Call Me by Your Name
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Falling off: The Greatest Showman, Last Flag Flying, Murder on the Orient Express, Wonderstruck
Rising star: The Shape of Water
The skinny: This has been such a wacky year for film, and with so many unknowns going into the last couple months, I’m ready to admit my mistake and declare Get Out as a likely nominee in several categories. No other movie has captured the critical and audience attention it’s garnered this year. So even though horror movies rarely get nominated, even though first-time directors (who aren’t already widely acclaimed actors) rarely get nominated, it’s sustained its conversational momentum this long, and Universal has already been pushing hard for it. At this point, it will be a real shock if it doesn’t get multiple nods. But the big surprise has been Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, which has flown past the decades of coming-of-age films to wide acclaim and stellar box office. It now looks to be a lock for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Original Screenplay. And people are still beating the drum for The Shape of Water, but if it’s as bizarre as people say, there is no way the Academy at large is going to cotton to it.
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Steven Spielberg, The Post
Falling off: Joe Wright
Rising star: Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name
The skinny: Jordan Peele steps up, making him one of still a sad handful of black men nominated for this award. He bumps longtime also-ran Joe Wright. But if Phantom Thread isn’t as tight-knit (pun intended) as his past efforts, PTA could find himself on the outside, replaced by Italian director Luca Guadagnino, who already has several acclaimed films under his belt.
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Falling off: Chadwick Boseman
Rising star: Tom Hanks, The Post
The skinny: Now that Marshall has all but evaporated from memory, Timothée Chalamet has claimed that spot. I’m still a little skeptical that it’s a lock, even if CMBYN is a hit with the Academy. For starters, kids usually don’t get nominated for lead. They have a much better shot in the supporting categories. But he is unequivocally the lead and there’s no way the studio can finagle that. But given a less strong year than usual for the lead actor, he’s got a much better shot. Given that, though, might Tom Hanks get a long overdue nomination for The Post? He should have won for Captain Phillips, but hasn’t been nominated since Cast Away (for which he also should have won). He’s playing a role that someone else (Jason Robards) won an Oscar for, which could help or hurt him. But since so many men in Hollywood have been outed as pigs, could his legendary niceness carry him over the edge? We’ll see.
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post
Falling off: Nicole Kidman
Rising star: Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
The skinny: Sorry, Nicole. After a year packed with four movies and two mini-series (including a win for Big Little Lies), it just won’t be your year, unless The Beguiled has an unexpected resurgence. That opens up a slot for Saoirse Ronan, in what will likely be her final performance as a teenager. But Margot Robbie is coming in hot as the lead in I, Tonya, which means Jessica Chastain should watch her back.