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If you are a nominee tonight who isn’t making history, shame on you.

Oscar Winners 2018

As predicted, the most predictable thing about this year’s Oscars, aside from the de rigueur virtue signalling, was the predictability of the votes. Meaning, I figured a stunning 16 out of 24 of them right. That’s good… for me. The only way to give the ceremony a kick in the ass is to make it less pompous (virtually impossible) get in someone to host who really doesn’t give a shit (the organisers are too frightened to do that, as memories of Letterman still cause some to wake up in cold sweats) or move the whole shebang forward, such that it isn’t a fait accompli at the end of an exhausted season. That one’s probably more likely, certainly given that viewing figures have hit an all-time low (the reasons for which are doubtless varied, including reflecting TV trends generally, but probably include the starchy nature of the event, disenchantment with star power itself, and a basic disinterest in a ceremony increasingly seen to shun populist fare).

Jimmy Kimmel went down agreeably (as in, inoffensively to those who counted, and with just enough pith directed at those who didn’t) and included a decent jet ski running gag (going to the winner with the shortest acceptance speech) while Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway didn’t cock up the Best Picture announcement (I know, I know, it wasn’t their fault). They failed to muster even a glimmer of interest in their presence either, however. But if Kimmel was hoping for unpredictability, it was in short supply.

Best Picture
Winner: The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro, J Miles Dale)
I guessed: The Shape of Water

It’s been the most-likely for a while. One wonders how it will affect del Toro’s cachet and clout. Will he finally get At the Mountains of Madness made? But then, there’s that nagging concern that, the bigger his movies are, the less distinctive, idiosyncratic and just plain good the results. Some are calling this a first as a science fiction movie Best Picture winner, but of all the genre medleys in this one’s fish soup, I’d say that’s the least of them.

Best Director
Winner: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)
I guessed: Guillermo del Toro

Definitely deserved, and the dual Picture/Director win has become an increasing rarity in recent years; since there was a run of double-duty years pre-2012, only Birdman in 2015 has done the same. It’s become easy to forget it was once a relative rarity.

Best Actor
Winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
I guessed: Gary Oldman

Obviously, I’m not going to win the ski.” Well done, Gaz’s PR team.

Best Actress
Winner: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
I guessed: Frances McDormand

No complaints here. Although, I was rooting for Sally Hawkins. It’s always nice to have a repeat winner you actually rate, even if McDormand’s rallying cry to sister actors everywhere (and those who were her fellow nominees) is exactly the kind of empowerment posturing Hollywood wishes they could have on tap (ie, faintly nauseating).

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri)
I guessed: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project)

They went for the field-leader throughout the entire season, which is fair enough. Rather earmarks Martin McDonagh as an actors’ director, not that thesps weren’t queueing up for him anyway; anyone with a vaguely Coens-esque facility with dialogue is in great demand.

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
I guessed: Allison Janney

No surprises there. But it’s not all going Janney’s way; she doesn’t have a new season of Roseanne coming out.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)
I guessed: Call Me By Your Name

No surprises there, although at 89 you might be forgiven for thinking Ivory has few creative innings left in him; he actually has a directing gig of Richard II lined up. Eat that, Clint.

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
I guessed: Get Out

The closest to a surprise in the major categories, except that Get Out eclipsing the early favourite Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri had been on the cards for some time. There’s always a danger that first-time feting can lead to sophomore blues – well, if you ignore Keanu – but I doubt that will be the case for Peele.

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Coco (Lee Unkrich and Daria K Anderson)
I guessed: Coco

Not the most outrageous win by Coco

Best Cinematography
Winner: Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049)
I guessed: Blade Runner 2049

Genuine, bona fide science fiction winner! And Roger Deakins finally gets his Oscar! A result all round. As has been noted, the first non-Best Picture nominee to win since Memoirs of a Geisha (Road to Perdition, Legends of the Fall, A River Runs Through It, Glory, Days of Heaven, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Ryan’s Daughter are the others in the last fifty years).

Best Production Design
Winner: Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau & Jeff Melvin (The Shape of Water)
I guessed: The Shape of Water

Like Titanic, or rather, not like Titanic much at all, del Toro had to make do with tech categories for the rest of his minor haul.

Best Costume Design
Winner: Mark Bridges (Phantom Thread)
I guessed: Phantom Thread

Winner of the jet ski.

Best Make Up and Hairstyling
Winner: Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski & Lucy Sibbick (Darkest Hour)
I guessed: Darkest Hour

No surprises there. Fat suits rock with voters.

Best Film Editing
Winner: Lee Smith (Dunkirk)
I guessed: Dunkirk

Smith’s first Oscar. He’s come a long way from inauspicious beginnings on Howling III (he’s now the go-to guy for both Nolan and Peter Weir, the latter when he actually makes a movie, that is).

Best Sound Mixing
Winner: Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker & Gary A Rizzo (Dunkirk)
I guessed: Baby Driver

Weingarten’s first win, but Landaker’s fourth (the others are, eclectically, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Speed) and Rizzo’s second (Inception being the first).

Best Sound Editing
Winner: Richard King & Alex Gibson (Dunkirk)
I guessed: Dunkirk

Fourth win for King (Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, The Dark Knight and Inception) and the first for Gibson.

Best Visual Effects
Winner: John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R Hoover (Blade Runner 2049)
I guessed: War for the Planet of the Apes

I didn’t want those damn, pixelated apes to win, so I’m chuffed with this one. Nelson has one win (Gladiator). Nefzer, Lambert and Hoover their first.

Best Original Score
Winner: Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water)
I guessed: The Shape of Water

A second win for Desplat, for a score I liked but isn’t in the same league as his previous Oscar (The Grand Budapest Hotel).

Best Original Song
Winner: Kristin Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez – Remember Me (Coco)
I guessed: This Is Me (The Greatest Showman)

Mawkish Mouse House crud rulez.

Best Foreign Language
Winner: A Fantastic Woman (directed by Sebastiàn Lelio)
I guessed: The Square

I ignored the favourite to my peril; as Academy members have agreed, trans is so hot right now.

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: Icarus (by Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogen)
I guessed: Faces Places

These shorts and docs categories are the only ones where you could toss a coin these days. Socking it to Putin gives Netflix their first feature victory.

Best Animated Short
Winner: Dear Basketball (Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant)
I guessed: Lou

Basketball, shmasketball.

Best Documentary Short
Winner: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (Frank Stiefel)
I guessed: Edith + Eddie

I have nothing.

Best Live Action Short
Winner: The Silent Child (Chris Overton & Rachel Shenton)
I guessed: The Silent Child


Wow! I got one of these rights. I won’t let it go to my head.

Agree? Disagree? Mildly or vehemently? Let me know in the comments below.

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