2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Lead Actor

Right now, Best Lead Actor is the Gary Oldman show. Not only will he be nominated, for only the second time in his career, but he could very well win for his portrayal of Winston Churchill.

Oldman isn’t in danger of not being nominated, but, as the current frontrunner, he is up against some tough competition in Daniel Day-Lewis. By it simply being his last performance ever, as he is retiring from acting, DDL’s turn in Phantom Thread is bound to be nominated. The last time he acted, which was in Lincoln, he won. DDL has also given one of the greatest performances of all time in There Will Be Blood. So, he should not be taken lightly this year.

More so than Day-Lewis, though, Timothée Chalamet has been an absolute revelation this year. He has dominated critics group awards and his performance is quite possibly the best of the year in any category. He is a lock and it would be easy to see him winning.

Our next prediction is a fascinating one. James Franco plays iconic The Room filmmaker/actor Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, and both the film and Franco’s performance have been definite rallying points for audiences and critics this year. Weirder roles have resulted in nominations and this one seems to be stronger than most of those.

The final spot comes down to quiet a few names.

Jake Gyllenhaal is, once again, showcasing just how ridiculously good he is with his performance in Stronger. A nomination would not be undeserving, but it has a huge obstacle in front of it: the film was seen by so few and is being virtually ignored by critics groups. Gyllenhaal may be a casualty.

Daniel Kaluuya, for Get Out, has held across the season, recently receiving a SAG nomination. His performance is subtle, but impactful and resonant.

Tom Hanks is scene-munching in The Post. He’s certainly not the best he’s ever been, but this role is one of his more engaging as it’s one of the more fun ones. He’s been recognized by some critics groups and his name is Tom Hanks, but the name hasn’t always been enough for him.

Finally, Denzel Washington is the high note for Roman J. Israel, Esq. Washington nearly won this award last year for his performance in Fences. He’s loved by the industry, but the film being poorly received might be his downfall.

Every other performance has some factor working against it, so the logical choice, and a delightful one, is Kaluuya.

But there are still contenders beyond even that. Andrew Garfield has garnered conversation for Breathe. The main obstacle is that Breathe is not well-received at all, but most are unanimous in their praise of Garfield, who is said to give a heartbreaking physical performance in the vein of Eddie Redmayne’s turn in The Theory of Everything.

Yet, because that film is apparently not so good, he might be easy to pass over. In that case, Christian Bale is also in line, as he’s just too outstanding in Hostiles. Entertainment Studios is mounting a heavy campaign for him and, if the film gets eyes on it, he could be the place to go, especially because he’s one of the most respected actors in the industry.

All of that said, we truly do hope that the Academy finally recognizes Andy Serkis for his performance as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes. Out of the three Apes films, this final installment is most suited for Oscar recognition. Fox could put together a very strong campaign, but our gut says he’ll still be ignored, unfortunately.

The 5
Gary Oldman — Darkest Hour
Daniel Day-Lewis — Phantom Thread
Timothée Chalamet — Call Me by Your Name
James Franco — The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya — Get Out

Could contend
Jake Gyllenhaal — Stronger
Tom Hanks — The Post
Denzel Washington — Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Christian Bale — Hostiles
Andrew Garfield — Breathe
Andy Serkis — War for the Planet of the Apes

 

Featured image via Focus Features.

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