I’m not going to see the Oscars live this year. Louise and I have tickets to see Anderson Cooper at a Seattle lecture series. But I have seen the top contenders in the categories most important to me, and here are my picks:
Best picture: tossup between 3 Billboards and The Shape of Water. I loved, absolutely loved, 3 Billboards. I saw The Shape of Water later, and it has only grown on me — so much so that I tracked down Sally Hawkins’ other recent stellar performance in Maudie and downloaded that. This is a really, really tough choice — and it blows by other really strong films like The Post, and Phantom Thread, and Call Me By Your Name, and Lady Bird, and Dunkirk. Slight preference for 3Billboards, but if Shape of Water wins I won’t feel let down.
Actress in a Leading Role: again, a tossup between McDormand and Hawkins. Slightly favor McDormand. I loved Meryl Streep’s work as Katharine Graham, but Streep suffers some from being the perennial nominee. People simply expect her to do great work, and hardly recognize when she always does. She did receive a lifetime achievement award in 2017, richly deserved and fully earned. I also love Saoirse Ronan, but thought Lady Bird wasn’t her best film — I liked her in Brooklyn better.
Actor in a Leading Role: I think Gary Olds has this one in the bag, although I loved Daniel Day Lewis and Timothee Chalamet.
Best Actress in a Supporting Role: Laurie Metcalf for Lady Bird. Allison Janney might take the prize for I, Tonya — hers was the louder and showier role. But I think Metcalf is brilliant, conveying more with her facial expressions that most actresses do with a whole paragraph of words.
Actor in a Supporting Role: Sam Rockwell for 3Billboards, in all of his red-necked brutal small town cop glory.
I never pay much attention to the other categories, no no picks there.
We’ll see what the evening brings. 🙂