Posted on February 27, 2018

Our resident Oscars' expert and Programming Administrator Gillian McKercher has predicted which films will go home with Oscars on Sunday night. 

Enter to beat our resident expert

Do you think that you have the ultimate strategy for predicting the Oscars? Anyone attending Calgary Film's Oscar Party A Red Carpet Affair is eligible to enter our Oscar ballot contest! 

Any entry to beat Gillian's ballot will automatically receive a free movie at the 2018 Calgary International Film Festival. The winner, as long as they score higher than Gillian, will go home with a 10 pack of tickets to the 2018 festival! Fill out your ballot here

Note: you must purchase tickets to A Red Carpet Affair to be eligible to enter our Oscar ballot contest. The winner will be announced live at The Palace Theatre.  


This year’s Oscar nominees are a mixed bag of sure-things and neck and necks. Before you decide to make your bets, it’s important to consider your strategy. Don’t let personal favourites get in the way of statistical evidence. For example, seven times out of the past eight years, the SAG Awards have accurately predicted the Best Actress in a Leading Role award. Frances McDormand will win the 2018 Academy Award in her category.

For me, Best Picture is between THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI, and THE SHAPE OF WATER. The former won big at the Golden Globes and the BAFTA’s, but it failed to secure an Academy Award nomination in the Directing category. Unless THREE BILLBOARDS’ Martin McDonagh is this year’s Ben Affleck from 2012’s ARGO, this snub may foreshadow a Best Picture loss. With THE SHAPE OF WATER’s recent PGA win, and Guillermo del Toro a sure lock for Directing, I choose this film (also my top pick from 2017) as the winner for Best Picture.

Other tough categories include Foreign Language Film, Visual Effects, and Documentary. I am very interested to know the Documentary winner - the most decorated documentary of 2017, JANE, wasn’t even included in the nominees. With ICARUS and STRONG ISLAND bearing the stigma of Netflix, I think the dead heat is between LAST MEN IN ALEPPO (which may echo a similar reaction amongst the Academy to last year’s Foreign Language winner THE SALESMAN) and FACES PLACES. I’m going with FACES PLACES because Agnes Varda just won an honorary Oscar, has been a constant fixture on the Awards circuit, and is a visibly beloved auteur with the support of Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, and older admiring Academy members.

And of course, the shorts categories! Academy members are notorious at excluding the short films from their viewing (take a look at The Hollywood Reporter’s anonymous “Brutally Honest Oscar Voter Ballot” series - some participants are flippant about the short films!). This category can stump even the best of Oscar analysts, so it’s a great place for the Rookie Oscar better to make up steam.

Gillian's Oscar Ballot

Directing - Guillermo del Toro, THE SHAPE OF WATER
Actress in a Leading Role - Frances McDormand, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Actor in a Leading Role - Gary Oldman, DARKEST HOUR
Actress in a Supporting Role - Allison Janey, I, TONYA
Actor in a Supporting Role - Sam Rockwell, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Animated Feature - COCO
Documentary, Feature Length - FACES PLACES
Foreign Language Feature - A FANTASTIC WOMAN
Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - James Ivory, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Writing (Original Screenplay) - Jordan Peele, GET OUT
Music (Original Score) - Alexander Desplat, THE SHAPE OF WATER
Music (Original Song) - This Is Me, THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
Cinematography - Roger Deakins, BLADE RUNNER 2049
Film Editing - Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos, BABY DRIVER
Sound Editing - DUNKIRK
Sound Mixing - DUNKIRK
Makeup and Hairstyle - DARKEST HOUR
Costume Design - PHANTOM THREAD
Production Design - THE SHAPE OF WATER
Short Film (Animation) - LOU
Short Film (Live Action) - DEKALB ELEMENTARY
Short Film (Documentary) - EDITH + EDDIE


See how Gillian's ballot does on March 4 at Calgary's only official Oscar Party: A Red Carpet Affair. Tickets ($85) to the Calgary International Film Festival's Oscar Party & Fundraiser are still available. Click here to buy

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