A year of turbulence in the world inspired memorable moments on screen, including creatures from other worlds, chills from this world and relationships essential to any world. Which ones will Oscar honor with Academy Award nominations? Here are my choices for the names we will hear on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Greta Gerwig’s delightful exploration of the dynamics between mother and daughter make Lady Bird a top contender. Joining it as contenders should be Martin McDonagh’s examination of one mother’s anger in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; the tribute to emerging love in Call Me By Your Name; the imagery that Guillermo del Toro creates for The Shape of Water and the bravery that Christopher Nolan studies in Dunkirk. I hope Jordan Peele’s delightfully frightening Get Out makes the short list along with Steven Spielberg’s newspaper thriller The Post. And, because the Academy can nominate up to 10 films, the family relationships in The Big Sick and I, Tonya may be included, too.
Gary Oldman rides into the Oscar nominations fresh from winning a Golden Globe for recreating the passion and fears of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. His work is matched by the sensitivity of Timothée Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name and the outrageous humor of James Franco in The Disaster Artist. Daniel Day-Lewis will likely be Oscar nominated for the sixth time (with three wins) for Phantom Thread while Daniel Kaluuya should make the cut for Get Out.
For the second year in a row, the Academy finds itself with more deserving nominees than slots in this category. Frances McDormand will grab her fifth Oscar nomination for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, while Saoirse Ronan will pick up her second bid for Lady Bird. They will be joined by Sally Hawkins’ interpretation of a mute worker in The Shape of Water. Meryl Streep should receive her 21st Oscar nomination for her fascinating portrayal of a woman finding her voice in The Post while Margot Robbie will likely snag her first for her exaggerated woman finding her skates in I, Tonya.
Best Supporting Actor
Look for five veterans to land nominations in this competitive category. Sam Rockwell, who won a Golden Globe, grabs the screen with his conflicted lawman in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He should be joined by Willem Dafoe’s understanding landlord in The Florida Project and Woody Harrelson’s wise sheriff in Three Billboards. Michael Stuhlbarg deserves to be remembered as the compassionate father in Call Me By Your Name as does Richard Jenkins as the supportive neighbor in The Shape of Water.
What a night for mothers! After winning a Tony Award last spring, Laurie Metcalf should find herself in Hollywood on Oscar night with a nomination as the complex mother in Lady Bird. Joining her, with another view on the subtleties of parenting, will be Allison Janney for I, Tonya, as well as Holly Hunter for her take on maternal caring in The Big Sick. Look for Mary J. Blige to be honored for her matriarch in Mudbound while Oscar winner Octavia Spencer returns to the nominee circle for her best friend in The Shape of Water.
I hope Greta Gerwig becomes the fifth woman to be nominated for Best Director — in the Academy’s 90 years — for helming the moving comedy Lady Bird. The four men joining her on Oscar night should be Guillermo del Toro for the visual power of The Shape of Water; Martin McDonagh for the emotional intensity of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Christopher Nolan for the seamless storytelling of Dunkirk; and Jordan Peele for the outrageous fun and relevant message of Get Out.
The Reel Dad chooses more Oscar nominees
By Mark Schumann
Father of Three
Which films will Oscar honor with Academy Award nominations? Here are more predictions for the names we will hear on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
Best Original Screenplay
What an extraordinary year for original films. We should see Greta Gerwig’s revelations of relationships in Lady Bird compete with Martin McDonagh’s exploration of pain in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon are strong contenders for the delightful bantering of The Big Sick while Jordan Peele can’t be ignored for the hysterical and substantive Get Out, along with Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for the haunting The Shape of Water.
Best Adapted Screenplay
Several of the year’s memorable films began as books. James Ivory adapted Andre Aciman’s love story into the moving Call Me By Your Name while Virgil Williams and Dee Rees based Mudbound on the novel by Hillary Jordan. On the lighter side, Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold created Logan from the characters originally seen in the X-Men franchise while Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs reached to the comics for Wonder Woman, and Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber looked to the movies for the exaggerated reality of The Disaster Artist.
What happens in the editing room can make the difference to a finished film. This year’s nominees should be Best Picture picks Dunkirk, Get Out, The Post and The Shape of Water, with the final slot going to Blade Runner 2049.
The popular Coco is a top contender along with The Breadwinner, Ferdinand, Despicable Me 3 and Loving Vincent.
What we see in documentary films can enlighten what we learn and how we think. Competing for this Oscar should be City of Ghosts, the look at the impact of ISIS; Faces Places, a view of a special friendship; Icarus, an examination of doping in sports; Jane, the story of scientist Jane Goodall; and Last Men in Aleppo, a view of the war in Syria.
Best Costume Design
On screen, clothes can make a movie. Jacqueline Durran brings animated characters to life in Beauty and the Beast while Ellen Mirjnick makes costumes that sing and dance in the musical The Greatest Showman. Alexandra Byrne dresses an all-star cast in the remake of Murder on the Orient Express while Mark Bridges celebrates the creation of clothes in Phantom Thread. Completing the list may be Luis Sequeira’s period designs for The Shape of Water.
How a film is lit, and a camera is positioned, creates the worlds we experience on screen. Will this be the year Roger Deakins finally wins an Oscar, for Blade Runner 2049, after 13 nominations? He will likely compete with Dan Laustsen’s images in The Shape of Water and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom’s landscapes in Call Me By Your Name. Bruno Delbonnel recreates the Churchill war rooms in Darkest Hour while Hoyte Van Hoytema’s explores what happens on sea and shore in Dunkirk.
The look of the movie — through the design and decoration of its sets — enhances the images we savor. Competing for this Oscar should be Beauty and the Beast, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water.
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Yes, it takes magic to help performers become the roles they play. Three films that should be nominated for this Oscar are Darkest Hour, Guardians of the Galaxy and I, Tonya.
Music adds to the feeling a film can create. Likely nominees for this Oscar are Hans Zimmer for Dunkirk, Jonny Greenwood for Phantom Thread, John Williams for The Post, Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water, and Carter Burwell for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Any year a musical appears, its songs may be heard in this category. From the remake of Beauty and the Beast we should see a nomination for Evermore and, from The Greatest Showman, a nod for This is Me. Probable competitors include Mighty River from Mudbound, The Mystery of Love from Call Me By Your Name, and Remember Me from Coco.
While my favorite foreign film, BPM from France, is not on the Academy short list, the nominees will likely include A Fantastic Woman from Chile, Foxtrot from Israel, In the Fade from Germany, Loveless from Russia, and The Square from Sweden.
Of the two categories honoring sound, this one focuses on the creation of sound effects to create the film’s sound design. Look for Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water, and Wonder Woman to be nominated.
The second sound category honors sound recording and re-recording. Competing for this Oscar should be Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water, and War for the Planet of the Apes.
This popular category is all about the marvelous magic creators unleash to tell amazing stories on film. Leading contenders for this Oscar will be, again, Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Shape of Water, and War for the Planet of the Apes.