Oscar predictions: What to expect from Hollywood’s biggest night

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Oscar predictions: What to expect from Hollywood’s biggest night

courtesy of the Academy

courtesy of the Academy

courtesy of the Academy

Trevor Tyle, Campus Editor

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It’s that time of year again. The 90th annual Academy Awards will be held this Sunday, March 4, and if the nominees are anything to go by, it’s going to be one for the books.

Some of this year’s categories have undeniable frontrunners, while others are anyone’s game. Although, as we learned last year with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway’s Best Picture flub, at the Oscars, anything is possible.

Here’s who will take home the gold, and who will go home empty-handed—well, probably.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”), Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), Lesley Manville (“Phantom Thread”), Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”), Octavia Spencer (“The Shape of Water”)

Allison Janney blew her competition out of the water in her role as Tonya Harding’s overbearing mother, LaVona Golden. Funny, witty and convincing, the star of the hit TV series “Mom” gave a career-defining performance here. She’s won a Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress. She made the role all her own, and it’s safe to say she’ll do the same with this award Sunday night.

Who Should Win: Allison Janney

Who Will Win: Allison Janney


Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), Woody Harrelson (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Richard Jenkins (“The Shape of Water”), Christopher Plummer (“All the Money in the World”), Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”)

Best Supporting Actor is a slightly tighter race than its female counterpart, though not by much. Watching “Three Billboards,” I wasn’t sure who the Best Supporting Actor nominees were and assumed Woody Harrelson was not only among them, but would probably win—until I realized his co-star Sam Rockwell was nominated in the same category. Rockwell has slightly more screentime, and to be honest, a slightly more compelling character. This category surely belongs to “Three Billboards,” though at this point, it’s hard to say which supporting male will pull through for the win. My bet is on Rockwell.

Who Should Win: Sam Rockwell

Who Will Win: Sam Rockwell


Best Actress

Nominees: Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”), Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”), Meryl Streep (“The Post”)

Best Actress is one category where any victory would be well-deserved. Margot Robbie added an extra emotional layer to the infamous story of ice skater Tonya Harding, while Saoirse Ronan’s performance in “Lady Bird” was equally stirring. Meanwhile, Meryl Streep unsurprisingly has racked up another nomination (her 21st, to be exact—the most of any Oscar nominee ever) for her riveting performance in “The Post.” Sally Hawkins gave a beyond beautiful performance in “The Shape of Water,” but previous Best Actress winner Frances McDormand has the best chance of winning. She was absolutely brilliant in “Three Billboards,” so there’s really no contest here—this award is McDormand’s for the taking.

Who Should Win: Frances McDormand

Who Will Win: Frances McDormand


Best Actor

Nominees: Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”), Daniel Day-Lewis (“Phantom Thread”), Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”), Denzel Washington (“Roman J. Israel, Esq.”)

Best Actor has a slightly weaker, but still strong, pool of nominees this year. From Timothée Chalamet’s scene-stealing role in “Call Me By Your Name” to Daniel Kaluuya’s jaw-dropping performance in “Get Out,” this year’s nominees all brought something different to the category. But again, there’s one clear frontrunner—Gary Oldman’s performance in “Darkest Hour” was transformative. The persona of Oldman disappeared completely into his spellbinding portrayal of Winston Churchill. Though Daniel Day-Lewis’ final performance in “Phantom Thread” may earn him some votes from the Academy, ultimately, Oldman’s act was too good to ignore and he will most likely take home the trophy in this category.

Who Should Win: Gary Oldman

Who Will Win: Gary Oldman


Best Director

Nominees: Christopher Nolan (“Dunkirk”), Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), Paul Thomas Anderson (“Phantom Thread”), Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”)

This is the category in which the Academy will have the opportunity to get political. In his directorial debut, Jordan Peele’s statement on racial tension with “Get Out” makes him a strong contender, while Greta Gerwig could become only the second female winner in the category. Christopher Nolan is a strong contender here for his work on “Dunkirk,” but Guillermo del Toro is the most masterful storyteller of this year’s pool. After winning Best Director at the Golden Globes, BAFTAs, Critics’ Choice Awards and Directors Guild of America Awards, del Toro seems like the most likely victor—and rightfully so. However, Jordan Peele would be a welcome winner in the category as well.

Who Should Win: Jordan Peele

Who Will Win: Guillermo del Toro


Best Picture

Nominees: “Call Me By Your Name,” “Darkest Hour,” “Dunkirk,” “Get Out,” “Lady Bird,” “Phantom Thread,” “The Post,” “The Shape of Water,” “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Of all the major awards to be presented this Sunday, Best Picture is the most up-in-the-air. “Three Billboards” and “The Shape of Water” are leading prediction pools, and rightfully so. “Three Billboards” seems like a more realistic winner, but “The Shape of Water” should not be underestimated. It’s the ultimate underdog story, helmed by a Mexican director and combining the likes of a mutant, a mute woman, a closeted gay man and a black woman into a formidable force against the U.S. government—a rather appropriate theme in today’s political climate. If the Academy wants to make a political statement, “The Shape of Water” would be the most inclusive victory. Of all the Best Picture nominees, none were as moving or breathtaking as “The Shape of Water.”

That being said, “Three Billboards” was a masterpiece in its own right. The film’s masterful acting and writing have garnered it a befitting mountain of critical acclaim and awards, so it’s safe to say it stands a very good chance of snatching the night’s top honor.

That’s not to say there won’t be a more surprising outcome. While journalists seem unlikely to have another Best Picture victory with “The Post” after “Spotlight” won back in 2016, “Lady Bird” and “Get Out” both won the hearts of audiences, and their emotional resonance could give them the edge they need among voters.

Meanwhile, “Dunkirk” could represent a massive upset if it snatches the top category. While the most commercially successful of the nominees, it also lacks the innovation and novelty of its competitors to make its victory worthy.

Who Should Win: “The Shape of Water”

Who Will Win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”


The Oscars will be broadcast live Sunday, March 4 at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.