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Grierson & Leitch’s Insanely Early 2018 Oscar Predictions

Yes, it’s that time again, already.

Warner Bros.

We know you are still reeling from what went down at the Oscars on Sunday night. Even if you were encouraged by the mutual admiration between the makers of Moonlight and La La Land, it’s still difficult to get your bearings. They announced the wrong winner on stage! Even more shocking: Moonlight won! Amazing, right?

Well, steady yourself, because it’s already time to talk about the 2018 Oscars. OK, so it’s obviously not time, but just as a thought exercise, and as a way to look back 11 months from now and see how hilariously wrong we were, here’s a quick-and-dirty, back-of-the-napkin set of predictions for next year’s Academy Awards.

The first prediction, and we think this is a safe one: Jimmy Kimmel will be back as host. Whatever your thoughts on him—and we thought he was fine, even if we could have done without the “I am confused by first names that aren’t ‘Tiffany’” white-bro vibe—the Academy was clearly pleased by how he handled an unprecedented, insane situation. If he wants to return, they’ll have him.

Now, for the surely wrong predictions. These are particularly guaranteed to be wrong because so many movies are expected to emerge at the upcoming film festivals. After all, most people didn’t know Moonlight existed until the Toronto Film Festival in September … and now it’s immortal. We’ll stick with the six major categories. (Sorry, as always, writers.)


Ed Harris, Mother!
Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound
Woody Harrelson, The Glass Castle
John Hurt, The Darkest Hour
Michael Shannon, The Current War

Hurt died in January and plays Neville Chamberlain (with Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill) in the historic drama—if the performance is even decent, he could get a nod. Hedlund was one of the breakouts in Sundance’s Mudbound, Woody Harrelson has a juicy role as the alcoholic father in The Glass Castle, and Michael Shannon will get a nomination every year in this category until the end of time. (Plus, he’s playing George Westinghouse.)


Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled
Carey Mulligan, Mudbound
Michelle Pfeiffer, Mother!
Michelle Williams, The Greatest Showman

Mother! is Darren Aronofsky’s new movie, and Pfeiffer—who is in a ton of movies this year in a bit of a comeback—is sure to be a standout. If The Beguiled, Sofia Coppola’s remake of Don Siegel’s 1971 Clint Eastwood film, is a hit, there may be a gaggle of nominations.


Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Jennifer Lawrence, Mother!
Natalie Portman, Annihilation
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes
Kristen Wiig, Downsizing

Emma Stone is playing Billie Jean King (Steve Carell is playing Bobby Riggs) so she might get a chance to return to the Oscar stage. Kristen Wiig reportedly has a juicy role in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing. Jessica Chastain, who is due for a win of her own, is the lead in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut.


John Boyega, Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project
Daniel Day-Lewis, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
Matt Damon, Downsizing
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman

A bit on those two untitled projects. Paul Thomas Anderson’s is a “drama about the London fashion industry in the 1950s,” and it stars Daniel Day-Lewis in his first role in five years, if that tells you anything. Bigelow’s is about the 1967 Detroit riots. Hugh Jackman is playing P.T. Barnum, by the way.


Paul Thomas Anderson, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project
Darren Aronofsky, Mother!
Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Alexander Payne, Downsizing

Both Aronofksy and Payne’s projects sound super weird, so they’re both tenuous here. Nolan’s Dunkirk has already blown people away with its trailer.


Call Me By Your Name
The Glass Castle
Untitled Kathryn Bigelow Project
Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Project

If you were to ask me to pick an early favorite, I might go with Dunkirk. But obviously none of us have any idea. Either way: Let’s try to at least know the winner for certain this time?

Grierson & Leitch write about the movies regularly for the New Republic and host a podcast on film. Follow them on Twitter @griersonleitch or visit their site