2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (April)
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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.
|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|
|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|