OSCARS: ‘The Post’ Lands in NYC and Cements the Year of the Woman

Before an audience full of critics, AMPAS, SAG, and industry voters, Steven Spielberg’s highly anticipated “The Post” unspooled before a New York audience.  Under massive embargo until further notice, Film Twitter was overflowing with cryptic messaging and GIF’s to share our feelings regarding the story of the release of the Pentagon Papers.

As we maneuver through this tricky territory, one thing was cemented during the Q&A last night hosted by renowned journalist Mark Harris: this is the year of the woman, a narrative that is spooling into all facets of media including film, politics, and the human race.

The year has been permeating with women speaking out and revolutionizing the world sees them.  Beginning with the box office, “Wonder Woman” made its mark becoming one of the highest grossing superhero films of all-time, not to mention the highest superhero origin film of all-time.  This can spill over into different areas of the awards race.  Would anyone be shocked to find that Gal Gadot snagged a nomination for Best Actress (Drama) at the Golden Globes?  Could she surprise with a SAG nod herself?  Warner Bros. is determined to keep the world focused on its director Patty Jenkins, who is sure to pop up along the circuit.

Jenkins won’t be the only female director in play.  As seen with the latest prediction updates, we’re starting to get a strong sense of history possibly being made at the Academy.  Could we have, for the first time, two women nominated for Best Director? Beginning with Greta Gerwig, the writer/director of “Lady Bird,” which has been lighting it up at the box office, she’s building serious momentum.  The film could make noise all season long, destined to be a favorite with the Critics Choice and HFPA, before surely getting boosts from critics and guilds groups.  The hurdle for the film has always seemed to be Gerwig getting a Best Director nomination, as she would become the second youngest woman to do so, and for a comedy to boot.  Who knows how high the film can fly?

The second woman in question is the multi-talented Dee Rees, who will hopefully be able to achieve where other strong black filmmakers have faltered such as Ava DuVernay for “Selma” years ago.  With her film “Mudbound,” just released on Netflix and sitting at a comfortable 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, she reaps of someone who will have dedicated admirers in the director’s branch.  Netflix has done an outstanding job thus far with her on the circuit, passionately speaking about finding a home at the streaming service, and what it means to auteur and diverse filmmakers.  She could be rewarded handsomely with a nod.

Going along with the narrative of the women ruling the year, Best Picture looks ripe to filled with films that center on strong female characters.  Like the aforementioned “Lady Bird,” films like “I, Tonya” from NEON, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri” from Fox Searchlight Pictures, and “Molly’s Game” from STX Entertainment are going to forces on the circuit.  When it comes to Spielberg’s “The Post,” it’s going to be an adventure of the season to see how AMPAS and audiences react to the timely picture.

Star Meryl Streep, who has been nominated a record 20 times, and this year will surely just add to that tally.  The big question is if she’s going to make a run to join an exclusive group that is only inhabited by Katharine Hepburn as a four-time acting winner.

With wins for “Kramer vs. Kramer,” “Sophie’s Choice,” and “The Iron Lady,” the awards-obsessed communities have been angling to see her stand on stage one last time.  In this competitive Best Actress field, this will be one of her toughest fights yet to the podium, but it’s entirely possible.  Becoming a somewhat beacon of hope and change for women in Hollywood, stemming back to her fiery Golden Globes speech back in January 2017, what a better way to give a finger to our current president than to award Streep one last time, in a film that is all about giving fingers to the president.

Streep may not be alone in her quest for the gold as her co-star Tom Hanks will look to snag his first Oscar nomination in 16 years.  After an egregious snub for his performance in “Captain Phillips” in 2013, it’s about time that our great American actor gets his proper due, and what’s better than taking on a role that was once rewarded to Jason Robards in 1976?  In a weak Best Actor year, Hanks should be able to settle in nicely but as we’ve seen before, we won’t know for sure until nominations are handed out.

It’s also worth noting that comedy is making its presence known this year as films like “The Disaster Artist” from James Franco and “Get Out” from Jordan Peele are dangerously close to major Oscar attention.  In the case of the former, he looks just about signed, sealed, and delivered for a Golden Globe win (barring Hugh Jackman coming around the corner for “The Greatest Showman“), which most of the time translates to Oscar attention.  In the case of “Get Out,” Universal Pictures has made it well-known that their intentions for the film go beyond just the HFPA.  Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, and Editing are well within reach, even making runs for Sound Mixing and Original Score.

You can see the sidebar reflects the collective and updated predictions.  You can go to the Oscar Prediction individual pages to see the rankings of all the contenders.

Chime in with your predictions in the comments below!