Sun. Aug 9th, 2020

2018 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTRESS (November)

The unthinkable has happened. MERYL STREEP IS NOT #1.

I know. Take a moment if you need to. For the first time since we started the 2018 Oscar Predictions back in April (The Post was announced in March), Meryl Streep, the three-time Oscar winner and 20-time Oscar nominee has fallen to #2. Ok, so this isn’t life threatening or anything but it’s still a big deal in the bubble of Oscar prognostication. At this point Streep is the only unseen entity of the major players and all we have from her Spielberg-directed journalism true story (which is due December 22) is a single production still. It’s not much to go on but Streep is, and will always be, a safe and ‘good on paper’ prediction so she’s not exactly in danger.

That means that Frances McDormand is our new #1 and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a film that gets stronger by the day. It’s #1 in our Original Screenplay predictions, #2 in Supporting Actor for Sam Rockwell and Best Director, well, you’ll see that tomorrow but I’ll just say Martin McDonaugh looks to be in very good shape, as does the film in Best Picture. There is a lot behind this move for McDormand. There’s the People’s Choice Award win at Toronto, the huge haul of British Independent Film Award nominations but, for me, the biggest turn is probably Fox Searchlight’s decision to submit the film in Drama instead of Comedy/Musical. That presents a shift in thought that the film is a bigger player, and a more ‘serious’ one, than previously thought (it is). With the position that Three Billboards is in, if the November release is a top 3 player (as we think it is) that bodes well for McDormand’s shot at a second Best Actress win. It’s not easy to win a second Best Actress Oscar without the boost of being in a Best Picture winner or at least high-end nominee. Ask Hilary Swank. Or Sally Field. Or Katharine Hepburn. Of course, the main exception to that rule is Meryl Streep. She was able to win her 2nd on the strength of a ‘it’s been 29 years since she last won!’ narrative and it worked. But, she’s Meryl Fucking Streep.

So what does that mean for Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water? Hawkins is still really solid at #3 but it’s starting to seem clear that McDormand is probably going to be Fox Searchlight’s main play and balancing two campaigns will be tricky for the studio. It’s not quite the same as when they did it for Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel because the two films weren’t really competing against each other in the acting categories.

Margot Robbie’s jump to #5 last month was major and she makes another move this month, up to #4. But her rise in points is stronger than her actual placement. She’s up a huge 18 points both on the strength of I, Tonya‘s festival play, that surprise Toronto People’s Choice runner-up status and the film’s trailer. Neon is really pulling out all the stops and doing a bang-up job so far. There’s also the fact Kate Winslet (Wonder Wheel) plummets this month on the weakness of her film’s reviews and possibly the perceived lack of ‘appropriate’ response over the Weinstein scandal (and her working with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski). I’m not saying that Winslet deserves less in the realm of predictions because of that, she simply doesn’t have the reviews in an extraordinarily packed year for the category.

Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) is another beneficiary of Winslet’s fall, as she re-enters the top 5. Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul) also bolsters her place in this race as she moves up to #6 on the strength of her film’s box office and that she’s actually doing a bit of campaigning this year. Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) also moves up this month as Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes) starts to fall.

As discussed in Supporting Actress, the two debuts this month come from there. Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project) and Vicky Krieps (Phantom Thread) enter the Best Actress charts and both have a major uphill battle ahead of them. Both unknowns going up against some of the biggest heavy hitters in Hollywood. They will have to prevail against former Oscar winners and nominees for a seat at the table that already has crowned its ‘first timer’ and ‘newcomer’ nominee in Margot Robbie. If either Prince or Krieps can unseat one of the current top 5 it will be a huge shock, but not undoable. We just saw Amy Adams, a four-time nominee, miss out on a nomination for a film that earned 8 nods, including Best Picture and Best Director to an actress whose nomination was the sole one from her film (Ruth Negga).

Barely holding on at the bottom are a pair of Sony Classics’ ladies: Daniela Vega in A Fantastic Woman and Annette Bening in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. While Vega isn’t entirely out of this but it still stings that SPC didn’t have enough faith in her to make her their main push. They had a superb narrative for Vega to potentially be the first trans woman nominated in Best Actress but buying Film Stars for a Bening run really put a stop to anything they might have done for her or the film. The film will be at AFI Fest and currently has a February 2 release date so maybe not all is lost. The same can’t be said for Bening, whose film just earned Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations from BIFA but nothing for her. That’s got to sting a bit and surely SPC can see the writing on the wall at this point enough to put all of their energy into Vega. But, is it too late?

2018 Oscar Predictions (November): Supporting ActressSupporting Actor | Foreign Language Film | Animated Feature | Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay | Film Editing and Cinematography | Production Design and Costume Design | Visual Effects and Makeup & Hairstyling | Sound Editing and Sound Mixing | Original Score and Original Song

Here are the 2018 Oscar predictions for Best Actress for November 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

1 Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 1 1 1 2 3 2 1 1 2 1 95
2 Meryl Streep – The Post 2 2 3 1 4 1 2 3 1 2 89
3 Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water 3 3 2 4 2 4 4 2 4 3 79
4 Margot Robbie – I, Tonya 4 4 4 3 1 3 3 4 3 4 77
5 Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird 6 5 5 5 5 6 5 5 5 5 58
6 Judi Dench – Victoria and Abdul 7 6 6 6 6 5 6 7 6 6 49
7 Jessica Chastain – Molly’s Game 8 7 9 7 7 8 7 6 7 7 37
8 Emma Stone – Battle of the Sexes 9 9 7 8 10 9 8 8 9 10 23
9 Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project 5 8 8 9 7 9 20
10 Vicky Krieps – Phantom Thread 10 10 9 10 10 10 8 10
11 Kate Winslet – Wonder Wheel 9 9 8 7
12 Daniela Vega – A Fantastic Woman 10 10 10 3
12 Annette Bening – Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool 8 3

Carey Mulligan – Mudbound
Diane Kruger – In the Fade
Helen Mirren – The Leisure Seeker
Jennifer Lawrence – mother!
Michelle Williams – All the Money in the World
Salma Hayek – Beatriz at Dinner

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