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Oscars 2018: Who's going to win. And who's not.

March 01, 2018 16:36 IST

Sukanya Verma's predictions for the top Oscars at the 90th Academy Awards.

You know it's Oscar season when pundits and predictions fill news space to speculate who will bag the golden dude.

It was a good year for films, if not the film industry.

While the latter remained beleaguered by disturbing revelations of sexual harassment at work kick-starting an active #MeToo movement, exciting works of art from auteurs and aspirants dazzled the screen with their ingenuity.

The 90th Academy Awards brims with promise and political correctness.

Guillermo Del Toro's creature romance, The Shape of Water, leads the pack with a whopping 13 nominations.

Celebrated director Christopher Nolan, finally, earned his first Academy nomination for the war drama, Dunkirk.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson bounces back as an Oscar hopeful with his award-worthy vision in Phantom Thread.

Lady Bird's Greta Gerwig is the fifth woman to be nominated in the otherwise male-dominated Best Director category.

Like Gerwig, Jordan Peele is also a first-time director and nominated for his low-budget horror satire, Get Out, hailed for its meaningful commentary on racial duplicity.

As we look forward for the envelopes to unfold and (correctly) reveal the winners of the most sought after prize in showbiz on March 5, here are some of our Oscar predictions in the top-most categories.


Best Film

IMAGE: A scene from The Shape Of Water.

The Nominees are:

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

IMAGE: Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in The Post.

Most likely to win: The Shape of Water
Least likely to win: The Post
Highest potential for upset: Get Out

From Sundance indie to Oscar front-runner, Get Out's campaign has gathered furious momentum.

It will be satisfying to see if this chilling gem garners top prize.

Despite the tough competition, The Shape of Water's chances are far from slim.

Del Toro's Best Director is as good as locked in. It's only fair he gets Best Film as well.

Steven Spielberg's well made but low profile The Post is little more than a filler in this overcrowded category.


Best Director

IMAGE: Guillermo del Toro directed The Shape Of Water.

The Nominees are:

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


IMAGE: Paul Thomas Anderson has been nominated for Phantom Thread.

Most likely to win: Guillermo Del Toro
Least likely to win: Paul Thomas Anderson
Highest potential for upset: Christopher Nolan

Del Toro doesn't go wrong with monsters. His moving celebration of society outcastes in The Shape of Water is one for the ages.

Christopher Nolan's unique exploration of war depicts claustrophobia and redefines heroes in a premise long dominated by gallantry.

Paul Thomas Anderson's Phantom Thread and its deliciously dark games may strike the Academy as a bit too quirky in comparison.


Best Actor

IMAGE: Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour.

The Nominees are:

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.

IMAGE: Denzel Washington in Roman J Israel, Esq.

Most likely to win: Gary Oldman
Least likely to win: Denzel Washington
Highest potential for upset: Daniel Kaluuya

Gary Oldman's recreation of Winston Churchill is mighty impressive. But more importantly, prosthetics never fail. Ask past winners Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep.

While we wouldn't dare doubt Denzel Washington's talent, there's just not enough traction to his nomination this year.

Daniel Kaluuya has a better shot after his breakthrough performance in Get Out.


Best Actress

IMAGE: Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The Nominees are:

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

IMAGE: Meryl Streep in The Post.

Most likely to win: Frances McDormand
Least likely to win: Meryl Streep
Highest potential for upset: Sally Hawkins

After 21 nominations and three wins, Meryl Streep could not be more decorated.

Instead, let's focus on the incredible Sally Hawkins and her ability to speak through silence in ways that render words redundant.

But then storms in Frances McDormand and says things you've been waiting to hear and cheer for all along in her undaunted pursuit for justice.


Best Supporting Actor

IMAGE: Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The Nominees are:

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

IMAGE: Woody Harrelson in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Most likely to win: Sam Rockwell
Least likely to win: Woody Harrelson
Highest potential for upset: Willem Dafoe

Not only does Sam Rockwell make a devilish, dimwit, cop turning a new leaf look more credible than it could ever be on paper, but so darn captivating too.

Woody Harrselson's benign charms are pretty good, but his fellow nominees have an edge. Especially Willem Dafoe who infuses a heartbreaking story with unforgettable moments of poignancy.


Best Supporting Actress

IMAGE: Allison Janney in I, Tonya.

The Nominees are:

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

IMAGE: Octavia Spencer in The Shape of Water.

Most likely to win: Allison Janney
Least likely to win: Octavia Spencer
Highest potential for upset: Laurie Metcalf

Nobody does no-nonsense as insistently as Allison Janney. There's little doubt about her Oscar-winning potential.

Meanwhile, Octavia Spencer's sassy act is terrific, but nothing we've not seen her do before.

Metcalf's unfeeling mom could easily have ended up as cardboard, but she lends her just enough humanity to ensure what we see is a perspective and not precise.

Sukanya Verma