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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

UPDATED CHART
SEPT 22ND PREDICTIONS

Tier 1 - Prediction

People are being all too quick to assume they know what will go down in the Best Actress category this year as it's likely to stay competitive through the first batch of awards (which have a tendency to narrow things down way too quickly via weird consensus even when there's a strong field). In truth all of the top ten seem plausible in various ways and then there's even the possibility that Olivia Colman will go lead for The Favourite which would shake up the standings considerably.

Glenn Close
71 yrs old | 40 films | 6 nominations
THE WIFE
SPC
August 3rd

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.

Raves | Reviewed

Lady Gaga
32 yrs old | 4 films | never nominated *in acting*
A STAR IS BORN
Warner Bros
Oct 5th

Her red carpet glamour, superstar status, and rapport with Bradley Cooper onscreen make this nomination feel lockish. The big question is can she win? We think it depends on whether the film is a regular sized hit or a phenomenon with audiences.

Trailer Discussion | Festival Raves

 Melissa McCarthy

47 yrs old | 27 films | 1 nomination
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Fox Searchlight
Oct 19th

The mellow trailer undersold this performance which has the kind of inner rage fueled dramedy that is surprisingly moving. If the film is at least a minor success with audiences, count her in. It's the performance we've been waiting for from her to expand her range.

Reviewed

Nicole Kidman
51 yrs old | 56 films | 4 noms | 1 win
DESTROYER
Annapurna
Dec 25th

Thought the release date does not inspire confidence, Kidman's transformation does. It's the kind of visual gimmick that gets people talking and therefore gets the performance (very good) discussed. But the bitter drunk angry character is highly unlikeable which could be a problem. 

ReviewedFirst Image | Festival Raves

Emma Stone
29 yrs old | 22 films | 2 noms | 1 win
THE FAVOURITE
Fox Searchlight
Nov 23rd

Advance buzz is super for this film and its performances. Since the film is a triangular relationship drama there's some debate on which of the three leads goes supporting. But since Stone is the biggest star, we'll assume she stays lead for now.

Trailer Discussion | Festival Raves

 
Tier 2 - Or Maybe One or Two of These Five

 Carey Mulligan
33 yrs old | 17 films | 1 nomination
WILDLIFE
IFC
Oct 19th

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?

ReviewedTrailer

Viola Davis
52 yrs old | 37 films | 3 noms | 1 win
WIDOWS 
Fox
Nov 16th

In a weaker year she'd be more of a slam dunk but though she's as potent as usual she doesn't have much of an arc in this film about a desperate widow turned criminal.

ReviewedTrailer Discussion | Variety Cover

Yalitza Aparicio
??? yrs old | debut film
ROMA
Netflix
Dec 14th

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. Plus she's a novice actor against much bigger stars.

Reviewed

 

Toni Collette
45 yrs old | 1 nomination
HEREDITARY
A24
June 8th

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. But if she wins some key critics prize... she could get a second wind.

Reviewed

Emily Blunt
35 yrs old | 28 films | never nominated
MARY POPPINS RETURNS
Disney
Dec 25th

Though she seems like a slam dunk Golden Globe nominee nabbing her first Oscar nomination will prove harder since the Best Actress field is so thick. Might be just a commercial move rather than an across the board nominatable film. We'll see.

Trailer Discussion

 
Tier 3 - Long Shots

Julia Robetts
50 yrs old | 4 noms | 1 win
BEN IS BACK
Roadside Attractions
Dec 7th

Yes, she's the lead in this drama about a mother whose addict son (Ben) shows up unexpectedly at her doorstep. She's won warm reviews but the field is stacked.

Maggie Gyllenhaal
40 yrs old | 1 nomination
THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER
A24
Dec 7th

Brilliant as usual though Oscar has so far only responded to her in one of her least impressive performances. A difficult character... the kind you could get nominated for in the 1970s but now... ? Hmmm.

Capsule Review

Felicity Jones
34 yrs old | 21 films | 1 nomination
ON THE BASIS OF SEX
Focus
Dec 25th

Buzz is not strong thus far and the Christmas release doesn't bode well since it doesn't seem like a flashy enough performance to shake up the race (which is what last week of year releases need unless you're a huge star or in a huge film)

Saoirse Ronan

24 yrs old | 21 films | 3 nominations
MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
Focus
Dec 7th

Oscar is definitely into her but buzz also isn't strong for this costume drama. Is the problem that the story has been told so many times before onscreen?

Trailer Discussion

Kiki Layne
??? yrs old | 2 films | never nominated
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
Annapurna
Nov 30th

Strangely the leads are in some way the least exciting part of this beautiful art film. Her character is largely passive, too, which doesn't help when the competition is strong.

ReviewedTrailer Discussion 

 
Tier 4a - Loveable Longshots

Tier 4b - Other Key Leads This Year

Emily Blunt - A Quiet Place
Penelope Cruz - Everybody Knows
Claire Foy
- The Girl in the Spider's Web,
Keira Knightley
-Colette
Michelle Pfeiffer - Where is Kyra?
Hilary Swank - What They Had
Rachel Weisz - Disobedience
Constance Wu - Crazy Rich Asians

 

Mary Elizabeth Winstead
33 yrs old | never nominated
ALL ABOUT NINA
The Orchard
Sept 28th

Winning the best reviews of her career but the low profile release means she'll probably still have to wait for her awards breakthrough. When is it going to happen fort his fine actress?

Reviewed

Elsie Fisher
15 yrs old | 7 films | never nominated
EIGHTH GRADE
A24
Aug 3rd

Loveable, complicated, funny and authentic feeling . It's a real performance (she's been a professional actor for half her life) and not the directorial coup one might have assumed had it been a debut film. Could A24 figure out a way to boost her awards profile?

Podcast