Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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Scott R. Larson





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Building façade in Cannes, France

My 2018 Academy Award Predictions (for movies released in 2017)

The main thing to remember is that I made these predictions (see below) on January 24. When you come back and look at them in March, you can keep your sarky smart remarks to yourself. And don’t you dare compare my late January guesses to predictions people made a few hours before the winners were announced. This is the only way I can maintain a shred of dignity.

There is actually a reason that I always make my Oscar® predictions immediately after the nominees are announced instead of waiting to see how the horse race shapes up. I am a firm believer that too much information leads to bad decisions. Also, talking to too many people in the decision-making process can only lead to trouble. And, most importantly, once you make up your mind, never ever change it—no matter what happens. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, wow, this guy could someday become president of the United States!

Anyway, now that the arduous, labor-intensive, draining five-minute job of making this forecast is finally over, I can devote the next few weeks to what is really important. That, of course, is settling on what to drink on Oscar Night (actually Oscar Morning, in my time zone) and making sure that I have lots of it in stock and then taste-testing it to make sure it is of sufficient quality and then buying more bottles to replace the ones I drained in the course of the taste-testing. It is an endless cycle that goes on and on but, hey, somebody has to do it. You’re welcome.

But enough about me. What about the movies themselves? Well, once again those politically correct Academy members have slavishly used their votes to make political statements. That means we are seeing all kinds of skewed results. For example, every single nominee in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories is female. If that is not slanted enough for you, a whole eleven percent of the Best Picture nominees is female-directed. It gets worse. A massive twenty percent of the Best Director nominees is female. And it doesn’t stop there. Twenty percent of the Best Cinematographer nominees is female. That one has always been zero percent before. (Okay, let me take my tongue out of my cheek for a moment and congratulate Rachel Morrison for breaking the glass lens ceiling with her work on Mudbound.)

Yes, as you would expect, the bulk of the nominations went to ideologically tinged movies that passed a rigid political litmus test. Most nods went to The Shape of Water, which is essentially about an illegal alien creature. Call Me by Your Name is, depending on your point of view, either a touching gay love story or a cautionary tale of a grown man exploiting a vulnerable teen. Wait, I skipped over the movies that got the second and third most nominations. Those would be Dunkirk and Darkest Hour, which coincidentally both cover events in Europe in May 1940. They could easily be construed as anti-Trump choices because they are both about standing up to Hitler and, as we all know, Trump and Hitler are essentially the same person, right? But wait, they are also about what can happen if countries do not prepare adequately for war and do not stand up to crazy foreign leaders before things get out of hand and do not prepare their populations for sending young men into battle on foreign shores. And also about what a great leader that Conservative Winston Churchill was. Hey, that doesn’t sound like Hollywood’s usual leftist political agenda. Now I’m getting confused. I need to pour myself a drink and think about this some more.

See what I mean about the problem of having too much information?

Category

Most Likely to Win

Most Deserving to Win

Should Have Been Nominated But Wasn’t

Best Picture

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Dunkirk

The Death of Stalin

Best Actor

Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

Robert Pattinson (Good Time)

Best Actress

Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game)

Best Supporting Actor

Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Woody Harrelson (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Jason Isaacs (The Death of Stalin)

Best Supporting Actress

Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

Holly Hunter (The Big Sick)

Best Director

Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman)

Best Original Screenplay

Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Edgar Wright (Baby Driver)

Best Adapted Screenplay

James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name)

James Ivory (Call Me by Your Name)

Peter Fellows, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Fabien Nury and David Schneider (The Death of Stalin)

Best Animated Feature

Coco

Loving Vincent

My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea

Best Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

The Square (Sweden)

Thelma (Norway)