Who Will Win the 2018 Oscars: Cineplex experts predict the winners in key categories
As the day for the Academy Awards ceremony approaches, more and more pundits are weighing in on who they think will ultimately take home the Oscar. While we at Cineplex don't have any insider info, we have seen almost all of the nominated movies, and we certainly have both opinions and ideas on who should win and who ultimately will win.
We polled key members of staff here and have compiled their predictions for this year's key categories and most interesting contests. If you're looking for some hints for your own Oscar pool or our Pick the Winners contest, read on!
This one is a very tight race. While fans would love to see Blade Runner 2049's Roger Deakins win - he's been nominated 14 times and has never won - the stunning camera work on Dunkirk and The Shape of Water make this far from a sure thing. This is one we'll be watching closely on awards night, as opinions are pretty evenly split on which film is likeliest to win.
Also nominated: Darkest Hour; Mudbound
Best Visual Effects
This category is also pretty even. Though Lucasfilm's work on all of the Star Wars movies is definitely state-of-the-art, the motion-capture work required to believably bring various types of apes to realistic life is gaining recognition, and the effects used to create Blade Runner 2049's dystopia were key to the tone of the movie.
Best Adapted Screenplay
While the beloved and critically praised Call Me By Your Name is the frontrunner in this category, it's possible that another contender could break out and steal the win, especially if voters want to reward a movie that isn't truly in the running for another major category. Possible but not terribly likely, as adapting the coming-of-age novel into a lush, lyrical film that relies as much on glances as dialogue shows a deft hand that is definitely award-worthy. It also helps that screenwriter James Ivory is 89 years old, and if he wins, he'll be the oldest winner in Oscar history.
Also nominated: Mudbound
Best Original Screenplay
Another category where we're very curious as to the ultimate outcome, the award for original screenplay seems like the category most open to a surprise win from an underdog. There are frankly a lot of deserving nominees here and we'd be just as happy to see the Oscar go to The Big Sick even though it's likeliest the award will go to Get Out for its genre-bending thriller/horror/satire/comedy.
Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell has got this one on lockdown, having already taken home multiple trophies for his portrayal of a racist cop in rural Missouri. But we can't help but hold out hope that underdog Willem Dafoe pulls out a surprise win for his role as a goodhearted motel manager in The Florida Project. Also with an outside chance here is Christopher Plummer, who stepped in at the 11th hour to reshoot the role of J. Paul Getty when director Ridley Scott decided to cut Kevin Spacey out of his movie despite the fact that principal photography had finished!
Also nominated: Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Best Supporting Actress
In a contest without a lot of suspense, Allison Janney seems virtually guaranteed to take home yet another award for her powerhouse turn as Tonya Harding's pushy stage mother LaVona, although there's a slim chance that we could see Octavia Spencer or Laurie Metcalf pull out a surprise upset. Although all the nominated performances are deserving, we'd be just as happy to see Metcalf or Spencer get some recognition for their somewhat more subtle yet emotional roles.
Also nominated: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound; Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
While there is a lot of love for the performances by first-time nominee Timothee Chalamet and past winner Daniel Day-Lewis, this category looks to be Gary Oldman's to lose. Hollywood loves to reward actors who physically transform themselves to inhabit a role, especially when they're taking on a figure as well-known and revered as WWII-era Winston Churchill.
Also nominated: Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out; Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq.
This contest also seems like a no-brainer, as Frances McDormand has already taken home multiple awards for her memorable role as the tough-as-nails mother masking her pain with a righteous fury and anger. But, were Sally Hawkins or Margot Robbie to somehow pull off a shocking upset, we couldn't be too unhappy about it as their performances were equally memorable and assured - and both depending in large part on physicality, to portray a mute cleaning woman (Hawkins) and a stubborn yet vulnerable figure skater (Robbie).
Guillermo Del Toro is most definitely the frontrunner here, as the Oscars like to reward not just single directorial achievement but also a body of work, and Del Toro has gained a reputation for bringing emotional realism to the most fantastical stories. That said, Christopher Nolan and Greta Gerwig have both directed truly unique and amazing films this year, and either could easily pull off a surprise win in this category.
Also nominated: Jordan Peele, Get Out; Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
The big prize of the night seems to be coming down to a two-way race between the films that have received the most accolades and awards so far, with The Shape of Water being the somewhat safer choice versus the more politically charged Three Billboards. That said, last year everyone thought La La Land was a total lock to win but the more emotional and topical Moonlight ended up shocking everyone with a surprise win, so it's really anyone's guess what could happen! No matter who takes home the statue, we can all celebrate what a remarkable year it's been for movies.
Also nominated: Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post