Best Actor looks to be coming down to overdue veterans Gary Oldman and Jake Gyllenhaal even this early in the race, however, there is a lot of uncertainty who the nominees will be.
Going off the performances we’ve seen, it looks like Gary Oldman (The Darkest Hour) could finally win that overdue Oscar. Surprisingly, his only nomination came in 2012 in Best Actor for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy — he lost to Jean Dujardin (The Artist). And he has a lot going for him. He’s playing a real-life, high profile person — Winston Churchill — who is British — the Oscars love movies about British royalty and government — Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep, and Colin Firth are recent examples. It’s also set during World War II, which the Oscars have historically liked. However, there are two issues that he may have. First of all, voters might think he already won and second, voters might not see him as overdue. We just have to see how the campaign is shaped.
However, one actor who is certainly going to get an “overdue” campaign is Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger). Like Oldman, he has only received one nomination for Brokeback Mountain. However, he came thisclose to a nomination in Best Actor for Nightcrawler. Gyllenhaal certainly has the industry behind him to win an Oscar. Plus, if early reviews of his film and performance are any indication, then he also has the role to back a campaign. Often, actors at this point in their career get that lifetime achievement Oscar for a one of nomination — their nomination is the film’s only nom. Think Julianne Moore winning for Still Alice. I can see him taking the same path.
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A yet-to-be-seen contender is Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman). Musicals tend to do well at the Oscars, and the December release is shaping up to be no exception. Plus, the role of P.T. Barnum seems like the one Jackman was born to play. However, his campaign could be overshadowed by another December release. The latest movie by Paul Thomas Anderson also marks the final performance of three-time Best Actor champ Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread). It’s going to be hard for him NOT to be nominated for the performance.
Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), who is on track to be the breakout star of the season, has a lot going for him. He’s in one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year, picked up early Oscar buzz out of Sundance, and the movie is likely going to be a strong contender across all categories. The only problem is his age. At just the age of 21, he’d be the youngest nominee in the category ever. The most recent nominee to be in his 20s was Heath Ledger who was 25 when he was nominated for Brokeback Mountain. Before that, Adrian Brody was 29 when he won for The Pianist, the youngest winner in this category. His age is going to be his biggest hurdle.
Denzel Washington (Roman Israel, Esq.) is always a safe bet for a nomination. However, early reception to the film is mixed. Though, reviews for Washington’s performance are, as usual, strong. He does have some sentiment behind him following his loss last year. He was close to winning Oscar #3 for Fences and could be propelled by those thinking he was snubbed.
In this unusually thin year, there can be out of left field choices like Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), who can ride the wave of Get Out support, Andrew Garfield (Breathe), whose performance as a paraplegic is right in line with previous Oscar-winning performances, though Gyllenhaal’s might overshadow his, and James Franco (The Disaster Artist), the movie has a lot of buzz, but it’s a comedy, which is always a hard sell at the Oscars.
Check out all our 2018 Oscar Predictions!
- Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger
- Gary Oldman, The Darkest Hour
- Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
- Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
- Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
- Denzel Washington, Roman Israel, Esq
- Tom Hanks, The Post
- Chadwick Boseman, Marshall
- Steve Carrell, Battle of the Sexes
- Andrew Garfield, Breathe
- Christian Bale, Hostiles
- Javier Bardem, mother!
- Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying
- Matt Damon, Downsizing
- Matt Damon, Suburbicon
- James Franco, The Disaster Artist
- Robert Pattinson, Good Time