Film & Television

Oscars 2018: Winners, Losers, and Worthy Women’s Causes

Academy Awards Countdown

This year’s colorful — not to mention, controversial — awards season finally wraps up on Sunday when ABC will telecast the 90th Annual Academy Awards. We hope you’ll join us for our live blogcast here at Women’s Voices for Change. For the past few years, our readers and contributors have shared real-time thoughts on the good, the bad and the “OMG. What were they thinking?” If you don’t happen to have a ticket to watch the ceremony at the Dolby Theater in L.A., joining us is the next best thing.

Commonly referred to as “Hollywood’s Biggest Night,” this year’s Oscars will celebrate the usual suspects, some brilliant newcomers, a number of extraordinary genre-bending films, and a bit more diversity than usual. (The Academy still has a way to go with that last category. Hopefully some of the tokenism we’re seeing this year is a first step toward overdue parity.)


Join us on Sunday, March 4th, for the 2018 Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel. Our live blog will begin at 7 p.m. (EST).

Of course, part of the fun for Oscar watchers — besides coveting red carpet looks — is predicting the winners. Here’s how I’d spend my money if I were a betting woman.

The Best Picture category is a tough call. It was enlarged several years ago, and boasts nine truly marvelous films. Determining the likely winner boils down to a process of elimination. Three of the titles: Dunkirk, The Darkest Hour and The Post are practically flawless examples of familiar cinematic territory. The craftsmanship on display is impressive, but pales a bit next to some of the titles that pushed barriers. The Phantom Thread, another wholly worthy contender, is overshadowed by Daniel Day-Lewis’s recent announcement that he’s retiring. Three smaller films, Get Out, Call Me By Your Name, and Lady Bird, are significant because of their subject matter and creative teams. But, despite phenomenal reviews all around, none seems quite big enough for the evening’s top prize. This leaves two powerful contenders: The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Both have already received multiple honors, and neither one would surprise me Sunday night. But, since I promised a prediction, I’m going to go with Three Billboards.

Statistically speaking however, the odds favor The Shape of Water because of its inclusion in a related category. If Billboards wins, it will only be the third time in Oscars history that a Best Picture’s director (the overlooked Martin McDonough) wasn’t nominated. Shape of Water’s Guillermo Del Toro isn’t just nominated for Best Director, he will almost certainly win. And deserves to.

Frances McDormand will take home her second Best Actress statuette for Billboards (her first was for Fargo in 1997). She’s won virtually every award leading up to this one. The only possible upset would be Sally Hawkins for her equally fearless but altogether different turn as the heroine of Shape of Water. Margot Robie and Saoirse Ronan will be passed over for the time being (although their fine performances bode well for future nominations and wins). And at this point, Meryl Streep, with her record-breaking 20 nods, is really just competing with herself. Her nomination is by now expected and unless she has somehow outdone her own most extraordinary work, she’s passed by.

For Best Supporting Actress, Allison Janney (for I, Tonya) is in the lead right now, having beaten Laurie Metcalf (for Lady Bird) in the recent SAG Awards. Mary J. Blige, marvelous (and virtually unrecognizable) in Mudbound won’t win, but may have a better chance in the Best Original Song category.

Lest we forget the men, you can expect to see Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour) accept the Oscar for Best Actor, and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards) for Best Supporting Actor. Both deserve the honor although they are up against a stellar collection of nominees.

For Best Original Screenplay, it’s a toss-up between Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird. My money’s on Get Out because of its more topical subject matter and less traditional format, but only by the slimmest of margins. For Adapted Screenplay, I would love to see Dee Rees and Virgil Williams win for Mudbound, but I think James Ivory for Call Me by Your Name is the more likely winner. The various design and production awards probably be divided between The Shape of Water and Dunkirk, wondrous technical accomplishments both.

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