On Sunday 4 March, the production crews of nine critically-acclaimed films will find out which of them has bagged cinema’s most prestigious prize: the Academy Award for Best Picture. Ahead of our full Oscar predictions for 2018, here’s our guide to the runners and riders of this year’s race…
Call Me By Your Name
Nominations: Best Picture/Actor/Adapted Screenplay/Original Song
A festival darling since Sundance, Call Me By Your Name could have been the Moonlight of other years. This year, however, it’ll probably only grab Adapted Screenplay, ahead of The Disaster Artist, Logan, Molly’s Game and Mudbound. Timothée Chalamet is a one to watch, following recognition from a handful of Critics’ Circles, but Oldman’s got this one.
Nominations: Best Picture/Actor/Production Design/Cinematography/Makeup and Hairstyling/Costume Design
Joe Wright may go without nomination for his direction of Darkest Hour but his film seems set to walk away with two Oscars on Sunday – these being the same that it seized at the BAFTAs and Critics’ Choice Awards: Actor and Makeup.
Nominations: Best Picture/Director/Cinematography/Film Editing/Original Score/Production Desire/Sound Editing/Sound Mixing
Named among the AFI’s Top Ten Films of 2017, Dunkirk has picked up a few awards here and there but has perhaps suffered from an ‘awards-unfriendly’ Summer release date. The sound categories are its best chances, possibly even Hans Zimmer’s score, but the top prize feels a long shot.
Nominations: Best Picture/Director/Actor/Original Screenplay
Of all the films on this list, Get Out’s nominations mean it’s already won. Who could have imagined that this little indie horror/thriller would go on to bag four Oscar nods? Certainly not nominees Peele and Kaluuya – a BAFTA Rising Star. It’s swept the African-American Film Critics Association and Black Reel Awards and won the world in the process.
Nominations: Best Picture/Director/Actress/Supporting Actress/Original Screenplay
A quiet buzz among certain quarters suggests that Lady Bird may be this year’s black horse. Not really a talking point of the season – its most major success probably came at Chicago’s Film Critics Association Awards – we’d be surprised to see Gerwig’s film come away with more than one but don’t rule it out. Its best shot is Laurie Metcalf’s Supporting Actress.
Nominations: Best Picture/Director/Actor/Supporting Actress/Original Score/Costume Design
It’s a good job that Daniel Day-Lewis already has three Oscars in his cabinet because a fourth seems unlikely for his final performance, given the competition. As for the film, Phantom Thread will be the bridesmaid of the 2018 awards, likely to be pipped to the post in most of its categories. With a BAFTA in the can, Costume Design is, once again, its premiere chance – naturally, for a film about a dressmaker.
Nominations: Best Picture/Actress
Both of the nominations secured by Spielberg’s film feel somewhat cursory. Of course Streep’s a Best Actress nominee, it would’ve been rude not to after the twenty Oscar nominations that preceded it. It’s a strong film from a reliable team but too shy of extraordinary for this list.
The Shape of Water
Nominations: Best Picture/Director/Actress/Supporting Actor/Supporting Actress/Original Screenplay/Cinematography/Costume Design/Film Editing/Original Score/Production Design/Sound Editing/Sound Mixing
This year’s most-nominated film, fewer than three wins for The Shape of Water would be an upset. It’s our favourite for Best Picture, whilst Alexandre Desplat is a hot shot for Score. Del Toro has bagged Director already at the BAFTAs and Golden Globes and looks unthreatened at the Oscars too. It’s worth noting that the three ceremonies have all agreed on the Best Director award for the past two years.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Nominations: Best Picture/Actress/Supporting Actor/Original Screenplay/Film Editing/Original Score
The success story of the BAFTAs, Three Billboards has been consistently performing across the awards this year, typically picking up Picture, Actress and Supporting Actor. It’s a favourite for the first and near-certainty for the latter two as far as the Oscars go. Success would be worthy.