On March 4, the 90th Academy Awards will take place. For actors, directors, filmmakers and moviegoers alike, this ceremony is the culmination of the previous year’s best of the best when it comes to film. Like many years, the nominations are all over the place, with a monster drama like “The Shape of Water” receiving the highest number of nominations (13), or the dark comedy film, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” already cleaning up at other shows like the Golden Globe Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Critics Choice Awards.
Regardless of the favorites or the films that have already received awards this year, it’s still anyone’s award to win. If one thing’s for sure, with such a large pool of nominations, there’s likely to be at least one surprise or upset. Below is a breakdown of the top awards and my opinion as to who could ultimately win the golden statue.
There are 9 films nominated for Best Picture, including “Call Me By Your Name”, “Darkest Hour”, “Dunkirk”, “Get Out”, “Lady Bird”, “Phantom Thread”, “The Post”, “The Shape of Water”, or “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.
Here’s who I think will win:
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” - Starring Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Abbie Cornish and Peter Dinklage, this offbeat, dark comedy drama has received 7 Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, etc., as well as winning Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and several other awards at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Directed and written by Martin McDonagh, it is well acted, features an outstanding cast, has quite a bit of over the top, dark comedy, and is considered one of the best films of the year. Rated R. drama/comedy.
“The Shape of Water” - Starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, and Octavia Spencer, and directed by Guillermo del Toro (“Pans Labyrinth”, “Pacific Rim”), this film was selected as one of the top 10 films of the year by the American Film Institute, has received 13 Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, etc., and won Best Director and Best Original Score at the Golden Globe Awards. It has a strong cast, a gripping story, and features outstanding visuals and design. Rated R. Dark fantasy romance/monster thriller.
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
The nominations for Actor in a Leading Role are for Timothee Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), and Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.).
Expected winner: Gary Oldman - delivers an outstanding performance as he portrays an almost unrecognizable (to Oldman’s normal look) Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.”
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
The nominations for Actress in a Leading Role include Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Meryl Streep (“The Post”), and Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”).
Expected winner: Frances McDormand - Plays the foul-mouthed and fearless Mildred Hayes in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
The nominations for Actor in a Supporting Role include Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”), Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Christopher Plummer (“All the Money in the World”), Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”).
Expected winner: Sam Rockwell - Racist and childish officer Jason Dixon in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
The nominations for Actress in a Supporting Role include Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”), Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”).
Expected winner: Allison Janney - LaVona Harding, Tonya’s abusive mother in “I, Tonya”.
The nominations for Best Director include Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”), and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”).
Expected winner: While I truly believe almost any director in this category could win, the award will likely go to Guillermo del Toro or Greta Gerwig.
In addition to the major ones listed above, the Oscars feature a handful of other awards. Make sure to catch up on the nominees you may not have seen yet, and be sure to watch the 90th annual Academy Awards on March 4 at 5 p.m. PST (red carpet begins) on ABC.