Muse predicts the ninetieth Academy Awards

The Muse team give their verdict on who will win at this year’s awards, and who the Academy has ignored

Best Picture

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Winner: The Shape of Water
Snubbed: The Florida Project

While having the most nominations does not mean success in the biggest category, as La La Land found out last year, the magic and soul of The Shape of Water could finally capture the golden statue for Guillermo Del Toro. He is at his best when bringing heart to his monster tales, as the three Oscars and critical adoration for Pan’s Labyrinth shows. It seems the most likley winner in a strong field, one that excluded the critically-lauded and affecting The Florida Project. Its focus on children in poverty was an inspired choice that sadly didn’t get the wide release it deserved.

Best Director

Image: Universal Pictures

Winner: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)
Snubbed: Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049)

Coming off of an expansive acting career and being the fifth woman ever to be nominated in this category, Gerwig is certainly in with a fighting chance. Her solo debut, Lady Bird, has been so widely loved that it seems impossible for it to miss out on a significant award. Also, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, a win for a female director in such a male-dominated profession will hopefully signal the changes to come. Surprisingly, the director of one of the most anticipated sequels of all time and of one of the most visually stunning films of the year didn’t even get a nod.

Best Actress

Image: Fox Searchlight

Winner: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Snubbed: Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game)

Following her triumph at the Golden Globes, McDormand is more than likely to sweep up a few more awards this season. Her furiously sulky and heartfelt performance in Three Billboards blisteringly portrays the power of a mother’s love. Another actress in a role that she was born to play was Chastain as Molly Bloom. Her work as the fast-talking gambling tycoon should have at least been nominated.

Best Supporting Actress

Image: 30West

Winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)
Snubbed: Sally Hawkins (Paddington 2)

Janney is one of those incredible actors who are long overdue Academy recognition. Since she sadly can’t win an Oscar for The West Wing, her turn as the dance-mom from hell in the controversial biopic of Tonya Harding should snag her the trophy. Though Hawking’s The Shape of Water performace was well deserving of her best actress nomination, Muse were disappointed that her role in Paddington 2 flew under the Academy’s radar. Though maybe it’s just us.

Best Actor

Image: Universal Pictures

Winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Snubbed: Hugh Jackman (Logan)

Gary Oldman seems to be the very obvious choice, he’s playing a historic figure and is covered in prosthetic make-up. It’s a performance begging for awards and one that seems to be better than the film itself. Oldman is also yet to take home an Oscar despite a number of fantastic performances over the years. However Hugh Jackman has given a career best as a jaded Wolverine, a character he’s played for over a decade. Unfortunately, his performance has likely been overlooked due to Logan’s status as a superhero flick.

Best Supporting Actor

Image: Fox Searchlight

Winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Snubbed: Everyone in Dunkirk

Sam Rockwell for better or for worse has been one of the most talked about actors this
awards season and this means he’s likely to take home the trophy. However the lack of a
Best Ensemble award means that the incredible work done by the cast of Dunkirk including Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy and even Harry Styles have been ignored by the Academy. The Academy favours a very particular type of performance, one that steals the attention of the audience. Dunkirk isn’t a film that features flashy performances but that doesn’t make their work any less deserving of some attention.

Best Original Screenplay

Image: Universal Pictures

Winner: Jordan Peele (Get Out)
Snubbed: Sally Potter (The Party)

It would be a real shame if the cultural milestone that was Get Out misses out on an award, especially after being snubbed at the Golden Globes this year. Peele’s screenplay was the perfect balance between painfully relatable and unsettlingly unthinkable. Hopefully his horror/comedy/cultural commentary gets the recognition it deserves. One film definitely not getting the Hollywood traction it deserves is Potter’s comedy which explores the cultural privilege of the left-leaning political elite.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Image: Sony Pictures Classics

Winner: James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)
Snubbed: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin (The Death of Stalin)

Given the near-universal love for Luca Guadagnino’s romance, it would be surprising if it went home completely empty-handed. James Ivory has a great chance of winning his first Oscar aged 89 in a category with no other clear winner. The hilarious satire produced in The Death of Stalin made great use of its talented cast, but the Academy is not typically a fan of farcical comedies.

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