Will Win - Roger Deakins "Blade Runner 2049"
Could Win - Hoyte Van Hoytema "Dunkirk" or Dan Laustsen "The Shape of Water"
Should Win - Roger Deakins "Blade Runner 2049"
Commentary - In the back of my mind, I keep think that maybe this isn't Deakins' year. This is still a real possibility with Dunkirk and Shape of Water in this race. But after he won at BAFTA, who changed its procedures so that the winners are voted on by the entire membership (like AMPAS). He still won, even though those two films were nominated as well. I think this is his year, and I think that there has been enough press and enough push to make voters realize that it is finally time.
Best Film Editing
Will Win - Dunkirk
Could Win - Baby Driver
Should Win - Dunkirk or Baby Driver
Commentary - After Baby Driver's BAFTA upset, I am really starting to think it could pull off a real shocker on Oscar night. But I am sticking with Dunkirk. It is so popular up and down the ballot, and its editing is really something to marvel. I still think its Dunkirk, but the race is a lot closer as we get to the finish line.
Best Production Design
Will Win - The Shape of Water
Could Win - Blade Runner 2049 or Beauty and the Beast
Should Win - Blade Runner 2049
Commentary - Blade Runner could win the trifecta of PD, Cinematography, and Visual Effects, all of which are blended beautifully, and Beauty and the Beast is the type of film that has done well here in the past. But for a while now, the consensus has coalesced around The Shape of Water. Plus for being such a huge technical achievement, it is not going away empty-handed in the below-the-line categories. This, and Original Score, are its two guaranteed honors for its masterful creation.