Home » Film and Filmmaking » 2018 Oscar Picks (updated)

2018 Oscar Picks (updated)

Update: Schweiss asked me to make is so that if we win with our second choice, we only get 2.50. I was okay with that, so in the end, ladies and gents, I was awarded $7.50. Not bad, not bad.

For the third year in a row, Schweiss and I are putting money down on the Oscars. This year we’ve increased the amount per category from 2 dollars to 5 dollars. Also, instead of picking just one, we’re going to be betting on a first pick and a second pick, just in case.

Here are mine:

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird” – Second Choice. Conveniently, this is my 4th favorite movie of the year. Wonderful film. Some Academy voters may vote for it due to the strong female presence in the film, so part of me thinks that it may win for that reason (not that reason alone though, it really is a great movie).
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – First Choice. This year, my 1st and 2nd place films for the best of 2017 were both snubbed (Blade Runner and Baby Driver), but this one resides solidly in 3rd place. It’s a great film, and I believe it’ll win, given it’s the only one I ever heard any major buzz around.

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread” – Second Choice. Because this is supposed to be his last movie, there could be a chance DDL could be the upset.
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” – First Choice. It’s a fantastic performance. Others don’t even stand a chance to take home the little golden man.
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” – Second Choice. What she did in Shape of Water, playing a Mute in love with a Fish Man, is great. Seriously though, all of the lead Actress performances are incredible.
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” – First Choice. This category is tough this year. FM won the Golden Globe, so part of me thinks she’s the favorite.
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project” – Second Choice. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve seen clips, and I’ve heard good things.
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” – First choice. I think he’ll win. It’s a challenging role and a memorable character, and he played it wonderfully.

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” – Second Choice. I also think her performance was a perfect one, but I think Lady Bird is the more beloved movie. I loved “I, Tonya” though.
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” – First Choice. I think her performance was perfect.
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”


“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan – First Choice. Not only is it “his turn”, but IMO he WAS the Best Director of the year. Remember, good Directing is not only making a good movie, but the day to day job of the director is the actor and camera blocking of each individual scene. This film is his best with regards to staging, and his unique perspective on the war genre was refreshingly original. There are shots in here you’ve never seen before.
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro – Second Choice. He’s on his A-Game this year, and besides Nolan, probably had the most visually exciting film of the bunch. The Academy usually picks the most visually flashy film for Direction, even though deftly handling a small drama may be just as difficult, such as in Lady Bird. Good stuff from Del Toro.

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson – First Choice. I haven’t seen any of the nominees in this category, but usually, the big hit movie wins the Animated Category.
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman – Second Choice. The whole thing was painted. That’s pretty cool.

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant – First Choice. It’s a great little short and is the one I’ve heard mentioned on podcasts n’ stuff, so I assume it’s the favorite.
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata – Second Choice. This is my favorite of the category. It’s beautiful, watch it.
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory – First Choice. It’s the only one in this category that got nominated for Best Picture, so odds are that it wins.
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin – Second Choice. Everyone loves Aaron Sorkin, including me.
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig – Second Choice. A beautiful Script penned by Greta Gerwig who I fell in love with when I watched Frances Ha. Had no idea that she could be so talented behind the camera.
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh – First Choice. It’s a complicated, crazy movie. I think it’ll win both Picture and Screenplay.


“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins – First Choice. If he doesn’t win this year, I’ll kill myself. Plus, it is the best cinematography not just of THIS year, but for many years.
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema – Second Choice. I figure I’ll put the other James Bond cinematographer up for this one too.
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman – First Choice. Alas, I haven’t seen the documentary nominees, but this is the one I’ve seen advertised the most. Plus, the filmmakers should’ve won for Hoop Dreams years ago.
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan – Second Choice. I think someone recommended this on a podcast I listen to, but I’m not 100% sure.
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel – First Choice. Haven’t seen these, so I’m basing my guess on the title.
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon – Second Choice, no reason.
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk – Second Choice. No reason.
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson – First Choice. I couldn’t get ahold of any of these, so I’m basing this purely on the trailers.
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary) – Second Choice. No Reason.
“The Square” (Sweden) – I hold my head in shame for not seeing any of these. Most years, the foreign language category is stronger than the Best Picture Category. The Square is the one I’ve heard of.

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss – First Choice. This movie is about editing. It’s great. Go see it.
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel – Second Choice. Multiple Narratives, voiceovers, breaking the fourth wall, at breakneck speed, all while having to keep everything clear for the audience. Yeah, that’s a significant accomplishment in both writing and editing. 
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater – First Choice. I think it’ll win all the sound awards since the movie features sound at the forefront so profoundly and so well.
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green – Second Choice. I was blown away by the sound in this movie.
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin – First Choice. See Above.
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill – Second Choice. See Above.
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – First Choice. I mean, come on.
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau – Second Choice. If Blade Runner hadn’t come out, this would be my first choice for this category.

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer – First Choice. Everyone knows about the ticking clock thing. Genius score.
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood – Second Choice. Beautiful classic score that I was humming on the way out of the theater.
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens – Second Choice. I didn’t like the use of the song in the movie, but I’ve heard praise from John August so I’m guessing others might feel the same.
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul – First Choice. The musical usually wins, and this song is annoyingly catchy.

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick – First Choice. Best makeup job in the history of Hollywood. Beats out Citizen Kane, Amadeus, and even Tom Cruise in Tropic Thunder. This will win.
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten – Second Choice. Just a guess.

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran – Second Choice. Just a guess, difficult category.
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges. First Choice. I think Blade Runner should be in this category just for Ryan Gosling’s jacket, but oh well. I suppose the movie that revolves around costumes will win. Beautiful dresses in this movie.
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer – Nearly seamless visual effects in this movie. It deserves to win.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist – Second Choice. The one on this list I haven’t seen. The VFX seemed really good in the trailers though.

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