EDITORIAL: Will A Sci-Fi Or Horror Movie Finally Win The Oscar For Best Picture?

The Academy Awards don't usually honor movies in the sci-fi, horror and fantasy genres with the biggest award of the night. However, there's a good chance that this year's awards will change this pattern.

One of the narratives heading into awards season was that this could finally be the year where superhero movies were recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. However, despite the critical praise movies like Wonder Woman and Logan received, the genre was shut out in the Best Picture category. 
Despite this, the 90th Academy Awards could still end up giving their highest honor to a film in a genre that is typically ignored by voters.
With Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water and Jordan Peele's Get Out both up for Best Picture, there's a decent chance a genre film will be taking home Hollywood's most coveted prize on Sunday night.
Only comedies, musicals and dramas have won Best Picture since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took home the golden statuette in 2004. The vast majority of winners in the 89-year history of the Oscars have been dramas, while a sci-fi film has never won before. Only one horror movie has won, and that's only if you count The Silence of the Lambs as horror.
The Shape Of Water might be able to buck this trend of neglecting genre films for a few reasons. First of all, this year’s Oscar race is pretty wide open, making del Toro’s film one of top three most likely winners according to numerous sites. 
Another factor is that The Shape of Water isn’t just science fiction. At its core, the movie is a romance, and its Cold War setting makes the movie a period piece—something the Academy loves.

While it isn’t the most overtly political movie, the film does have a message. The Shape of Water is a love story, but it's no typical Hollywood romance. No, this movie is about the love shared between a mute woman and a fish-man, so it's not exactly La La Land. Del Toro says his movie is about the beauty of “the Other.” He explains:
We’re living in a time where we demonize the Other. We are told we’ve got to fear. [We’re being told] everywhere, constantly, why we have to divide the world between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ whether race, religion, government sexual preference, gender — anything that creates this fake division between us and them, and there’s only us. There is only us.”

Like most great movies, The Shape of Water has layers, and the same can be said about another unconventional Best Picture-nominee, Get Out. Jordan Peele’s chilling directorial debut was able to tell an important story about race while still delivering twists and turns that have already become known as classic moments in movie history.
Both these films belong to genres that are usually not taken seriously by the Academy, but the fact that they both have a socially relevant message might win over some of the stuffy, old Oscar voters that usually don’t give genre films the time of day.
Also, it’s important to note that while the Academy is still a pretty old bunch, backlash from the #OscarsSoWhite controversy from two years ago led to lots of younger and more diverse members joining the ranks. We’ll have to see if this will lead to a genre movie finally being recognized as the best film of the year, or if the vote will be split between the two films, leading to a victory for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Right now, GoldDerby has The Shape of Water and Get Out both just behind Three Billboards as the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture, but the race is expected to be tight. 

Who do you think is going to take home the big prize? Do you even care? Comment below!
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