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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 Bonafede
Greg Howard
Jason Osiason
Denizcan Sürücü
Şükrü Söğüt
Matt Dinn
1Untitled Steven Spielberg Pentagon Papers Project (20th Century Fox - 12/22)315153211286
2Detroit (Annapurna - 8/4)2212102182179
3Darkest Hour (Focus Features - 11/24)673424323373
4Wonderstruck (Amazon - 10/20)18237176856
5Dunkirk (Warner Bros - 7/21)7345871065550
6Lean on Pete (A24)469666974647
7Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros - 10/6)5715657745
8Inner City (Sony) (possibly 2018)54448437
9Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics - 11/24)49393101029
10Mudbound (Netflix)878813
11Downsizing (Paramount - 12/22)8997
12mother! (Paramount - 10/13)65
12Suburbicon (Paramount 11/3)101085
14Last Flag Flying (Amazon)994
14Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight - 10/13)994
16Get Out (Universal - 2/24)101
16Greatest Showman, The (20th Century Fox - 12/25)101
16Happy End (Sony Pictures Classics)101
16Current War, The (The Weinstein Company - 12/22)101
Aftermath, The (Fox Searchlight)
Beguiled, The (Focus Features - 6/23)
Breathe (Bleecker Street - 10/13)
Disobedience (TBD)
Glass Castle, The (Lionsgate - 8/11)
Goodbye Christopher Robin (Fox Searchlight - 11/10)
Hostiles (TBD)
Killing of a Sacred Deer, The (A24 - 11/3)
Kings (TBD)
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)
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)
Snowman, The (Universal - 10/13)
Stronger (Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions - 9/22)
Thank You For Your Service (Universal - 10/27)
Under the Silver Lake (A24)
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Fashion Project (Focus Features - 12/25)
Untouchable (The Weinstein Company)
Victoria and Abdul (Focus Features - 9/22)
Wind River (The Weinstein Company - 8/4)
Wonder Wheel (Amazon)
Wonder (Lionsgate - 11/17)

Best Director

Bryan Bonafede
Greg Howard
Jason Osiason
Denizcan Sürücü
Şükrü Söğüt
Matt Dinn
1Steven Spielberg - Untitled Pentagon Papers Project313183212284
2Kathryn Bigelow - Detroit231292161182
3Christopher Nolan - Dunkirk625427773463
4Joe Wright - Darkest Hour72515454561
5Todd Haynes - Wonderstruck17437165758
6Denis Villeneuve - Blade Runner 204946934547651
7Dan Gilroy - Inner City (possibly 2018)85328337
8Andrew Haigh - Lean on Pete551096686935
9Luca Guadagnino - Call Me By Your Name4483828
10Dee Rees - Mudbound87891013
11Darren Aronofsky - mother!671010
11Michael Haneke - Happy End96810
13Alexander Payne - Downsizing108101098
14George Clooney - Suburbicon92
14Paul Thomas Anderson - Untitled Fashion Project10102
14Michael Gracey - The Greatest Showman92
14Alfonso Gómez-Rejón - The Current War92
18Richard Linklater - Last Flag Flying101
18Martin McDonaugh - Three Bilboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri101
Aaron Sorkin - Molly's Game
Andy Serkis - Breathe
David Gordon Green - Stronger
Garth Davis - Mary Magdalene
Guillermo Del Toro - The Shape of Water
Jordan Peele - Get Out
Reginald Hudlin - Marshall
Sebastián Lelio - Disobedience
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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