On March 4, Jimmy Kimmel will reprise his role as host for the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony. The night for honouring the best films of the last year is a big one for the entertainment industry.
This year’s Oscars have a multitude of storylines to tend to offscreen. The #MeToo movement and the sexual assault allegations that have permeated Hollywood this past year cannot be ignored. It put a sombre and occasionally uncomfortable feel around the Golden Globes. The political landscape is also incredibly charged these days, which puts host Kimmel in a tough spot. Does he go full-bore at topical jokes or tone the events back so as to not overshadow the point of the event?
Not only will those issues be felt, but this is also the first Academy Awards since perhaps the most infamous in history: last year’s misreading of the winner for Best Picture, which saw the wrong winners take the stage.
The 2018 Oscar nominations might not have the punch of some more heavy-hitting past iterations, but that could make for a more suspenseful ceremony. While side categories have clear favourite, no one is sure who will win the most important award of the night.
There were nine films nominated for Best Picture this year: The Shape of Water, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Get Out, The Post, Call Me by Your Name, and Lady Bird. According to MovieRanker.com, The Shape of Water feels like the leading favourite at this point, but other movies have a valid chance to win as well. No one expected Moonlight to win last year, so nothing can be ruled out. The longest shots, though, appear to be Phantom Thread and Darkest Hour. Based on other awards handed out for ’17, those are the two films that hold up the poorest to their competition.
The races for Best Actor and Best Actress appear to be slightly more clear-cut. Gary Oldman has been dominating the Best Actor category across numerous awards this year for his performance in Darkest Hour, with Call Me by Your Name’s Timothee Chalamet being a distant second.
Frances McDormand has been even more highly regarded for the Best Actress category, representing Three Billboards. Lady Bird’s Saoirse Ronan and The Shape of Water’s Sally Hawkins are the best bets for runner-up at this point.
Though winners of other guild and critic awards don’t always translate to Oscar success, it is the best precursor there is to predicting who will take home the little bronze man. If any categories stand out at this point as having a shoe-in winner thanks to those award blueprints, it would be Coco for Best Animated Feature, Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor, or Allison Janney as Best Supporting Actress. Those three will be this year’s best test cases for early award-season success leading to Oscar success as well.
One could throw Best Director into that same discussion, though the category feels just a tad less predictable because of the stories surrounding the nominees. Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig made headlines with their nominations alone, which could be enough. Or, we could see one make Oscar history. Legendary directors Christopher Nolan and Paul Thomas Anderson are also competing here. And yet, the favourite is Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water. With the possible exception of the night’s top honor, Best Director could generate the most excitement of any award at the Oscars.
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