The year 2017 is coming to a close, which means Hollywood is churning out their best picture hopefuls faster than pilgrims churned butter back in the olden days. (I refuse to apologize for that reference so please do not @ me.) The competition will be incredibly stiff during the 2018 Academy Awards, mostly because a slew of extremely good movies came out towards the beginning of the year which are definite contenders (hi, Get Out).
Here's who we think will be nominated for the year's most prestigious award, and depressing spoiler alert: Most of these movies star boring white men, which, UGH.
Will Be Nominated
'The Shape of Water'
Guillermo del Toro's film is a near-guaranteed nominee, which is nice considering how unusual it is. Not only is the movie being dubbed a fantasy/romance/horror (hooray for movies that aren't biopics about white dudes!), it's about the relationship between a woman (Sally Hawkins) and a mutant fish man. Honestly, we wouldn't be mad if this won.
'Call Me by Your Name'
Call Me by Your Name is this year's most beautiful, gorgeous, stunning, memorable, and every-single-other-over-the-top-adjective movie. It's a true work of art that fully encompasses the experience of falling in love, and perhaps it's wishful thinking to put it on this list, but I'm doing it anyway.
I have my feelings about Dunkirk (opens in new tab), but there's no denying that it's a brilliantly executed film and a true cinematic experience. I'm not sure it deserves an Oscar nomination (though Christopher Nolan certainly deserves one for his directing), but the Academy committee loves itself a war movie, and there's virtually no way this won't be a major contender.
Perhaps this is an unfair characterization, but Darkest Hour is best defined as Oscar bait. It has a powerhouse actor (Gary Oldman), is a biopic about an important white male in politics (Winston Churchill), and is packed with English accents. It seems deeply unlikely that it won't secure a nomination, but in all honesty I'd be fine with this being replaced by either Get Out or Wonder Woman.
Not only will it be nominated, it has a very good chance of winning. First of all, we have Meryl Streep taking on the role of Katharine Graham—the first female publisher of The Washington Post. Then there's the fact that the film couldn't be more topical/relevant to the situation we find ourselves in today. Oh, and then there's the fact that it's directed by Steven Spielberg. If there was a formula for "How to Get Nominated for an Oscar," this film would be it.
While Phantom Thread probably won't win, Daniel Day Lewis' last movie will definitely get a nomination. The film clearly rests on the actor's incredible talent and he never doesn't deliver. Chances are the Academy will give him the Best Actor award and let someone else win Best Picture, but still—the movie will be nominated, you can be sure of that.
'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
This movie is the perfect balance of quirky drama (which the Academy f*cking loves), and the fact that it features a bunch of old faves definitely gives it a fighting chance at a nomination (by that we mean Frances McDorman, Woody Harrelson, and Sam Rockwell). It probably won't win, but the likely nomination is well-appreciated.
Mudbound will be a huge moment for Netflix, and rightly so. The film tells the unique story of WWII veterans who return home and deal with PTSD as well as racism in their home state of Mississippi, and has a great cast delivering even greater performances (Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell, and Mary J. Blige, to name a few).
Greta Gerwig's Lady Bird has received a rush of intense and well-deserved critical acclaim, which will probably help land it an Oscar nomination, and thank god. The film's social media campaign has also done a very good job of getting eyeballs on the movie—so expect it to steamroll into a film literally everyone is talking about. (On that note, go see it.)
Should Be Nominated
Get Out is one of the most socially relevant and creative movies in recent memory. Everything about it—the acting, the comedic beats, the terror, the directing—is perfect. But due to the timing of its release and the fact that some people might incorrectly write it off as a pure horror film, there's a chance it won't get the nomination it so crucially deserves.
'The Florida Project'
This one is super iffy. The movie has received a lot of critical acclaim, but if you asked a random person on the street what it is, chances are they'd give you a blank stare. If the film can get its promotional campaign off the ground, it can (and should) earn an Oscar nomination.
If Wonder Woman seems like an unlikely choice for best picture, sit back and ask yourself why. An Oscar-worthy movie demands brilliant acting, which this movie has in spades thanks to Gal Gadot. It demands brilliant directing, and Patti Jenkins is a genius. Furthermore, Wonder Woman was a cultural movement as much as it was a pop cultural moment. It deserves the highest praise.
I, Tonya is the most extra movie ever, and frankly, it might be too extra for the Academy. While Margot Robbie will likely earn a Best Actress nomination (as will Allison Janney), the movie itself might come up short, which is a shame.
Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm. She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.
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