2018 Academy Awards Predictions

Written by Aaron Radcliff & Tristan Zelden:

The time has finally arrived, ladies and gentlemen. The votes have been cast and opinions made. It’s time to run down our picks for the 90th annual Academy Awards. Everyone worth their weight in salt knows how important the crown jewel of Award Season is, so that’s why we’re doing something special for these predictions. Rather than making picks by myself, I’m joined by a good friend and bona fide cinefile: Tristan Zelden, founder of Tristan Zelden Thoughts.

There are no stipulations for these picks. They might be made based on who we believe is most deserving, others by personal enjoyment. These are all who we think or want to take home the gold. So sit back, relax, and take a look at our picks for EVERY award up for grabs (and a little insight for a few of the major awards).


Best Supporting Actor

Image via Fox Searchlight Pictures

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

Aaron’s Pick: Willem Dafoe. I was absolutely floored by Dafoe’s performance in this film. While he’s not the focus, he provides a lead-quality performance. He feels the most human out of all of the nominated roles and he truly shines in the scenes where he becomes protective of the children. An absolutely stunning performance.
Tristan’s Pick: Richard Jenkins. Jenkins is a master of a wide variety of genres. You truly get to see him shine here with this quirky neighbor who loves his work as an artist and his favorite pie. You feel his struggle to want to support Eliza and her new found lover but is stricken by confusion, is worried for her safety, and uncertainty about what repercussions will happen. He is arguably the best part of a film with an excellent cast and characters.


Best Supporting Actress

Image via Focus Features

Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Aaron’s Pick: Allison Janney. I was tempted to go with Lesley Manville for her ability to go tit for tat with Daniel Day-Lewis, but I just can’t ignore the stellar performance by Janney. Funny and vile, she made me love laughing at her and hate loving her.
Tristan’s Pick: Octavia Spencer. She was much more than just a supporting character; playing a supportive friend who brought comedy just like the rest of the main cast. Octavia has a special performance when the movie goes in for its darker and more dramatic scenes. Her emotion strikes the heart of the audience thanks to her powerful presence.


Best Visual Effects

Blade Runner: 2049 – John Nelson/Gerd Nefzer/Paul Lamber/Richard R. Hoover
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – Christopher Townsend/Guy Williams/Jonathan Fawkner/Dan Sudick
Kong: Skull Island – Stephen Rosenbaum/Jeff White/Scott Benza/Mike Meinardus
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Ben Morris/Mike Mulholland/Neal Scanlan/Chris Corbould
War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri/Daniel Barrett/Dan Lemmon/Joel Whist

Aaron’s Pick: Blade Runner: 2049
Tristan’s Pick: War for the Planet of the Apes


Best Film Editing

Baby Driver – Paul Machliss/Jonathan Amos
Dunkirk – Lee Smith
I, Tonya – Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water – Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Jon Gregory

Aaron’s Pick: Dunkirk
Tristan’s Pick: Baby Driver


Best Costume Design

Image via Focus Features

Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour – Jacqueline Durran
Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira
Victoria & Abdul – Consolata Boyle

Aaron’s Pick: Beauty and the Beast
Tristan’s Pick: The Shape of Water


Best Makeup & Hairstyling

Darkest Hour – Kazuhiro Tsuji/David Malinowski/Lucy Sibbick
Victoria & Abdul – Daniel Phillips/Lou Sheppard
Wonder – Arjen Tuiten

Aaron’s Pick: Darkest Hour
Tristan’s Pick: Darkest Hour


Best Cinematography

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Blade Runner: 2049 – Roger Deakins
Darkest Hour – Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk – Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen

Aaron’s Pick: Blade Runner: 2049
Tristan’s Pick: Dunkirk


Best Production Design

Beauty and the Beast – Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer
Blade Runner: 2049 – Dennis Gassner/Alessandra Querzola
Darkest Hour – Sarah Greenwood/Katie Spencer
Dunkirk – Nathan Crowley/Gary Fettis
The Shape of Water – Paul Denham Austerberry/Shane Vieau/Jeff Melvin

Aaron’s Pick: The Shape of Water
Tristan’s Pick: Blade Runner: 2049


Best Sound Mixing

Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

Baby Driver – Julian Slater/Tim Cavagin/Mary H. Ellis
Blade Runner: 2049 – Ron Bartlett/Doug Hemphill/Marc Ruth
Dunkirk – Mark Weingarten/Gregg Landaker/Gary A. Rizzo
The Shape of Water – Christian Cooke/Brad Zoern/Glen Gauthier
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – David Parker/Michael Semanick/Ren Klyce/Stuart Wilson

Aaron’s Pick: Baby Driver
Tristan’s Pick: Blade Runner: 2049


Best Sound Editing

Baby Driver – Julian Slater
Blade Runner: 2049 – Mark Mangini/Theo Green
Dunkirk – Richard King/Alex Gibson
The Shape of Water – Nathan Robitaille/Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Matthew Wood/Ren Klyce

Aaron’s Pick: Dunkirk
Tristan’s Pick: Dunkirk


Best Original Song

Mighty River – Mary J. Blige/Raphael Saadiq/Taura Stinson (Mudbound)
Mystery of Love – Sufjan Stevens (Call Me By Your Name)
Remember Me – Kristen Anderson-Lopez/Robert Lopez (Coco)
Stand Up for Something – Diane Warren/Common (Marshall)
This is Me – Benj Pasek/Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman)

Aaron’s Pick: Remember Me
Tristan’s Pick: This is Me


Best Original Score

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood
The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi – John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Carter Burwell

Aaron’s Pick: The Shape of Water
Tristan’s Pick: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Best Animated Short Film

Image via Gunpowder & Sky

Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

Aaron’s Pick: Lou
Tristan’s Pick: Lou


Best Live Action Short Film

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett
The Silent Child
Watu Wote/All of Us

Aaron’s Pick: The Silent Child
Tristan’s Pick: The Silent Child


Best Documentary – Short Subject

Image via Netflix

Edith & Eddie
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

Aaron’s Pick: Heroin(e)
Tristan’s Pick: Heaven is a Traffic Jame on the 405


Best Documentary – Feature

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Aaron’s Pick: Faces Places
Tristan’s Pick: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail


Best Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman
The Insult
On Body & Soul
The Square

Aaron’s Pick: The Square
Tristan’s Pick: On Body and & Soul


Best Animated Feature Film

Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

Aaron’s Pick: Coco
Tristan’s Pick: Coco


Best Adapted Screenplay

Image via Sony Pictures Classics

Call Me By Your Name – James Ivory
The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter/Michael H. Weber
Logan – Scott Frank/James Mangold/Michael Green
Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound – Virgil Williams/Dee Rees

Aaron’s Pick: Logan
Tristan’s Pick: Logan


Best Original Screenplay

Image via Amazon Studios/Lionsgate

The Big Sick – Emily V. Gordon/Kumail Nanjiani
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro/Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh

Aaron’s Pick: Get Out
Tristan’s Pick: Get Out


Best Actress

Image via Neon

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

Aaron’s Pick: Frances McDormand. McDormand has been the darling of Award Season and I don’t think that’ll change here. She gives a strong, powerful, funny, and heartfelt performance that gives Three Billboards the sting to its punch.
Tristan’s Pick: Sally Hawkins. Hawkins was able to deliver a compelling performance without uttering a word. Her character had a depth that Sally was able to bring to life. She was able to show a wide range of emotions through hand gestures, posture, and facial expressions to make for a lovable character who you want the best for.


Best Actor

Image via Universal Pictures

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.

Aaron’s Pick: Timothée Chalamet. While I think Oldman will ultimately be the one to walk away with the statue, I genuinely believe Chalamet gave the best performance. Some might consider the acting and emotion “stiff,” but I see it as someone who doesn’t understand the feelings he’s going through and feels isolated. He struggles between his real self and a facade that gives added weight to his performance.
Tristan’s Pick: Daniel Kaluuya. Kaluuya’s performance matched everything that made Get Out what it was. The film gave audiences many emotions, and often times you felt the way Daniel’s character felt. The painful, awkward moments between meeting these bizarre family members of his girlfriend to the intensity of the film’s climax, there was a wide range of situations that needed the right man for the job. Plus, like many British actors, his American accent was excellently done.


Best Director

Image via David Fisher/Rex/Shutterstock

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water

Aaron’s Pick: Guillermo del Toro. If you’ve followed the blog for a bit, you’ll know how much I love Guillermo del Toro. While everyone nominated brought their A-game, I feel the overall product, from inception to execution, was done best by del Toro. His dark fairytales have touched audiences for a while, but now he’ll finally have the chance to get the proper recognition for his efforts.
Tristan’s Pick: Jordan Peele. For a debut film, Peele was able to deliver a well-executed, brilliant, and unique horror flick. Jordan had a vision for the film that would give the audience a thought-provoking, funny, and disturbing horror movie that takes a look into racism in a way that no movie has before.



Best Picture

**Image Sources Listed Below

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Aaron’s Pick: Call Me By Your Name. I flip-flopped between this and Lady Bird and the other nominees weren’t even close, but my heart and mind kept pulling me back to Call Me By Your Name. I’ve seen this so many times and yet it keeps getting more beautiful and touching each time I watch it. It has a diverse look that the Academy has been pining for recently, the entire cast is charismatic, it’s beautiful looking, and it tugs at the heart. It’s the whole package. It simultaneously gets more beautiful and harder to watch with each subsequent viewing. An absolutely spellbinding film, I want nothing more than for it to take home the Oscar it so desperately deserves.
Tristan’s Pick: The Shape of Water. Despite a ridiculous story between a woman falling in love with a fish man, this film is almost flawlessly executed to make one of the best love stories in years. It’s beautiful in every aspect of the story, characters, and look. The blend of horror, sci-fi, comedy, drama, and romance is a perfect mix to give the audience a roller coaster of emotions.


That’s it for our predictions for the 90th Academy Awards and a special thanks to Tristan for joining me for these picks. Be sure to check out more of Tristan’s content here.

Do you agree with our picks? Let us know in the comments and be sure to tune in to the Oscars at 8:00 p.m. on March 4th.



**Images for Best Picture via: Sony Pictures Classics, Focus Features, Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, A24, 20th Century Fox, and Fox Searchlight Pictures


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