First 2019 Predictions
Christian Bale "Backseat"
Steve Carell "Beautiful Boy"
Robert DeNiro "The Irishman"
Ryan Gosling "First Man"
Hugh Jackman "The Front Runner"
Other Contenders - Lucas Hedges "Boy Erased", Oscar Isaac "Life Itself", Willem Dafoe "At Eternity's Gate", Bradley Cooper "A Star is Born", Jake Gyllenhaal "Rio", Lucas Hedges "Mid '90s", Rami Malek "Bohemian Rhapsody", Steve Carell "The Women of Marwen", Chadwick Boseman "Black Panther", Ryan Reynolds "Deadpool 2", John Krasinski "The Quiet Place", Stephan James "If Beale Street Could Talk", John David Washington "BlacKKKlansman", Adam Driver "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote", Joaquin Phoenix "You Were Never Really There", Rory Kinnear "Waterloo", Paul Giamatti "Private Life", Robert Redford "Old Man and a Gun", Kit Harrington "The Life and Death of John F. Donovan", Javier Bardem "Everbody Knows", Christoph Waltz "Georgetown", Nick Robinson "Love, Simon", Jason Clarke "Chappaquiddick", Brady Jandreau "The Rider", John Cena "Blockers", Alden Ehrenreich "Solo: A Star Wars Story", Andrew Garfield "Under the Silver Lake", Timothee Chalamet "Hot Summer Nights", Kevin Hart "Night School", Tom Hardy "Venom", Michael B. Jordan "Creed II", Jason Momoa "Aquaman"
Commentary - I am starting with two former winners and three former nominees, because their track records have proven themselves worthy over the years. Christian Bale is hoping that his second outing with Adam McKay will earn him another Oscar nomination. He is playing Dick Cheney, and Oscars love their biopics. Ryan Gosling and Hugh Jackman are also hoping to ride the biopic wave, playing Neil Armstrong and Gart Hart in new films from Damien Chazelle and Jason Reitman. Steve Carell already has one Oscar nod under his belt, but his career trajectory has him on path to win one of these days. This year he plays a father watching his son (Timothee Chalamet) struggle with addiction. Finally, the great pairing of Martin Scorese and Robert DeNiro just feels like Oscar magic. Let's hope The Irishman lives up to the hype. Beyond those five, there are a lot of possibilities. Lucas Hedges followed up his Oscar nod with two Oscar-nominated films, and now stars in Joel Edgerton's newest film Boy Erased and in A24 and Jonah Hill's Lady Bird spiritual followup Mid '90s. Oscar Isaac and Dan Fogelman could pull Oscar voter heartstrings, Willem Dafoe could pull a Colin Firth, where he wins after losing the year before, and Bradley Cooper could get in for his directorial debut. What about the blockbusters? I think there will be many arguing for the inclusion of folks like Chadwick Boseman, Ryan Reynolds, John Krasinksi, and maybe Tom Hardy and Michael B. Jordan. Newcomers like Stephan James and John David Washington could crash the party, Steve Carell has another Oscar bait film in the canon, Rami Malek is playing Freddie Mercury, and Jake Gyllenhaal pairs up with Luca Guadagnino, Rory Kinnear with Mike Leigh, Adam Driver with Terry Gilliam, Joaquin Phoenix with Lynne Ramsay, Javier Bardem with Asghar Farhadi, and Kit Harrington with Xavier Dolan. Also be on the lookout for Robert Redford, Jason Clarke, Andrew Garfield, Timothee Chalamet, Christoph Waltz, Brady Jandreu, and some of the funny guys like Nick Robinson, John Cena, and Kevin Hart.