Final nominations predictions for 90th Academy Awards

I’ve said it before of the film industry, and I’ll say it again – nobody knows anything. And, in the craziest awards season we’ve seen in years, that rings especially true when attempting to predict the Academy Award nominations. Nobody really knows how this year is going to play out. Every single category is wildly unpredictable, even more so than usual. That being said, we Oscar prognosticators like to foolishly believe we can somehow read the tea leaves of the precursor season, and decipher how the Academy will go.

This year’s tea leaves have suggested all sorts of things. There could be a sweep for The Shape of Water, and it scores more nominations than any film in history. There could be a total snub of Steven Spielberg’s late-entry The Post, and it barely gets any love. The backlash against several films could have worked, and they all see their nominations total dashed. It makes for a tantalising and anxious nominations announcement in a few hours time. One thing is for certain – there will be shocks and surprises aplenty. That you can count on.

So, here we go with The Jam Report’s nominations predictions for the 90th Academy Awards.

BEST PICTURE
The Big Sick
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Florida Project
Get Out
I, Tonya
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Alternates: Darkest Hour, Mudbound, Wonder Woman

Perhaps the toughest category to predict this year. I would call five or six of these absolute locks, and the rest are shaky as hell. The Post could see a total snub, like at BAFTA and SAG. The Florida Project has lost a lot of steam, but still should sneak in. I, Tonya is a late bolter that’s surged in popularity lately. The Big Sick could drop off, much like it did at the Golden Globes. And any of those three alternates could steal a spot. Please let it be Wonder Woman. It’s highly unlikely we’ll get 10 nominees, given we’re still yet to see that happen under the new voting method. But, with such a strong year, it could be the first time we see it.

BEST DIRECTOR
Sean Baker – The Florida Project
Guillermo Del Toro – The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Alternates: Jordan Peele – Get Out, Steven Spielberg – The Post

We haven’t seen the five DGA nominees match up with the Academy’s picks for years now, so I get the feeling we’re looking at a Mel Gibson/Lenny Abrahamson/Bennett Miller surprise fifth spot. I’m being completely insane and going with Sean Baker. I know I’ll be wrong, but you have to stick your neck out sometimes. I’m not bold enough to predict the potential Nolan snub, but he’s never been nominated before, so it could happen.

BEST ACTOR
Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Alternates: Tom HanksThe Post, Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger

This one has seemed all locked up for a while now. The only one in danger is Franco, after those sexual misconduct allegations came to light. However, the negative press came far too late in voting to really make an impact, so I think he’s safe. If the Academy loved The Post more than some of its fellow awards shows, expect to see Hanks take his spot.

BEST ACTRESS
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

Alternates: Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game, Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul

Much like the Best Actor, this one is fairly set in stone too. It’s crazy to even suggest this, but the only one who could potentially drop out would be Streep, especially if The Post flops with Academy voters. It’s usually a sure-bet to see Streep nominated, but with such a strong year for female performances, anything is possible.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Armie Hammer – Call Me By Your Name
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Alternates: Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me By Your Name

The toughest of the acting categories to predict. There are seven truly strong contenders vying for the five spots. We’ve seen a combination of these seven at all the precursor awards, so it’s rather impossible to know how the Academy will go. You could easily swap Stuhlbarg for Hammer. Or they could even both get in, if voters really loved Call Me By Your Name. Or they could both miss out, if Harrelson sneaks in and makes it a double for Three Billboards. I’m sticking with Plummer, just so I can brag about calling his nomination the moment his casting was announced…

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Holly Hunter – The Big Sick
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water

Alternates: Hong Chau – Downsizing, Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Nowhere near as tough as the Supporting Actor race. It’s possible one of these ladies (possibly Spencer or Blige) will miss out, and Chau will take her place. She’s scored noms at many of the important precursor awards, but the reaction to Downsizing was rough, so that could affect her chances. I’ve been pushing for that Haddish nomination for weeks now, but it’s probably not going to happen. The poor woman is announcing the nominees, which seems awfully cruel. If she does get in, her live reaction will be priceless.

I won’t elaborate/provide alternates for the remaining categories. Let’s just run through them and get this over with.

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

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me By Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Molly’s Game
Mudbound
Logan

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Blade Runner 2049
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
The Greatest Showman
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water

BEST FILM EDITING
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Get Out
The Shape of Water

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIR
Darkest Hour
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Wonder

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Blade Runner 2049
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water

BEST SCORE
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Evermore” – Beauty and the Beast
“The Mystery of Love” – Call Me By Your Name
“Remember Me” – Coco
“This Is Me” – The Greatest Showman
“Mighty River” – Mudbound

BEST SOUND EDITING
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

BEST SOUND MIXING
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
The LEGO Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
City of Ghosts
Faces Places
Icarus
Jane
Last Men in Aleppo

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Fantastic Woman
Foxtrot
In the Fade
Loveless
The Square

BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Cradle
Dear Basketball
In a Heartbeat
Lou
Negative Space

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
116 Cameras
Alone
Edith+Eddie
Heroin(e)
Ten Meter Tower

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
DeKalb Elementary
My Nephew Emmett
Rise of a Star
The Silent Child
Watu Wote / All of Us

Well, there you have it. As always, there’s bound to be a whole stack of unexpected nominations, so get ready for my The Good, The Bad and the Ugly reaction post tomorrow. In the end, I believe we’ll see The Shape of Water equal All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land‘s record of 14 nominations, followed by Dunkirk with nine, and Call Me By Your Name and Blade Runner 2049 with six.

Let the games begin…