On November 2nd of this year when I made my initial round of Oscar predictions, Darkest Hour was flying high. I had Joe Wright’s biopic of Winston Churchill starring Gary Oldman tabbed for 11 nominations, behind only Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water (which still appears likely to garner the most nods).
Yet in the last few weeks as my weekly predictions have continued, Darkest has fallen more than any other legit awards contender. Those 11 predicted nominations have now become just 3 as of my estimates yesterday.
In early November, I predicted Hour would clock the following nominations:
Best Picture (where it had it ranked #3)
Best Director (3rd)
Best Actor, Oldman (1st)
Best Supporting Actress, Kristin Scott Thomas (4th)
Best Original Screenplay (3rd)
Best Film Editing (3rd)
Best Cinematography (4th)
Best Production Design (3rd)
Best Costume Design (3rd)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling (1st)
Best Score (1st)
Flash forward to today and Darkest Hour has dropped from my projected Picture nominees. While it stood at 3rd just a few weeks ago, I have it now on the outside looking in at #11. That bottom rung of possibility for Picture puts in a dogfight with films such as The Florida Project, Mudbound, and Phantom Thread for recognition.
Furthermore, in the Director, Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay categories – I no longer have them listed in my top 10 possibilities. As for most of the other technical categories like Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, and Score, I have it ranked somewhere between 7-9 on the chances scale.
The news isn’t all bad. Mr. Oldman has consistently ranked #1 in Actor. Barring an upset from Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread, odds are that he will pick up his first gold statue for his work as the British Prime Minister. That love could easily transform to the makeup work done on the character, where I have Hour listed as first. And I still have it getting in for Cinematography.
All in all, the best case scenario in my view would be about 8 nominations. However, my latest estimates don’t have it coming close to that. While other contender’s stocks have risen in the last couple of months, Darkest has gone the opposite way.
My Oscar Watch posts will continue…