The 90th annual Academy Awards began with the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a supporting role, and Sam Rockwell took home the award for his work as a corrupt police officer in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri . It was the first win of the night for the film, which entered the show with a total of seven nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actress for the star Frances McDormand.
The Best Actor category was in many ways a showcase for Three Billboards, with Rockwell and his co-star Woody Harrelson nominated for their work in the film. The performance of Richard Jenkins in Guillermo del Toro's film The Shape of Water was also nominated, as was Christopher Plummer for his performance, as Kevin Spacey's last-minute replacement, no less, in All the Money in the World. But Willem Dafoe's nomination for The Florida Project was the most idiosyncratic nomination in the category. Sean Baker's film was very concerned about being the favorite of the awards after its debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, but the film lost momentum as the awards season progressed, and ended with just the nomination for the work of Dafoe.