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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
1Dunkirk (Warner Bros - 7/21)442121222189
2The Post (20th Century Fox - 12/22)223332131486
3The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight - 12/8)151253313383
4Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight - 11/10)316414454276
5Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics - 11/24)534548545562
6Get Out (Universal - 2/24)667875867644
7Darkest Hour (Focus Features - 11/22)875787676841
8The Florida Project (A24 - 10/6)798666788738
9The Big Sick (Amazon/Lionsgate - 6/23)9101099999916
10Lady Bird (A24 - 11/3)8910107
11Phantom Thread (Focus Features - 12/25)92
11Mudbound (Netflix - 11/17)10102
11I, Tonya (Neon - 12/8)10102
14Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros - 10/6)101
The 15:17 to Paris (Warner Bros. - Dec)
All the Money in the World (Sony - 12/8)
Battle of the Sexes (Fox Searchlight - 9/22)
The Beguiled (Focus Features - 6/23)
Breathe (Bleecker Street - 10/13)
Detroit (Annapurna - 7/27 - limited, 8/4 - wide)
Downsizing (Paramount - 12/22)
First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers (Netflix - 9/15)
The Greatest Showman (20th Century Fox - 12/25)
Hostiles (Entertainment Studios)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (A24 - 10/20 - limited, 11/3 - wide)
Last Flag Flying (Amazon/Lionsgate - 11/3)
Marshall (Open Road Films - 10/13)
Molly's Game (STX Entertainment - 12/25)
mother! (Paramount - 9/15)
Murder on the Orient Express (20th Century Fox - 11/10)
Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics - 10/27)
Roman J. Israel, Esq. (Sony - 11/3)
Square, The (Magnolia - 10/27)
Stronger (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions - 9/22)
Suburbicon (Paramount - 10/27)
Thank You For Your Service (Universal - 10/27)
Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features - 9/22)
Wind River (The Weinstein Company - 8/4)
Wonder Woman (Warner Bros - 6/2)
Wonder Wheel (Amazon - 12/1)
Wonder (Lionsgate - 11/17)
Wonderstruck (Amazon - 10/20)

Best Director

Bryan BonafedeGreg HowardEvan
Jason OsiasonKenneth
Denizcan SürücüRichard
Şükrü SöğütMatt DinnTOTAL
1Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk312111111197
2Guillermo Del Toro - The Shape of Water121232223290
3Steven Spielberg - The Post253353342575
4Luca Guadagnino - Call Me By Your Name634527535466
5Martin McDonagh - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri447464464364
6Sean Baker - The Florida Project775646676749
7Jordan Peele - Get Out569775858644
8Joe Wright - Darkest Hour88899787827
9Denis Villeneuve - Blade Runner 204999108999916
9Paul Thomas Anderson - Phantom Thread861081010101016
11Dee Rees - Mudbound1010103
12Richard Linklater - Last Flag Flying92
13Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird101
Aaron Sorkin - Molly's Game
Alexander Payne - Downsizing
Angelina Jolie - First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers
Andy Serkis - Breathe
Clint Eastwood - The 15:17 to Paris
Dan Gilroy - Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Darren Aronofsky - mother!
David Gordon Green - Stronger
Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris - Battle of the Sexes
Kathryn Bigelow - Detroit
Michael Gracey - The Greatest Showman
Patty Jenkins - Wonder Woman
Reginald Hudlin - Marshall
Ridley Scott - All the Money in the World
Ruben Östlund - The Square
Scott Cooper - Hostiles
Sofia Coppola - The Beguiled
Stephen Frears - Victoria and Abdul
Todd Haynes - Wonderstruck
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 (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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