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2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (April)

Gary Oldman leads the Best Actor race with Daniel Day-Lewis, Matt Damon, Timothée Chalamet, Bryan Cranston and Tom Hanks along for the ride
Gary Oldman leads the Best Actor race with Daniel Day-Lewis, Matt Damon, Timothée Chalamet, Bryan Cranston and Tom Hanks along for the ride

Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) stands as the sole performer (or film) with all #1 votes across the board from every Gold Rush Gang member and it’s only April. Oldman himself was recently at CinemaCon promoting his Churchill biopic from Focus Features so you know he wants this. Never one for this type of self-promotion before (and often sidelined due to his political leanings), if he’s on the campaign trail now it’s going to take quite a bit of buzz and visibility from another contender to unseat that. The film’s tony Thanksgiving slot will only make that even more difficult.

At a distant #2 is three-time Best Actor winner Daniel Day-Lewis for director Paul Thomas Anderson’s fashion drama that was just revealed at CinemaCon to be released on Christmas Day this year. Interestingly, that film is also from Focus Features and it seems odd for the studio to try and manage dual Best Actor campaigns successfully (not to mention that both films will be in direct competition with each other in virtually all other categories). Many thought the PTA film would get a Spring 2018 release or possibly even later next year. Something to note; of Daniel Day-Lewis’s five Oscar nominations (and three wins) all have come from top 5 films with Best Picture, Director and Screenplay nominations and three with a supporting acting nomination as well. At the moment, there is little faith in the film overall in Best Picture so it’s a bit of a gamble to predict one and not the other.

Matt Damon (Downsizing) could be a major contender for Alexander Payne’s semi-sci-fi metaphor on the dwindling Middle America as a man who literally shrinks down to five inches tall in order to save money. Strong reception from CinemaCon and a healthy festival rollout should secure him a spot.

Despite not having been nominated since 2001, Tom Hanks could return with the recently announced Steven Spielberg drama The Post. The Pentagon Papers film could play very strongly overall (the film and Spielberg are in our top 5) for its eerily timely subject matter.

Multi-Emmy winner Bryan Cranston, and an Oscar nominee for Trumbo is in the mix with Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying. The film will be one of Amazon’s big pushes this year and is there best shot at a Best Actor nomination – a category it just won this year for Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea.

LISTEN: Oscar Podcast #53 – CinemaCon Buzz; the Oscars in a post-Moonlight world

Just behind Cranston, at #6 and by just a single point, Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) will probably need a lot of things to fall in place (and out of place) to be a top 5 contender. The Academy has not been very kind to Best Actor contenders this young (he’s 20) so Sony Pictures Classics will have its work cut out for them to get him there. Earning citations for ‘Breakthrough’ or ‘Best Young Actor’ from critics’ groups won’t do him any favors, either. He’ll need top-tier nominations and wins. Securing a Thanksgiving release (their only 2017 awards contender with a date) is a very good sign though.

Someone definitely standing in Chalamet’s way is two-time Oscar winner (and a nominee this year) Denzel Washington in Inner City (which might be getting a name change). Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to Nightcrawler just started filming this week but could have a quick enough turnaround to find itself with a late fall/early winter release. If so, look for Washington to become an easy top 5 candidate.

Futher down the list is Donald Sutherland for The Leisure Seeker. Also from Sony Pictures Classics, the studio will have to make some tough choices in terms of campaigning. The never-nominated Sutherland’s film has yet to snag a release date, whereas Call Me By Your Name is already locked for late November.

Chadwick Boseman has yet another biopic on deck (after 42 and Get On Up) with Marshall, about Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice. Another story that could speak to the current political climate but with two failed Oscar bait biopics under his belt, Marshall will have to be a very strong player for Boseman to find a way in.

A quartet of Oscar nominees follows behind Sutherland and Boseman; Benedict Cumberbatch in The Current War,  Andrew Garfield in Breathe, Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman and Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger. Ben Stiller rounds out the list for his dramatic turn in Brad’s Status.

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Actor for April from the Gold Rush Gang.

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 – Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project 2 2 2 2 2 5 7 2 2 73
3 Matt Damon – Downsizing 3 6 5 3 4 4 6 3 3 4 69
4 Tom Hanks – The Post 8 8 8 5 7 5 4 2 4 5 54
5 Bryan Cranston – Last Flag Flying 5 6 5 7 3 4 10 3 45
6 Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name 6 4 10 7 2 9 7 8 7 6 44
7 Denzel Washington – Inner City (possibly 2018) 3 3 10 2 6 8 34
8 Donald Sutherland – The Leisure Seeker 7 4 10 10 6 10 5 7 29
9 Chadwick Boseman – Marshall 4 7 4 3 9 28
10 Benedict Cumberbatch – The Current War 10 10 6 8 9 8 10 9 6 9 25
11 Andrew Garfield – Breathe 7 6 9 5 17
12 Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman 9 9 9 8 8 12
13 Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger 5 6
13 Ben Stiller – Brad’s Status 9 8 10 6
OTHER CONTENDERS
Ali Fazal – Victoria and Abdul
Andrew Garfield – Under the Silver Lake
Anthony Mackie – Unititled Kathryn Bigelow Detriot Riots Project
Ben Foster – Galveston
Benicio Del Toro – Soldado
Billy Howle – On Chesil Beach
Bryan Cranston – Untouchable
Charlie Hunnam – The Lost City of Z
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Come Sunday
Christian Bale – Hostiles
Clive Owen – Andorra
Colin Farrell – The Beguiled
Colin Farrell – The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Colin Firth – The Mercy
Daniel Craig – Kings
Demetrius Shipp, Jr. – All Eyez On Me
Domhnall Gleeson – Untitled A. A. Milne biopic
Fionn Whitehead – Dunkirk
Idris Elba – The Mountain Between Us
Jack O’Connell – Untitled Alexander McQueen biopic (likely 2018)
James McAvoy – Submergence
Jamie Bell – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Jason Clarke – Chappaquiddick
Jason Clarke – The Aftermath
Jason Clarke – The Man with the Iron Heart
Javier Bardem – Escobar
Javier Bardem – mother!
Jean-Louis Trintignant – Happy End
Joaquin Phoenix – Mary Magdalene
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
Jonathan Pryce – The Wife
Kenneth Branagh – Murder on the Orient Express
Liam Neeson – Felt
Matt Damon – Suburbicon
Michael Douglas – Head Full of Honey
Michael Fassbender – The Snowman
Michael Shannon – The Current War
Oscar Isaac – Life Itself
Ryan Gosling – Blade Runner 2049
Steve Carell – Battle of the Sexes
Tom Hardy – Fonzo

 

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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