6 shocking Oscar 2018 upsets that could happen

Sam Ashurst

The Oscars are landing this weekend, but before you file your office sweepstakes based on the current favourites, we’ve got some wild cards to throw your way.

That’s because the Academy Awards love an upset – and with the 2018 contest the closest it’s been for years, we predict several shocks on the night.

We’ve scoured the anonymous Oscar voter interviews for quotes to support our theories, but here’s our predictions for some of the most likely surprises at the 90th Academy Awards.

6. Dunkirk – Best Picture

It might seem impossible to believe, but Christopher Nolan has never won an Oscar. In fact, this year marks the first time he’s been nominated as a director (though he’s previously been nominated for Best Picture for Inception). So, the odds are stacked against him – which could explain why everyone’s predicting either Three Billboards or The Shape Of Water will take home the prize.

But Dunkirk is such a monumental filmmaking achievement – on every level – it’s going to pick up a lot of votes from a silent majority of people who understand what a technical miracle it was.

“I voted for Dunkirk because I thought it was a full movie. I thought it had a wonderful script, it was unexpected, it was big — and in these days of the demise of (celluloid) film, it was a film. I also loved the fact that I never saw a German. That was really unique. The performances were fabulous, and so was the cinematography and the music. It felt like a whole film,” says one anonymous Oscar voter.

5. Get Out – Best Picture

But Dunkirk isn’t the only film that could pull off a Moonlight this year – Get Out has seen a groundswell of support across the Academy, with Variety backing it to win this year.

“Our analysis of voter sentiment, however, makes us think Get Out could pull off an upset. The people who love it really love it; it’s become a rallying point for people of color in Hollywood; and it’s a likely second pick for fans of The Post, Phantom Thread, and Call Me by Your Name—all of which are liable to be eliminated.”

4. Mudbound – Cinematography

Roger Deakins is an industry legend – with 14 Oscar nominations and no wins, many have predicted that this will be his year. And while Blade Runner 2049 does look astonishing, its failure at the box office, and its failure to pick up nods in any of the big categories, could work against it.

Mudbound also hasn’t had nominations in the bigger categories – which has caused more of an upset amongst voters than 2049’s absence.

“I have no idea why Mudbound didn’t get nominated for best film or best director. It deserved it above Lady Bird and Phantom Thread,” one voter said.

So, there’s potential that Mudbound could be awarded the cinematography prize to make up for the snub – add in the fact it’s the first time a woman has been nominated (Rachel Morrison), and this could be one of the biggest stories of the night.

3. Sally Hawkins – Best Actress

Frances McDormand has won so many prizes for Three Billboards in the run-up to the Oscars, most people assume her name’s already carved on the golden trophy.

Everyone else thinks there’s some sort of law that decrees Meryl Streep must win every single Oscar she’s nominated for.

As for us, we think it’d be an injustice if Sally Hawkins’ incredible The Shape Of Water turn doesn’t claim the ultimate prize.

“I’m not sure [Streep] carries the movie enough to get that far, whereas Sally Hawkins did [in “The Shape of Water”]. The most valuable player on the movie takes the movie to a place you can’t imagine it going without her,” one Oscar voter agrees.

2. Willem Dafoe – Best Supporting Actor

Everyone seems to be calling this one for Sam Rockwell, especially as, like McDormand, he’s already gathered a lot of prizes at the awards shows that lead up to the Oscars.

But the Academy occasionally likes to do things differently and, with the hugely popular The Florida Project getting snubbed elsewhere, Dafoe could pick up the prize by proxy.

“Absolutely Willem Dafoe! I loved him, and I loved the film. I thought he was so contained and he really was the backbone of that film without being overtly present. He was just a strong, lovely presence. It was so beautiful. What a lovely performance,” an anonymous Oscar voter said.

1. Baby Driver – Best Editing

Most people are predicting Dunkirk will pick up best editing. And, while it is admirably cut, it has caused some consternation amongst Oscar voters, with the criss-crossing timelines being labelled as confusing for some.

Far easier to understand (and just as technically impressive) is Baby Driver, which could accelerate past Dunkirk to take pole position.

“I really enjoyed “Baby Driver.” So I am glad it got at least a few Oscar nods. Not to mention the skill involved in editing the amazing car-chase sequences,” one voter said.

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