Armie Hammer "Call Me By Your Name"
Ben Mendelsohn "Darkest Hour"
Jason Mitchell "Mudbound"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Michael Stuhlbarg "Call Me By Your Name"
Other Contenders - Kevin Spacey "All the Money in the World", Mark Rylance "Dunkirk", Tom Hardy "Dunkirk", William Dafoe "The Florida Project", Harrison Ford "Blade Runner 2049", Garrett Hedlund "Mudbound", Patrick Stewart "Logan", Woody Harrelson "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Ray Romano "The Big Sick", Idris Elba "Molly's Game", John Hurt "Darkest Hour", Sterling K. Brown "Marshall", Josh Gad "Marshall", Christoph Waltz "Downsizing", LilRey Howery "Get Out", Tracey Letts "Ladybird", Richard Jenkins "The Shape of Water", Will Poulter "Detroit", Michael Shannon "The Shape of Water", Mark Hamill "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Laurence Fishburne "Last Flag Flying", Bob Odenkirk "The Post", Lucas Hedges "Lady Bird", Timothee Chamalet "Lady Bird", John Boyega "Detroit", John Boyega "Star Wars: The Last Ledi", Chris Pine "Wonder Woman"
Commentary - So I initially thought that they would campaign Armie Hammer for co-lead for Call Me By Your Name. But it looks like they are going to campaign him as co-supporting with Michael Stuhlbarg. Right now, I actually have them both making the cut. This film continues to garner support, the Moonlight win shows they are not afraid of gay storylines, and both are well-liked veteran actors with rave reviews. Now they could fall out as newer contenders emerge, but 9 months after it premiered at Sundance, both are still top of mind, which is good news after the onslaught of the fall fests. Jason Mitchell continues to hold on to his slot from Sundance as well. Mudbound has a lot of the potential with the potential with the Academy, but I will constantly reinforce that Netflix has to have the right strategy or it will get lost in the shuffle. Out of the fests, emerged Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which after its Toronto win has skyrocketed in people's Oscar predictions. Woody Harrelson is reliably great, but the raves have been saved for Sam Rockwell (and Frances McDormand). He is a veteran, has been excellent for years, and is way overdue for some awards recognition. Finally, after winning a surprise Emmy, and building a quality indie film cred over the last couple of years, Ben Mendelsohn's role as King George VI is earning raves out of the fests, and Darkest Hour is a huge Oscar contender. Beyond that, this category has a lot of question marks. Is Kevin Spacey just makeup or more in All in the Money in the World? Is Dunkirk going to inspire the acting branch, or just the tech ones? Is The Florida Project going to get enough attention for William Dafoe? Will genre contenders like Patrick Stewart, Harrison Ford, Mark Hammil, LilRey Howrey, Michael Shannon, John Boyega or Chris Pine breakthrough? What about Tracey Letts, Lucas Hedges, and Timothee Chamalet from the well-liked Lady Bird? Or Garret Hedlund joining his co-star? Or the guys from Marshall, Detroit, Christoph Waltz, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Romano, or Bob Odenkirk? In a few months, all of these questions will be answered, but for now, this race is a toss up.