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TIFF Wrap Up Awards & Podcast 

"I feel like this year's awards season could be a bloodbath, in the (mostly) good embarrassment-of-riches way." - Cash

"I really appreciate the thought you put into these (vs. just nominating your favorite film in every category).  " - Huh

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

 discuss on the blog

SEPTEMBER 20th PREDICTIONS

Tier 1 - Prediction

It's looking like a surefire all previous nominee year... but most compellingly, none of them have won yet for acting! (Unless Bale is nominated for Vice, of course. Or Rami Malek or Michael B Jordan somehow come up from behind to nab their first nods)

Bradley Cooper

43 yrs old | 3 noms in acting
A STAR IS BORN
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
GREEN BOOK
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
FIRST REFORMED
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

Ryan Gosling
37 yrs old | 2 noms
FIRST MAN
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
AT ETERNITY'S GATE
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

 

 
Tier 2 - Or Maybe It'll Be

Christian Bale
44 yrs old | 3 noms | 1 win
VICE
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?

Steve Carell

55 yrs old | 1 nom
WELCOME to MARWEN
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.

Trailer discussion

Steve Carell
55 yrs old | 1 nomination
BEAUTIFUL BOY
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

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

Review

Hugh Jackman
49 yrs old | 1 nomination
THE FRONTRUNNER
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?

 
Tier 3 - Or could they surprise?

 

Michael B Jordan
31 yrs old | never nominated
CREED II
MGM
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

Rami Malek
36 yrs old | never nominated
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY 
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

Lucas Hedges

21 yrs old | 1 nomination
BOY ERASED
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

John David Washington

33 yrs old | never nominated
BLACKkKLANSMAN
Aug 10th

Denzel's son takes the lead. The film was beloved at Cannes... but that's a different atmosphere than mainstream releasing. Plus it's likely to be regarded as Spike Lee's triumph rather than the actors involved.

Review | Podcast

 

 

John C Reilly
53 yrs old |
1 nom
THE SISTERS BROTHERS
Sept 21st

Reviews for this artful western suggest that everyone is really good in it -- which might be trouble for a focused Oscar campaign. Reviews are kind to him which could help make him a contender next round if he has a plum follow up.

Trailer discussion

 

 
Tier 5 - Other Male Leads in 2018

Javier Bardem - Everybody Knows
Chadwick Boseman -Black Panther
Andrew Garfield - Under the Silver Lake
Stephan James - If Beale Street Could Talk
Rory Kinnear
- Peterloo
Ben Mendelsohn - Land of Steady Habits
Matthew McConaughey - Serenity & White Boy Rick
Richie Merrit - White Boy Rick
Joaquin Phoenix - You Were Never Really There and The Sisters Brothers
Charlie Plummer - Lean on Pete
John C Reilly - The Sisters Brothers
LaKeith Stanfield - Sorry to Bother You
Michael Shannon - What They Had