First 2018 Predictions
Annette Bening "The Seagull"
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Carrie Fisher "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water"
Michelle Williams "The Greatest Showman"
Other Contenders - Kristen Wiig "Downsizing", Julianne Moore "Wonderstruck", Julianne Moore "Suburbicon", Kristin Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour", Michelle Pfeiffer "Mother!", Nicole Kidman "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Margot Robbie "Goodbye Christopher Robin", Julia Roberts "Wonder", Kirsten Stewart "Lizzie", Rebecca Ferguson "The Greatest Showman", Rebecca Ferguson "The Snowman", Amy Schumer "Thank You Four Your Service", Naomi Watts "The Glass Castle", Tilda Swinton "Okja", Kirsten Dunst "The Beguiled", Elle Fanning "The Beguild", Rosamund Pike "Hostiles", Juno Temple "Wonder Wheel", Rachel McAdams "Disobedience", Penelope Cruz "Murder on the Orient Express", Lily James "Darkest Hour", Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird", Daisy Ridley "Murder on the Orient Express", Dafne Keen "Logan", Allison Williams "Get Out", Catherine Keener "Get Out", Nicole Kidman "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Alicia Silverstone "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Andrea Risenborough "Battle of the Sexes", Kate Mara "Chappaquiddick", Katherine Waterston "The Current War", Charlize Theron "Tully", Emma Thompson "Beauty and the Beast", Audra McDonald "Beauty and the Beast", Glenn Close "The Girl with all the Gifts", Anika Noni Rose "Everything, Everything", Holly Hunter "The Big Sick", Candice Bergen "Home Again", Kristin Chenoweth "The Star", Gina Rodriguez "The Star"
Commentary - For some reason, this feels like a category that has a lot of contenders, but will probably end up like last year's race where five emerge with little wiggle room. What I mean is that there are a lot of big names, but none of them, expect for one, really screams "Oscar". That one is, of course, Michelle Williams. She would have probably won last year, had Viola Davis not switched to Supporting Actress. She is starring in a huge Oscar vehicle opposite Hugh Jackman, and she is now in the overdue status. Beyond that though, there feels like a lot of flexibility. Annette Bening was robbed of a nod for 20th Century Women this year, and has another opportunity to earn a long overdue Oscar. If The Seagull is good, she is probably going to be Williams' main challenger. Mudbound came out of Sundance with a ton of buzz, and leading the pack was the performance of Mary J. Blige. Singers often make their way into this category (Janelle Monae was close last year), and apparently Blige steals the show. Last year, I was reminded of two things. First, Octavia Spencer is simply fabulous. Second, these voters love her. She is back this year with a big role in Guillermo Del Toro's latest. Finally, sometimes, every once in a while, nostalgia hit these voters. Carrie Fisher is said to have a pretty big role in the next Star Wars film, her last. She is a beloved icon in this industry, and I could see Oscar voters wanting to give her one final, and deserved salute. Beyond those five there are so many to consider. Kristin Wiig is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, but the latest Alexander Payne film could make her an acting nominee as well. Julianne Moore has two great roles this year, Kristin Scott Thomas could return for her role as Clemmy Churchill, Julia Roberts could be in the mix for Wonder, Naomi Watts, Tilda Swinton, Nicole Kidman in two roles, Catherine Keener, and Charlize Theron are all in the mix, and all have history with the Oscars. Kristen Stewart has been flirting with Oscar glory with her string of awesome indie appearances, Laurie Metcalf is a legend, Katherine Waterston is a star on the rise, Kirsten Dunst is re-teaming with Sofia Coppoila, Juno Temple has a lot of potential, as do Rebecca Ferguson (in two roles), Margot Robbie, Andrea Risenborough, Kate Mara, and yes, even Amy Schumer.