The Shape of Water
The 9 nominees for Best Picture this year comprise something of an unusual slate, for a variety of reasons. For one thing, the traditional sort of Oscar-winning films — “stylish, large-scale movies about war and sacrifice … a handsome, well-acted period-piece … a star-studded, politically relevant dramatization of an important moment in American media history,” per Noel Murray — are represented, but they’re the underdogs this time around. It’s entirely possible that the wacky ranked-choice system of Best Picture voting will produce a “surprise” victory, but it doesn’t seem likely at this point.
It would be fantastic if a smart, zeitgeisty genre film like Get Out made history with a win, or a small-scale, personal entry like Lady Bird — both are extremely of the moment, and both are very good. They won’t, of course, though history is likely to be made anyway, one way or another. The biggest 2018 Oscar basically seems up for grabs between the flashy, toxic Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri and Guillermo del Toro‘s fairy tale for grown-ups.
As a marker of how different these Oscars are, I think the one with the fish-fucking is the safer bet.