Go Big or “Get Out”: No, PricewaterhouseCoopers Wasn’t Hacked, It’s Just Our 2018 Oscar Predictions


Get Out Best Picture

Time’s up, folks! It has all come down to this. The moment of truth. Who is going to walk away with those little gold men on Sunday night, when Hollywood celebrates the 90th Academy Awards?

There will be plenty of familiar faces, like host Jimmy Kimmel and past winners such as Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington, as well as exciting newcomers like Timothee Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya. The only people I can say for sure won’t be there are Brian Cullinan and Martha Ruiz, the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants from last year’s show, which was both an utter debacle and amazing television all at once.

In fact, last year’s Oscars were so memorable that it may prove to be a tough act to follow for this year’s ceremony. Our own Neil Turitz recently offered his thoughts on how the Academy could spice up the ceremony, but for now, all we’re left with is the drama surrounding the Best Picture race — and oh what a race it is!

Below are my final predictions for the 2018 Oscars ceremony. If you win your office pool, you owe me 10 percent. And if you lose, well, that’s on you for listening to me. Just know that with the influx of Academy members this year, Oscar history means nothing, and the short films (which I haven’t seen, gulp) mean everything. Good luck — both to you, and to Warren and Faye. Here’s hoping the second time’s the charm!



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

ALTERNATE: The Shape of Water

FINAL ANALYSIS: Anyone who says they know what is going to win Best Picture this year is a liar. It’s as wide-open a field as I’ve ever seen. You could really make a case for all of these films, with the exception of Darkest Hour, which is this year’s lucky-to-be-here nominee. It’s a shame how Call Me by Your Name has been marginalized all season, since it’s pretty clearly the best film of the bunch, but I don’t think it has any real chance to win on Sunday, and it’s up for debate if that’s because of Moonlight‘s victory last year. That ugly possibility can’t simply be dismissed. With Fox blessed with an embarrassment of riches in this race, The Post found itself the odd movie out as The Shape of Water and Three Billboards — both from the ’s Searchlight division — battled it out in the precursors. Three Billboards may have the most momentum at the moment, but I think the preferential ballot will work against it. Honestly, I think this is a two-horse race, with Lady Bird waiting in the wings, ready to play the spoiler. This is a battle between classic and current, timeless and timely. This is a battle between The Shape of Water and Get Out. Now, the Academy of old would have gone for The Shape of Water in a heartbeat. Who knows? Maybe they still will. But you know what movie was timeless in a way similar to The Shape of Water? La La Land. See, I think the New Academy cares more about the current, and how Best Picture reflects the world around them today. Just as I said at the beginning of the season, I think Best Picture winners like The King’s Speech and The Artist are a thing of the past. I think future winners will be more contemporary, engaging with the now instead of then. No, Get Out doesn’t have the same below-the-line support that The Shape of Water does, or even Dunkirk, which I may have unfairly written off this season, but for the past year, it has resonated with audiences across the country in a way that none of these other films have, and I think Universal has threaded the needle with the year’s strongest Oscar campaign, one that should be enough to overcome the Academy’s horror bias and win the big prize. Sometimes, you just have to trust your gut.



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

WINNER: Guillermo del Toro
ALTERNATE: Christopher Nolan
DARK HORSE: Paul Thomas Anderson

FINAL ANALYSIS: This one seems pretty cut and dried to me, even with that suspiciously-timed plagiarism lawsuit. Guillermo del Toro put his heart and soul into The Shape of Water, which throbs with feeling. Dunkirk is a remarkable technical achievement, but at some point, Christopher Nolan will have to move audiences if he wants to win this award. I honestly think that Paul Thomas Anderson could garner the second-most votes here, considering how passionate Phantom Thread‘s fans are. Meanwhile, I know young like Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig earned a lot of respect from their peers this year, but they don’t give this honor out to newbies. That’s what the Original Screenplay category is for.




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.

WINNER: Gary Oldman
ALTERNATE: Timothée Chalamet
DARK HORSE: Daniel Kaluuya

FINAL ANALYSIS: Oldman has this one in the bag. The competition just isn’t strong enough. If Chalamet was about 10 percent better, he might’ve had the juice to stage an upset, but his performance would’ve had to be undeniable, and the truth is, it’s not. He doesn’t really get that one knockout scene until the very end, which is the sustained close-up over the closing credits. He communicates more in that one scene than the entire rest of the film, so while it’s an impressive breakout performance, it’s not quite an Oscar winner. Denzel created an interesting character with Roman J. Israel but that movie is a bit of a mess, and while Daniel Kaluuya was a solid anchor for Get Out, the fact that he was nominated over Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger seems absurd to me. Daniel Day-Lewis might be the most deserving of the bunch, but there’s no way the Academy is going to give him his fourth statue for that performance, which isn’t nearly as towering or staggering as his Oscar-winning work in Lincoln and There Will Be Blood. No, this is Gary Oldman’s award, regardless of his past behavior. I just wonder how that’s going to go over with the media, and whether anyone will ask about it backstage.

Three Billboards Wins Golden Globes


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

WINNER: Frances McDormand
ALTERNATE: Sally Hawkins
DARK HORSE: Margot Robbie

FINAL ANALYSIS: Another award, another lock — this time it’s Frances McDormand, who probably gave the single best performance of the year. I mean, I loved Margot Robbie in I, Tonya. That’s a fearless, ferocious performance. But that film just never got the support it deserved this season. And Meryl Streep was lucky to be nominated for her unremarkable turn in The Post, which robbed Jessica Chastain of a well-deserved nomination for Molly’s Game. She’s definitely not going to win, which is a refreshing thing to write. I suppose I could see Saoirse Ronan posing a threat here given all the love for Lady Bird this season, but I also think that the Academy has a lot of respect for Sally Hawkins’ performance in The Shape of Water. I’d be curious to see who finishes second in this race, but the Academy refuses to share the vote totals. Either way, it’s Frances McDormand who you’ll see on the Dolby stage come Sunday night.

Sam Rockwell


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

WINNER: Sam Rockwell
ALTERNATE: Willem Dafoe
DARK HORSE: Richard Jenkins

FINAL ANALYSIS: If there’s any chance of an upset in the acting races, it’s here, where Sam Rockwell could be vulnerable, and Willem Dafoe and his astounding body of work loom large. A lot of people had problems with Rockwell’s character — not his performance, but just the fact that he’s playing a racist cop who comes to see the error of his ways. I know other folks who really loved what Woody Harrelson did in the same film. Is it possible that the Three Billboards co-stars could split the vote, allowing someone like Willem Dafoe to slip in? Yes, it is. Now, whether it’s probable is another question altogether. As much as I’d personally love to see Richard Jenkins win this award, neither he nor Christopher Plummer stand a real shot here. No, this is really between Rockwell and Dafoe, and while my heart says the latter, my head says the former. If The Florida Project had received a Best Picture nomination, I might’ve thought Dafoe would have enough support inside the Academy to pull off the upset, but alas, I just think Three Billboards has a lot more fans, especially when it comes to below-the-line voters. And yes, everyone votes for every award, unless they choose to abstain. Like Dafoe, Rockwell has paid his dues, so I suppose it’s time for him to be recognized.

Allison Janney I Tonya


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

WINNER: Allison Janney
ALTERNATE: Laurie Metcalf
DARK HORSE: Lesley Manville

FINAL ANALYSIS: It was a thin year for this category, where you pretty much had to nominate Octavia Spencer and Mary J. Blige because there weren’t a whole lot of contenders. Again, this is a two-horse race, just as it has been all season, and there’s a clear frontrunner, too. I, Tonya scene-stealer Allison Janney has nabbed most of the major precursors as her larger-than-life character has stolen the spotlight from Laurie Metcalf’s more nuanced turn as a very different kind of mother in Lady Bird. Metcalf is an Actor’s Actor, respected on both stage and screen, but let’s be serious — the Oscars are a popularity contest, and who doesn’t love Allison Janney? She’s an absolute riot who has charmed the entire awards circuit. If Metcalf was much better than Janney, I could see her pulling this one out, but the performances are relatively even in my mind, which means Janney wins on personality (both onscreen and off) alone. Props to Lesley Manville, though. She was the bomb in Phantom Thread, yo!

Call Me by Your Name


Call Me by Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Molly’s Game

WINNER: Call Me by Your Name

FINAL ANALYSIS: There’s no real dispute about this one. The results are up there on the screen. Call Me by Your Name is clearly the best film nominated for this award, which is why it was also nominated for Best Picture, whereas the others weren’t. I really liked all of these movies, too, especially Logan, but yeah, James Ivory is going to take this one in a walk. Sorry, Aaron Sorkin!

three billboards 2


The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

WINNER: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

FINAL ANALYSIS: Next to Best Picture, this is the toughest call of the night. At first glance, it seems like the place where the Academy would reward either Jordan Peele or Greta Gerwig. And yet, I think Martin McDonagh takes home this award for Three Billboards, which I think is just clearly the best-written film of the four Best Picture nominees in this category. What’s funny is, I actually think that The Big Sick boasts the best screenplay in the bunch, but without a Best Picture nomination, it doesn’t really stand a chance, which is unfortunate. And then there’s the curious case of The Shape of Water, which will either by hurt by those plagiarism claims, or people will consider the timing and feel emboldened to back del Toro and his co-writer Vanessa Taylor. That said, I just think Three Billboards is such a unique movie, and the script really gave an entire ensemble the chance to shine. I think it’s going to pull off a bit of an upset here, which would mean that Three Billboards, The Shape of Water and Get Out would all win a major prize outside of the acting races. A three-way split, with Lady Bird surprisingly drawing the short end of the stick in the year of #MeToo and Time’s Up.



The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

ALTERNATE: Loving Vincent
DARK HORSE: The Breadwinner

FINAL ANALYSIS: To be honest, I didn’t see any of these movies besides Coco, which is the clear frontrunner to win, even though it didn’t feel like one of Pixar’s stronger outings to me. Having said that, I understand that there’s nothing more universal than death, and the cultural resonance of this film extends far and wide. I wish the other nominees the best of luck, because they’re going to need it on Sunday.

icarus banner


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

WINNER: Icarus
ALTERNATE: Faces Places
DARK HORSE: Strong Island

FINAL ANALYSIS: Again, the only film I’ve seen is Icarus, and while I thought it was good, I can’t say I think it deserves to win an Oscar. I thought the director inserted himself into the movie, and not only that, but he got a little carried away with his own . And yet, the timing of this film couldn’t be better, with voting taking place in the middle of an Olympics where athletes are banned from competing on behalf of Russia. I mean, it’s almost like drew it up this way. The film has also benefited from the largest advertising budget. If it doesn’t win, it’s because the Academy wanted to go with something a little lighter, like Faces Places, which hails from veteran filmmaker Agnes Verda, who received an honorary Oscar in November as a tribute to her entire . Abacus is really the only movie on this list whose chances I would write off. This category is always a little wonky, so don’t be shocked if there’s a surprise of some kind.

daniela vega


A Fantastic Woman
The Insult
On Body and Soul
The Square

WINNER: A Fantastic Woman
DARK HORSE: The Square

FINAL ANALYSIS: Another category where I’ve only seen one of the nominees — The Square, which appears to be the favorite among awards prognosticators. And yet, I’ve seen the film, and there is no way it deserves an Oscar. It may have the highest profile of the nominees, but quite frankly, I would be shocked if it won. No, I think A Fantastic Woman and The Insult stand the best chance of winning this award, based on what I’ve read from critics and pundits. I think the fact that the Academy invited Daniela Vega to present at this year’s ceremony speaks volumes about how it feels about A Fantastic Woman, which is why I’m picking it to win.



Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

WINNER: Dunkirk
ALTERNATE: Blade Runner 2049
DARK HORSE: Mudbound

FINAL ANALYSIS: This is a tough call. Roger Deakins won the ASC, and many feel like it’s his time, if only so they can stop hearing about how he’s been snubbed by the Academy for his entire . However, I have the sneaking suspicion that despite how gorgeous Blade Runner 2049 looked, it won’t matter in the end. The movie was so indecipherable, it was practically obtuse, while Dunkirk is a technical masterpiece that was nominated for Best Picture. Hoyte van Hoytema’s camerawork made you feel like you were right there on the beaches of Dunkirk, and I think that remarkable feat will stand out in the minds of voters. Don’t discount the murky shadows of The Shape of Water, or the fact that Mudbound‘s Rachel Morrison is the first woman to be nominated for this award. That fact could go a long way… I’m just not sure it will go far enough to reach the Dolby stage. Either way, this is a race worth paying close attention to.

Phantom Thread Review


Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul

WINNER: Phantom Thread
ALTERNATE: The Shape of Water
DARK HORSE: Beauty and the Beast

FINAL ANALYSIS: The guild honored The Shape of Water over Phantom Thread, but I think the Academy as a whole, which is a much larger organization, will simply decide to vote for Phantom Thread, considering it’s about a guy who designs clothing. You can see his process in the film, and thus, you can see the process of the film’s costume designer, and that will likely prove to be hard to argue with. I know there’s support out there for Darkest Hour, but did that film out on a fashion show at the Chateau Marmont? I don’t think so…



Baby Driver
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

WINNER: Dunkirk
ALTERNATE: Baby Driver

FINAL ANALYSIS: This is a tough call, since the two films here that weren’t nominated for Best Picture — Baby Driver and I, Tonya — are elevated precisely because of the nature of their showy editing. I mean, Baby Driver is the weakest film of the bunch, but it is edited to perfection, and the editing in I, Tonya give that film its Goodfellas-like energy. Both would be worthy winners in another year, but how do you not give this year’s statue to Dunkirk, which fucking moves… especially for a Christopher Nolan film. The editing in Dunkirk is razor-sharp and it enhances the immediacy of the , which pretty much is the of this film. While Best Editing is considered a major bellwether for the Best Picture race, don’t be fooled by the omission of Get Out here. Gregory Plotkin did a hell of a with that tension-filled horror film, it was just a tough year for the category, which also features both Searchlight nominees.

Darkest Hour


Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul

WINNER: Darkest Hour
DARK HORSE: Victoria & Abdul

FINAL ANALYSIS: As sure a thing as any other award of the night. Gary Oldman became Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, and a big part of that was the flawless makeup that helped Oldman lose himself in the transformative role. Jacob Tremblay’s makeup in Wonder was strong, and kudos to any makeup artist who can keep Judi Dench looking like a movie star at her advanced age, but this one is a done deal. Mark it down.

shape of water 2


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

WINNER: The Shape of Water
DARK HORSE: Phantom Thread

FINAL ANALYSIS: As good as Hans Zimmer’s Dunkirk score was, I’d be shocked if The Shape of Water didn’t win this award. Yes, the score is more traditional, but it plays like something out of a silent film, which it kind of is, since the lead character played by Sally Hawkins is mute, and her fishy love interest doesn’t speak either. That leaves the score to do a lot of the emotional heavy lifting, and Desplat is more than up to the challenge, bringing his A-game to del Toro’s interspecies romance. And listen, Jonny Greenwood did incredible work on Phantom Thread, but this is a tough year, especially when old pros like John Williams and Carter Burwell are considered afterthoughts in this category.

The Greatest Showman


“Mighty River,” Mudbound
“Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
“Remember Me,” Coco
“Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

WINNER: The Greatest Showman
DARK HORSE: Marshall

FINAL ANALYSIS: “Remember Me” from Coco seems to be the heavy favorite here, but my money is on an upset from the rousing song “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. For me, it comes down to the fact that the song from Coco is a bit of a downer, while the song from The Greatest Showman empowers you and gets you on your feet. I think it has a stronger message and will play much better in the room at the Dolby. My favorite song here is Mystery of Love from Call Me by Your Name, and 20 years ago, that song might’ve won, a la “Miss Misery” from Good Will Hunting. But these days, I think it’s the song least likely to win, as the songs from both Mudbound and Marshall each stand a better chance at taking home the gold. However, neither is a musical, and that’s where Coco and The Greatest Showman will have an edge. We’ll see if the Academy votes for the animated film, or whether it embraces the hit and its bearded lady, Keala Settle.

shape of water


Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water

WINNER: The Shape of Water
DARK HORSE: Blade Runner 2049

FINAL ANALYSIS: Blade Runner 2049 could always surprise, I suppose, but this Oscar seems like it will safely go to The Shape of Water. Just think of the sets in that movie, from the government facility and its drab laboratory to the old movie theater beneath Sally Hawkins’ apartment and that of her neighbor played by Richard Jenkins. The design is meticulous, and everything looks perfect for the time period. This film has a lot of below-the-line support, and its exquisite design is a large part of that.


Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

WINNER: Negative Space
ALTERNATE: Garden Party
DARK HORSE: Dear Basketball

FINAL ANALYSIS: I’m trusting Kate Erbland from Indiewire and Chris Feil from The Film Experience on this one. I know everyone wants to see Kobe Bryant win, since he’s been so charming on the circuit, but it may be tough for the animated sketches of Dear Basketball to compete with Pixar’s Lou or the frogs of Garden Party. In the end. I suspect that the father-son Negative Space will be the one to beat, as by all accounts, it sounds both humorous and heartfelt. The one nominee that doesn’t seem to stand a chance is Revolting Rhymes, which is also longer than all of the other entries combined.


Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

WINNER: Heroin(e)
ALTERNATE: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam On the 405
DARK HORSE: Edith+Eddie

FINAL ANALYSIS: I’m going to defer to the fine folks at Vanity Fair on this one, as well as Glenn Dunks at The Film Experience. They feel like Heroin(e) is the one to beat, aided by the fact that it’s available to stream on . It also follows three women trying to stop the opioid epidemic from ravaging their community. Heaven Is a Traffic Jam could play the spoiler, as its said to be a remarkable portrait of a female artist struggling with mental illness, and don’t forget about Edith+Eddie either. The only film that feels like it doesn’t stand a chance is Knife Skills, so don’t choose that one in your Oscar pool.


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

WINNER: The Silent Child
ALTERNATE: Dekalb Elementary
DARK HORSE: The Eleven O’Clock

FINAL ANALYSIS: I’ve heard good things about The Silent Child all season. It follows a four-year-old deaf girl who learns how to communicate with the help of a social worker. The gang at Gold Derby say it has the most complete arc, and boasts gorgeous cinematography and a great score. It’s hard to argue with that kind of a review. The Eleven O’Clock is the lightest film of the bunch, which could either help it, or work against it. Dekalb Elementary concerns a school shooting, which could resonate with voters in the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting. That’s certainly one to keep an eye on, it all depends on how many voters already watched these shorts and have made up their minds. If there’s one film I don’t see winning, it’s My Nephew Emmett.



Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WINNER: Dunkirk
ALTERNATE: Blade Runner 2049
DARK HORSE: Baby Driver

FINAL ANALYSIS: When in doubt, vote for Dunkirk. That’s what most voters will be thinking here, having been trained for years to just vote for the loudest movie, which is in this case, is the propulsive WWII war film. When you’re on that beach with Harry Styles, you really feel those bullets whizzing overhead. It’ll be hard for any of the other nominees to overcome that thrilling sensation.



Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

WINNER: Dunkirk
ALTERNATE: Baby Driver
DARK HORSE: Blade Runner 2049

FINAL ANALYSIS: Again, I’ve gotta give the benefit of the doubt to Dunkirk, but if it does lose one of these sound awards, don’t be surprised if it’s Baby Driver that rides off with the Oscar. Edgar Wright’s sound team had a great soundtrack that was well integrated into the film itself, which had no shortage of roaring engines and squealing tires. The question is, will voters really think of Baby Driver as an Oscar movie, or will they just check off Dunkirk on their ballots and not think too hard about it. As with every Christopher Nolan film, people did complain about the sound mix, so we’ll see if the industry’s experts agree with those concerns.

War for the Planet of the Apes


Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

WINNER: War for the Planet of the Apes
ALTERNATE: Blade Runner 2049
DARK HORSE: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

FINAL ANALYSIS: Yeah, I know that Blade Runner 2049 is probably the frontrunner to win this award, but I have a hard time believing that the Academy won’t honor the incredibly lifelike work done in the Apes trilogy, which finally reached its peak with War for the Planet of the Apes. I don’t see how the oversized holograms of Blade Runner can compete with Caesar and the rest of those apes, which looked incredible. I don’t think any of the other movies pose much of a threat, though I suppose it’s never wise to write off Star Wars. Still, “apes strong together,” and I’m not sure any lightsaber or flying car is going to tell me otherwise.

  | Editor in Chief

1 Comment

  1. I’d like to clarify what you meant in the above article when you referred to Gary Oldman’s “past behaviour” and “how that will go over with the media”?

    If you’re referring to the 2001 accusation made by his ex-wife who claimed Oldman struck her with a phone in front of their two children, it’s responsible to mention that the police investigated this accusation at the time and found there was no merit to this accusation and the courts subsequently provided Oldman with sole custody of his two sons and only allowed his ex-wife to have supervised visitation rights (Oldman’s two sons have also stated that this didn’t occur).

    I realise that in the current climate that an accusation is essentially now seen as equating to instant guilt, but I think it’s irresponsible to mention in the article about “how will the media respond” should he win and “will he be asked about it” backstage when the claim was investigated by the police and courts at the time and Oldman was cleared (clearly the courts were so confident in the outcome of that investigation that they awarded him sole custody of his two sons).

    All reasonable people agree that serious accusations should be taken seriously and be investigated in a thorough and meaningful manner, but once that person has been cleared via due process it’s really just poor form to act as though they’re probably/likely guilty because an accusation had been alleged.

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