Cinema’s leading lights will descend on Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre when Jimmy Kimmel returns to host the 90th edition of the Oscars on March 5. After the unfortunate events of last year (La La Land was incorrectly announced as the winner in the Best Picture category) the Academy will be hoping for an incident free ceremony, however, that may be wishful thinking given the shadow that currently hangs over the industry and so many within it. Still, the show will go on and Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is expected to be the film of the night after scooping 13 nominations. Here we take look at its chances and run the eye over the ever-popular categories of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress.
Despite opposition from former Oscar winners Daniel Day Leis and Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman is expected to get the nod for his role in WW2 film Darkest Hour. Undergoing a staggering transformation for the role, Oldman’s depiction of Winston Churchill has already seen him collect the SAG and Golden Globe awards for best actor. That said, if you are willing to cast your eye wider, there are juicy double digit odds on offer for the aforementioned Daniel Day Lewis who already has three Academy Awards to his name, the most of any male in history.
Prior to this year, Meryl Streep had received a staggering 20 Oscar nominations over the course of her decorated career. That number is now up to 21. Entering this year’s race for her role in The Post, Streep will need to stage a major upset if she is to take home her fourth Academy Award given the raging favourtism of Frances McDormand for her character Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. With one Oscar to her name already for Fargo, McDormand has been a commanding presence on this year’s circuit taking out a bevy of accolades including the Golden Globe for Best Actress (Motion Picture Drama). For the record Australia’s Margot Robbie also earned her first Oscar nomination. At $21, Robbie is only an outside chance, but plenty has been said of her startling portrayal of disgraced figure-skater Tonya Harding and she certainly can’t be ruled out of the running.
The Shape of Water is the early favourite in perhaps the most open of the all the major categories at this year’s Oscars. However, plenty is being said of the chances of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Steven Spielberg’s The Post. Should the latter get the nod it would be the fourth film to win this category since 2010 that is a depiction of true events. Nolan’s Dunkirk is another that should be considered whilst the largely unheralded Lady Bird is on the third line of betting at $9 and shouldn’t be ruled out of contention either. The comedy-drama has an incredible 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (after 228 reviews) and holds the record for staying at 100% on the aggregation website for the most consecutive reviews (196).
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
Best Actor: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Best Actress: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Best Picture: The Shape of Water
Christopher Nolan (Best Director)
Lady Bird (Best Picture)
Despite Guillermo del Toro’s outright favouritism in this category, there are plenty throwing support behind Christopher Nolan for his WW2 movie Dunkirk. The British filmmaker has won plenty of plaudits for his two-hour masterpiece which received five stars out of five from the highly-respected Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw. Adding further weight to Nolan’s claims is the fact the Academy has given the Oscar to a director of a film tackling war based themes six times in the last 25 years. Although it remains unlikely that Nolan will take home the statuette, the very generous $3.75 odds make him a very tempting proposition.