2019's Oscars take place on 24 February next year. But who will be in the running? Here are 10 names we believe are in with a good chance...
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Although Hereditary will be nearly a year old for Oscar in 2019, it's hard to deny that Toni Collette's turn as the grieving mother in this supremely haunting horror was one of this year's most affecting big screen performances. Crazily, she's only be nominated once before, for The Sixth Sense, yet she remains one of our most versatile and electrifying actors. If she's not nominated for Hereditary, there ain't no justice in the world.
John David Washington, BlacKKKlansman
His father, Denzel, was just 34 when he won his first Academy Award, for Glory in 1989, but can chip-off-the-old-block John David Washington nab his first Oscar win at the same age in February 2019? It's true that Washington doesn't have a lengthy CV at this point (BlacKKKlansman is only his fourth movie, if you ignore being an extra in his dad's movie, Malcolm X, 26 years ago), but his performance as the police detective who infiltrates a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan is a masterfully judged role, perfectly balancing the drama and humour of the situation and character.
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
So far, the critical reaction to A Star Is Born has been beyond rapturous. Variety called this Lady Gaga-headlining movie "luminous" and "a total emotional knockout". Time, meanwhile, said it was "a terrific melodrama for the modern age" and The Hollywood Reporter declared it "a durable tale of romance, heady fame and crushing tragedy, retold for a new generation with heart and grit". It's not often that a big-screen newbie, especially if they've migrated from the music biz, is singled out for acclaim, but critics appear to be unanimous in their praise for the 32-year-old singer-turned-actor. Could those plaudits be turned into Oscar glory? We can think of "a million reasons" why it might well…
Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins
Although she's been nominated for two BAFTAs, Emily Blunt has yet to get an Oscar nod. Will this change next year after the release of Mary Poppins Returns? The English actor takes over the role of the flying nanny from Julie Andrews in this eagerly-awaited sequel. Blunt is a class act through and through, and while Oscar hasn't acknowledged her yet, we feel it's less to do with her and more that the right part hasn't come along. Mary Poppins could be the role to finally get her in that hallowed list of Best Female Actor nominees...
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
We haven't seen the whole performance yet, but on the strength of clips and trailers released so far from Bryan Singer/Dexter Fletcher's biopic of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, it looks like the Mr Robot star has knocked the ball out of the park. Not only does the 37-year-old actor look uncannily like the late singer, but he appears to have totally nailed the English accent (Malek is from Los Angeles) and stage-strutting showmanship. Oscar loves a true-life story, so Malek could well find himself with an Academy Award nod come next year.
Saoirse Ronan, Mary, Queen of Scots
Oscar definitely likes a true story, especially if it's a classy historical affair. And they also like Saoirse Ronan (she's been nominated three times already), so the hot combo of the 24-year-old Irish actor and the role of Mary, Queen of Scots may prove irresistible to the Academy. Josie Rourke's film chronicles the 1569 'Rising of the North', when Catholic nobles from Northern England attempted to depose Queen Elizabeth I and replace her with Mary, Queen of Scots. David Tennant, Jack Lowden and Margot Robbie (as Elizabeth I) round out the cast.
Sylvester Stallone, Creed II
Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for 2015's Creed, his first Oscar nomination since the original Rocky in 1976. His recent turns as the one-time boxing champ Rocky Balboa have been stunning, with the boxer entering old age, battling cancer and seeing lifelong friends die around him. Sometimes Oscar likes to give an acting award for a lifetime of work (was Scent of a Woman REALLY Al Pacino's best ever performance, or was there a bit of recognition of Michael Corleone, Scarface and Frank Serpico in there?), so maybe, however big or small his role in Creed II is, they'll give Stallone a reward for 42 years' worth of performances as Rocky Balboa...
Viola Davis, Widows
Nominated already for three Oscars and the winner of one, it's fair to say the Academy are partial to Viola Davis. And they also like director Steve McQueen, so the prospect of the two teaming up for the heist-thriller Widows might well prove manna from heaven for Oscar. In this remake of the 1980s ITV drama, Davis plays the widow of an armed robber who, after his death, steps up to finish the job.
Tilda Swinton, Suspiria
Genre pictures don't usually do well at the Academy Awards, but Luca Guadagnino's remake of Dario Argento's 1977 horror classic looks a classier proposition than most. In it, Tilda Swinton plays Madame Blanc, the artistic director of a dance academy where creepy and gory things happen, including the disappearance of various students. She's already won Best Supporting Actress for 2007's Michael Clayton, but will Suspiria win her a second gong?
Jeff Bridges, Bad Times at the El Royale
Another long-time Oscar fave, Jeff Bridges has won before, for 2009 country music drama Crazy Heart, and been nominated six times. His latest film Bad Times at the El Royale has yet to hit cinemas, but early word is through-the-roof on this Drew (The Cabin in the Woods) Goddard-directed 60s-set crime thriller. Bridges plays a down-on-his-luck priest, Father Flynn, who, like the other characters, checks into the El Royale motel on a rainy night in 1969. He was, according to Goddard, the "swing-for-the-fences dream person to play Father Flynn." Will the movie win the 68-year-old actor his second Oscar? Time will tell.
Click here to discover 10 movies being touted for Oscar success.