Your early, early, Oscars 2018 preview

Halloween is over and you know what that means! Oscar season has officially begun! If you’ve read my previous articles you’ll know that I’ve said Halloween is my favorite holiday. But if the Oscars were a holiday, it might just beat it. Which is why over the next few months I’ll be dedicating myself to seeing the movies that are getting raves and potentially Oscar gold. It might be too early to have a for sure list, but based on the research and reviews that I have seen, here is who to watch right now.

BEST ACTOR
Frontrunners:
Gary Oldman: Darkest Hour
Daniel Day-Lewis: Phantom Thread
James Franco: The Disaster Artist
Denzel Washington: Roman Israel, Esq
Andrew Garfield: Breathe

Potential:
Hugh Jackman: The Greatest Showman
Tom Hanks: The Post
Kumail Nanjiani: The Big Sick

Analysis:
As it stands, Gary Oldman, though a veteran actor, has never won the Oscar. The Academy has a trend of rewarding actors after they have been snubbed multiple times, which benefits Oldman. That on top of the rave reviews he’s getting for playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour has catapulted him to an early lead. However, Daniel Day-Lewis has announced he is retiring after his latest film, Phantom Thread. Day-Lewis is often seen as one of the greatest all time actors, and he has been rewarded Oscar gold three times. One more win, and he would tie Katharine Hepburn for the all-time record. So don’t count him out either. James Franco is perhaps the biggest wildcard here. Franco both starred and directed in the disaster artist, which tells the true story of the behind the scenes filming of the cult movie The Room. His performance has received acclaim and he also has never won the award. Finally, we have Denzel Washington for Roman Israel, Esq and Andrew Garfield for Breathe. The academy is also infamous for awarding nominations and sometimes wins to those who lost the year before. But with Washington and Garfield, who were both nominated last year, their performances last year were seen as stronger than eventual winner, Casey Affleck. The academy could look to rectify the award by giving it to one or the other. Other contenders include Hugh Jackman for musical movie The Greatest Showman, Tom Hanks in The Post and Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick.

BEST ACTRESS
Nominees:
Jennifer Lawrence: Mother!
Margot Robbie: I, Tonya
Meryl Streep: The Post
Jessica Chastain: Molly’s Game
Frances McDormand: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Potential:
Emma Stone: Battle of the Sexes
Judi Dench: Victoria & Abdul
Gal Gadot: Wonder Woman

Analysis:
Let me start by saying this: Jennifer Lawrence is the best young actress out there. No contest. She deserves her second Oscar ASAP. The question remains though if she will get it for her work in abstract horror film, Mother! The film split audiences with half claiming it was horrible and the other half claiming it was one of the best films they’ve ever seen. But what they agree on is that Lawrence delivers a spell binding performance. But coming up behind her is recent breakout star, Margot Robbie. Her performance as ice skater Tonya Harding has received acclaim among critics. That, on top of her growing star after successful performances in Suicide Squad and Wolf of Wall Street, could make Robbie into the next Hollywood it girl and propel her to Oscar gold. Speaking of Hollywood it girls, perhaps there will never be an it girl bigger than Meryl Streep. Streep stars in the film The Post the film about Kay Graham as Washington Post executive taking on the federal government. Streep will win a fourth Oscar eventually. I guarantee at some point, she will tie Hepburn for the record of Oscar wins and perhaps even beat her. But since no one has seen the film yet, no one can tell if this will be Streep’s year of reckoning. Perhaps one of the more overdue actresses for an Oscar, is Jessica Chastain. She dazzled audiences in Zero Dark Thirty, The Help, and Miss Sloane but has yet to claim an Oscar victory. Her performance in Molly’s Game has already propelled her to the front of the pack on most prediction lists. Her incredible performance on top of her incredible past performances could lead her to the gold come Oscar night. Finally, Frances McDormand plays a vengeful mother of a murdered child in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Perhaps the most chilling performance this year, McDormand is not one to be counted out. McDormand is also one of the most respected actresses in the business and hasn’t been in the Oscar running in several years, so look to see her in the mix. Other strong contenders include last year’s Best Actress champ, Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes. As well as Dame Judie Dench portraying Queen Victoria (Her second time doing so) in Victoria & Abdul, as well as Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot.

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