Oscar Locks: Do Any Exist?

As the Oscar race starts to heat up with the announcement of the NYFCC (New York Film Critics Circle) awards today, the question is now raised.. is there such a thing as a lock? Well, yes. In an effort to stir up some controversy, I’ve picked five nominees who I believe are absolute locks for their given categories.

1) Frances McDormand (Three Billboards outside Ebbing, MO) for Best Actress
She’s such a well respected actress, and the film itself is very much centere4d in the Oscar race. It’s quite likely this film will see multiple nominations, hopefully for never-nominated Sam Rockwell as well. But, McDormand is the heart and soul of this film, which released at the right time, and is doing quite well at the box office. I consider her an absolute lock at this point. I don’t know if she’ll win, but she’s guaranteed a nom.

2) Dunkirk for Best Picture
I’m not sure how much this film will be remembered, and how many nominations it will get. I do believe that no matter what, this film will end up in the Best Picture category. Does that mean it will win? Not necessarily, though I don’t think that’s a far fetched idea. Oscars love war pics, and Chris Nolan made one hell of a war pic. Will he also get nominated?

3) Coco for Best Animated Feature
In a year where most of the animated films were just “meh”, Coco stands above the rest. It’s possible that its competition might be foreign animated efforts, as most of the studio animated films this year fell flat with critics (except for a few exceptions, like the LEGO Batman Movie). Oscars love Pixar, and they’re not nominating Cars 3, so Coco is the Disney/Pixar nominee this year. It’ll likely also get a nom for Original Song.

4) The Darkest Hour for Makeup and Hair
I almost want to call Gary Oldman a lock for Darkest Hour, because he’s been a frontrunner all year now. one thing is for sure, the team that made his amazing transformation happen will be rewarded with a nomination. It’s impressive work, and we’ve been talking about it for so long I can’t imagine this category without Darkest Hour. Even though this same panel gave the award last year to Suicide Squad.

5) Lady Bird for Best Original Screenplay
There will be a lot of talk this season about the female directors and how they contributed some amazing films, and deserve to finally play in the big boy categories. What this does for Greta Gerwig is bring even more attention to the fact that she directed and WROTE Lady Bird, as an original screenplay. Lady Bird is already a frontrunner this season, and the continued talk about her and her film will continue to keep her at the front of the Original Screenplay category. She’s guaranteed a nomination here, even if it works as a consolation prize.

And just for fun, five “almost locks”:

6) Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour)- Best Actor
7) Jordan Peele (Get Out)- Best Original Screenplay
8) Allison Janney (I Tonya)- Best Supporting Actress
9) Call Me By Your Name- Best Picture
10) Dunkirk- Best Cinematography

And a few honorable mentions…

11) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO- Best Picture
12) Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)- Best Director
13) Call Me By Your Name- Best Adapted Screenplay
14) Beauty and the Beast- Costume Design
15) The Shape Of Water- Makeup/Hairstyling

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