Movies

Final Countdown to the Oscars

Hello Geeks + Gamers! Welcome to the Final Countdown to the Oscars, breaking down the biggest awards of the night. It’s been fun sharing my thoughts on this year’s award season, and now it’s all come down to this. We have 8 more categories to go, so let’s get started with:

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory, based on the novel by André Aciman

The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, based on the book by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell

Logan – Screenplay by Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold, based on characters from the X-Men comic books and theatrical motion pictures

Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin, based on the memoir by Molly Bloom

Mudbound – Virgil Williams and Dee Rees, based on the novel by Hillary Jordan

There are a lot of historical precedents packed within this category. Dee Rees is the first black woman to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for her work on Mudbound, Logan is the first superhero film to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, and James Ivory (at age 89) became the oldest man to be nominated for an Academy Awards for his work on Call Me By Your Name. But historical precedents can only get you so far, so who’s taking home the gold? My best guess would have to be Ivory for Call Me by Your Name. Onto our next category, we have:

Best Original Screenplay:

The Big Sick – Written by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani

Get Out – Written by Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Written by Greta Gerwig

The Shape of Water – Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Written by Martin McDonagh

This is an another exciting category, as 3 of the 5 nominees are also nominated for Best Director and Best Picture. Those 3 films are Get Out, Lady Bird, and The Shape of Water. A strong argument could be made in favor of any one of those nominees, but I feel the most confident in Jordan Peele for Get Out. I had originally championed Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird, but my mind changed when Peele won both the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Writers Guild of America. Moving right along to the next category, we have:

Best Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige – Mudbound as Florence Jackson

Allison Janney – I, Tonya as LaVona Golden

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread as Cyril Woodcock

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird as Marion McPherson

Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water as Zelda Delilah Fuller

On the one hand, this category feels like the easiest one to predict. There doesn’t seem to be a frontrunner more obvious than Allison Janney, who just recently won another statue at the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards. However, the Academy does love to throw a curveball once in a while, so a strong argument could be made in favor of Laurie Metcalf or Lesley Manville. I’m still sticking with Janney, because she hasn’t run out of momentum. Moving on to our next equally anticlimactic category, we have:

Best Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project as Bobby Hicks

Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as Chief Bill Willoughby

Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water as Giles

Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World as J. Paul Getty

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as Officer Jason Dixon

While they may not always line up perfectly, the Independent Spirit Awards have a decent track record when it comes to predicting the Oscars the next day. For example, Sam Rockwell, much like Allison Janney, just won the award for Best Supporting Actor. I wish I could say that nominees such as Richard Jenkins or Christopher Plummer had a fighting chance, but ever since the Golden Globes, Rockwell has had this award in the bag. Four more awards to go, these are the big guns, starting with:

Best Actress:

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water as Elisa Esposito

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as Mildred Hayes

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya as Tonya Harding

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird as Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson

Meryl Streep – The Post as Katharine Graham

I’m trying not to turn this article into a commentary on the Independent Spirit Awards, but the fact that they’re held the day before the Oscars makes them impossible to ignore. On that note, Frances McDormand continues her collection of statues by winning Best Actress at the Spirit Awards. I’d be shocked if anyone other than McDormand took home the gold, such as Sally Hawkins or Saoirse Ronan, especially this late in awards season. Now, while these past couple categories have been easy to predict, I’m not as confident in the next one as I used to be, and that is:

Best Actor:

Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name as Elio Perlman

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread as Reynolds Woodcock

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out as Chris Washington

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour as Winston Churchill

Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq. as Roman J. Israel

So far, Gary Oldman has won the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice, Screen Actors Guild, and the BAFTA for Best Actor. Naturally, one would assume that Oldman is the clear frontrunner to win the Oscar. However, Timothée Chalamet winning Best Actor at the Independent Spirit Awards gives him more of a fighting chance. The same could be said about Daniel Day-Lewis, since this could be his last chance to win an award before he retires from acting. I still think Oldman is going to end up winning, but it won’t be by a landslide. We’re almost at the finish line with the two biggest awards of the night, starting with:

Best Director:

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Wate

Out of the three biggest non-acting categories, Best Directing has to be the easiest one to predict. No matter what the results are for Best Original Screenplay or Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro is destined to take home this award. Peele may have won at the Independent Spirit Awards, but del Toro has been winning every other major award, including the DGA. The last time a DGA winner did not win the Academy Award was in 2013, when Ben Affleck was surprisingly snubbed from the category. And now, it’s time for the main event, and that of course is:

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

Here’s what we know about all of the potential frontrunners. We know that Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri has won the Golden Globes, the SAG award for Best Ensemble, and the BAFTA for Best Film. Get Out won Best Feature at the Independent Spirit Awards and the WGA for Best Original Screenplay. Unfortunately Lady Bird has yet to win a major award, but due to preferential voting, it could still have a fighting chance. Ultimately, my vote has to go to The Shape of Water, which not only won the PGA, but also the DGA and the Critics’ Choice Awards.

***

That concludes the Countdown to the Oscars, as well as awards coverage for 2017. Who do you think is taking home the biggest awards of the night? Drop your final Oscar predictions in the comment below. Thank you as always for checking out GeeksandGamers.com, your source for all things Geek.

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