They Shoot Oscar Prognosticators, Don't They?

First Shots Fired in 2017-2018 Oscar Race

By J. Don Birnam

December 5, 2017


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Supporting Races: Dafoe Close to a Lock

Meanwhile, in the supporting side, we have what appears to be closer to locks than in the lead (for now). In the supporting actor side, Willem Dafoe seems to have a commanding lead over the competition for his role in The Florida Project. After wins across the board, New York, Los Angeles, and NBR, it is hard to deny him. Winners of those three tend to go on to win the Oscar over 75% of the time. Sam Rockwell got a runner-up notice for Three Billboards and Michael Stuhlbarg has a mortal lock on a nomination after a crazy year that has him appearing in several Best Picture contenders from The Shape of Water to CMBYN and The Post. It is anyone’s guess beyond that, as the year is also weaker for the supporting men.

Here are our early power rankings in that category: here.

Supporting actress by contrast is like the lead female race, all over the place with a lot of good candidates. Laurie Metcalf has opened a small lead for Lady Bird, after citations by Los Angeles and NBR. But New York did something different and gave it to Tiffany Haddish for her hilarious performance in Girls Trip, and Los Angeles also reminded us with the runner up spot that Mary J. Blige was perhaps the best part of the uneven Mudbound. That is without getting into other obvious contenders from Allison Janney as the evil mother in I, Tonya to Melissa Leo’s spine-tingling performance in Novitiate, and of course the always beloved Octavia Spencer for Shape of Water.

Check out where we see the early stages of the Best Supporting Actress race here


Best Director: The Year of Which Woman?

People thought that a Best Director nomination for Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman was the way to celebrate womanhood this year. As it turns out, it is a different female-driven and focused film that has been getting the attention. Greta Gerwig, in her solo directorial debut, received a prize from the NBR, and several Best Debut director awards across the board (though she did codirect a movie once before).

But the race remains wide open and The Florida Project director Sean Baker did win New York, while Guillermo del Toro and Luca Guadagnino tied for the prize with Los Angeles. It’s that close of a race, and the Academy surely will give some love to one of the technicians behind the difficult Dunkirk or Darkest Hour, so this is another one we can’t quite give away just yet.

Check out early Best Director power rankings here

Next up: What the second round of critics’ awards will tell us and what we can expect from Globe and SAG nods the week after

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