Oscar nominations 2018: Will Three Billboards sweep the carpet?

From BBC - January 22, 2018

After big wins at the Screen Actors Guild awards - and earlier this month at the Golden Globes - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri appears to be front runner for best picture when this year's Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday.

But in reality, this year's race for best film is still one of the most open for years.

Three Billboards may have picked up some of the big prizes, but Academy voters are still more than capable of moving in a different direction - especially as the Oscars does not use a first past the post system for picking the winner.

Instead, it employs a preferential ballot, where voters' second and third choices can be vital in deciding which film will win.

It's a system that favours consensus over passion, and a film like Three Billboards - which has proved controversial to some - is the film most likely to be a loser under the current voting rules.

So it would be foolish to write off the chances of mysterious love story The Shape of Water, coming of age tale Lady Bird, or even horror film Get Out.

Studying the winners of other awards bodies is also becoming less valuable when it comes to the Oscars.

Following the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, the Academy has attempted to make its membership less old, white and male. And around 1,500 members of the current voting membership - that's 20 per cent - have only joined in the last two years.

Some things do seem clear: Frances McDormand's performance as a bereaved mother in Three Billboards is the one to beat for best actress. Similarly, Gary Oldman's Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour is way out in front for best actor.

While over the past couple of months Alison Janney, who plays Tonya Harding's mother in I, Tonya, and Sam Rockwell who portrays a bigoted cop in Three Billboards, have edged ahead of Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird) and Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) in the best supporting categories.

Other things to look out for:

Will The Shape of Water lead the way in the nominations?

The answer is almost certainly, yes.

Nominations in the major categories of best film, best director and best actress for Sally Hawkins seem inevitable. Best supporting nominations for Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins are not unlikely, on top of several nominations in the craft categories.

There's a good chance that it will equal the record of 14 nominations, held by All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land.

Will James Franco be nominated, will he turn up?

The voting period for this year's nominations was almost over when the latest set of allegations against actor/director James Franco emerged (allegations that Franco has denied).

And with his Golden Globe win for best actor in a comedy or musical for The Disaster Artist, he looks likely to have gathered a large number of Oscar votes before the landscape changed so rapidly.

If he does land a nomination, many will be questioning whether he will actually attend this year's ceremony. His chances of winning will be pretty close to zero.

Will Greta Gerwig be rewarded?

Roger Deakins is well overdue

Will there be another Corbould family bust-up?

Who may get two chances at winning?

Could history be made in cinematography?

Is this a good year for the Brits?


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