The Academy Awards 2018: Predictions

Tonight is the night! Stars will be getting ready in their designer gowns, awards will be being polished and lined up ready for engraving, and film fans across the globe will be waiting in anticipation to find out who is going to bag the most coveted awards in the industry- The Oscars.

We at Film Hut UK have been watching this years nominees and have now collated a list of which films and which actors we think are deserving of the accolades. See if you agree with us below…

Best Picture
Nominees:
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Our Winner: 
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

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Three Billboards… is not a conventional best picture winner, but it deserves to take the gong for its unapologetic daring, clever writing and faultless acting across the board.

(We would like to add that I, Tonya would have pipped Three Billboards.. to the post if it somehow hadn’t been robbed of a nomination… are we right?!)

Lead Actor:
Nominees:
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.”

Our Winner:
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

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Oldman transforms into Churchill in this spine tingling depiction of the Prime Ministers leadership during World War Two. Sure, the costume and makeup have a lot to do with it- but his voice, his passion… that’s all Gary Oldman.

Lead Actress:
Nominees:
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”

Our Winner:
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

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McDormand gives a powerhouse of a performance in Three Billboards… and you feel every inch of the pain and anger behind her actions every step of the way… even as they escalate ludicrously.

Supporting Actor:
Nominees:
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”

Our Winner:
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

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Rockwell made an impression in Seven Psychopaths (2012) but it is in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri that he makes his lasting mark. At the BAFTAs earlier this year director McDonagh called Rockwell his muse- and it is easy to understand why with the performance he gives in this film.

Supporting Actress:
Nominees:
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Our Winner:
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

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It takes a great actress to really make you hate them whilst watching their performance. Janney plays LaVona Harding so impeccably that she makes your blood boil. Even the real Tonya Harding gives her props for this depiction of her mother.

Director:
Nominees:
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Our Winner:
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig

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Ladybird is a brilliantly funny and honest coming of age story, beautifully filmed and expertly cast. What more do you need from a director?
Please let 2018 be the year that we see the second ever (a jaw-droppingly terrible statistic) woman win Best Director!! #girlpower

Animated Feature:
Nominees:
“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Our Winner:
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

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Loving Vincent is the world’s first fully painted feature film- in the Van Gogh’s own style, the film tells a beautifully unique story about the death of the now revered painter.

Animated Short:
Nominees:
“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Our Winner:
“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant

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Growing up in England, and having zero interest in Basketball or many other sports, I had never heard of Kobe Bryant before I watched Dear Basketball. Narrated on the day he retired from the sport, this short is so packed with power and emotion it nearly moved me to tears… so imagine what it does to his fans!

Adapted Screenplay:
Nominees:
“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Our Winner:
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

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James Franco is in no-ones good books at the moment, but let’s not let controversy get in the way of appreciating a genuinely good script. Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber bring to life the hilarious making of the worst movie ever made in Hollywood in this farcical movie.

Original Screenplay:
Nominees:
“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

Our Winner:
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

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McDonagh is one of current cinemas most consistent and outrageous writers, but he has not yet won an Academy Award in this category. Snubbed from the Director category, it doesn’t seem likely this will be his year, but at Film Hut UK, we think it should be.

Cinematography:
Nominees:
“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Our Winner:
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema

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I left the cinema after watching Dunkirk thinking that was an incredible film to watch in the cinema, but I probably wouldn’t enjoy it as much at home. This is usually the case when a film is beautifully scored and filmed, but lacks a strong storyline. Like watching the real events at Dunkirk in motion, this is well deserving of the cinematography gong.

Best Documentary Feature:
Nominees:
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Vard
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Our Winner:
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen

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Last Men in Aleppo is a very difficult watch, but it is such an important, relevant documentary, it should be mandatory viewing.

Best Documentary Short Subject:
Nominees:
“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Our Winner:
“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright

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This is a very sweet love story with a sinister turn. It will leave you in tears, shouting at the screen, and wondering how stories like this one can be allowed to play out.

Best Live Action Short Film:
Nominees:
“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Our Winner:
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson

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There are some very strong films in this category, but personally I think the perfect short is well contained, clever and entertaining- all of which, The Eleven O’Clock is. It is the only film on the list that I didn’t think needed to be a feature, but was just right as it was.

Best Foreign Language Film:
Nominees:
“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Our Winner:
“The Square” (Sweden)

There are no words to describe The Square- so I will let you watch the trailer and make up your own mind…

Film Editing:
Nominees:
“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

Our Winner:
“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

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Baby Driver was the best film of 2017 and it deserves all the awards!!! Still not over how amazing this movie is. It’s perfect. Go and watch it. Now.

Sound Editing:
Nominees:
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Our Winner:
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater

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Yes, we immediately bought the soundtrack on vinyl the minute we saw the movie. Yes we dance around the kitchen to it pretending to be Deborah and Baby. Yes we blast out Brighton Rock in the car, don our sunglasses and drive like Bats is in the back. That is why this award is deserved. (We know this award isn’t just for the music but can you deny that the speed chases and Baby’s ‘tapes’ aren’t just as deserving?)

Sound Mixing:
Nominees:
“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“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

Our Winner:
“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater

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You guessed it! I know at this point I am biased but come on… this movie is soo good!

Production Design:
Nominees:
“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Our Winner:
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer 

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It’s hard not to get wrapped up in Churchills world when the production design is so spot on. Historically accurate and powerfully real, Darkest Hour takes the crown for us here.

Original Score:
Nominees:
“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

Our Winner:
“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer

Listen to this score and tell me you don’t get goosebumps. It’s impossible. Expressive and ominous, this will leave a lasting impression well after the credits rolls.

Original Song:
Nominees:
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“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

Our Winner:
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige

You will be singing this for weeks after watching Mudbound. Mary J Blige does it again and delivered this beautifully moving song with a message we should all be living by.

Makeup and Hair:
Nominees:
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Our Winner:
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

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It’s actually difficult to believe this is the same person. The hair and make-up team of Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick have truly outdone themselves with this transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill.

Costume Design:
Nominees:
“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Our Winner:
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

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The different cultures, classes, and touch of royalty in Victoria and Abdul are a costume designers dream, and one that Consolata Boyle fulfilled with the beautiful colours and details in every costume in this movie.

Visual Effects:
Nominees:
“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
“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

Our Winner:
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus

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Kong: Skull Island was genuinely one of my favourite films of last year, and this shot of Kong blocking the sun as the helicopters first set eyes on him is pretty much iconic. Skull crawlers, giant spiders and the mighty Kong himself are all examples of the mind blowing visual effects on display here. Action packed but surprisingly rich in story, this film is a winner in my eyes.

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