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Frontrunner Friday: Who’s On Top in the 2018 Oscar Race?


Kathryn Bigelow’s Untitled Detroit Riots Projects remains on top this week, as does her pole position in Best Director.

Release date announcements from The Weinstein Company on The Current War (Dec. 22) and Mary Magdalene (Nov. 24) spurred some change and movement for the two films and their acting prospects (Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix). TWC is notorious for flip-flopping dates until it figures out what it’s #1 of the year will be (see Gold and The Founder last season).

The red-band trailer for Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri inspired laughing fits over McDonagh’s deeply profane dialogue and Frances McDormand’s perfect, deadpan delivery but is it going to Oscar material? (Whatever that even is anymore…) At the moment, it’s McDonagh’s screenplay and Oscar-winner McDormand who gain the most as each land in the top 5 of their respective categories.

Meryl Streep (The Post) unseats Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul) in Best Actress. It’s only March but at the moment there aren’t many narratives to upset Streep so expect her to reign for quite some time. Oscar winners Kate Winslet (Wonder Wheel), Jennifer Lawrence (mother!), Helen Mirren (The Leisure Seeker), and Frances McDormand will give chase, though. Another Oscar winner, Halle Berry, could be a major player depending on who picks up and distributes her L.A. riots film, Kings. Berry is still the only black Best Actress winner in the Academy’s 89-year history and has yet to be nominated again since her win over 15 years ago.

Gary Oldman (Darkest War) is even stronger, earning the first perfect score (100) and so early in the season. His closest competitor, three-time Best Actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis (Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project) could be facing a 2018 release. That would be great news for Oldman, especially since both films are being distributed by Focus Features.

Best Picture

Bryan BonafedeGreg HowardEvan
Jason OsiasonKenneth
Denizcan SürücüRichard
Şükrü SöğütMatt DinnTOTAL
1The Papers (20th Century Fox - 12/22)212182111289
2Detroit (Annapurna - 8/4)121273272182
3Darkest Hour (Focus Features - 11/24)393455323370
4Dunkirk (Warner Bros - 7/21)734637765557
5Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics - 11/24)4465110539855
6Roman Israel, Esq (Sony - eyeing a fourth-quarter release)682448441
7Florida Project, The (A24 - 10/6)5837110910937
8Get Out (Universal - 2/24)85748727
9Last Flag Flying (Amazon - 11/17)91099985623
10Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros - 10/6)6810610620
11Lean on Pete (A24)5413
11Wonderstruck (Amazon - 10/20)10104713
13Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight - 11/10)78108
14Mudbound (Netflix)796
15Suburbicon (Paramount 11/3)1093
16Greatest Showman, The (20th Century Fox - 12/25)101
Aftermath, The (Fox Searchlight)
Beguiled, The (Focus Features - 6/23)
Breathe (Bleecker Street - 10/13)
Current War, The (The Weinstein Company - 12/22)
Disobedience (TBD)
Downsizing (Paramount - 12/22)
Glass Castle, The (Lionsgate - 8/11)
Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight - 10/13)
Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics)
Hostiles (TBD)
Killing of a Sacred Deer, The (A24 - 11/3)
Kings (The Orchard)
Leisure Seeker, The (Sony Pictures Classics)
Lost City of Z (Amazon - 4/14)
Marshall (Open Road Films - 10/13)
Mary Magdalene (The Weinstein Company - 11/24)
Molly's Game (STX Entertainment)
mother! (Paramount - 10/13)
Mountain Between Us, The (20th Century Fox - 10/20)
Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox - 11/10)
Shape of Water, The (Fox Searchlight - 12/8)
Silent Man, The (Sony Pictures Classics)
Snowman, The (Universal - 10/20)
Stronger (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions - 9/22)
Thank You For Your Service (Universal - 10/27)
Under the Silver Lake (A24)
Phantom Thread (Focus Features - 12/25)
Untouchable (The Weinstein Company)
Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features - 9/22)
Wind River (The Weinstein Company - 8/4)
Wonder Woman (Warner Bros - 6/2)
Wonder Wheel (Amazon)
Wonder (Lionsgate - 11/17)

Best Director

Bryan BonafedeGreg HowardEvan
Jason OsiasonKenneth
Denizcan SürücüRichard
Şükrü SöğütMatt DinnTOTAL
1Kathryn Bigelow - Detroit141263142185
1Steven Spielberg - The Papers2131102211285
3Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk725317584464
4Joe Wright - Darkest Hour32556473559
5Luca Guadagnino - Call Me By Your Name63762107210651
6Denis Villeneuve - Blade Runner 20494768856551046
7Dan Gilroy - Roman Israel, Esq.8873338345
8Sean Baker - The Florida Project56441899944
9Jordan Peele - Get Out8599810820
10Richard Linklater - Last Flag Flying796715
11Todd Haynes - Wonderstruck104712
12Andrew Haigh - Lean on Pete10108610
13Dee Rees - Mudbound104109
14George Clooney - Suburbicon1093
14Paul Thomas Anderson - Phantom Thread9103
16Alexander Payne - Downsizing92
16Alfonso Gómez-Rejón - The Current War92
18Martin McDonaugh - Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri101
Aaron Sorkin - Molly's Game
Andy Serkis - Breathe
Darren Aronofsky - mother!
David Gordon Green - Stronger
Garth Davis - Mary Magdalene
Guillermo Del Toro - The Shape of Water
Michael Gracey - The Greatest Showman
Michael Haneke - Happy End
Reginald Hudlin - Marshall
Sebastián Lelio - Disobedience
Sofia Coppola - The Beguiled
Stephen Frears - Victoria and Abdul
Woody Allen - Wonder Wheel
Yorgos Lanthimos - The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Next: Actor and Actress

About Erik Anderson

Erik blames his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched them together since he opened his eyes. They also watched Miss Universe religiously every year (the pageantry!) and Erik came to the conclusion that the combination of these two things ultimately led him down the path to obsessing about awards and ACTRESSING. He began at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association), the International Press Academy and is the founder/editor of AwardsWatch.

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