(NEW YORK) — The nominees for the 90th Academy Awards were announced on Tuesday morning and while it’s anybody’s guess which film will be the night’s big winner, ABC News Entertainment contributor Chris Connelly says one category’s pretty much a lock.
“Frances McDormand is in a very strong position in Best Actress, which is really saying something ’cause [it’s] a phenomenal category this year,” Connelly tells ABC Radio. “When you have Saoirse Ronan from Lady Bird, and Meryl Streep and Sally Hawkins in Shape of Water, that is a tremendous category. But I think if you were gonna bet the rent money on anyone, you’d bet it on Frances McDormand.”
McDormand stars in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri as a woman who tries to goad the local police department into finding her daughter’s killer. The movie received seven nominations, but it’s been somewhat divisive because of what it says about anger, racism and redemption.
“It’s very much touching on subjects and topics that have a certain significance in the zeitgeist right now,” says Connelly, adding, “Some people feel that it deals with [those topics] in a very responsible way, and some people do not.”
Also notable this year is the fact that in the Best Director and Screenwriter categories, both a woman and a person of color were nominated — Lady Bird‘s Greta Gerwig and Get Out‘s Jordan Peele, respectively — which is a rare occurrence.
“Whether or not they win anything is open to question,” Connelly says. “But yeah, they spread the wealth a little bit.”
As for snubs, Connelly mentions Wonder Woman and I, Tonya being shut out of the Best Picture category, Tom Hanks and James Franco being absent from the Best Actor category, and Jessica Chastain being passed over for Best Actress, for Molly’s Game.
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