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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

Ranked by likelihood of nomination in the categories (these charts are not about wins - that comes after nominations). Arrows indicate movement since last chart. "Lock" images are only possible once a film has opened in theaters and met eligibility requirements.

Tier 1 - Predicted Five

This category remains an insane embarrasment of riches. Hollywood will have to whittle it down to five and so far the precursors are doing just that. We've now had the Globes and SAG basically agreeing on the top five. Blunt or McCarthy still might be vulnerable though to a surge for Yalitza Aparicio (given that Roma keeps building) or a last minute surprise for Nicole Kidman (who might have been lockish given the transformation with an earlier release and had deglam still been an invaluable Oscar tactic though its less so of late) 

Glenn Close
71 yrs old | 40 films | 6 nominations
THE WIFE
SPC
August 3rd
Box Office: $8.2

Noms: Gotham, SpiritGlobe Critics Choice, SAG BAFTA
Wins: Globes

Sony Pictures Classics played their cards exactly right releasing this early as the slow burn performance needed time to settle in as a contender before the onslaught of showier films. It's a hit in arthouses so all she needs is the precursors to cement this 'finally give her the Oscar' bid.

Reviewed

Lady Gaga
32 yrs old | 4 films | never nominated *in acting*
A STAR IS BORN
Warner Bros
Oct 5th
Box Office: $202+

Noms: Globe Critics Choice, SAG, SAG (Ens) BAFTA
Wins:  NBR

Her red carpet glamour, superstar status, and rapport with Bradley Cooper onscreen will be catnip to voters. The big question is can she win? We think it depends on whether the film is a regular sized hit or a phenomenon.

Reviewed

Olivia Colman

44 yrs old | 17 films | never nominated
THE FAVOURITE
Nov 23rd
Box Office: $19+

Noms:  BIFAGlobe Critics Choice, SAG BAFTA
Wins: BIFA
Gotham (Ens), Venice, LAFCA, Toronto,
Chicago (Supp)  Dorian

All three actresses are wonderful in this triangular drama with Colman reigning as the queen. She's opted to go leading (appropriate but a bit surprising) with Stone opting to go supporting (totally inappropriate since she's essentially the protagonist who movies the plot and has the biggest arc)

Reviewed 

Melissa McCarthy

47 yrs old | 27 films | 1 nomination
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Fox Searchlight
Oct 19th
Box Office: $7.5


NomsGlobe Critics ChoiceSAG BAFTA
Wins: New York Online, San Francisco

This performance which has the kind of inner rage fueled dramedy that is surprisingly moving and expands her range. What's more she gets a courtroom monologue that's a total knockout. So why did she miss both the Gothams and the Spirit nominations?

Review | Podcast | More McCarthy

Emily Blunt
35 yrs old | 28 films | never nominated
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Disney
Dec 25th
Box Office: $138+

Noms: Globe Critics ChoiceSAG
Wins: n/a

With Gaga out of the Golden Globe musical race, Blunt's campaign just got quite a boost. It's a tough Best Actress field to break into for a 'light/fun' performance in a box office aimed movie BUT early reactions are ecstatic and we long suspected this was more doable than it seemed.

Trailer Discussion

 
Tier 2 - Possible Spoilers

Nicole Kidman

51 yrs old | 56 films | 4 noms | 1 win
DESTROYER
Annapurna 
Dec 25th
Box Office: $250k+

NomsGlobe
Wins: n/a

 The release date and reviews dont inspire confidence, but Kidman's transformation does. It's the kind of visual gimmick that gets people talking and the film will be fresh in the memory come balloting time. An unlikeable character in a competitive year is a problem though.

Reviewed | Nicole Chat | More Kidman

Yalitza Aparicio

??? yrs old | debut film 
ROMA
Netflix 
Dec 14th
Box Office: N/A -- Netflix refuses to report.

NomsGotham (Breakthru) Critics Choice
Wins: n/a

Critics are besotted with the film and her leading role. But Oscar has a long history of not really responding to auteurist vessel performances and the film is very much about the direction. She hasn't been winning critics awards either to boost her.

Reviewed | Yalitza Chat

 Toni Collette

45 yrs old | 56 films | 1 nomination
HEREDITARY
A24
June 8th
Box Office: $44

Noms: GothamSpiritCritics Choice
Wins: GothamChicago
Detroit

Though she's obviously giving one of the year's most exciting performances in this tour de force she's doing it within the horror genre which makes it a harder sell for voters.

Reviewed | More Collette

Rosamund Pike

39 yrs old | 29 films | 1 nomination
A PRIVATE WAR
Aviron Pictures
Nov 2nd
Box Office: $1.6

NomsGlobe
Wins: n/a

She's won rave reviews and Oscar does appreciate actors playing real life figures. In this case war reporter Marie Colvin. But a small distributor and small box office makes this a difficult get.

Posterized Eye Patches | More Pike

 Carey Mulligan
33 yrs old | 17 films | 1 nomination
WILDLIFE
IFC
Oct 19th
Box Office: $1

Noms: Spirit
Wins: n/a

This angry funny suddenly single mother is a juicy role and Mulligan attacks it doing her best work yet. But can IFC get the film enough attention? It's struggled at the box office and unless she shows up at the Globes (which would be a significant boost) she might be an impossibility given the low profile of the film. 

Reviewed | FYC Carey | More Mulligan

 
Tier 3 - Long Shots

Julia Roberts

50 yrs old | 4 noms | 1 win
BEN IS BACK
Roadside Attractions
Dec 7th
Box Office: $2+

Noms: n/a

Wins: n/a

People are really enjoying her work as a mother whose addict son (Ben) shows up unexpectedly at her doorstep. But the field is stacked and it's a small movie.

More Julia

Elsie Fisher

15 yrs old | 9 films | never nominated
EIGHTH GRADE
A24
July 17th
Box Office: $13.5

NomsCritics Choice 
(Young Perf / Com.), Spirit ,
 GothamGlobe

Wins: Gotham (breakthru)

The movie is a critical darling but it's also a comedy and a teenage coming of age movie, neither genre which is Oscar's cup of tea. But at least she's winning newcomer awards!

Charlize Theron
43 yrs old | 2 noms | 1 win
TULLY
Focus Features
May 4th
Box Office: $9.3

Noms: Globe, Critics Choice (Com.)
Wins: n/a

Brilliant as usual and the Globe nomination is a hugely pleasant surprise for this early release underperformer that we suspect will age very well over time. 

Review | More Charlize

Amandla Stenberg
20 yrs old | 7 films | never nominated
THE HATE U GIVE
20th Century Fox
Oct 5th
Box Office: $29.6

Noms: Critics Choice (Young Perf)
Wins: AAFCA (Breakthru)

This rising star led three films this year, and The Hate U Give gave her her best showcase yet. That the film was well received by critics and audiences should make her a "breakthrough" award possibility during award season. We'll see.

Review | Podcast | More Stenberg

Viola Davis
52 yrs old | 37 films | 3 noms | 1 win
WIDOWS 
Fox
Nov 16th
Box Office: $41.9

Noms: BAFTA
Wins: n/a

Early box office and general audience reaction killed the film's critical momentum but she's as potent as usual though perhaps with less of an arc in this film about a desperate widow turned criminal. 

Reviewed | Podcast 
More Viola 

 
Tier 4a - Longshots

ALSO RECEIVED AWARDS ATTENTION

Regina Hall -Support the Girls (Gotham nomSpirit nomNYFCC win AAFCA Win)
Kathryn Hahn - Private Life (Gotham nom)
Helena Howard - Madeline's Madeline (Spirit nomGotham Nom (Breakthrough)
Kiki Lane - If Beale Street (Gotham (Breakthrough))
Thomasin McKenzie - Leave No Trace  NBR BreakthroughCritics Choice (Young Performer) 
Michelle Pfeiffer - Where is Kyra? (Gotham nom)
Rachel Weisz - Disobedience  BIFA nomination 
Rachel McAdams  - Game Night Critics Choice (Comedy)
Constance Wu 
- Crazy Rich AsiansGlobe nominationCritics Choice (Comedy), SAG (Ens)

OTHER LEADS

Emily Blunt - A Quiet Place
Felicity Jones - On the Basis of Sex
Keira Knightley -Colette
Maggie Gyllenhaal - The Kindergarten Teacher
Saoirse Ronan - Mary Queen of Scots
Hilary Swank - What They Had
Joanna Kulig - Cold War
Chloe Moretz - The Miseducation of Cameron Post
Mary Elizabeth Winstead - All About Nina

NOT ELIGIBLE BUT ALSO AWARD WINNERS THIS YEAR

Ana Burn - The Heiresses (Berlnale)
Samal Yeslyamova - Ayka (Cannes)