Since the Oscars will be announced on May 4 over Concordia’s spring break, a few pals and I have decided to attempt to choose who will win this year. The cast involved includes yours truly; Jonathan Immel, variety writer and movie critique for The Concordian; Sean Zimny and Will Kuball, two students of Concordia College; and Matt Olien, television producer for Prairie Public Broadcasting. After all, people pick the winners of sports events: why should movie geeks not be able to do the same? Strap in for some hot takes and hot burns at the cost of Sean’s intelligence.

Best Picture

Immel: “The Shape of Water”

Olien: “The Shape of Water”

Kuball: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Zimny: “Call Me By Your Name”

Zimny said he wanted to pick “a dark horse candidate” for a couple of categories. I do not know why he decided that Best Picture was the category to do so. I like “The Shape of Water” in a close fight. In fact, before telling me “Call Me By Your Name” was his choice, he told me “Logan” was his choice. Not a good start for him.

Actor in a Leading Role

Immel: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Olien: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Kuball: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Zimny: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Olien said, “With the exclusion of James Franco in ‘The Disaster Artist,’ this is may be the most watered-down Best Actor race in years. Why Denzel Washington was nominated for a film almost nobody saw is beyond me. Franco or Hugh Jackman in ‘Logan’ would have been better choices.”

Actress in a Leading Role

Immel: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Olien: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Kuball: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Zimny: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

There is no joking about how much McDormand deserves this award. Sorry Meryl Streep, you will not be winning this year either.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Immel: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Olien: Willem DaFoe “The Florida Project”

Kuball: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Zimny: Patrick Stewart, “Logan”

I do not understand how Rockwell has received so much hardware for his role. While I concede that he will win, I wish Willem DaFoe would win for his role in “The Florida Project.” Taco Bell’s new nacho fries are better than Rockwell’s acting, and those fries get a 6/10 in my book. Zimny apparently is not aware that Patrick Stewart was not nominated, but our favorite senile superhero gets his vote regardless.

Actress in a Supporting Role

Immel: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Olien: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Kuball: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Zimny: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Once again, Sean decided that this was an appropriate category to choose a “dark horse” candidate. Janney has won practically every relevant award in this category, so I could really use an answer for this one too. If this was a competition, Zimny would be the Cleveland Browns. Not because he is just bad at this but because he wants to lose.


Immel: Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Olien: Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Kuball: Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

Zimny: Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”

Olien wants Nolan to win here, but recognizes that Del Toro finally found a film by which he could win. Zimny was not that smart (I might have to be done ripping on  Zimny). Del Toro edges out Nolan in this one.

Animated Feature

Immel: “Coco”

Carlson: “Coco”

Kuball: “Coco”

Zimny: “Coco”

“Coco” looks to be the breadwinner is this category over the next film on the list, which happens to be called “Breadwinner.” You could say “Coco” is the boss of this category, baby. Sorry, I don’t have any more puns on hand.

Adapted Screenplay

Immel: “Call Me By Your Name”

Olien: “Call Me By Your Name”

Kuball: “Call Me By Your Name”

Zimny: “Call Me By Your Name”

“Call Me By Your Name” used to call the Academy on its cell phone, just to make sure it won this award. I think that strategy worked.

Original Screenplay

Immel: “Get Out”

Olien: “Get Out”

Kuball: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Zimny: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Olien said, “‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is quite simply the most overrated film of 2017, and it’s not even close. The film’s bizarre shifts in tone are almost cartoonish in a couple of spots, and the character arc of the Sam Rockwell character in the third act is laughable and implausible.”  Mic drop.


Immel: “Blade Runner 2049”

Carlson: “Blade Runner 2049”

Kuball: “Dunkirk”

Zimny: “Blade Runner 2049”

“Roger Deakins, one of the most visionary artists working in film, has been nominated fourteen times and has yet to take the category. His contributions to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ are Oscar-worthy,” Olien said.

Documentary Feature

Immel: “Faces Places”

Olien: “Faces Places”

Kuball: “The Last Men in Aleppo”

Zimny: “Icarus”

Olien picked “Faces Places,” and he seems to know what is going on. It is too bad Zimny and Kuball did not get the chance to see his list and edit their choices. Last I checked, Icarus fell to his death flying too close to the Sun. Fortunately for Zimny, his effort has him flying so low he may have not even left the ground.

Foreign Language Film

Immel: “A Fantastic Woman”

Olien: “A Fantastic Woman”

Kuball: “The Square”

Zimny: “The Insult”

I do not think any of us have seen one of these movies. “A Man Called Ove,” one of last year’s nominees, is pretty good. Look it up on Amazon Prime Instant Video.

Film Editing

Immel: “Dunkirk”

Olien: “Dunkirk

Kuball: “Dunkirk”

Zimny: “Dunkirk”

In this category, as well as Sound Editing and Sound Mixing, there is no comparison to “Dunkirk.” The editors supporting Nolan and Zimmer are arguably the best of the year.

Production Design

Immel: “The Shape of Water”

Carlson: “Blade Runner 2049”

Kuball: “Dunkirk”

Zimny: “Darkest Hour”

In a category that judges art direction and interior design in film, “The Shape of Water” is the only film that blends all aspects of the film into art. For some reason, Kuball thinks war and interior design work well as “art.” That is just silly.

Original Score

Immel: Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

Olien: Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread”

Kuball: Jonny Greenwood, “Phantom Thread”

Zimny: Hans Zimmer, “Dunkirk”

A surprisingly contentious category. Both Greenwood and Desplat create mood and atmosphere with their scores, but Desplat’s use of accordion and voice make it more unique and memorable. If you have ever seen Johan Stenslie play the accordion, it is pretty cool (props to Johan for being a rad accordion player).

Original Song

Immel: “This is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”

Olien: “This is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”

Kuball: “This is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”

Zimny: “This is Me,” “The Greatest Showman”

“This is Me” is the “City of Stars” of 2018. There are other good songs, notably “Remember Me” in “Coco,” but the same writers of “City of Stars,” Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, will win the award two years in a row.

Makeup and Hair

Immel: “Darkest Hour”

Olien: “Darkest Hour”

Kuball: “Darkest Hour”

Zimny: “Darkest Hour”

No one will wonder why this film beats “Wonder.”  Gary Oldman does not just portray Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour,” he becomes Churchill through costuming and makeup. I wonder if choice of drink and which cigars used were considered in developing this category this category.

Costume Design

Immel: “Phantom Thread”

Olien: “Phantom Thread”

Kuball: “Phantom Thread”

Zimny: “Phantom Thread”

Is it even possible for a film about a famous tailor to not win this category? I mean, the word “thread” is in the title.

Visual Effects

Immel: “War for the Planet of the Apes”

Olien: “Blade Runner 2049”

Kuball: “Blade Runner 2049”

Zimny: “War for the Planet of the Apes”

The two contenders for this award are an army of man-killing apes and a hyper-futuristic city. King Kong scaled the Empire State Building, so my odds are on his angry, English-speaking buddies. Also, Zimny’s dark-horse candidate is one I finally agree with. Good for you, bud.

Jonathan Immel

Jonathan is a junior double majoring in Economic and Finance and English Writing and minoring in Music. He enjoys music, traveling, hammocking, drinking tea, and listening to records. This is his second semester writing for the Concordian!

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