2018 Oscar Previews: Part 2

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For Part 1 of our 2018 Oscars Previews, click here.

There’s always a lot of talk leading up to the big day about who will win what awards. We try to make our predictions based on trends from the past, but we can’t help to be swayed by our own personal opinions. Some movies truly strike a chord with us, while others aren’t interesting at all. Furthermore, Oscar films are usually heavy in the drama department and therefore they aren’t always the easiest or most entertaining movies to watch.

That’s why we’re here. Here is your guide to the nominees of this year’s Academy Awards. We’ve compiled the following brief summaries, interesting facts, and critical reviews for all these films and people. The goal is to give you a solid background even if you haven’t been able to catch up with this year’s nominees. So read on, and then start planning your Oscar-related drinking game.  


Best Actor Nominees


Timothee Chalamet – as Elio Perlman in Call Me By Your Name

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Age: 22

Previously Best Known For:

Interstellar

Love the Coopers

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: He and Ansel Elgort attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia high school of Music and Art and Performing Arts at the same time. He maintains when he auditioned for school plays he didn’t get the roles because Ansel did.


Daniel Day-Lewis – as Reynolds Woodcock in Phantom Thread

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Age: 60

Previously Best Known For:

There Will Be Blood

Lincoln

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Won – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1990 – for Christy Brown in My Left Foot

Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1994 – Gerry Conlon in In The Name of the Father

Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2003 – Bill the Butcher in The Gangs of New York

Won – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2008 – Daniel Plainview in There Will be Blood

Won – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2013 – Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln

Interesting Fact: During The Last of the Mohicans he built a canoe, learned to trap and skin animals, and perfected the use of a 12 pound flint lock gun. 


Daniel Kaluuya as Chris Washington in Get Out

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Age: 28

Previously Best Known For:

Black Mirror TV Program

Sicario

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Actor and co-writer for the British TV show Skins, which helped to launch the careers of Nicholas Holt, Dev Patel, and Jack O’Connell. 


Gary Oldman – as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour

 Darkest Hour trailer Gary Oldman as Churchill 859974 

Age: 59

Previously Best Known For:

Leon the Professional

The Fifth Element

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2012 – George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

Interesting Fact: Filmed a role in The Thin Red Line but all his scenes were deleted in the final cut.


Denzel Washington as Roman J. Israel in Roman J. Israel, Esq.

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Age: 63

Previously Best Known For:

Training Day

Man on Fire

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1988 – as Steve Biko in Cry Freedom

Won – Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1990 – Pvt. Trip in Glory

Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1993 – Malcolm X

Nominated – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2000 – as Rubin Carter in Hurricane

Won – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2002 – Det. Alonzo Harris in Training Day

Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2013 – as Whip Whitaker Flight

Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2017 – as Troy Maxson in Fences

Interesting Fact: The offer he regrets turning down the most is Brad Pitt’s role on Se7en.


 Best Actress Nominees


Sally Hawkins as in The Shape of Water

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Age: 41

Previously Best Known For:

Happy-Go-Lucky

Blue Jasmine

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2014 – Ginger in Blue Jasmine

Interesting Fact: Suffered from a concussion while filming a scene for Paddington because she walked into a crane during a night shoot.   


Frances McDormand as Mildred in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

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Age: 60

Previously Best Known For:

Fargo

Almost Famous

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 1989 – Mrs. Pell in Mississippi Burning

Won – Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1997 – Marge Gunderson in Fargo

Nominated – Best Actress in a Supporting Role in 2001 – Elaine Miller in Almost Famous

Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2006 – Glory in North Country

Interesting Fact: Once lived in an apartment with Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Sam Raimi, Scott Spiegel, and Holly Hunter.


Margot Robbie as Tanya Harding in I, Tonya

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Age: 27

Previously Best Known For:

Suicide Squad

The Wolf of Wall Street

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: She performed a majority of the stunts in Suicide Squad herself. 


Saoirse Ronan as Christine “Ladybird” McPherson in Ladybird

  saoirse ronan lady bird 620x360

Age: 23

Previously Best Known For:

Brooklyn

The Lovely Bones

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2008 – Briony Tallis in Atonement

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2015 – Eilis in Brooklyn

Interesting Fact: Skilled at martial arts and often utilizes them in action scenes.


Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham in The Post

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Age: 67

Previously Best Known For:

The Devil Wears Prada

Mamma Mia!

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 1979 – as Linda in The Deer Hunter

Win – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 1980 – as Joanna Kramer in Kramer vs Kramer

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role  in 1982 – as Sarah/Anna in The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Win – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1983 – as Sophie in Sophie’s Choice

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1984 – as Karen Silkwood in Silkwood

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1986 – as Karen in Out of Africa

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1988 – as Helen Archer in Ironweed

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1989 – as Lindy Chamberlain in Evil Angels

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1991 – as Suzanne Vale in Postcards from the Edge

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1996 – as Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 1999 – as Kate Gulden in One True Thing

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2000 – as Roberta Guaspari in Music of the Heart

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2003 – as Susan Orlean in Adaptation.

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2007 – as Miranda Priestly in Devil Wears Prada

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2009 – as Sister Aloysius Beauvier in Doubt

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2010 – as Julia Child in Julie & Julia

Win – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2012 – as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2014 – as Violet Weston in August: Osage County

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2015 – as the Witch in Into the Woods

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in 2017 – as Florence Foster Jenkins in Florence Foster Jenkins

Interesting Fact: Learned to play the violin by practicing 6 hours a day for 8 weeks for her role in Music of the Heart.


Best Supporting Actor Nominees


Willem Dafoe as Bobby in The Florida Project

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 Age: 62

Previously Best Known For:

Spider Man

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 1987 – Sgt. Elias in Platoon

Nomination – Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2001 – Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire

Interesting Fact: Only actor ever to be nominated for an Oscar for portraying a Vampire in his role of Max Schreck in Shadow of the Vampire. 


Woody Harrelson as Sherif Willoughby in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

Woody Harrelson Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri  

Age: 56

Previously Best Known For:

Zombieland

Natural Born Killers

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1997 – Larry Flint in The People vs. Larry Flint

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role 2010 – Captain Tony Stone in The Messenger

Interesting Fact: Good friends with the band The Red Hot Chili Peppers


Richard Jenkins as Giles in The Shape of Water

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Age: 70

Previously Best Known For:

Step Brothers

The Visitor

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in 2009 – Walter in The Visitor

Interesting Fact: Frequently works with the Farrelly brothers and the Coen brothers.


Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty in All the Money in the World

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Age: 88

Previously Best Known For:

The Sound of Music

Beginners

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 2010 – as Tolstoy in The Last Station

Won – Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in 2012 – as Hal in Beginners

Interesting Fact: Has worked on films with both of the actors to have portrayed Obi-wan Kenobi.


Sam Rockwell as Dixon in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri

three billboards outside ebbing missouri movie trailer 

Age: 49

Previously Best Known For:

Moon

Seven Psychopaths

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: To memorize lines he says he dictates them into a tape recorder in a monotone so that he won’t get used to any inflection before he’s had a chance to consider which speech pattern would be appropriate for the 


 Best Supporting Actress Nominees


Mary J. Blige as Florence Jackson in Mudbound

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Age: 47

Previously Best Known For:

Her work as a Musician

I Can Do Bad All By Myself

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nomination – Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song – 2018

Interesting Fact: Is the first person nominated for an Academy award for both acting and singing a song in the same film.


Allison Janney as LeVona Golden in I, Tonya

 Alison Janney I Tonya 600x338

Age: 58

Previously Best Known For:

TV Show Mom

The Help

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: She had dreams of becoming an Olympic skater before a freak action derailed her efforts.


Lesley Manville as Cyril in Phantom Thread

lesley manville phantom thread 

Age: 61

Previously Best Known For:

Maleficent

Another Year

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Appears with ex-husband Gary Oldman in A Christmas Carol.


Laurie Metcalf as Marion McPherson in Lady Bird

laurie metcalf lady bird still  

Age: 62

Previously Best Known For:

TV Show Roseanne

Scream 2

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: At one time could type 90 words minute.


Octavia Spencer as Zelda Fuller in The Shape of Water

 octavia spencer shape of water

Age: 45

Previously Best Known For:

The Help

Fruitvale Station

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Won – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2012 – as Minny Jackson in The Help

Nominated – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in 2017 – as Dorothy Vaughan in Hidden Figures

Interesting Fact: As a dyslexic, has to learn her character’s lines by acting the gist out of the dialogue.


 Best Director Nominees:


Paul Thomas Anderson

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Age: 47

Previously Best Known For:

There Will Be Blood

Boogy Nights

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 1997 for Boogy Nights

Nominated – Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 1999 for Magnolia

Nominated – Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

Nominated – Best Achievement in Directing in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

Nominated – Best Motion Picture of the Year in 2007 for There Will Be Blood

Nominated – Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay in 2014 for Inherent Vice

Interesting Fact: After enrolling in N.Y.U.’s film program for two days, Anderson got his tuition back and made his own short film, Cigarettes and Coffee (1993) 


Greta Gerwig

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Age: 34

Previously Best Known For:

Frances Ha

Jackie

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Gerwig co-wrote and starred in the 2012 film, Frances Ha. The actors which portrayed her character’s’ parents were her actual parents.


Christopher Nolan

christopher nolan 

Age: 47

Previously Best Known For:

Inception

The Dark Knight

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen in 2002 for Memento

Nominated – Best Writing, Original Screenplay in 2011 for Inception

Nominated – Best Motion Picture of the Year in 2011 for Inception

Interesting Fact: Dunkirk marks the seventh film in a row from Nolan as director which features Michael Caine.


Jordan Peele

 

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Age: 38

Previously Best Known For:

TV show Kay & Peele

Keanu

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

None

Interesting Fact: Auditioned for Saturday Night Live by portraying Barack Obama. He was offered a role as a feature player, but decided to remain with Mad TV instead.


Guillermo del Toro

 

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Age: 53

Previously Best Known For:

Hellboy

Pan’s Labyrinth

Previous Oscar Nominations/Wins:

Nominated – Best Writing, Original Screenplay in 2007 for Pan’s Labyrinth

Interesting Fact: His favorite movie monsters are Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.