia’s fire chief, a local judge, and an impassioned volunteer — all women — as they battle to save lives from opioid addiction in a town where the overdose rate is 10 times the national average. Our very own Kristen Nutile, a NYFA Documentary Filmmaking teacher, served as editor on the film.