First 2019 Predictions
Timothee Chalamet "Beautiful Boy"
Benedict Cumberbatch "Rio"
Al Pacino "The Irishman"
Joe Pesci "The Irishman"
Sam Rockwell "Backseat"
Other Contenders - Corey Stoll "First Man", Kyle Chandler "First Man", Jesse Plemmons "The Irishman", Bobby Cannavale "The Irishman", Harvey Keitel "The Irishman", Russell Crowe "Boy Erased", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Billy Crudup "Where'd You Go Bernadette", Michael B. Jordan "Black Panther", Donald Glover "Solo: A Star Wars Story", J.K. Simmons "The Front Runner", Colin Farrell "Widows", Liam Neeson "Widows", Robert Duvall "Widows", Andre Holland "Widows", Sam Elliott "A Star is Born", Andrew Dice Clay "A Star is Born", Dave Chappelle "A Star is Born", Adam Driver "BlackkKlansman", Corey Hawkins "BlackkKlansman", David Tennant "Mary, Queen of Scots", Antonio Banderas "Life Itself", Samuel L. Jackson "Life Itself", Mandy Patinkin "Life Itself", Hugh Grant "Paddington 2", Lin-Manuel Miranda "Mary Poppins Returns", Jonah Hill "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot", Jack Black "Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot", Jacob Tremblay "The Life and Death of John F. Donovan", Nicholas Hoult "The Favourite", Joe Alwyn "The Favourite", Sylvester Stallone "Creed II", Armie Hammer "On the Basis of Sex", Sam Waterston "On the Basis of Sex", Woody Harrelson "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
Commentary - On the surface, this race feels lighter than normal, but it is most likely because there are a lot of contenders in the same movies, and it will take seeing the films to figure out which one will rise to the top. The biggest cast is probably The Irishman. I feel like this is going to be a huge Oscar contender, and will rack up a bunch of nods. This is a category where two folks from the same film can easily get in (just ask Rockwell and Harrelson last year), so I think both Pacino and Pesci, previous Oscar winners and gangster film veterans will make enough of a splash to return to this race. Sam Rockwell could be the first actor since Tom Hanks to win back to back Oscars. He is playing President Bush in the new Dick Cheney biopic with Adam McKay at the helm. Something tells me this will be an easy and awesome role for Rockwell, who is finally on the Academy's radar. After gaining a huge following and working the circuit like crazy, Timothee Chalamet may capitalize on his new found stardom opposite Steve Carell in Beautiful Boy. Finally, Luca Guadgnino's follow-up Rio could have tons of Oscar potential, and Benedict Cumberbatch is due for a second nomination. From there you have to start sorting out the large casts. The Irishman, First Man, Boy Erased, Widows, A Star is Born, Life Itself, Don't Worry He Won't Get Far on Foot, The Favourite, BlackkKlansman, and On the Basis of Sex all have multiple contenders that could breakthrough. J.K. Simmons, Jacob Tremblay, Sly Stallone, Billy Crudup, and David Tennant are all possibilities. And this year could prove fruitful to some of the blockbusters with performances from Michael B. Jordan, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, and Lin-Manuel Miranda gaining a lot of buzz.