The Oscars Part III: The Acting Nominees

Unlike the last two blog-posts in this series, this year’s contenders for the acting categories is a lot easier to predict due to the clear favorites in at least two, if not three of the four acting categories. Nevertheless, I’ll briefly go over these acting nominees before moving onto the film categories in a different blog-post. Let’s just start with the easiest category: Best Actor.

Best Actor

  1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  2. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  3. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  4. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  5. Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Every year, there always seems to be one clear winner that steals all of the statues in their respective category. This year, that category is Best Actor and the obvious winner is Gary Oldman. So obvious that I’m just going to get that out of the way and talk about the other performers and also about a few honorable mentions. It is all, but confirmed at this point that he is going to win this award.

A few performances that I think would have been cool to see acknowledged in this category would have been Christian Bale in Hostiles, Hugh Jackman in Logan, or James Mcavoy in Split. They all gave great and different performances that are very deserving of praise in some way. If any of them had gotten more recognition, that would have been awesome. Bale would easily have been nominated had it not been for the lackluster marketing done by Entertainment Studios as he gave what some are calling a career highlight performance. Jackman for his last hurrah as Wolverine was incredibly good and Mcavoy for the sheer ability to play so many distinct characters was mesmerizing to watch.

With that said, the nominees that were picked this year were pretty predictable. They all were good and should be nominated. Washington is once again nominated for an award that he will not win. Last time, it was because everyone was gushing over Rapey Affleck’s turn as a sad guy that needs a hug. This time, it is against a much stronger list of nominees.

If there was an upset, which I highly doubt, I think that there are two nominees in the running of pulling off such a stunt: either Day-Lewis or Chalamet. Both have good Oscar campaigns and could just as easily be what dethrones Oldman’s chances of getting his well-earned award on March 4th. I’d love to see Kaluuya win, but I don’t he think he has that much of a shot. Here is my breakdown below:

  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour – Most Likely
  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name – Unlikely
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread – Unlikely
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out – Not Likely
  • Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.Least Likely

Best Actress

  1. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  2. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  3. Meryl Streep, The Post
  4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  5. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Now here is a category that has a stiffer competition between each of the nominees than the slam dunk that is the Best Actor race, but this too seems to have two clear front runners. Those front runners being Frances McDormand and Sally Hawkins. Both gave great performances this year and both are being praised head-over-heels by critics across the spectrum. It could go either way, but I have a gut feeling that Sally Hawkins is going to win it in the end.

One honorable mention for me in this category to swap out Meryl Streep with would be Rosamund Pike in Hostiles and her raw portrayal of a mourning mother in the wild west. Her performance is astounding and is on par with Christian Bale’s turn as the lead in the film. Seeing her receive some well earned recognition is long overdue to say the least. Here is to hoping that she gets her shot in the years to come down the road.

Once again, due to the controversy surrounding I, Tonya and the fact that Tonya Harding is an unrepentant nut-job, Robbie has little to no chance of winning this award. She may have given a great performance in a great movie, but the controversy is not going in her favor. Ronan and Streep also had good performances, but the talk this awards circuit has revolved around McDormand and Hawkins. These are the two most likely to win, but I think this is Hawkins award to win.

  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water – Most Likely
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MissouriMost Likely
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird – Likely (Wild Card)

  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya – Unlikely

  • Meryl Streep, The Post – Not Likely

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  2. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  3. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  4. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  5. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

These next two categories are also pretty set-in-stone. All signs seems to be leading to Sam Rockwell taking Best Supporting Actor and Allison Janney taking Best Supporting Actress. These are not necessarily slam dunks like Best Actor might be, but they are pretty predetermined to win nonetheless.

For Rockwell, people seem to be drawn to his turn as the highly angry and racist police officer who is one of the main threats to McDormand’s demands for justice. It’s his stirring turn that elevates this film to new heights in the eyes of many of the Academy voters. Side note: seeing Patrick Stewart nominated here would have been lit for his final hurrah as Professor X is Logan, but beggars can’t be choosers.

The other performers in this all gave memorable turns as various characters in their own right. Plummer the living G.O.A.T. reshot the role that Kevin Rapey once played in a slim nine days and even still made it look effortless in the final cut of All the Money in the World. Jenkins and Harrelson both give mesmerizing turns as fathers trying to help their children in the best way they know how through the various ups and downs of life.

Dafoe on the other hand gives life to a simple motel manager just trying to make ends meet and does so in ways that many voters will deeply appreciate through his performance throughout The Florida Project. They were all good, but not great in the eyes of voters as Rockwell’s role is hitting a political nerve unlike any other in this race. In other words, the racist cop will most likely win.

  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Most Likely
  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida ProjectLikely
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water – Likely

  • Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Not Likely

  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World – Least Likely

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  3. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  4. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  5. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Lastly in the acting nominees list is the Best Supporting Actresses and this is on par with the other acting categories this year, where there is a clear winner amidst the pack. This time, it’s Allison Janney and she is strongest contender to win the Oscar on the 4th of March. Not to say that the other actresses were bad or anything, but her campaign was exceptional and continues to raise her up as the best supporting actress of the year. The other nominees might have had good performances, if not great ones and yet this time the winner is pretty clear to me.

One honorable mention for me that has been rarely talked about during the awards season circuit has to be Allison Williams in Get Out as the girlfriend of Chris. I don’t want to spoil her role, but it is most definitely worth mentioning in this category. She absolutely kills it as her character and should have gotten more attention. Anyways, Allison Janney is going to win most likely Sunday night and if she doesn’t, then I’ll be genuinely surprised.

  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya – Most Likely
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady BirdLikely
  • Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread – Not Likely
  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound – Not Likely
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water – Least Likely

So those are my thoughts and predictions for the acting nominees and next I’ll move onto the technical categories before the big night on Sunday. This year, the race for the acting has been pretty landlocked and thus pretty uneventful, but like last year you never know what will happen. With that, Godspeed and Jesus bless.

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