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2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (October) – Jake Gyllenhaal ‘Stronger’ Now, Chalamet Hits a High

After a relatively stagnant September top five in Best Actor, this month sees some significant change with an Oscar winner and a nominee out and replaced by…an Oscar winner and a nominee.

Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, a consistent top 3 performer this year takes a pretty big tumble after the debut of Roman J. Israel, Esq. at the Toronto International Film Festival was met with less than complimentary reviews. He plummets all the way to #9 this month. Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston (Last Flag Flying) falls but for a different reason; in conjunction with the film’s premiere at the New York Film Festival last week Amazon announced that Cranston would be submitted in Supporting (along with Laurence Fishburne) and that Steve Carell would be pushed Lead. We (among many or most pundits) had these category placements switched. The change obviously drops Cranston from the chart (but we’re keeping him in Other Contenders just in case) but it didn’t do much for Carell. He begins here at #10. He could climb but he’ll also be competing directly with himself in Battle of the Sexes everywhere but the Golden Globes unless he’s pushed Supporting for that film.

That makes way for Tom Hanks (The Post) to re-enter the top 5 and for Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger) to make his first appearance there. For Hanks this is old for the two-time Oscar winner but he hasn’t earned a nomination since 2000’s Cast Away and was by all accounts snubbed pretty hard for 2013’s Captain Phillips, where he earned every precursor nom. This would be a major return into the Academy’s arms and if 20th Century Fox plays it right (and Hanks plays along) that 17-year gap could be used to great advantage. For Gyllenhaal, a nominee for Supporting Actor for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, this would also be a return after a righteous snub for Nightcrawler. Like Hanks, Gyllenhaal earned every possible precursor to an Oscar nom but was not on the list on nomination morning. His reviews for Stronger, as well as the film itself, are stellar. Some even calling it the best performance of his career. But the box office has been terribly weak and isn’t showing any signs of improving. We could see a case where the actor hits most or all precursors again and again misses out.

Moving up in a big way is Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name). He hits a high point this month by landing at #3. At the moment that’s pretty much the highest anyone not named Gary Oldman or Daniel Day-Lewis has been able to get. Jeremy Renner (Wind River) also makes a big move, up to #7 from his #15 debut last month. He could be a very stealth contender.

Andrew Garfield (Breathe), who just earned his first Oscar nomination earlier this year for Hacksaw Ridge, inches up one spot to #6. Despite the film’s very tepid reviews and overall Metacritic score (50), his notices are strong and playing a real-life person with a handicap or disability is pure Oscar bait. Just ask Eddie Redmayne.

The two debuts this month come from Robert Pattinson for Good Time and Oscar nominee and one-time Oscar host James Franco for The Disaster Artist. Both actors represent films from A24 and while reviews of both films are very good The Disaster Artist, with its movie about making the worst movie ever and his portrayal of that film’s director Tommy Wiseau, should give it and Franco the upper hand. Jason Clarke does pop in on the Other Contenders list for Chappaquiddick, which is getting a December awards qualifying release from Entertainment Studios.

Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman) returns to the chart with a single vote from me. The Gold Rush Gang just isn’t sure what to do with this film or anyone in it. Jackman has popped up with top placements from Gold Derby experts and it’s going to be a huge extravaganza of a film from 20th Century Fox but I can’t seem to get too excited for it, Oscar-wise. But as a previous nominee and a very well-liked actor, he should at least have a place at the predictions table.

Dropping off the list in addition to Cranston is Oscar winner Christian Bale in Hostiles. [It should be noted that these predictions were finalized before the announcement of Hostiles being picked up as a 2017 release.] The film finally got distribution (this morning, no less) after its decent showings at Telluride and Toronto (that 63 on Metacritic tho). The catch – it’s from Entertainment Studios, who also has Chappaquiddick with Jason Clarke. The Oscar-untested studio is planning on limited December releases for both (going wider in January). Bale’s name recognition should prove a bigger draw and the film could bring in the Hacksaw Ridge crowd of the Academy. A bigger plus is that means Bale isn’t competing against himself next year with his Adam McKay-directed Dick Cheney film.

2018 Oscar Predictions (October) – BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Actor for October from the Gold Rush Gang. Keep an eye on all of the Gold Rush Gang’s 2018 Oscar predictions updated LIVE throughout the month.

Green – moves up from last month
Red – moves down from last month
Blue – debut/new entry
Orange – re-entry

BEST ACTOR ERIK
ANDERSON
BRYAN BONAFEDE GREG HOWARD EVAN
KOST
JASON OSIASON KENNETH
POLISHCHUK
DENIZCAN SÜRÜCÜ RICHARD
ANTHONY
ŞÜKRÜ SÖĞÜT MATT DINN TOTAL
POINTS
1 Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 100
2 Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread 2 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 2 2 88
3 Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name 3 3 4 3 2 5 3 2 4 3 78
4 Tom Hanks – The Post 4 4 3 4 4 3 4 4 3 4 73
5 Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger 5 6 5 5 6 4 5 5 5 5 59
6 Andrew Garfield – Breathe 6 8 7 6 5 7 6 6 8 8 43
7 Jeremy Renner – Wind River 9 7 6 7 9 6 10 8 6 7 35
8 James Franco – The Disaster Artist 8 5 8 10 8 10 7 7 7 6 34
9 Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq. 10 9 8 8 8 10 10 14
10 Steve Carell – Last Flag Flying 9 7 9 9 10
11 Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out 9 10 9 9 9 9
12 Chadwick Boseman – Marshall 7 10 5
13 Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman 10 1
13 Robert Pattinson, Good Time 10 1

OTHER CONTENDERS
Ben Stiller – Brad’s Status
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Current War
Bryan Cranston – Last Flag Flying
Christian Bale – Hostiles
Colin Farrell – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Domhnall Gleeson – Goodbye Christopher Robin
Donald Sutherland – The Leisure Seeker
Jamie Bell – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Jason Clarke – Chappaquiddick
Javier Bardem – mother!
Liam Neeson – Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Mark Wahlberg – All the Money in the World
Matt Damon – Downsizing
Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes

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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