The Oscar race is taking shape.. but not the shape of water. And this post is not about The Post. The clear frontrunner for Oscar gold is Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It killed at the Golden Globes winning Movie Drama as well as trophies for Frances McDormand (actress, movie drama) & Sam Rockwell (supporting actor, movie drama). The movie has been getting serious buzz among Academy members since September, and has quietly built support while Dunkirk & The Post grabbed all the headlines.
Moments after the Golden Globes ended, goldderby.com had it tied with Dunkirk for 2nd best odds to win the Oscar. But Dunkirk, the early favorite, is fading. And without a big star (or any star) to make promotional appearances and make its case, Dunkirk will keep fading.
The Real Race
Three Billboards is anchored by an incredibly smart script that’s brought to life by amazing performances from McDormand, Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson. Every scene is compelling, every moment tense, uncomfortable, and empowering. The real competition to this film is Lady Bird. This movie also has two strong performances. One from Laurie Metcalf, who was nominated for a Globe as supporting actress in a comedy or musical movie, and Saoirse Ronan who won for Actress in a comedy or musical. Some may say this is comparable to last year when it was La La Land vs. Moonlight, but Lady Bird is much closer to drama than La La Land was and could easily challenge.
The two major storylines in Hollywood right now are sexual equality and politics. Equality issues are hitting home for every Academy voter even more than politics right now, and that will hurt The Post, and boost Three Billboards & Lady Bird.
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
Pour yourself a shot of your favorite flavor of schnapps. Oscar nominations are due Friday, and it’s gonna be a long road to February 26th. We need to pace ourselves.