Carlos Valladares’ Oscar Picks 2018

March 2, 2018, 7:08 a.m.

Even though the Oscars treats movies like a gambling bracket, I can’t resist the effortless urge to predict which middlebrow white elephant flick will win over the Academy this year, which unexpectedly nominated film should win and which masterpieces weren’t even considered.

(And once again, a reiteration that the most magnificent moving-picture work from last year was David Lynch’s and Mark Frost’s “Twin Peaks: The Return.” It would sweep my Oscars if it was eligible.)

Best Picture

Who will win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (ugh)

Who should win: “Lady Bird” or “Call Me By Your Name”

Who wasn’t even nominated: lol. Where to begin. Let’s start with “A Quiet Passion,” “Ex Libris,” “The Red Turtle,” “Baby Driver,” “Personal Shopper,” “Dawson City: Frozen Time,” “Song to Song,” “The Florida Project,” “The Other Side of Hope,” “On the Beach at Night Alone,” “Good Time”—but, of course, none of these were ever seriously in the running.

Best Director

Who will win: Guillermo Del Toro for “The Shape of Water”

Who should win: Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird”

Who wasn’t even nominated: just pick all the directors from the above-mentioned films and add Dee Rees for “Mudbound,” Raoul Peck for “I Am Not Your Negro” and Alexander Payne for “Downsizing” (whose ambition still amazes me, even if the film is a failure in retrospect).

Best Actor:

Who will win: Gary Oldman for “Darkest Hour”

Who should win: Denzel Washington for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.” or Daniel Kaluuya for “Get Out”

Who wasn’t even nominated: Robert Pattinson for “Good Time”

Best Actress:

Who will win: Frances McDormand for “Three Billboards”

Who should win: Saoirse Ronan for “Lady Bird” (though I wouldn’t mind a McDormand win—she’s the best part about “Three Billboards”)

Who wasn’t even nominated: Cynthia Nixon for “A Quiet Passion,” Brooklynn Prince for “The Florida Project,” Aubrey Plaza for “Ingrid Goes West,” Regina Hall for “Girls Trip,” Vicky Krieps for “Phantom Thread” and Kristen Stewart for “Personal Shopper.”

Best Supporting Actor:

Who will win: Sam Rockwell for “Three Billboards”

Who should win: Willem Defoe for “The Florida Project”

Who wasn’t even nominated: Lucas Hedges for “Lady Bird,” Tracy Letts for “Lady Bird,” Stephen McKinley Henderson for “Lady Bird,” Lil Rey Howery for “Get Out” and Jon Hamm for “Baby Driver.”

Best Supporting Actress:

Who will win: Allison Janney for “I, Tonya”

Who should win: Laurie Metcalf for “Lady Bird”

Who wasn’t even nominated: Tiffany Haddish for “Girls Trip,” Hong Chau for “Downsizing,” Esther Garrel for “Call Me By Your Name,” Bria Vinaite for “The Florida Project” and Lois Smith for “Lady Bird.”

Best Original Screenplay:

Who will win: Martin McDonagh for “Three Billboards”

Who should win: Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird”

Who was not even nominated: Edgar Wright for “Baby Driver,” Terence Davies for “A Quiet Passion,” Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch for “The Florida Project,” Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for “Downsizing,” Dan Gilroy for “Roman J. Israel, Esq.,” David Branson Smith and Matt Spicer for “Ingrid Goes West.”

Best Adapted Screenplay:

Who will and should win: James Ivory for “Call Me By Your Name”

Who was not even nominated: Matt Reeves and Mark Bomback for “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

Best Animated Feature:

Who will and should win: “Coco” (though I have not seen “The Breadwinner”)

Best Original Score:

Who will win: Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

Who should win: Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread” (though his score to the 2017 Lynne Ramsay film “You Were Never Really Here”—soon to be released in April by Amazon—was even more impressive)

Who was not even nominated: Laurent Perez del Mar for “The Red Turtle,” Rolfe Kent for “Downsizing,” Jon Brion for “Lady Bird.”

Best Cinematography:

Who will win: Roger Deakins for “Blade Runner 2049”

Who should win: Pretty fine with any of these winning, honestly, but I’ll pick Dan Laustsen for “The Shape of Water”

Who was not even nominated: Emmanuel Lubezki for “Song to Song” (they would snub Chivo the year he shoots a masterwork)

Best Original Song:

Who will win: “Remember Me” from “Coco”

Who should win: “Mystery of Love” from “Call Me By Your Name”

Who was not even nominated: “Visions of Gideon” from “Call Me By Your Name”

An earlier version of this article misidentified the screenwriters of “Ingrid Goes West.”

Contact Carlos Valladares at cvall96 ‘at’

Carlos Valladares is a senior double-majoring in Film and American Studies. He loves the Beatles and jazz, dogs and dance. Were he stranded on a desert island, he'd be sure to take some food— and also, copies of "A Hard Day's Night," "The Young Girls of Rochefort," "Nashville," "Killer of Sheep," and anything by Studio Ghibli. You can follow his film writings at He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.

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