Tue. Sep 29th, 2020

Frontrunner Friday: More category changes, ‘Widows’ rises, Best Actress is a fight

It’s been yet another week of category changes but this time two about faces; just a week after Paramount announced Emily Blunt would be positioned in Best Actress for A Quiet Place and Sony Classics was touting Jonathan Pryce in Best Actor for The Wife, both studios flipped and official FYCs from each studio have them both in supporting.

For Blunt, the powers that be decided to put everyone in supporting but really it just looks like they want to get out of the way of Mary Poppins Returns. For Pryce, it’s definitely a co-lead role; he even has his own subplot story happening right along Close. There is a bit of karmic retribution though as wives of Best Actor contenders so often are pushed into Supporting.

Oscar Podcast #69: Breaking Down the Acting Categories with guest Kyle Buchanan

Best Actress sees both Viola Davis (Widows) and Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA) in the top 5 for the first time, pushing Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) out. In such a competitive category there is going to be a major player, be it a newcomer or seasoned Oscar winner or previous nominee, that’s going to find themselves at #6. It’s just hard to call which yet. 

Speaking of Davis, Widows keeps climbing back up and does so again this week in multiple categories. This is a film that’s dividing Oscar pundits this season; some, like myself and Kyle Buchanan (listen the podcast above where we talk at length about it) see the film as not simply a genre film but one that crosses off multiple Academy boxes; a huge ensemble, jammed packed with Oscar winners and nominees, great festival response and reviews to back it up and a likely box office hit. It’s basically everything the ‘Popular Oscar’ category gambit asked for. Same goes for Black Panther, also a part of the conversation between Kyle and myself on what makes an Oscar film.

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

Here are my Frontrunner Friday picks for October 26, 2018.


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


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


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


1. Glenn Close – The Wife (Sony Classics)
2. Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
3. Olivia Colman – The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
4. Viola Davis – Widows (20th Century Fox)
5. Yalitza Aparicio – ROMA (Netflix)


1. Mahershala Ali – Green Book (Universal)
2. Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
3. Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
4. Sam Elliott – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
5. Daniel Kaluuya – Widows (20th Century Fox)


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


1. If Beale Street Could Talk (Annapurna)
2. BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
3. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Fox Searchlight)
4. Black Panther (Disney)
5. Widows (20th Century Fox)


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


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


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)


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)


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


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)


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. Mary Poppins Returns, “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Disney)


1. First Man (Universal)
2. ROMA (Netflix)
3. Incredibles 2 (Disney)
4. Black Panther (Disney)
5. A Quiet Place (Paramount)


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


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


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


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


1. Mexico – ROMA (Netflix)
2. Lebanon – Capharnaüm (Sony Classics)
3. Poland – Cold War (Amazon)
4. Denmark – The Guilty (Magnolia)
5. United Kingdom – I Am Not a Witch (Film Movement)
6. Italy – Dogman (Magnolia)
7. Germany – Never Look Away (Sony Classics)
8. Japan – Shoplifters (Magnolia)
9. Sweden – Border (Neon)


1. RBG (Magnolia / CNN Films)
2. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
3. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (Cinema Guild)
4. Shirkers (Netflix)
5. Minding the Gap (Hulu / Magnolia)

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