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2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (December Part 1)

Since March, Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) has ruled the top spot of our Best Actor charts with a perfect score of 100 for all but one month. Until now. Sure, it’s 99 and it might not seem like much but when you’re the presumed frontrunner (and winner) before anything actually begins, you only have down to go. Every other performance has a chance to rise and grow and challenge you and that’s what’s happening right now.

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. Call Me By Your Name‘s Timothée Chalamet was a winner at every one of those so far: Breakthrough Actor at NBR and the Gothams and Best Actor from NY and LA. He also received an ISA nom for Male Lead, but those aren’t until the day before the Oscars. The thing to pay attention to are those dual NY/LA wins. I know each year we rely less and less on stats but that’s because they’re bent and broken and it’s not easy to look at an old stat with new factors in place, like a widening diversity of Academy members, screeners, release strategy, etc. But in this case, it’s a stat with very solid roots. Only 18 times ever has an actor won both coastal critics’ prizes and every single one was Oscar nominated. Better still, 12 of those 18 won.

NYFCC + LAFCA winners (Oscar winner in bold)
2010 – Colin Firth, King’s Speech
2008 – Sean Penn, Milk
2007 – Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will be Blood
2006 – Forest Whitaker, Last King of Scotland (tied LA with Sacha Baron Cohen)
2003 – Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
2002 – Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York (tied LA with Jack Nicholson)
1996 – Geoffrey Rush, Shine
1995 – Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas
1989 – Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot
1987 – Jack Nicholson, Ironweed and Witches of Eastwick (also for Broadcast News in NY; tied LA with Steve Martin, Roxanne)
1986 – Bob Hoskins, Mona Lisa
1983 – Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies
1982 – Ben Kingsley, Gandhi
1981 – Burt Lancaster, Atlantic City
1980 – Robert de Niro, Raging Bull
1979 – Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs. Kramer
1978 – Jon Voight, Coming Home
1976 – Robert de Niro, Taxi Driver

That puts Chalamet in a truly unique place; he could become the youngest Best Actor Oscar winner ever (he’ll be 22 by awards time) and topple one of the most traditionally Oscar baity roles and performances in doing so. We’ve seen so much change in the last two years that something like that is certainly possible. So much so that I’m predicting it will happen.

This jump for Chalamet to #2 means other moves in the top 5 are taking place. It bumps 3-time Best Actor Oscar winner and now retired Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread) to #3, his lowest ranking ever here. Even though his notices for his second Paul Thomas Anderson collaboration are stellar, the response to his co-star and character muse Vicky Krieps seems to be earning more chatter and word of mouth.

NBR Best Actor winner Tom Hanks (The Post) holds on solidly to the #4 spot but loses some points on Chalamet’s gain and to the new #5, James Franco in The Disaster Artist. Franco won the Gotham Award for Best Actor.

This puts Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger) just outside the top 5 with Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) hot on his tail. Robert Pattinson (Good Time) and James McAvoy (Split) make gains this month while Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.), Chadwick Boseman (Marshall) and Andrew Garfield continue to fall.

Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman) falls off the list, Jeremy Renner (Wind River) re-enters it and Jacob Tremblay (Wonder) is the month’s sole debut.

2018 Oscar Predictions (November): BEST PICTURE | BEST DIRECTOR

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Actor 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
Orange – re-entry

1 Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 99
2 Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name 1 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 89
3 Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 81
4 Tom Hanks – The Post 4 6 3 4 6 4 4 5 5 6 63
5 James Franco – The Disaster Artist 7 4 5 7 4 5 5 6 4 4 59
6 Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger 6 7 7 5 5 7 7 4 6 5 51
7 Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out 5 5 6 6 7 6 6 7 7 7 48
8 Robert Pattinson – Good Time 8 9 10 8 8 8 15
9 Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq. 8 8 8 10 9 10 13
9 James McAvoy – Split 9 8 8 9 10 9 13
11 Chadwick Boseman – Marshall 9 10 8 6
12 Andrew Garfield – Breathe 9 9 10 5
12 Jeremy Renner – Wind River 10 9 9 5
14 Jacob Tremblay – Wonder 10 10 10 3

Christian Bale – Hostiles
Donald Sutherland – The Leisure Seeker
Harry Dean Stanton – Lucky
Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman
Hugh Jackman – Logan
Jamie Bell – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Matt Damon – Downsizing
Steve Carell – Last Flag Flying

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself 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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