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Frontrunner Friday: ‘The Mule,’ ‘Vice’ trailers take aim at Oscar voters

Two big trailer drops both impact multiple Oscar races in this week’s Frontrunner Friday. 

No country for old white men? Vice and The Mule aim to crash the Oscar race

First was Vice, Adam McKay’s satire of the rise of Dick Cheney through the ranks of US government all the way up to his vice presidency under George W. Bush. We know Christian Bale is a transformation master and we finally got our first looks at that in the first images and trailer. He cuts a convincing Cheney but are audiences, and the Academy, feeling a government satire at our most tumultuous time in modern history?

It feels like Clint Eastwood started production on The Mule, a story about a 90-year old drug runner, just a few weeks ago. But, in true Eastwood fashion, he’s turned it around and now it’s getting a wide release from Warner Bros. in mid-December. It’s a curious choice for Warner Bros as they have a surefire Oscar contender and likely box office hit in A Star Is Born, which opens today and pits Eastwood directly against Bradley Cooper in Best Picture, Director and Actor (Cooper even has a supporting role in The Mule, which could earn him yet another nomination – Eastwood famously was going to produce and direct the A Star Is Born remake, bringing it full circle).

But does the studio really want to go head to head with itself in so many categories? You might just need to point to last season for that answer when the studio had Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049 and found box office success with the former and Oscar glory with both: Dunkirk won Film Editing and both Sound awards (as well as being nominated in Best Picture and Director) and Blade Runner 2049, although a box office flop, won Visual Effects and Cinematography, finally getting a win for Roger Deakins on his 14th nomination.

I’m holding back a bit on The Mule in my top 10/5 predictions but it shows up in Next Up in multiple categories including Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress (two-time Oscar winner Dianne Wiest), and Adapted Screenplay (if its “inspired by” is indeed an adaptation).

As always, you can see that and follow my 2019 Oscar predictions, updated live and in real time, in 21 categories right here.

Here are my Frontrunner Friday picks for October 5, 2018. 

BEST PICTURE

1. ROMA (Netflix – December)
2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna – 11/30)
3. A Star is Born (Warner Bros – 10/5)
4. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight – 11/23)
5. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features – 8/10)
6. Green Book (Universal – 11/21)
7. First Man (Universal – 10/12)
8. Black Panther (Disney – 2/16)
9. Vice (Annapurna – 12/14)
10. Widows (20th Century Fox – 11/16)

DIRECTOR

1. Alfonso Cuarón – ROMA (Netflix)
2. Barry Jenkins – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
3. Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
4. Yorgos Lanthimos – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
5. Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

BEST ACTOR

1. Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
2. Christian Bale – Vice (Annapurna)
3. John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
4. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book (Universal)
5. Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased (Focus Features)

BEST ACTRESS

1. Glenn Close – The Wife (Sony Classics)
2. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
3. Melissa McCarthy – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
4. Viola Davis – Widows (20th Century Fox)
5. Yalitza Aparicio – ROMA (Netflix)

SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Mahershala Ali – Green Book (Universal)
2. Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
3. Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
4. Daniel Kaluuya – Widows (20th Century Fox)
5. Stephan James – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
2. Olivia Colman – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
3. Amy Adams – Vice (Annapurna)
4. Emma Stone – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
5. Nicole Kidman – Boy Erased (Focus Features)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
2. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
3. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
4. Boy Erased (Focus Features)
5. A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. ROMA (Netflix)
2. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
3. Vice (Annapurna)
4. Green Book (Universal)
5. First Reformed (A24)

FILM EDITING

1. First Man (Universal)
2. ROMA (Netflix)
3. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
4. A Star is Born (Warner Bros)
5. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. ROMA (Netflix)
2. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
3. First Man (Universal)
4. A Star is Born (Warner Bros)
5. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)

PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. First Man (Universal)
2. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
3. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
4. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
5. Black Panther (Disney)

COSTUME DESIGN

1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
2. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
3. The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
4. Black Panther (Disney)
5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner Bros)

ORIGINAL SCORE

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
2. First Man (Universal)
3. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
4. Widows (20th Century Fox)
5. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

ORIGINAL SONG

1. A Star Is Born, “Shallow” (Warner Bros)
2. Black Panther, “All the Stars” (Disney)
3. A Star Is Born, “I’ll Never Love Again” (Warner Bros)
4. Boy Erased, “Revelation” (Focus Features)
5. Free Solo, “Gravity” (NatGeo)

SOUND EDITING

1. First Man (Universal)
2. Sicario: Day of the Soldado (Sony)
3. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
4. Black Panther (Disney)
5. 12 Strong (Warner Bros)

SOUND MIXING

1. First Man (Universal)
2. A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
3. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
4. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
5. Black Panther (Disney)

MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (Disney)
2. Vice (Annapurna)
3. Border (Neon)

VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Black Panther (Disney)
2. Ready Player One (Warner Bros)
3. Bumblebee (Paramount)
4. Mary Poppins Returns (Disney)
5. Avengers: Infinity War (Disney)

ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony)
3. Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight)
4. Wreck-it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet (Disney)
5. Mirai (GKids/Fathom Events)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1. Mexico – ROMA*
2. Lebanon – Capharnaüm*
3. Poland – Cold War*
4. Denmark – The Guilty*
5. Colombia – Birds of Passage*
6. United Kingdom – I Am Not a Witch*
7. Germany – Never Look Away*
8. Japan – Shoplifters*
9. Sweden – Border*

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1. RBG (Magnolia)
2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
3. Three Identical Strangers (Neon)
4. Free Solo (NatGeo)
5. Minding the Gap (Hulu)

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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