This race is sure to be electrifying. Not just because of the many spectacular performances this year, but also because of the last for months of scandals followed by the empowerment of the #MeToo Movement.
Another thing to be excited about is the broadness of the roles this year. Unlike in Best Supporting Actress, this year’s roles for best lead aren’t solely populated with struggling mothers.
McDormand won in 1997 for Fargo, a similar film to Three Billboards, and I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if she took the trophy home again for her latest performance as a mother seeking justice in rural Missouri for the rape and murder of her teenage daughter.
McDormand perfectly blends comedy and tragedy in a film that desperately needed its lead actress to do so. Three Billboards would not land nearly as well as it did without McDormand’s specific talents.
Margot Robbie for I, Tonya
I, Tonya was far more entertaining that I thought it would be, and this was in part due to Margot Robbie’s no-holds-barred portrayal at the titular Tonya Harding.
Robbie takes you through Harding’s life of physical and emotional abuse on her way to becoming the best women’s figure skater in world – only to have it all come crashing down – in a way that makes you emphasize with her pain and upbringing and thus become sympathetic to the grayness of her decisions.
Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird
Lady Bird is a film from 2017 that I’ve most been annoying my friends and family to watch, and a lot of that is due to Ronan’s portrayal of a high school senior in Sacramento who is desperate to leave home and become an idealized version of herself.
I may have a little more appreciation for her performance, as I myself just graduate High School last May. Ronan nails the feelings of both excitement and fear of the future, as well as a general dislike of authority and the monotony of middle-class suburban life she observes around her.
Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water
The fact that Hawkins was so incredibly moving in The Shape of Water without saying a single word makes her performance not only one of the best of the year, but, in my opinion, one of the greats of all time.
Hawkins makes you practically melt into her feelings as a lonely, yet hopeful, janitor who falls in love with a creature at the facility she cleans. She makes her character just so loveable and charming that you expend so much energy by the end rooting for her and her love story to you surprise yourself.
Meryl Streep for The Post
Meryl Steep gets nominated for Oscars, that’s what she does. She is the Academy darling, with whooping twenty nominations and three wins. She’s pretty good as Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham in The Post, although I feel like her talent and Graham’s legacy was a bit failed by the script.
If her nomination over Amy Adams last year proves anything, though, it’s that the Academy will stop at nothing to place another notch under her belt.