Oscar Watch 2018: Nomination Predictions

At this point, not all that much has changed leading into the release of Oscar nominations tomorrow morning. This weekend saw two major award announcements, the first two huge guilds to weigh in with their thoughts on who we should be watching out for this coming March.

The Producers Guild of America got the ball rolling on Saturday, giving Guillermo Del Toro's throwback romance/monster movie The Shape of Water a rather large feather in its cap. The Shape of Water has received plenty of love this season, with this marking its second big win after taking home the top prize at the Critics' Choice Awards a week and a half ago.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, on the other hand, pretty much followed in lock step with the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards for the acting categories, giving their top prizes to actors who had all previously won a Globe. There's no question now who the front runners are in the four major acting categories, with Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards), Their Best Picture choice (which for the SAGs is the Best Ensemble category) went to Three Billboards.

And now we have a race. And it's a strange one. There's no doubt at this point that the two movies out in front are Three Billboards and The Shape of Water (with Lady Bird and Get Out shrinking in the rear view mirror), which could make for one of the stranger lead-ups to the Oscar telecast in some time. You'd think that The Shape of Water remains too undeniably weird to have any shot at awards, and I think that the stuffy Academy that decided to go with The King's Speech over The Social Network or Black Swan (yep, still bitter) might not have given much more than token nominations for an inter-species romance monster movie, but the Academy has gotten younger and more diverse in the years since then, allowing for some more left of center films to get a boost. And Pan's Labyrinth did win plenty of technical awards, but its subject matter wasn't nearly as taboo or off the beaten path as The Shape of Water is.

It's well-placed in a way, as Del Toro remains the front-runner for director, and the DGA announcement in early February should keep its momentum going. And Three Billboards won't be winning anything at the WGAs, as it was ineligible, though it's unlikely The Shape of Water would prevail there. The WGAs could see a huge victory for Get Out or Lady Bird most likely, giving them a nice opportunity for some time in the sun.

As for tomorrow's nomination announcements, I honestly wouldn't expect too many surprises. Actor, Actress, Director and Supporting Actress are all pretty well established at this point, and while there are a few possibilities the supporting categories (revolving around Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg and Christopher Plummer, as well as Hong Chau vs, Octavia Spencer for the women), I can't really imagine any real out of left field dark horses crashing the party. And good lord that Original Screenplay category is stacked (the other thing I could easily get wrong is seeing The Big Sick nominated over Phantom Thread, but I'm too much of a PTA homer to go for that one). And Best Picture is always a question with where the cutoff will be. I'm guessing we see nine again, as that's been the trend the last few years, with the likes of The Big Sick, Phantom Thread and Mudbound on the outside looking in. Here's what I expect to hear in the am:

Predictions for tomorrow's major categories (current predicted winners starred):

Best Actor:

*Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour

Timothee Chalamet - Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread

James Franco - The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out

Best Actress:

Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water

Margot Robbie - I, Tonya

Saiorse Ronan - Lady Bird

Meryl Streep - The Post

*Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actor:

*Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project

Armie Hammer - Call Me By Your Name

Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water

Michael Stuhlbarg - Call Me By Your Name

Best Supporting Actress:

*Allison Janney - I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird

Mary J. Blige - Mudbound

Holly Hunter - The Big Sick

Hong Chau - Downsizing

Best Adapted Screenplay:

*Call Me By Your Name


Molly's Game

The Disaster Artist


Best Original Screenplay:

Lady Bird

Get Out

*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Phantom Thread

The Shape of Water

Best Director:

*Guillermo Del Toro - The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird

Jordan Peele - Get Out

Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk

Martin McDonagh - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture:

*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Get Out

The Shape of Water

Lady Bird


Call Me By Your Name

The Post

The Florida Project

I'll check in later this week with some thoughts on the nominations on the off chance something exciting and unforeseen happens, but I'm not holding my breath.