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These Oscar nominees are likely to win — but should they?

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(Asim Roy/ Flickr)

(Asim Roy/ Flickr)

(Asim Roy/ Flickr)

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The annual Academy Awards, while one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, is also one of the most controversial. Almost every year there is at least one big snub. With “The Florida Project” unfortunately out of the running in a significant oversight, nominees are nearly neck and neck, leaving nothing set in stone. That being said, there are still some frontrunners that might beat out a few of this year’s very best that we should discuss. So, who is likely to take home the golden statues this year? And more importantly — who should?

 

BEST PICTURE

Read the rest of the nominees here.

Predicted winner: “The Shape of Water”

“The Shape of Water” would be a rare win, as “adult fairytales” or “fish/human love stories” aren’t stories typically recognized by the Academy. However, “The Shape of Water” turns on the charm with its beautiful sets, lighting and smart direction. While it does push subversive ideas, it, unfortunately, cushions its weirdness with one dimensional, cliche characters that are carried solely by the actors. That being said, Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer did an impressive job with what they had.

Who should win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is a huge frontrunner and has a chance to snag the award as well. Not much of an underdog, as it was considered one of the most disturbing but fantastic films of this year, telling the story of a mother who challenges the local police department to solve her daughter’s murder. This was hands-down one of the greatest movies I have seen all year. Also, it has already won the Golden Globe and beat “The Shape of Water,” so there is a chance.

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Read the rest of the nominees here. 

Predicted winner: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

It could be argued that the reason “The Shape of Water” is any good at all is due to del Toro’s highly stylized, mesmerizing, dumbfoundingly beautiful direction. This isn’t an exaggeration — if this movie didn’t look the way it did, some of its fatal storytelling and character flaws may have had a stronger effect on the overall film. Those who are more well-versed in del Toro’s filmography can agree that it’s been a long time coming for him, and for this film, he deserves it.

Who should win: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

If there was a third category in this article for “who we want to win,” del Toro would have won that, too. This guy has been making fantastical, gorgeous, rich films since the mid-80s including the cult favorite “Pan’s Labyrinth,” which also garnered a healthy amount of acclaim. He’s one of the greatest modern directors alive and that is something that should be celebrated.

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Read the rest of the nominees here. 

Predicted winner: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

McDormand’s performance in this film is for sure one for the books. As a very angry mother seeking vengeance for her daughter’s murder, McDormand’s performance is both unsettling and powerful in this entire film. McDormand has some tough competitors like Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan, but she has also won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice, the BAFTA, and the SAG award for her role in this film. So, she is very much the favorite to take home the award. If she wins, it will be her second Academy Award win.

Who should win: Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

For this specific argument, we are not trying to say that McDormand shouldn’t win — she killed it and she’s great. We get it. But, we should be talking about Saoirse Ronan too. Aside from her outstanding performances in every film she’s ever been in, “Lady Bird” is one that resonates with nearly anyone who has ever been a teenage girl. She hits every note from rebellious, to apologetic, to naive with spotless comedic timing. Ronan gives this performance so much heart and warmth, it’d be nice to see a role like this to get the recognition from the Academy it deserves.  

 

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Read the rest of the nominees here.  

Predicted winner: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

There is some great competition in this category, but Oldman has been the favorite to win the award throughout the entire award season. He has picked up every award he was nominated for. Playing the role of Great Britain Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Oldman’s performance is spectacular as this important historical figure. The fact that he is an old-time classy actor and has never won an Academy Award before will surely win him the golden statue.

Who should win: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”

It’s not the norm for an actor’s breakout performance to be the one they bring home the Oscar for. Even the most talented, universally adored actors (like, uh, Gary Oldman) are passed upon again and again until they win from a performance that may or may not have been their actual “best.” In this case, Chalamet’s interpretation of “Elio” is truly a winner. A unique and insightful addition to the coming-of-age category, up there with the greatest of all time, Chalamet’s performance is thoroughly convincing and heartbreaking, aside from his newcomer status. Also, if any of you turned off the end credits ofCall Me By Your Name,” you’re probably a sociopath. Just saying.

 

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Read the rest of the nominees here.  

Predicted winner: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Rockwell, another favorite of the award season and beloved character actor, had his breakout role in this film. As Dixon, the racist and violent police officer, his performance shines through as one of the best this year. Rockwell has taken home the Golden Globe, the SAG, the Critics Choice, and the BAFTA award for his role in this movie so he will no doubt be taking home the Oscar this year.

Who should win: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

While all the nominees in this category are extremely worthy of the award, Rockwell is the act that stands out. His extremely violent behavior throughout the entire film is disturbing yet mesmerizing in its execution. Compared to the rest of Rockwell’s long filmography, his performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is his sharpest and most poignant to date.

 

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Read the rest of the nominees here. 

Predicted winner: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Allison Janney as LaVona Harding, Tonya Harding’s mother was one of my favorite performances of this year. Janney’s performance as the non-loving, dirty-mouthed mother was extremely compelling which makes her the absolute favorite to win. She completely stands out from the other nominees in this category. She has also won the Golden Globe, SAG, Critic’s Choice, and BAFTA, so her odds of winning this award as well are very high.

Who should win: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

What hasn’t already been said? Janney performs pure evil with a nonchalance that triggers disgust and anger in the hearts of audience members while making them laugh at the same time. As many buzzwords I can throw at the wall (“entrancing,” “genius,” “unforgettable,”), the experience of watching LaVona Harding in her bulky brown coat say, “You skated like a graceless bull dyke. I was embarrassed for you,” to her own daughter is something you have to see to truly understand.  

Tune in to watch the results of the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4th at 8/7c on ABC.

Email Jordan at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @jordan_alllen.

Email Hayley at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @hayley_solomon.

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These Oscar nominees are likely to win — but should they?