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2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (December Part 1)

Meryl is back! After allowing Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) a single month in the prediction sun, Streep is back with a vengeance for her fierce performance (and gold embroidered caftan) in the timely Spielberg film The Post.

At the moment, we’ve had three major awards bodies announce 2017 winners: the National Board of Review, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle. The IFP Gotham Awards were also announced, as were the nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards.

From those, Streep earned a surprise win from the NBR (along with Best Film and Best Actor for Tom Hanks) and McDormand was nominated for an ISA and was runner-up at LA. Not a great start for McDormand and partly why she falls this month. The other reason is that in the space of a month, new reviews and sentiment have turned her critically praised film into a wealth of backlash over everything from appropriating police violence against African-Americans to serve a white story as well as an arc of a controversial character. It’s that time of season, when these kinds of things come out and people ‘rethink’ they’re previous thoughts if they see a wave coming. It’s enough to sink a film and a performance if it takes flight.

The top 5 actually stays the same, just mostly in different places. Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) rises to #3 on the strength of her Gotham and NYFCC wins yet Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) falls from #3 to #5 even though she just won LAFCA to become one of the very few double Best Actress winners there. That keeps Margot Robbie (I, Tonya) at #4. I would be hard-pressed to see this top 5 change. Looking at the point spread below between Hawkins and 6-7 (Judi Dench and Jessica Chastain), something major would need to happen to shake that up.

So, is there any room for that to happen and could it be someone else? With a different date release (and a festival run) I could have seen Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) earn breakthrough wins, buzz and a critics’ push to be a newcomer nominee. In a less competitive year Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) would be a stronger contender. The sheer lack of diversity in this top 10 should be enough for Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) or Salma Hayek (Beatriz at Dinner, the month’s sole new entry) to break into all of that whiteness yet they struggle to remain in the conversation. It’s deeply frustrating to see the reason is, as Viola Davis said in her incredible Emmy speech, the opportunities just aren’t there. These are movies and roles written for and about white women. Six of the thirteen listed are biopics of white women so casting is locked there. But others’ don’t have characters or roles that are specifically tied to race; there could have been more.

2018 Oscar Predictions (December Part 1): BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR | BEST ACTOR

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Actress for the first half of December 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

BEST ACTRESS ERIK
ANDERSON
BRYAN BONAFEDE GREG HOWARD EVAN
KOST
JASON OSIASON KENNETH
POLISHCHUK
DENIZCAN SÜRÜCÜ RICHARD
ANTHONY
ŞÜKRÜ SÖĞÜT MATT DINN TOTAL
POINTS
1 Meryl Streep – The Post 1 2 3 1 4 1 1 3 1 2 91
2 Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 3 3 1 2 3 3 3 1 3 1 87
3 Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird 2 1 5 3 5 2 2 4 2 4 80
4 Margot Robbie – I, Tonya 4 4 4 4 1 4 4 5 5 3 72
5 Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water 5 5 2 5 2 5 5 2 4 5 70
6 Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul 7 7 6 6 6 6 7 7 6 7 45
7 Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game 6 6 7 7 7 8 6 6 7 8 42
8 Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project 8 8 10 8 7 8 8 9 22
9 Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 8 9 10 17
9 Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread 10 8 10 9 9 9 10 6 17
11 Annette Bening – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 8 10 4
12 Daniela Vega – A Fantastic Woman 9 2
13 Salma Hayek – Beatriz at Dinner 10 1

OTHER CONTENDERS
Carey Mulligan – Mudbound
Diane Kruger – In the Fade
Helen Mirren – The Leisure Seeker
Jennifer Lawrence – mother!
Kate Winslet – Wonder Wheel
Michelle Williams – All the Money in the World

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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