Oscars: How were winners for the 90th Academy Awards chosen?

Televised Oscar coverage starts at 1 p.m. Sunday with Countdown to the Oscars Live! on ABC and eTalk’s Ultimate Oscar Guide on CTV and continues on one channel or another right up to the 8 p.m. start of the big show itself
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Author

05 March, 2018

Just like previous year, there are nine films contesting for the coveted Best Picture award. The crucial ingredients are there: he plays a historical figure (with the help of prosthetics and heavy makeup), he has won key precursor awards, and he is up against two whippersnappers (Timothée Chalamet and Daniel Kaluuya) who have careers ahead of them, and two veterans (Daniel Day-Lewis and Denzel Washington) who each have already won multiple times.

Who's going to win the Academy Award for best picture?

The winners of three other categories aren't so obvious.

The field is made up largely of modest independent film successes except for the box-office phenomenon "Get Out" ($255 million worldwide after opening on Oscar weekend 2017) and "Dunkirk" ($255 million).

Nearly as certain as Oldman's win is Frances McDormand's, who will win best actress for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri".

When it comes to best supporting actor, my personal pick is "The Florida Project's" Willem Dafoe as the flawed but sympathetic Bobby, who manages a motel where longtime tenants are families in economic distress.

Who will win: All evidence suggests that Three Billboards will take home the gold.

"Mudbound" director Dee Rees is the first black woman nominated for best adapted screenplay, while her director of photography Rachel Morrison is the first woman to be nominated for best cinematography.

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I haven't seen a single nominee.

Kobe Bryant became the first NBA player to get an Oscar nomination, for his animated short film Dear Basketball. That includes Greta Gerwig, who's up for best director and best original screenplay for "Lady Bird", and Margot Robbie, who's nominated for best actress for her role in "I, Tonya".

There is an exceptional amount of excitement for the film "Call Me by Your Name", and for good reason, it was a really good movie.

This method of preferential voting for the final Best Picture ballot was reintroduced in 2009, when the academy went to 10 nominees in this category for the first time since 1943. The result is an idiosyncratic, bittersweet and tender film that is the favorite to win. The horror film with an effective social commentary was just too much of a sensation for it to not win anything this year. It will probably be a squeaker - though by how much, we will nearly certainly never know, because the academy does not release vote tallies. We've got you covered. But, with the Russian sports doping doc "Icarus", and the acclaimed "Last Men in Aleppo", a victor could just as easy be called from a coin flip. Often a wise, warm, empathic onscreen presence, the 58-year-old Janney as LaVona was caustic and cruel, and nearly upstaged by the pet bird that sat on her shoulder, pecking at her, for one extended, wickedly amusing scene. Each Oscars telecast since 2013 has graced our screens for over that 3-and-a-half-hour mark, with an average time of roughly 3 hours, 40 minutes, which would bring this year's telecast to finish around 11:40 p.m. ET, surpassing it's budgeted slot. If the academy goes for spectacle and craft, then they will have to go with "Dunkirk". That's usually a really good sign and it's why I'm giving it the edge over "Three Billboards".

Who should win: Christopher Nolan, without doubt.

Are there any other Oscars 2018 nominations I should know about?

Jonah Crismore is programming director at the Embassy Theatre and a movie buff.


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