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

 discuss on the blog

DECEMBER 21ST PREDICTIONS

Tier 1 - Predicted Five

With John David Washington still building steam (backed by Best Picture heat), Rami Malek looking close to locked up, and Ethan Hawke still the undisputed critical darling (who Oscar has shown love to before in multiple categories)... I'm starting to doubt that anyone is truly a lock. Six men still with tons of buzz. Only five slots. 

Manwhile in the long shot division, precursors haven't been kind to Ben Foster but his film, Leave No Trace, is still building steam to land a nomination or two.

Bradley Cooper

43 yrs old | 3 noms in acting
A STAR IS BORN
Oct 5th

noms: Globe, Critics Choice SAG, SAG (Ens) BAFTA
wins: --

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

Review | Podcast  | More Cooper

 

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

noms: GlobeCritics Choice SAG BAFTA
wins: Globes

Oscar voters and critics love him. Early hype is promising but the film hasn't faced the public yet. Will it be a surprise flop? No matter. He'll still make it in even if the film itself runs into trouble.

Trailer | More Bale

Viggo Mortensen
59 yrs old | 2 nominations
GREEN BOOK
Nov 21st

nomsGlobe Critics Choice SAG BAFTA
wins:  NBR

He's quite funny in an against type star turn as an Italian-American driver in this road trip dramedy. Though the film seems like a crowd-pleaser general audiences have yet to really latch on and the film has a noticeable contingent of non-fans too... this all makes a win unlikely.

Review | Podcast 
More Mortensen

Rami Malek
36 yrs old | never nominated
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 
Nov 2nd

noms: GlobeCritics ChoiceSAGSAG (Ens) BAFTA
wins: Globes,

He's playing queer rock star Freddie Mercury which is a great role even if the film simplifies the rock star. The movie's bad early buzz dissipated when audiences loved this. The Globe nod was a given but Oscar might be tougher.  

Review  | Podcast | More Malek

Ethan Hawke

47 yrs old | 2 noms in acting
FIRST REFORMED
May 18th

nomsGothamSpirit,
 
Critics Choice
winsGothamNYFCC, Chicago, Detroit, LAFCA, Toronto, New York Online, San Francisco, Dorian

 We've been predicting him for practically the whole yet and it has come to pass as we suspected: He's the critical cause of the season, an enduring star doing the best work of his career as a troubled sick priest.

 

Review | Winter Light More Hawke

 
Tier 2 - Possible Spoilers

John David Washington

33 yrs old | never nominated
BLACK KLANSMAN
Aug 10th

nomsGlobeSAGSAG (Ens)
wins: AAFCA

 Denzel's son takes the lead and though he still seems unlikely as a nominee given that people view the film mostly as a Spike Lee triumph, headlining a likely Best Picture nominee ALWAYS helps in the acting categories.

 

Review | Podcast

Willem Dafoe

62 yrs old | 3 nominations
AT ETERNITY'S GATE
Nov 16th

noms: GlobeCritics Choice
wins: --

Playing famous artists never hurts with the acting branch and the Globe nod suggest he's still in the mix as the 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) might  help.

Review | More Dafoe

 

Robert Redford
81 yrs old | 1 nomination *for acting
OLD MAN AND THE GUN
Sept 28th

noms:Globe--
wins: --

Redford has announced that this will be his last movie. The reviews are warm for the swan song but there doesn't seem to have been a significant career achievement campaign making this nomination unlikely.

Review | More Redford 

Ryan Gosling

37 yrs old | 2 noms
FIRST MAN
Oct 12th

noms: Critics Choice
wins: --

He's tremendously good as astronaut Neil Armstrong and the acting branch loves 'real people' roles. But he's proved too internal (as we feared) to generate passion because voters of all kinds (yes, even critics) prefer showy performances.

Review | Podcast
 | More Gosling 

Ben Foster

 

38 yrs old | never nominated
LEAVE NO TRACE
June 29th

noms: Gotham
wins: --

Given The Gotham nod for him and Spirit nominations (for the film and his co-star) people really like the film. But he hasn't generated any awards pull for his fine work.

More Foster

 
Tier 3 - Long Shots. The race has firmed up.

 

John C Reilly
53 yrs old | 1 nomination
STAN & OLLIE
Sony Pictures Classics
Dec 28th

noms: Globe
wins: --

The Globe nod was a bit of a surprise but he's wonderful as Oliver Hardy the early screen comedy star. Plus he even has a musical bit to remind us of his turn in Chicago.

 

Lucas Hedges
21 yrs old | 1 nomination
BOY ERASED
Focus Features
Nov 2nd

noms: Globe
wins: --

The Globe nod is a bit of a surprise boosting his profile just as the conversation was dying out around the film. But this is still an extreme longshot, given his youth and the muted reception of the film and even this performance (with Crowe & Kidman winning bigger praise)

Trailer discussion | More Jordan

 

Joaquin Phoenix

44 yrs old | 3 noms
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
April 6th

noms:GothamSpirit
wins: Cannes

Most people agree that he's a stellar actor and this performance won rave after rave. But Oscar voters are unlikely to watch a film this unpleasant during the holidays.

Review | More Phoenix

Clint Eastwood

88 yrs old | 2 noms for acting
THE MULE
Dec 14th

noms: --
wins: --

Though he already has four Oscars he's never won for acting which would be an easy campaign narrative but the film had very little pre-release buzz and isn't pushing for prizes.

Trailer | More Eastwood

Michael B Jordan
31 yrs old | never nominated

CREED II
MGM
Nov 21st

noms: --
wins: --

Nobody thinks the sequel is as brilliant as its predecessor and they skipped his wonderful work in the Creed. Why not just nominate him for Black Panther?

Trailer discussion | More Jordan

 

 

 

 
Tier 4 - Other Male Leads in 2018

ALSO RECEIVED AWARDS ATTENTION

Steve Coogan - Stan & Ollie BAFTA
Chadwick Boseman
 -Black Panther SAG (Ens)
John Cho 
- Searching  (Spirit nom)
Daveed Diggs -Blindspotting (Spirit nom)
Christian Malheiros - Socrates (Spirit nom)
LaKeith Stanfield - Sorry to Bother You (Gotham nom)
Ed Oxenbould - Wildlife , Critics Choice (Young Performer)
Sunny Suljic - Mid90s , Critics Choice (Young Performer) 

 OTHER LEADS

Steve Carell - Welcome to Marwen / Beautiful Boy
Hugh Jackman - The Front Runner
Stephen James - If Beale Street Could Talk
Charlie Plummer - Lean on Pete
Zain Al Rafee -Capernaum