The Best Actress Oscar Race is Already Over

| © Fox Searchlight

Editorial Manager

We reckon they’ll be a few surprises at the Oscars on March 4, but don’t expect one in this category. The anticipated winner has been leading the race for months.

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Nominees

Sally Hawkins–The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand–Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Saoirse Ronan–Lady Bird

Meryl Streep–The Post

Cassam Looch’s Pick

Part of our job as critics is to build up the hype around the Oscars and talk up the many reasons to tune in and watch the glittering spectacle live. However, if you’re staying up late to see if there are any shocks on the night, you might want to skip this category. Frances McDormand is winning the Best Actress award and everybody knows it.

Perennial nominee Meryl Streep is once again one of the contenders here, because… of course she is. The Post is fine, Streep is fine, and Tom Hanks is fine, too, but aside from the topical issues around which Steven Spielberg’s film is built, it offers nothing remarkable.

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

Far better performances than Streep’s come from young stars Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan in I, Tonya and Lady Bird respectively. Both women will likely be nominated again in the not too distant future, but hopefully for them in a year when the field is more open.

If there is any competition to be had for McDormand then it will come from Brit Sally Hawkins. It would be an upset win for The Shape of Water actress, however, as all the momentum is with the searing lead of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

Should win: Margot Robbie. Will win: Frances McDormand.

Graham Fuller’s Pick

We won’t see the final tally of votes for each contender in the Best Actress category or in any other, but Saoirse Ronan and Sally Hawkins could make this a tighter race than is anticipated.

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

In the end, it’s unlikely that either Ronan or Hawkins will outflank Frances McDormand, formidable as the icily furious Mildred Hayes in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; unless there’s a major upset, McDormand will repeat the Oscar success she had with Fargo in 1997.

Nonetheless, Ronan’s drollness and roll-with-the-punches vibe in Lady Bird and Hawkins’ pathos and fortitude—not to mention her amorousness—in The Shape of Water will commend their performances to many Oscar voters and they might eat into McDormand’s margin of victory.

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Not that Ronan or Hawkins outclass Margot Robbie, whose performance as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya is a revelation.

Everyone who previously thought Robbie was a limited actress based on her work in The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and Suicide Squad (2016) should be excited by her gritty, vulnerable, and needy turn as the notorious and emotionally complicated ice skater. It has deservedly lifted the Aussie actress onto the Hollywood A-list.

Robbie shrouds Tonya in ambiguity, making her a multi-dimensional figure. Whereas her co-star Allison Janney has a strong chance of winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, however, Robbie’s chances are slim owing to I, Tonya‘s relative unfashionableness compared with Three Billboards, Lady Bird, and The Shape of Water.

Meryl Streep in The Post

In addition, the Best Actress competition is unusually tough this year. It would have to be, wouldn’t it, given that Meryl Streep is considered the fifth likeliest nominee to win the gold statuette? Right now, she’s the 80/1 outsider.

Streep’s 21st nomination won’t result in her fourth Oscar. But let it be said that she is nicely understated as Katharine “Kay” Graham, the shrewd publisher of the Washington Post at the crucial time it published the Pentagon Papers. She almost deserves another Academy Award.

Should win: Frances McDormand. Will win: Frances McDormand.SaveSave

landscape with balloons floating in the air

KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?

Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

X
Edit article