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91st Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2018 (for the 2019 Ceremony) - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog


Tier 1 - Prediction

It's looking like a surefire all previous nominee year... but with so many strong contenders does someone amazing but subtle like Ethan Hawke or Ryan Gosling fall to showier work? Most ≠ Best but Oscar often times does the math that way.

Bradley Cooper

43 yrs old | 3 noms in acting
Oct 5th

History suggests that it's hard to direct yourself to an Oscar win but he's absolutely perfect in this future smash hit as both a besotted romantic partner, and a rock star with a drinking problem, ear trouble, and depression issues. 

Trailer | Premiere

Viggo Mortensen

59 yrs old | 2 nominations
Nov 21st

He's starring as an Italian-American driver in this road trip dramedy that's looking like a future smash hit. His two previous nominations were both hugely deserved which could help with win momentum.

People's Choice at TIFF

Ethan Hawke

47 yrs old | 2 noms in acting
May 18th

If there's one early bird nominee who becomes a cause for either critics or the acting branch it's going to be this enduring star doing the best work of his career. He won deserved raves for his troubled sick priest.

Review | Winter Light Influence

Christian Bale
44 yrs old | 3 noms | 1 win
Dec 21st

Oscar voters and critics love him. But will the film be a late year surprise given its pedigree or just a hit for adults. Or a flop? We're living in such a nightmare right now who wants to return to the Bush era as well?

Clint Eastwood

88 yrs old | 2 noms for acting
Dec 14th

Though he already has four Oscars he's never won for acting which would be an easy campaign narrative if the film is perceived to be great. Is it? If so watch out for Eastwood to make a run for the win.


Tier 2 - Or Maybe It'll Be

Ryan Gosling
37 yrs old | 2 noms
Oct 12th

He's tremendously good as astronaut Neil Armstrong and the acting branch loves 'real people' roles. But he's also very internal and the branch defaults to showy usually. Could be a surprise snub at the last minute. 

Premiere | Review

Willem Dafoe

62 yrs old | 3 nominations
Nov 16th

Playing famous artists never hurts with the acting branch. He's already won raves for his rapidly deteriorating van Gogh in one of the most dramatic periods of his life, ear loss and all. The fact that he just lost for a great performance (The Florida Project) will definitely help.

Trailer discussion

Robert Redford
81 yrs old | 1 nomination *for acting
Sept 28th

Redford has announced that this will be his last movie. If the campaign is strong the reviews are already warm for the swan song. Career achievement campaign?


Rami Malek
36 yrs old | never nominated
Nov 2nd

He's playing queer rock star Freddie Mercury which is a great role but the movie has been plagued by trouble -- mostly surrounding director Bryan Singer. Will the end product be a mess or a great showcase for this rising star? 

First look

John David Washington

33 yrs old | never nominated
Aug 10th

Denzel's son takes the lead and though he still seems unlikely as a nominee given that people view it as a Spike Lee triumph mostly, leading a Best Picture nominee threat always helps with acting campaigns.

Review | Podcast

Tier 3 - Or could they surprise?


Michael B Jordan
31 yrs old | never nominated
Nov 21st

If the sequel somehow lives up to the brilliance of its predecessor Jordan could be swept up in a fervor of 'time to welcome him in...' on the other hand sequels rarely do live up and why not just nominate him for Black Panther?

Trailer discussion


Steve Carell
55 yrs old | 1 nomination
Oct 12th

Given that addiction is such a common ailment many viewers will relate to this father of an addict role. How to detach with love? That said, the film is polarizing and you've seen him give this performance before. And the second half totally belongs to Chalamet.

Trailer discussion

Lucas Hedges

21 yrs old | 1 nomination
Nov 2nd

He's touching as a boy sent to a conversion camp by his religious parents. That said, it's probably not showy enough to land a lead nod and the supporting parental duo stealth own the arc of the film.

Trailer discussion


Hugh Jackman
49 yrs old | 1 nomination
Nov 7th

His natural charisma should be a great fit for  disgraced but first-promising politician Gary Hart. On paper it seems like a great Oscar ploy but early reviews aren't enthusiastic. Will mainstream media like it more in November?


Steve Carell

55 yrs old | 1 nom
Dec 21st

Christmas release suggests this might be more of a commercial ploy with a 'prestige' sheen. He plays a man dealing with his PTSD after a brutal attack by creating an elaborate WW II era town in his backyard. Fantasy and reality collide with visual effects.



Tier 5 - Other Male Leads in 2018

Javier Bardem - Everybody Knows
Chadwick Boseman -Black Panther
Andrew Garfield - Under the Silver Lake
Lucas Hedges - Ben is Back
Stephan James - If Beale Street Could Talk
Joaquin Phoenix - You Were Never Really Here
Charlie Plummer - Lean on Pete
John C Reilly - The Sisters Brothers
LaKeith Stanfield - Sorry to Bother You
Michael Shannon - What They Had