Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Pre-Season Profile: Detroit Tigers

#29

The Detroit Tigers started to hit the reset button on their roster at the end of 2017.  Was it enough to compete with a new core in 2018, or will they have further to fall before they get better?

My 2017 Predictions
3rd in NL Central
Brad Ausmus will be fired mid-season.

2017 Results
64-98, 5th in NL Central

The Tigers were a much better team than their final record ended up showing.  However, once they decided to start selling key pieces like Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez, and Justin Verlander, the season went south in a hurry.  Brad Ausmus was always touted as one of those players that would make a great manager, but his marriage with the Tigers was a trainwreck.  I predicted he would be fired mid-season.  It was announced he would be fired before the end of the season, but he was allowed to finish the year.  I hope he gets another opportunity to manage at some point.  I am not willing to write him off as a failure just yet.

Additions / Subtractions

The Tigers continued to transition into re-build mode throughout the offseason.  The biggest name moved over the offseason was All Star second baseman Ian Kinsler being traded to the Angels.  There were rumors surrounding players like Miguel Cabrera and Michael Fulmer, but nothing ever materialized.  Outside of a a veteran signing here or there of guys like Leonys Martin, the Tigers felt content with developing a new young core alongside the remaining veterans they can't / refuse to move.  Possibly the biggest offseason transaction was hiring Ron Gardenhire as their new manager.  One of the most respected coaches in all of baseball, Gardenhire will be a welcome stabilizing force after the dysfunction that marred Ausmus's tenure as manager.

Most Important Hitter
Miguel Cabrera

Even through a rebuild, the Tigers start and end with Miguel Cabrera.  We seemed to watch him age 10 years before our eyes during 2017, going from one of the greatest offensive forces of his generation to a broken down veteran on the brink of retirement in one season.  In his age 34 season, Miggy had a negative WAR in 2017.  Outside of his rookie season, he has only posted a WAR below 3.0 once (his first season in Detroit).  There has to more in the tank, at least the Tigers are hoping so.  He is under a behemoth contract through 2023, with two option years on top of that.  Cabrera needs to be more than the shell of himself he was in 2017, either so Detroit can get more production out of his contract or to give him trade value so someone is convinced he is worth dealing for.  Either way, this is an important year for Miggy and his relationship with the Tigers.

Most Important Pitcher
Daniel Norris

Daniel Norris was the key piece the Tigers received back in the David Price trade with the Blue Jays in 2015.  He was thought to be a potential ace of the staff moving forward.  However, his Tiger career has been defined by injuries and disappointment instead of production and success.  The ability of a player like Norris to finally deliver on his potential will determine how long this Tiger rebuild will take.

Prospect to Watch
Franklin Perez

Franklin Perez was the key piece Detroit got back in last year's Justin Verlander trade with the Astros.  Sometimes, it takes years to see the true results of a prospect-laden deal like this one, however Perez has a good chance of playing a role for the Tigers this season.  This 20 year-old hurler should be a fun rookie to watch the second half of this season, especially if the Tigers are out of contention.

2018 Prediction
5th in AL Central

Unfortunately, it looks like the Tigers are still working their way down to rock bottom before they can start getting better.  They do have some decent prospects working through their system, especially on the pitching end, but most are not as close to contributing as Perez.  They remind me of the Philadelphia Phillies a couple years ago.  They got stuck being over-committed to some veterans past their prime that they needed to stick with before they could move on and improve.  The Tigers are hoping this isn't the case quite yet with guys like Cabrera, Victor Martinez, and Jordan Zimmermann, but they are looking more like terrible investments that will hurt the franchise for the next few years.  The highlights of the Tigers' season will occur in July when Tiger legends Alan Trammel and Jack Morris are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Fearless Prediction
2018 will be Victor Martinez's last season, and he will not finish it on the Tigers' roster.

Victor Martinez is entering his age 39 season, which is also a contract year for him.  After injuries plagued his 2017 season, Martinez needs to show he can still be of value to a team.  Either he shows there is still a little in the tank and gets traded to a contender, or he shows that the tank is empty and the Tigers release him.  Either way, he doesn't end the season as a Tiger, and this is probably his last dance.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

2018 Pre-Season Profile: Miami Marlins

#30

It is a magical time of year.  Pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training, and the rest of the players are not far behind.  We are less than a week away from the first Spring Training game, and before we know it, we will be in the middle of another outstanding baseball season.  This offseason has been unlike any other, with many of the top free agents still looking for jobs as camps open.  Players are looking to cash in with big contracts while clubs are scared of signing the latest free agent bust.  The trade market has been rich, with many teams searching for alternate solutions to upgrade their roster.  As I start my pre-season profiles for each club, there are still many unanswered questions for many players and many teams.

As we go from last to first, we start with one of the most active teams of the offseason as they seemed determined to go from average and emerging to terrible and rebuilding.

My 2017 Predictions
4th in NL East
The Marlins will trade for Jose Quintana mid-season.

2017 Results
77-85, 2nd in NL East

The Marlins finished with almost the exact same record as they did in 2016, however the weak NL East had them finish in second.  After tragically losing one of the faces of the franchise in Jose Fernandez at the end of the 2016 season, their other face, Giancarlo Stanton, had a career year that ended in him winning the NL MVP award.  I thought the Marlins might make some moves to really try and compete, with the starting rotation being the biggest hole in their roster.  Instead of making a splash for a guy like Quintana, the splash came in the new ownership group that was in place by the time the season ended.

Additions / Subtractions

With Derek Jeter & Co. now owning the Marlins, the philosophy of the franchise took a complete 180.  Instead of trying to find new ways to complement their strong lineup, the new ownership group decided the status quo was not sustainable financially.  If they needed to shed payroll, they needed to just blow up the current core and start over.  That is exactly what they did.  Gone are All Star caliber players like Dee Gordon, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and reigning MVP Stanton along with the hundreds of millions of dollars committed to them.  Prospects were brought back, but some of the trades were simply salary dumps when you see the level of prospects they got in return.  The franchise had a complete reset, with second baseman Starlin Castro being the only established major leaguer brought back in any transaction.

Most Important Hitter
J.T. Realmuto

Along with Justin Bour, Realmuto is one of only two remaining members of the former Marlins core still on the roster, and he is not happy about it.  He has been very vocal this offseason about the fact that he wants to be traded as well so he has a chance to compete.  This makes him valuable to the Marlins because if they do decide to move him (which might be necessary if he becomes a cancer in the locker room) he should bring back a decent haul.  Yelich brought back the best haul of the offseason trades.  A similar haul might be in the cards for Realmuto, a 27 year old catcher with pop getting ready to enter his prime.

Most Important Pitcher
Jose Urena

In a year where the pitching staff was the downfall of the Marlins, Urena was a bright spot in 2017, going well over 100 innings for the first time in his career.  He was effective in those innings, earning 14 wins, a 3.82 ERA, and a 106 ERA+.  This makes him the only Marlins pitcher with more than 10 starts that was above league average (ERA+ 100).  All of this is promising, considering he is only entering his age 26 season.  This may be the future ace of the staff if he isn't already.  He may be one of the few things Marlins fans have to look forward to.

Prospect to Watch
Lewis Brinson

By far, the best prospect the Marlins got in their wheeling and dealing this offseason was Lewis Brinson from the Brewers in the Yelich deal.  He has been one of the top prospects for the last few years in all of baseball, and he is slated to be the Marlins Opening Day centerfielder.  He has a real chance of becoming a star and a new face of the new Marlins for the foreseeable future.

2018 Prediction
5th in NL East

Almost by design, the Marlins have the worst roster in the league by a decent amount.  They seem to be trying to employ the Astros blueprint of success.  Tear down to nothing and rebuild around some top draft picks.  The problem with this method is it takes several years to see any results.  Expect at least two or three 100 loss seasons before the Marlins improve.

Fearless Prediction
Half of the Marlins Opening Day starting lineup will not be on the roster by season's end.

The Marlins can't be done unloading pieces.  They should probably pick up a couple veteran players that are still in free agency to fill out their roster so they can at least look respectable on Opening Day.  However, look for players like Martin Prado, Starlin Castro, J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Dan Straily, Wei-Yin Chen, and whatever veterans they might pick up along the way to either be traded or dropped by season's end.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Reactions to the Oscar Nominations: 2018

Academy Award nominee Kobe Bryant…yeah that sounds weird. The nominations for the 90th Annual Academy Awards came out this morning, and there were some surprises. There were not the typical shockers like Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah, but there were some notable snubs, chief among them being the director of the frontrunner for Best Picture Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Check out my reactions to all of the categories below, as well as how my predictions did and my Top 10 Coolest First-time nominees (stacked list this year) and the Top 10 Biggest Snubs…enjoy!

BEST PICTURE
Call Me by Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted: 7 for 9
Reactions: Rounding out my top 10 predicted were The Big Sick, Mudbound, and The Florida Project. The big surprise here is Darkest Hour, which has been ignored for everything all season other than Gary Oldman’s eventual Oscar for Best Actor. Phantom Thread had issues with the screeners getting to voters in time, but it is good to know that the Academy at least took notice. Due to how the next category stacked up, we have maybe the most unpredictable and wide open race (probably 4 legitimate contenders for the top prize) that I can remember.
Image result for lady bird
Preliminary prediction: Lady Bird

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson – Phantom Thread
Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk
Jordan Peele – Get Out
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: The Golden Globe winner of the Best Picture frontrunner got snubbed for Best Director. This race was always going to be Guillermo del Toro anyway, but that shakes up things quite a bit. Three Billboards already is seeing the backlash to some viewers’ reservations about the how racism is handled in the movie. It took longer for people to turn on La La Land. Without a Directing nomination, chances are incredibly thin for Martin McDonagh’s film. Argo was able to overcome it, but that was a rarity. Jordan Peele, Greta Gerwig, and PTA…this category is amazing! I had Spielberg and McDonagh making the list in my predictions.
Image result for guillermo del toro shape of water
Preliminary prediction: Guillermo del Toro

BEST ACTOR
Timothee Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Predicted: 5 for 5
Reactions: The ill-timed sexual harassment allegations against James Franco took its toll. This is exactly what I expected to happen here. I always thought Franco was on the fringe anyway, and with the Phantom Thread screeners not making it to SAG voters in time, it makes sense that DDL would take his rightful place in this race in his “final” movie.
Image result for gary oldman darkest hour
Preliminary prediction: Gary Oldman

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
Predicted: 5 for 5
Reactions: There was really no other option here. It would have been awesome to see Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game, but when Streep is on the edge, she is always going to win out.
Image result for frances mcdormand three billboards
Preliminary prediction: Frances McDormand


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: I had Armie Hammer over Harrelson. I actually think the double nomination for Three Billboards is detrimental to Rockwell’s chances. It really sucks for Armie Hammer. He deserved to be in there. Also, Michael Stuhlbarg was in three Best Picture nominees (first time since 2002 that has happened), but he was not rewarded with a nomination like John C. Reilly was 15 years ago.
Image result for willem dafoe florida project
Preliminary prediction: Willem Dafoe


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Mary J. Blige – Mudbound
Allison Janney – I, Tonya
Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: Apparently Hong Chau’s film was hated enough to take her out of the running. I had her making it alongside Holly Hunter. This is an ok lineup. Manville is pretty much out of nowhere, but she should have gotten nominated for Mike Leigh’s Another Year in the past. Octavia Spencer could become the annual also-ran in this category. If Lady Bird is going to win Best Picture, then I think this will be where is will (rightly) be rewarded to give it another win.
Image result for laurie metcalf lady bird
Preliminary prediction: Laurie Metcalf

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Big Sick
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: I had The Post making it, and I’m glad I’m wrong. But…who voted for The Post for Best Picture!? Obviously the SAG shutout implies that it wasn’t actors. The directors didn’t even nominate Spielberg. It got snubbed here, despite being a journalism movie written by an Oscar winner. They didn’t even nominate John Williams. Yet…5% somehow had it as their #1 of the year. Ridiculous…
Image result for lady bird
Preliminary prediction: Lady Bird

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Call Me by Your Name
The Disaster Artist
Logan
Molly’s Game
Mudbound
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: Logan is now the first superhero movie to be nominated for its screenplay. I had All the Money in the World in my predictions for this category, the worst screenplay category I can remember. James Ivory is 90 and has never won an Oscar…this is his year.
Image result for call me by your name
Preliminary prediction: Call Me by Your Name

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Mudbound
The Shape of Water
Predicted: 5 for 5
Reactions: Rachel Morrison (Mudbound) becomes the first female DOP nominated for an Oscar. This has got to finally be the time for Roger Deakins…right?
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Preliminary prediction: Blade Runner 2049

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Blade Runner 2049
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Predicted: 5 for 5
Reactions: These were pretty much the obvious nominees, mixing fantasy and period pieces.
Image result for the shape of water
Preliminary prediction: The Shape of Water

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
Phantom Thread
The Shape of Water
Victoria & Abdul
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: I went more conventional with Murder on the Orient Express and The Greatest Showman, but I guess these period pieces are more Oscary. If The Shape of Water starts picking up awards like this, then we could be in for a sweep.
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Preliminary prediction: Phantom Thread

BEST SOUND MIXING
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Shape of Water
Predicted: 5 for 5
Reactions: These pretty much are the prestigious technical achievement films of the year…and Baby Driver, which is just an awesome movie.
Image result for the shape of water
Preliminary prediction: The Shape of Water

BEST FILM EDITING
Baby Driver
Dunkirk
I, Tonya
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: Get Out getting snubbed here is detrimental to its Best Picture chances, and it was in favor of a joke of a nomination for I, Tonya. Lady Bird misses as well. Usually the Best Picture winner is also nominated here, but Birdman bucked the trend a few years ago. The new voting structure keeps everything wide open.
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Preliminary prediction: Dunkirk

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING
Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Shape of Water
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: Baby Driver is this year’s The Bourne Ultimatum. I had Wonder Woman (shut out, BTW) in over Blade Runner. These are probably the right nominees though. Usually a terrible action movie is mentioned here, but the voters had good action movies to play with.
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Preliminary prediction: Dunkirk

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: I had Best Picture nominees The Shape of Water and Dunkirk in there. With this group, it looks wide open. If they want to reward Star Wars for something, it might need to be here.
Image result for war for the planet of the apes
Preliminary prediction: War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Darkest Hour
Victoria & Abdul
Wonder
Predicted: 2 for 3
Reactions: I had the more showy makeup work in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in there over the hairstyling work in the Dame Judi Dench film. This is Darkest Hour, easy.
Image result for darkest hour makeup
Preliminary prediction: Darkest Hour

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“The Mystery of Love” – Call Me by Your Name
“Remember Me” – Coco
“Stand Up for Something” – Marshall
“Mighty River” – Mudbound
“This is Me” – The Greatest Showman
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: I predicted a couple documentaries to get their songs in there, which is usually how it goes. This is a more star packed group. Mary J. Blige, Oscar-winner Common, Diane Warren, the EGOT winning Robert and Kristen Lopez. I’ll go with Blige.
Image result for mudbound
Preliminary prediction: “Mighty River”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: I had The Post in there. This category just further cements the strange snub of McDonagh for Director since the movie he created and oversaw got nominated in all of the important categories. The Shape of Water’s music just sounds like an Oscar winning score.
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Preliminary prediction: The Shape of Water

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places
Incarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: I had popular choices Jane and City of Ghosts getting nominated. I have not seen any of these, but Faces Places is the definite critical favorite, so for now…I’ll predict that.
Image result for faces places movie
Preliminary prediction: Faces Places

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Fantastic Woman
The Insult
Loveless
On Body and Soul
The Square
Predicted: 3 for 5
Reactions: I had the Golden Globe-winning In the Fade and Foxtrot getting nominated. This category is always impossible to predict the nominees. This seems like a good group though. The Cannes winner makes a rare appearance.
Image result for a fantastic woman movie
Preliminary prediction: A Fantastic Woman

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent
Predicted: 4 for 5
Reactions: The new voting rules allowing every Academy member to vote on this category means we get more The Boss Baby and less Mary and the Witch’s Flower. Kobe Bryant’s Dear Basketball was nominated for Best Animated Short…which is awesome. Coco takes this in a walk.
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Preliminary prediction: Coco


Overall predictions: 83/107; 77.57% (74.77% in 2017)
Without the last 5 categories: 66/82; 80.49% (78.05% in 2017)
On the Big 8 categories: 35/44; 77.77% (83.72% in 2017)


10 COOLEST FIRST TIME NOMINEES
1. Sam Rockwell
2. Jordan Peele
3. Greta Gerwig
4. Kobe Bryant
5. Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon
Image result for kumail nanjiani
6. Mary J. Blige
7. Timothee Chalamet
8. Allison Janney
9. Daniel Kaluuya
10. Margot Robbie

10 WORST SNUBS
1. Martin McDonagh for Best Director
2. Armie Hammer for Best Supporting Actor
3. Get Out for Best Editing
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4. Blade Runner 2049 for Original Score
5. The Killing of a Sacred Deer for Best Cinematography
6. Michael Stuhlbarg for Best Supporting Actor
7. Luca Guadagnino for Best Director
8. James Franco for Best Actor
9. Wonder Woman for all technical categories
10. Jessica Chastain for Best Actress


Stay tuned for our 10th Annual Oscar Challenge!



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

2018 Oscar Predictions: Final (Major Categories)

The Oscar nominations are coming up on January 23rd! This means it is time for my final predictions in all categories. This year has a lot of factors that keep the race up in the air, particularly the #MeToo movement, lingering #OscarsSoWhite frustrations, a horror-comedy in the forefront of the Oscar race, as well as backlash to the perceived frontrunner in the major categories Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Nothing this year is set in stone, except for the fact that The Shape of Water is going to make a run at a record 15 nominations. Read up on the major categories, as well as my ARTISTIC AND TECHNICAL CATEGORIES PREDICTIONS, which also includes my predicted nominations count for each movie!

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. Call Me by Your Name – James Ivory – Adapted Screenplay is incredibly weak this year, but this is a beautiful script by a 3 time nominee who is probably making his last film. It is his time.
Image result for call me by your name
2. Mudbound – Dee Rees, Virgil Williams – The screenplay was actually quite rich, and if the movie gets rewarded somewhere, it will probably be in this category.
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3. Molly’s Game – Aaron Sorkin – The screenplay is vintage Sorkin. He has won once, but nominations are not always guaranteed. I put him third in case he gets another snub like he got for Steve Jobs.
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4. The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber – The movie has its moments, and this writing duo has had some gems, but they are always ignored. This seems like the time for their first nomination.
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5. All the Money in the World – David Scarpa – The movie has won the publicity vote, which could carry with it a couple nominations that aren’t necessarily deserved. This is a stab in the dark, but I can see it happening.
Image result for all the money in the world
Others in contention
6. Wonder – Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne – The movie has had a nice box office, but this nomination would seem a little bizarre. Several people are predicting it, but my gut is that it gets the shaft.
7. The Beguiled – Sofia Coppola – The movie seems forgotten by most of the awards, but it was a Cannes darling, and Coppola is a past winner. This could surprise and pop in up a couple places.
8. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool – Matt Greenhalgh – The movie got a big time boost from the BAFTA nominations, but it will all depend on if any Americans actually saw it prior to voting.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Predicted Five
1. Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig – If Gerwig is going to be rewarded, and I hope she is, it will be in this category.
Image result for lady bird movie
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh – It is probably the frontrunner on paper, but the backlash can take its toll. McDonagh will have to wait another year before his first win.
Image result for three billboards outside ebbing missouri
3. Get Out – Jordan Peele – Peele is a definite threat to take this award. It is the most creative and daring screenplay of the year. If he wins here, then it has a real shot at Best Picture, regardless if he gets a Director nom or not.
Image result for get out
4. The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor – Del Toro’s film will be nominated basically everywhere it is eligible. This is an easy prediction.
Image result for the shape of water
5. The Post – Liz Hannah, Josh Singer – This fifth spot is really interesting. I suspect that The Post will play well with Academy voters and will sneak in over much more accomplished films and screenwriters.
Image result for the post
Others in contention
6. The Big Sick – Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon – It would be sad if it gets snubbed, but it just seems like a foregone conclusion, especially after the Globes debacle.
7. I, Tonya – Steven Rogers – The WGA nomination was a boost, but the movie will be an acting contender at the Oscars only.
8. Phantom Thread – Paul Thomas Anderson – He is typically nominated every time in the writing categories, but the movie seems very understated. However, if he gets in, I will not be shocked at all. He was even nominated for Inherent Vice.
9. Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan – He is another consistent contender in these categories, but the movie lacks significant dialogue, which could play against its chances.
10. The Florida Project – Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch – Sadly, the movie is not making as strong of a push at the awards circuits as it could have. If it shows up here, then we could be looking at a Best Picture nom as well.
11. Coco – Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina – Pixar is always in contention. Even though this is not being talked about by many, the acclaim is almost universal and can ride the Pixar wave all the way to the ceremony.


BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Allison Janney – I, Tonya She has the showiest role, not to mention mom role, in the category. The veteran actor gets her first overdue nom/win.
Image result for allison janney i tonya
2. Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird She is probably the more deserving contender, but she is less of a film actress than Janney. She is an easy nominee, but unfortunately she’ll probably come up just short.
Image result for laurie metcalf lady bird
3. Hong Chau – Downsizing She has all the right precursors, and while the movie is not well received at all, she gets in on her beautiful and heartfelt performance.
Image result for hong chau downsizing
4. Mary J. Blige – Mudbound She also has a song in the running. If the Academy gets over their Netflix bias, then she should coast to a nomination here.
Image result for mary j blige mudbound
5. Holly Hunter – The Big Sick While she has been overlooked by some, the SAG nod secures her nomination.
Image result for holly hunter the big sick
Others in contention
6. Octavia Spencer – The Shape of Water Her part was so small that I feel like she gets left off, just barely. She doesn’t need a third nomination already.
7. Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread The BAFTA nomination and supposedly still lingering snub for Another Year has her as a dark horse in the category.
8. Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip If the Academy wants to throw in a wildcard, then this performance is it. They nominated a similar type role for Melissa McCarthy, and Haddish did win over the NYFCC in her memorable victory speech.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) Shocker Nomination: Nicole Kidman – The Killing of a Sacred Deer


BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri He has taken the precursors thus far, and he has never been nominated before. He finally has his chance.
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2. Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project The veteran actor just unfortunately is stuck in a movie that is being largely forgotten otherwise. He is this year’s Sylvester Stallone in Creed.
Image result for willem dafoe florida project
3. Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water His performance is not flashy, but he has good lines and is quirky enough to get swept in with the love for the film.
Image result for richard jenkins shape of water
4. Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World Plummer was put in an impossible situation and won everyone over. His efforts and goodwill get him the film’s lone nomination.
Image result for christopher plummer all the money in the world
5. Armie Hammer – Call Me by Your Name The SAG snub was discouraging, but in the end, I find it hard to think that he won’t be mentioned on nomination morning. He was every bit as good as Chalamet.
Image result for armie hammer call me by your name
Others in contention
6. Michael Stuhlbarg – Call Me by Your Name He has one great speech, plus he has two other Best Picture contenders. He could get the John C. Reilly nomination if the Academy loves the movie more than SAG.
7. Woody Harrelson – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri The SAG nomination was a boost, but I think/hope that the voters will gravitate toward Rockwell before Harrelson.
8. Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes He is a dark horse. The SAG and Globe nominations are key, but the movie is forgotten otherwise.
9. Jason Mitchell – Mudbound He has been ignored unjustly throughout the process. If the Academy is ok with Netflix this year, then he could pop in out of nowhere.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) Shocker Nomination: Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water


BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri The past winner will take home her second trophy for her furious performance in the Best Picture contender.
Image result for frances mcdormand three billboards
2. Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird Ronan is becoming a contender every year, and if there is an upset of McDormand, it will be from her. If she wins, then this is absolutely our Best Picture winner.
Image result for saoirse ronan lady bird
3. Margot Robbie – I, Tonya She has a complete transformation in the film, which is always looked on fondly by voters. She’ll have to wait for a win, but her first nomination is guaranteed.
Image result for margot robbie i, tonya
4. Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water This is another easy nomination in the Best Picture contender. Her second nomination will be less of a surprise, and if she wins, then this is absolutely our Best Picture winner.
Image result for sally hawkins shape of water
5. Meryl Streep – The Post There are other worthy performances, but predicting she will get snubbed hasn’t worked since 2004.
Image result for meryl streep the post
Others in contention
6. Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game She is the true deserving winner, but I fear that the Academy will not love the movie as much as they should.
7. Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul She has the important precursors, and she is Dame Judi Dench, but don’t even know a single person who saw or wanted to see this movie. It gets left off in every category.
8. Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes It might be her best performance, but the movie does kinda suck, and it underperformed at the box office and in the precursors. And she just won, so a snub here is understandable.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) Shocker Nomination: Daniela Vega – A Fantastic Woman


BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
The Predicted Five
1. Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour With the wins so far, unless he gets beat at SAG, he will finally pick up his first trophy for his transformation into Winston Churchill.
Image result for gary oldman darkest hour
2. Timothee Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name He gave the best performance by anyone in 2017, but the Academy will see it as more of a breakout role than anything else. I have him winning next year in my 2019 PREDICTIONS.
Image result for timothee chalamet call me your name
3. Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread The nomination is looking more and more likely, and as more people see the film, perhaps they will send him a parting gift and record-tying 4th win.
Image result for daniel day lewis phantom thread
4. Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out He has hit every precursor; he is getting nominated. But there’s no chance he can win.
Image result for daniel kaluuya get out
5. Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq. The movie has been forgotten and was sort of a flop. But there are probably still a lot of voters who feel bad for not giving him the win last year. He takes the fifth spot.
Image result for denzel washington roman j israel
Others in contention
6. James Franco – The Disaster Artist The sexual harassment allegations are looming, and despite how awesome he was and having won at the Globes and Critics Choice, I fear an unjust snub here.
7. Tom Hanks – The Post He hasn’t been nominated in forever. If he shows up here, then we have to look at The Post as a real BP contender.
Annual Tommy Lee Jones (In the Valley of Elah) Shocker Nomination: Harry Dean Stanton - Lucky


BEST DIRECTOR
The Predicted Five
1. Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water He has won the big ones so far, and his movie is looking at a record amount of nominations if things go right. It would be hard to deny him an award here.
Image result for guillermo del toro
2. Martin McDonagh – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri His movie is in the driver’s seat, and it is his finest work yet. But he is up against a juggernaut.
Image result for martin mcdonagh
3. Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird The DGA nomination secured this nomination. It would be so cool if she somehow wins the thing.
Image result for greta gerwig
4. Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk Nolan finally has a movie that appeals to all voters, and the vast amount of technical nominations should be enough for him to get his first nom.
Image result for christopher nolan
5. Steven Spielberg – The Post He always defies the odds and gets nominated whether he deserves it or not. He has lost his touch…too bad the Academy can’t see that.
Image result for steven spielberg
Others in contention
6. Jordan Peele – Get Out Unfortunately, that leaves off Peele, which would likely be detrimental to the film’s Best Picture chances. I hope I’m wrong on this.
7. Dee Rees – Mudbound My preseason pick to win the category is looking less likely, but if the Academy can get over the streaming thing, then her searing drama could lift her to a nomination.
8. Luca Guadagnino – Call Me by Your Name This would be the equivalent to Lenny Abrahamson in 2015 getting in, which no one is really expecting, but the Academy might really take to the film and carry him in with the love.
9. Ridley Scott – All the Money in the World How he handled the Kevin Spacey ordeal might be an overwhelming factor that could boost him into the conversation, much like it was at the Globes. It is hard to predict that, but I wouldn’t doubt it.


BEST PICTURE
The Predicted Ten (I predict 7 will get nominated)
1. Lady Bird (Greta Gerwig) – It is good enough, and no one dislikes it. In the current era and voting structure of the Academy, that is all that is required to win.
Image result for lady bird poster
2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Martin McDonagh) – It has the backlash, which makes it just divisive enough to take away its award that it so richly deserves.
Image result for three billboards poster
3. The Shape of Water (Guillermo del Toro) – It will be nominated everywhere, but that is not enough to take this award home. It is this year’s Benjamin Button.
Image result for shape of water poster
4. Dunkirk (Christopher Nolan) – The movie will be put on this list for its craftsmanship more than anything else, which will play well with the old Oscar voters.
Image result for dunkirk poster
5. Get Out (Jordan Peele) – Everything points to this movie being nominated, and because there really isn’t anyone who will have it lower than maybe 3 or 4 on their ballot, I would watch out for a shocker win here.
Image result for get out poster
6. The Post (Steven Spielberg) – The movie is old fashioned and will be a hit with the older voters. Spielberg is always in contention, even for his garbage like Bridge of Spies and War Horse.
Image result for the post poster
7. Mudbound (Dee Rees) – Netflix finally gets its first nomination. The PGA snub was discouraging, but it overcomes it.
Image result for mudbound poster
8. The Big Sick (Michael Showalter) – I fear that the film will just not have enough 1st place votes to get in. Everyone likes it, but no one has it #1. The SAG ensemble nomination is interesting, however…
Image result for the big sick poster
9. The Florida Project (Sean Baker) – The movie has its fans, but A24 did not do a great campaign, and not enough voters saw it.
Image result for florida project poster
10. Call Me by Your Name (Luca Guadagnino) – It should be up there, but the subject matter and lack of real star power will bring it down a notch and leave it just on the outside.
Image result for call me by your name poster
Others in contention
11. I, Tonya (Craig Gillespie) – The film has been a hit, and the PGA nomination was a legitimate boost. It could surprise if there are 8 or 9 nominees.
12. Molly’s Game (Aaron Sorkin) – The PGA put it on their list, which was encouraging. It is a great film, but even I admit that a Best Picture nomination would be a little bizarre.
13. Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins) – There seems to always be a blockbuster movie in the PGA lineup that has no chance (The Hangover, Bridesmaids, etc.), but this feels different. Keep an eye out here…


That’s all for the major categories! What are your predictions? Comment below! Also, check out my ARTS AND TECHS PREDICTIONS, which also features my predicted nominations count for each film mentioned!