As this Sundays 90th Academy awards approaches, it's time to see who will walk away with golden statues, and perhaps who should be winning in 5 major categories.....
Not the straight shoot-out between two pictures as we've seen from recent years e.g. Birdman v Boyhood, Moonlight v La la Land as any of five big contenders could take the crown. Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk was the early favourite, but it's earlier release date has meant it's been slightly forgotten. Three Bllboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was a favourite for a long while and took home both the Golden Globe and BAFTA, but it faces stiff competition from newly crowned favourite, fantasy spectacle The Shape of Water. Dark horses in this race are Lady Bird and Get Out, the latter of which has garnered much attention since it's release nearly a year ago, and has not gone away, meaning it could cause a major upset on the night.
Will win: The Shape of Water
Should win: Lady Bird
Unfortunately there's no contest here this year. Gary Oldman has been a lock since the critcs awards began in November. His portrayal of Winston Chruchill and more aptly the transformation he made into the great leader is the exact type of thing the Academy eats up. Youngster Timothee Chalamet, the youngest best actor nominee in around 80 years, can find himself hard done by here after his electrifying performance in the widely overlooked Call me by Your Name.
Will Win:Gary Oldman
Should win:Timothee Chalamet
This was the tightest category leading into January, with Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins and Saoirse Ronan all fighting neck and neck for the grand prize. However, in past few months McDormand has found her self leading from the front, with a host of critic and industry awards, including the SAG, Golden Globe and BAFTA.
Will win:Frances McDormand
Should win: Saoirse Ronan
A two horse race for many months in this category, with The Florida Projects Willem Dafoe and Three Billboard’s Sam Rockwell the stand out contenders. Dafoe was favourite for some time leading into January, but almost every award since has arrived at Rockwell's door for his portrayal of a racist cop on a journey of self discovery. However, Dafoe's very subtle portrayal of a hotel owner in Sean Baker's criminally underrated masterpiece.
Will win:Sam Rockwell
Should win:Willem Dafoe
Unfortunately it looks like a mere formality in what could've been a bloodbath between I,Tonya's Allison Janney and Lady Bird's Laurie Metcalf. Janney has taken the lead and is now odds on favourite for her unforgiving portrayal of infamous ice skater Tonya Harding's mother. On the other side of the spectrum, Metcalf's loving, tender performance of a mother in Lady Bird was fantastic and it would have been nice for her to have stayed in the race longer.
Will win:Allison Janney
Should win: Laurie Metcalf
Arguably the tightest race of the entire ceremony will be contested here. Jordan Peele's satirical racial horror Get Out stands a fantastic chance of cashing in on it's global success with a victory here. But it faces very tough competition from fellow best picture frontrunners, including Three Billboards, who's writer/director is hoping to go one better than his nomination for InBruges in 2009 and claim victory. Greta Gerwig also stands a real chance of turning attention into reward with Lady Bird, her clever, intricate screenplay will no doubt run the others close. Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water is probably the weakest of the favourites here, but could easily add this to it's possible list of wins come Sunday. The rank outsider here is The Big Sick, a wonderful true story of the relationship between writers Kumail Nanjani and Emily V Gordon, which sadly will be overlooked but an invite to the party is well deserved.
Will win: Three Billboards
Should win:Lady Bird