The 90th Academy Awards

Faiz Khwaja and Campbell MacKinnon


Tonight, the biggest award show of the year wraps up of another successful year of movies.  The 90th Academy Awards commence at 8:00 PM, and I (a self-proclaimed movie critic) decided to make my predictions. I also included Campbell MacKinnon’s picks to rival mine. Whoever gets more right is the better club head… just saying.

Oscars 90th Academy Awards

Best Picture

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

 

Faiz: The Shape of Water

After a great year for movies, there is a very tight race for Best Picture. The general consensus of the category this year is that it has come down to two films: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water. The former has had some award success, but moviegoers are generally split on their opinions of the movie. To me, The Shape of Water satisfies all the criteria that the Academy adores and as such, will emerge as the winner.

 

Campbell: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Directing

Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Paul Thomas Anderson (Phantom Thread)

Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape Of Water)

 

Faiz: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water

Having won the Golden Globe and the BAFTA award in the category, it seems that Guillermo Del Toro has the Oscar in the bag. If there were an upset, Christopher Nolan may win for his depiction of Britain’s greatest defeat/victory during World War II; however, I doubt that there will be one.

 

Campbell: Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water

 

Actress in a Leading Role

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)

 

Faiz: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

There is perhaps a much tighter race for best actress in a leading role than the equivalent category. Sally Hawkins gave a fantastic performance in The Shape of Water and won most critic awards. Saoirse Ronan was the standout of Ladybird and could potentially steal a win. However, to me Frances McDormand gave the best performance and will come away with the Oscar.

 

Campbell: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Actor in a Leading Role

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.)

 

Faiz: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

After a phenomenal performance in which Gary Oldman practically became Winston Churchill, he is the likely winner for best actor in a leading role. Timothée Chalamet could potentially steal a win, but Oldman’s performance caters to the Academy perfectly and has emerged as the strongest contender early on in award season.

 

Campbell: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

 

Writing (Original Screenplay)

Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)

Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Screenplay by Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor; story by Guillermo Del Toro (The Shape Of Water)

Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

 

Faiz: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

I must confess that I loved The Big Sick and was thrilled with its success. I have admired Kumail Nanjiani for awhile now after he achieved mainstream success without playing a stereotype. I saw his movie three times in the cinema and loved it. That being said, I doubt that an indie movie like Nanjiani’s could win the category when compared to the likes of Get Out or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Those two stand out, but I think the latter will come away with the win.

 

Campbell: Jordan Peele, Get Out

 

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Disaster Artist)

Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green; story by James Mangold (Logan)

Aaron Sorkin (Molly’s Game)

Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees (Mudbound)

 

Faiz: James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name

The script of Call Me By Your Name has not received much competition from the other nominees throughout the award circuit. If any other film were to pose a serious threat, it would be Mudbound. Still, at 89 years old, James Ivory adapted André Aciman’s coming-of-age drama almost perfectly and will emerge the winner.

 

Campbell: Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, Mudbound

 

Animated feature film

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent

 

Faiz: Coco

This is perhaps the most obvious category for me. In a year with lackluster animated movies, Coco emerged as the far superior animated feature film. Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, and Loving Vincent were all mediocre at best and can hardly rival the brilliantly told story of a boy’s journey into his family past during La Día de los Muertos. The real question is which was better: Coco or Inside Out? On the bright side, 2018 promises some highly anticipated animated movies including The Incredibles 2.

 

Campbell: Coco

 

Music (Original Song)

“Mighty River” by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson (Mudbound)

“Mystery of Love” by Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name)

“Remember Me” by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Coco)

“Stand Up for Something” by Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn (aka Common) (Marshall)

“This is Me” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman)

 

Faiz: “This is Me” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, The Greatest Showman

“Remember Me” was undoubtedly a great song that had a strong emotional effect in Coco. Similarly, “Mystery of Love” captures the theme of Call Me By Your Name perfectly. However, it seems fitting that a musical which had its soundtrack on the top of the charts for a duration of time will win this category. Keala Settle gives a great performance of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul’s “This is Me”.

 

Campbell: “Remember Me”, Coco

 

Actor in a supporting role

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)

 

Faiz: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Sam Rockwell has taken the lead among his fellow nominees throughout award season. Willem Dafoe also gave a convincing performance that could pose some competition and is long overdue recognition by the Academy. However, I still think Rockwell will come away the winner.

 

Campbell: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

 

Actress in a supporting role

Mary J. Blige (Mudbound)

Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread)

Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

Octavia Spencer (The Shape Of Water)

 

Faiz: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

This category has come down to two ‘mother’ performances. Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney have battled it out, though I lean towards Janney because she has won every prize of note: The Critics’ Choice Award, the Golden Globe, the SAG, and the BAFTA.

 

Campbell: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

 

Cinematography

Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)

Bruno Delbonnel (Darkest Hour)

Hoyte Van Hoytema (Dunkirk)

Rachel Morrison (Mudbound)

Dan Lausten (The Shape Of Water)

 

Faiz: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

Campbell: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049

 

Documentary (feature)

Abacus: Small Enough To Jail

Faces Places

Icarus

Last Men In Aleppo

Strong Island

 

Faiz: Faces Places

Campbell: Icarus

 

Documentary (short subject)

Edith + Eddie

Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405

Heroin(e)

Knife Skills

Traffic Stop

 

Faiz: Heroin(e)

Campbell: Heroin(e)

 

Foreign language film

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

The Insult (Lebanon)

Loveless (Russia)

On Body And Soul (Hungary)

The Square (Sweden)

 

Faiz: A Fantastic Woman

Campbell: The Insult

 

Makeup and hairstyling

Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick (Darkest Hour)

Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard (Victoria & Abdul)

Arjen Tuiten (Wonder)

 

Faiz:Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick, Darkest Hour

Campbell:Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick, Darkest Hour

 

Film editing

Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos (Baby Driver)

Lee Smith (Dunkirk)

Tatiana S. Riegel (I, Tonya)

Sidney Wolinsky (The Shape Of Water)

Jon Gregory (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

 

Faiz: Lee Smith, Dunkirk

Campbell: Lee Smith, Dunkirk

 

Visual effects

John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover (Blade Runner 2049)

Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2)

Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus (Kong: Skull Island)

Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist (War For The Planet Of The Apes)

 

Campbell:Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist, War For The Planet Of The Apes

Faiz:John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover, Blade Runner 2019

 

Music (original score)

Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk)

Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread)

Alexandre Desplat (The Shape Of Water)

John Williams (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

Carter Burwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

 

Faiz: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

Campbell: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water

 

Short film (live action)

DeKalb Elementary

The Eleven O’Clock

My Nephew Emmett

The Silent Child

Watu Wote/All Of Us

 

Campbell: DeKalb Elementary

Faiz: DeKalb Elementary

 

Short film (animated)

Dear Basketball

Garden Party

Lou

Negative Space

Revolting Rhymes

 

Campbell: Dear Basketball

Faiz: Dear Basketball

 

Sound mixing

Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis (Baby Driver)

Ron Bartless, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth (Blade Runner 2049)

Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo (Dunkirk)

Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier (The Shape Of Water)

David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

 

Faiz: Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo, Dunkirk

Campbell: Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, and Gary A. Rizzo, Dunkirk

 

Sound editing

Julian Slater (Baby Driver)

Mark Mangini and Theo Green (Blade Runner 2049)

Richard King and Alex Gibson (Dunkirk)

Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira (The Shape Of Water)

Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce (Star Wars: The Last Jedi)

 

Faiz: Julian Slater, Baby Driver

Campbell: Richard King and Alex Gibson, Dunkirk

 

Costume design

Jacqueline Durran (Beauty And The Beast)

Jacqueline Durran (Darkest Hour)

Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread)

Luis Sequeira (The Shape Of Water)

Consolata Boyle (Victoria & Abdul)

 

Faiz: Luis Sequeira, The Shape of Water

Campbell: Mark Bridges, Phantom Thread

 

Production design

Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer (Beauty And The Beast)

Dennis Gassner and Alessandra Querzola (Blade Runner 2049)

Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer (Darkest Hour)

Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis (Dunkirk)

Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin (The Shape Of Water)

 

Faiz: Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis, Dunkirk

Campbell: Nathan Crowley and Gary Fettis, Dunkirk