It’s that time of year and the movie world is slowing down just a step as it is putting all of its focus on the Dolby Theatre in middle of Hollywood for the 90th Academy Awards ceremony this Sunday March 4th airing on ABC for our friends in the US and on CTV up here north of the border at 8PM EST/5PM PST.
As the rest of us mere mortals are hitting the theatres and catching up with everything we’ve missed to try and fill out our Oscar pools to the best of our abilities for the parties that we’ll end up attending, the stars will be coming out in full force for Hollywood’s biggest night which will undoubtedly be filled with glitz, glamour and maybe even a little bit of controversy.
It’s an annual tradition that most self respecting movie fans engage in as the Oscars have transcended even the art of movie making itself and become a cultural phenomenon for all to enjoy. However it comes down to what to pick, it’s always such a hard decision. Going with the heart, going with the head or just flat out guessing…but don’t worry, help has arrived.
As a career film critic and expert, I will hold your hand and navigate you through all the top categories on what will probably win, what could possibly win and at the end of the day what really should win. I’d hit all the categories but to be totally fair even with things like Best Live Animated Short Film, I’m guessing just as much as you are…and I’ve actually seen them all.
I won’t list them all out now, but please visit the Oscars website right here for the full list of nominees.
Now without further delay it’s time to open those envelopes and pray to god that they are actually the right ones and we’ll leave any guess work about social movements and political statements that get made at the show for another day.
In years past the Best Picture race has usually been a slam dunk or at least a clear cut two dog race, but this year there’s at least four if not five viable contenders for the top prize.
As much as I loved Get Out, let’s just get out of the way now that it’s just not winning the big one, with the older established voters simply not giving it the recognition that it deserves. Being invited to the dance this year just has to be enough although this won’t be the last we ever hear of Jordan Peele when it comes to awards season in years to come. While The Shape of Water & Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri easily have the critical weight and love behind them, some of the issues around the tone of Billboards and the fact that The Shape of Water is essentially a genre film and not typically given any kind of major love from the academy it could split the vote down the middle allowing something a little softer like Lady Bird or the technical mastery of Dunkirk to win it all, but I honestly doubt it.
Will Win: The Shape of Water
Could Win: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri or Dunkirk
Should Win: Lady Bird
This category is about as much of a slam dunk as it gets. As much as I adored Phantom Thread and Daniel Day Lewis in it, this is Gary Oldman’s to lose plain and simple. Painstakingly crafting himself into the icon man that was Winston Churchill is a sight to behold as he commands the screen at every single turn. With a deep pedigree of fantastic performances in his entire career, this is the night that he finally takes home the Oscar with only young Timothee Chalamet with his ingénue performance of the first flourishes of young love MIGHT have an outside shot at taking since the Academy does love to reward relative newcomers from time to time.
Will Win: Gary Oldman: Darkest Hour
Could Win: Timothee Chalamet: Call Me Your Name
Should Win: Daniel Day Lewis: Phantom Thread
Again, this category is an absolute layup. In Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri; Frances McDormand reminds us of what an absolute goddamn powerhouse of an actor she truly is and why we all fell in love with her so many years ago with Fargo. That being said Saorise Ronan is absolutely transcendent in Lady Bird and we could easily see a passing of the torch kind of moment as well, unless Sally Hawkins and her nearly wordless performance from The Shape of Water is just too much to overlook.
Will Win: Frances McDormand: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Could Win: Sally Hawkins: The Shape of Water
Should Win: Saorise Ronan: Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor
This is yet another category that says the smart money should be on Sam Rockwell for his fantastic performance as the emotionally stunted, kind of racist yet ultimately still moral and decent Deputy Dixon in Three Billboards however the Oscars have always loved the occasional surprise or two and this could be the category where it happens. Willem Dafoe as the caretaker/manager of a transient motel in The Florida Project is such an anchor in this criminally underappreciated film could (and should easily) take home the prize but it’s also really hard to ignore the work that Woody Harrelson also puts in during Three Billboards really establishing such a dynamic for the narrative to really hinge on through his performance. However no matter which way you slice it on Sunday night, a hard working career character actor will take home the gold.
Will Win: Sam Rockwell: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Could Win: Willem Dafoe: The Florida Project
Should Win: Woody Harrelson: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri
Best Supporting Actress
At least on this one, we’ve got it down to a coin flip. It’s hard to go wrong with either the fantastic Alison Janney as the sharp tongued mother of one Tonya Harding in I, Tonya or Laurie Metcalf as the long suffering yet emotionally supportive mother who just can’t seem to let her oldest daughter go in Lady Bird. Both women knock it out of the park and while my heart says Laurie Metcalf, the Academy does love some showy performances and there’s none more here than the scene stealing Alison Janney.
Will Win: Alison Janney: I, Tonya
Could Win: Laurie Metcalf: Lady Bird
Should Win: Laurie Metcalf: Lady Bird
That’s my two cents on the big categories but follow me on Twitter @InTheSeats this Sunday with the hash tag #ITSAddicted2Oscars to find out my picks on all the awards, whose wearing what, who says what and how Jimmy Kimmel follows up last year’s iconic ending to the show at the 90th installment of the Academy Awards.