We’re not even close to having seen all of this season’s Oscar contenders – however, here we take a look at some of the contenders so far – and what they might be nominated for.
Dunkirk – Christopher Nolan
Possible Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director – Christopher Nolan, Best Supporting Actor – Mark Rylance, Best Original Screenplay
Having earned some of this year’s best reviews, Nolan’s blockbuster World War II film is already a frontrunner. And, let’s face it, it’s based on true historical events, and the Academy loves a good true story.
Call Me By Your Name – Luca Guadagnino
Possible Noms: Best Picture, Best Director – Luca Guadagnino, Best Actor – Timothée Chalamet, Best Supporting Actor – Armie Hammer/Michael Stuhlbarg, Best Adapted Screenplay
Moonlight’s win last year shifted the outlook for LGBTQ cinema at the Oscars, and Call Me By Your Name could be another LGBTQ romance following in its wake. And with strong emotional performances from Chalamet, Hammer and Stuhlbarg, it would be no surprise to see this film getting its fair share of nominations.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri – Martin McDonagh
Possible Noms: Best Picture, Best Director – Martin McDonagh, Best Actress – Frances McDormand, Best Supporting Actor – Sam Rockwell/Woody Harrelson, Best Original Screenplay
Having already collected a number of prestigious awards through this year’s festival season, Three Billboards is one of the few films which is absolutely certain to pick up numerous nominations – especially Best Picture – after winning TIFF’s Audience Award, from which 8 of the last 10 winners have gone on to score a nomination for the night’s top award.
The Shape of Water – Guillermo del Toro
Possible Noms: Best Picture, Best Director – Guillermo del Toro, Best Actress – Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actor – Michael Shannon/Richard Jenkins, Best Original Screenplay
The R-rated fairy tale has already scored a number of awards, despite not actually having been released yet – including Venice’s coveted Golden Lion. And while it’s sci-fi roots may prove to be its downfall with the Academy, Hawkins’ stellar performance as a mute custodian is one that deserves to be recognised.
Get Out – Jordan Peele
Possible Noms: Best Director – Jordan Peele, Best Actor – Daniel Kaluuya, Best Supporting Actress – Allison Williams, Best Original Screenplay
Get Out was Sundance’s surprise hit, bringing in $175.5 million at the domestic box office on only a $4.5 million budget, and was received well by audiences and critics alike. Peele has also established a singular voice on issues of race relations in the movie, which has already got Academy members talking.
Wonder Woman – Patty Jenkins
Possible Noms: Best Director – Patty Jenkins, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing
Jenkins’ Wonder Woman was the blockbuster hit of the summer, earning over $820 million at the global box office, and Warner Bros. are riding the waves, offering up the picture for consideration at 2018’s Oscars. However, it’s unlikely that the picture will win the top awards, Wonder Woman has a great chance at nabbing some of the more technical awards.
The Florida Project – Sean Baker
Possible Noms: Best Director – Sean Baker, Best Supporting Actor – Willem Dafoe, Best Original Screenplay
This micro-budgeted coming-of-age drama focuses on a 6-year-old girl living in a Florida hotel with her struggle single mother. In equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, Baker’s work with a cast of newcomers is incredible, and The Florida Project is definitely deserving of a nod from the Academy.
Battle of the Sexes – Jonathan Dayton/Valerie Faris
Possible Noms: Best Picture, Best Actress – Emma Stone, Best Supporting Actor – Steve Carell, Best Supporting Actress – Andrea Riseborough, Best Original Screenplay
In essence a biopic, Battles of the Sexes deals with the hot button issue of gender equality – two boxes the Academy likes ticked. Fronted by the loveable pairing of Carell and Stone (fresh off her La La Land win), this film is a real crowd-pleaser that could go far this awards season.
I, Tonya – Craig Gillespie
Possible Noms: Best Actress – Margot Robbie, Best Supporting Actress – Allison Janney, Best Original Screenplay
Bold and brash, I, Tonya is a semi-biopic, as it explores a no-holes-barred narrative of the events surrounding ice skater Tonya Harding’s infamous attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan. However, it’s Janney who has the stand-out performance of the film, as Harding’s mother, reminiscent of performances from The Fighter’s Melissa Leo and Precious’ Monique – both of whom crushed the competition in their category.
Mudbound – Dee Rees
Possible Noms: Best Picture, Best Director – Dee Rees, Best Actress – Carey Mulligan, Best Supporting Actor – Garrett Hedlund/Jason Mitchell, Best Supporting Actress – Mary J. Blige
A period film about two families divided by race, but bonded over WWII military service, Mudbound has all the makings of an Oscar winner – however, that’s if it can overcome the film industry’s anti-Netflix bias, as the Oscars has yet to embrace a narrative title from the streaming giant, having previously ignored Beasts of No Nation two years ago.
Stronger – David Gordon Green
Possible Noms: Best Actor – Jake Gyllenhaal, Best Supporting Actress – Tatiana Maslany
Though Stronger hasn’t garnered too much attention, it’s the film’s stars that really deserve the attention. As real-life Boston marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman, Gyllenhaal continues to thrive, providing more of a traditional option for a nomination than his part in this year’s Okja. Orphan Black’s Maslany could well prove to be an underdog in the category, with a little renewed support.
Detroit – Kathryn Bigelow
Possible Noms: Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow, Best Supporting Actor – John Boyega/Will Poulter
Bigelow has a history at the Oscars, as the only woman to ever win Best Director – and there’s nothing to say that Detroit won’t be the film that lands her a second award. Dealing with the events surrounding the 1967 Detroit riots, Boyega and Poulter both give strong performances from either side of the rioting.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Yorgos Lanthimos
Possible Noms: Best Original Screenplay
While Lanthimos’ films are strange and sometimes confusing, the director has found himself stood firmly among the leading voices of future cinema. The Lobster put him on the Academy’s radar, and he received a Best Original Screenplay just last year, and with this film’s tense and unusual look at a fragile family dynamic, Lanthimos may find himself with another nomination under his belt.
Breathe – Andy Serkis
Possible Noms: Best Director – Andy Serkis, Best Actor – Andrew Garfield, Best Supporting Actress – Claire Foy
Serkis’ directorial debut is a heartfelt drama, somewhat reminiscent of The Theory of Everything, tells the story of a couple who refuse to give up in the face of a devastating disease. A year after Hacksaw Ridge and Silence put him in the race, Garfield is once again in contention for a golden statue. Also a contender, Foy could well nab a nomination if enough people warm to Serkis’ picture.
War for the Planet of the Apes – Matt Reeves
Possible Noms: Best Actor – Andy Serkis, Best Visual Effects
At this point, it would be a crime not to acknowledge Serkis’ acting in this trilogy of films, as while the films themselves have been somewhat hit-and-miss – his performance as Caesar never falters. A Best Actor nomination for Serkis would be an industry-changing event – however unlikely – but one category where Apes deserves to win big is Visual Effects, where they have been recognised in previous years.