Who Won Awards Season?

Who will be the Oscars champion? Illustration: Vulture

The awards season seems to start earlier every year, but few have started earlier than this year’s. One major Oscar contender came out before last year’s ceremony, while another hit screens in mid-July. One more premiered at Sundance last January and steadily built buzz throughout the year. Blessedly, we’re almost done, as Oscar season officially comes to a close on Sunday. For months we’ve obsessively kept track of who’s won which trophies, and what effect that might have on their chances to win future trophies. But now it’s time to take a holistic view and determine once and for all who really won this awards season. We’ve gathered together 33 of this year’s Oscar contenders, and handed out points for the way they played on Hollywood’s brightest stage. In the end, we’ll crown the true champion of the 2018 Oscars race.

Here’s the scoring breakdown:

Awards season is about a lot of things that aren’t awards, but it is still, at least a little bit, also about awards. To keep the “Oscar” in “Oscar race,” we handed out 5 points for each Oscar nomination an artist received, as well as an additional 5 points for each Golden Globe, BAFTA, or guild award they won. Note: To keep things simple I decided to only hand out points for solo awards. Daniel Kaluuya’s Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs counts, while the Three Billboards cast’s win for Best Ensemble at the SAGs does not.

General Interest
Living in the social-media era, it can sometimes be hard to tell if something is genuinely popular, or only in your specific feeds. This category rewards those who were able to break through the Film Twitter bubble and appeal to the general populace. Stars were ranked by their worldwide Google search interest over the past 90 days, with last place getting 1 point, second-to-last 2 points, and so on. In the case of the couple that’s competing jointly, and the two pairs of unrelated artists who turned out to have the exact same search volume, points were averaged.

Fan Enthusiasm
Still, as the stars of the hit Broadway musical [title of show] once sang, many artists would prefer to be nine people’s favorite thing than a hundred people’s ninth-favorite thing. In that spirit, I awarded points for our contestants based on how much frenzied enthusiasm they whipped up on the internet, as measured by the traffic their interviews with Vulture received:

Spectacular traffic – 25 POINTS
Magnificent traffic – 20 POINTS
Outstanding traffic – 15 POINTS
Exceptional traffic – 10 POINTS
Superb traffic – 5 POINTS

Wait a second, you might be thinking, isn’t it a little corrupt that actors are being awarded points based in part on how much their publicists cooperated with the website doing the ranking? My answer is: You’re absolutely goddamn right. This is awards season, baby. You think the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is scared of a little quid pro quo?

Actors don’t sit through months of identical interviews because they absolutely love couches and fake backdrops of the New York City skyline; they do it because they’re hoping to go viral, a necessary step in any successful Oscar campaign. (Would Alicia Vikander have won two years ago without teaching Jimmy Fallon the secrets of the Swedish frog dance?) To reward them for their efforts on the campaign trail, we looked at every contestant’s highest-performing promo appearance since September 1, and handed out points based on its YouTube views:

7+ million views – 15 POINTS
3-7 million views – 10 POINTS
2-3 million views – 7 POINTS
1-2 million views – 5 POINTS
0-1 million views – 1 POINT

The worlds of Hollywood and high fashion enter into a symbiotic relationship every red-carpet season. Designers get recognizable faces to fill out their frocks, while the industry gets some help selling the Glamour of the Movies to people who couldn’t give two shits about whether Lady Bird made the right college choice. Few are better at analyzing the tricks and traditions of the thing they call “the Oscars pole dance” than fashion bloggers Tom+Lorenzo, and so to come up with a fashion score, we dug through the T+L archives to get a sense of how the style literati felt about each contender, and translated that into a score from 1 to 10.

The movement to expose abuse and harassment in Hollywood has been a major part of this awards season. Accordingly, I decided to include a category about what happens when you Google a star’s name alongside “#MeToo.” If the Google results include …

Stories from women alleging physical, professional, or emotional abuse  – MINUS 50 POINTS
Anything else – 0 POINTS

Let’s begin.

Tier IX: The Guy Whose Awards Season Did Not Turn Out the Way He Anticipated

32. James Franco
Awards: Golden Globes win (5)
Google Ranking: First (33)
Vulture Story: The Disaster Artist: An Oral History” (10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “James Franco Supports ‘Time’s Up,’ Addresses Recent Accusations” (7)
Representative T+L Quote: “[P]olished, grown-up and professional.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? Yes (-50)
Total: 10

Up until January 8, it was all going according to plan. James Franco had cleaned up his image, nailed his talking points, and won the Golden Globe. An Oscar nomination seemed assured. Then came the tweets, and later the L.A. Times exposé, in which multiple women accused the actor of sexual misconduct. (Franco has claimed the charges are “not accurate,” but has refused to go into detail, he says, out of respect for the #MeToo movement.) The scandal does not appear to have affected his career too much — he’ll be back in The Deuce season two — but it closed the door on his Oscar chances, as voters chose the ever-reliable Denzel Washington to take the final Best Actor spot instead.

Tier VIII: Just Not Their Year [or: Who?]

Three character actors, an overlooked director, and a child. Though these five artists are all Vulture faves, as the Google results show, they’re basically unknown to the world at large. Mudbound and The Florida Project were both small films that couldn’t find a large enough audience to break through, and the others are the kind of talented veterans who don’t really “pop” in awards season — too old to Tremblay, too young to Squibb.

31. Willem Defoe
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: Last (1)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Finally, the Truth Behind Willem Dafoe’s First Name” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “Too shiny.” (4)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 11

Were you as surprised as I was to learn that Willem Defoe was the least-Googled member of Oscar’s class of 2018? I wracked my brain for an answer for days before it hit me – turns out, more people Google “William Defoe,” which in an ironic twist, turns out to actually be his real name.

30. Richard Jenkins
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 28th (6)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Actors on Actors: Laurie Metcalf and Richard Jenkins” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 12

For a character actor like Jenkins, is an Oscar nomination its own reward? Or does he secretly seethe inside every awards season as he’s passed over for flashier nominees? Oh well. At least he’s got that Olive Kitteridge Emmy.

29. Dee Rees
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: Second-to-last (2)
Vulture Story: Mudbound’s Dee Rees on Writing Racist Jokes and Directing Mary J. Blige” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Mary J. Blige, Garrett Hedlund, Dee Rees on Relevance of Racial Divide in Mudbound (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 13

The most telling line in Angelica Jade Bastien’s essay about why Mudbound didn’t get the attention it deserved this Oscars season: “When discussing the film with other cinephiles and black intellectuals — audiences I imagine Mudbound would be primed for — none of them had even heard of the film.” There was an audience out there for this movie, but Netflix couldn’t get it to them. Can you imagine a world where the streaming service gave Mudbound a Super Bowl commercial instead of The Cloverfield Paradox?

28. Lesley Manville
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: Third-to-last (3)
Vulture Story: Phantom Thread’s Lesley Manville on Playing Twisted Siblings With Daniel Day-Lewis” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: Phantom Thread: Lesley Manville Talks Working With Daniel Day-Lewis on Film” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 15

Phantom Thread was a surprising contender for the most quotable movie of the year, and Manville got in more than her fair share of zingers as the sister you definitely do not want to pick a fight with.

27. Brooklynn Prince
Awards: None (0)
Google Ranking: 29th (5)
Vulture Story: “Meet Brooklynn Prince, the 7-Year-Old Who’s Going to Be Blowing Up Awards Season” (10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Seven-Year-Old Actress Brooklynn Prince on The Florida Project (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 17

Me: Ugh, I hate what Netflix is doing to those Stranger Things kids, let them have a normal childhood.

Tier VII: The Guy Whose Awards Season Actually Did Go the Way He Expected

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

26. Gary Oldman
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA wins (20)
Google Ranking: 4th (30)
Vulture Story: “The 4 Things That Helped Gary Oldman Disappear Into Winston Churchill” (10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Gary Oldman Does Spot-On Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken Impressions” (5)
Representative T+L Quote: “Nothing wrong here.” (5)
#MeToo Scandal? Yes (-50)
Total: 20

Gary Oldman has been the Best Actor front-runner since the first photo of him in Churchill makeup went online back in November 2016, and nothing, not even the resurfacing of domestic-abuse allegations from his ex-wife, has been able to change that. (Oldman has denied the charges.) In the #MeToo era, it’s rarely clear what will stick and what won’t, but for whatever reason, the Hollywood establishment seems to have agreed that the Oldman story does not merit the same kind of sanctions the Franco one does.

Tier VI: They’re Happy Just to Be Here

Every Oscars season gives us a tapestry of old and new faces to enjoy, the movie-star version of the characters who used to fill out the bar on Cheers. 2018’s lineup includes a cute married couple, an old man who saved a movie from disaster, a TV star in her first big film role, and elusive artist in his last. Few of them are going to win anything, but we’ll miss them all the same.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Palm Springs In

25. Octavia Spencer
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 26th (8)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Guest Host Melissa McCarthy Interviews Octavia Spencer” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “REALLY cute and chic.” (8)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 23

If they gave out an Oscar for “Best Wordless Reaction to Learning Your Best Friend Had Sex With a Fish-Man,” she’d be a shoo-in.

23. (tie) Laurie Metcalf
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 25th (9)
Vulture Story: “Laurie Metcalf on Her Golden Globe Nomination for Lady Bird and Shooting Marion’s Big Driving Scene” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Laurie Metcalf’s ‘Lady Bird’ Performance Made Audiences Call Their Moms” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “We appreciate how unfussy she wants her red carpet looks to be, and while she hasn’t always hit the mark exactly, we think she’s made some good choices that speak of someone who knows herself.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 26

The cool kids’ choice for Best Supporting Actress. Good luck at the Indie Spirits!

23. (tie) Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 24th and 30th (7)
Vulture Story: “Kumail Nanjiani on His New Rom-Com The Big Sick and Being a Brown Leading Man” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Kumail Nanjiani & Emily V. Gordon Remember Their Courtship Differently” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: Always adorbs.” (8)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 26

In our interviews with new Oscar voters, one insider criticized the way Sony Pictures Classics handled Call Me by Your Name, holding it until late November while dragging the stars through an endless press tour. Would the film have done better at the box office had come out earlier, say in late summer? The experience of fellow Sundance breakout The Big Sick offers an interesting counterexample: It hit theaters in June and managed to pull in twice as much domestically as CMBYN did, but the early release may have harmed its own awards chances. If you’re an indie filmmaker, which would you rather have?

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

22. Sally Hawkins
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 19th (15)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “When Your Catfish Is Actually a Fish (w/ Sally Hawkins)” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “Serving up Robot Lily Tomlin realness.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 27

“Only one more week of fish jokes,” Sally Hawkins says to herself through gritted teeth. “You can do this.”

20. (tie) Christopher Plummer
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 17th (17)
Vulture Story: “Christopher Plummer on All the Money in the World and Drunken Christmases Past” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “How Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer in All the Money in the World (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 28

For three weeks in December, 88-year-old Christopher Plummer was at the center of the craziest story in Hollywood. And yet, they couldn’t even throw him an AARP Movies for Grownups Award! He was robbed, I tell you. Robbed.

20. (tie) Woody Harrelson
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 16th (18)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Woody Harrelson: LBJ (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “[T]he total we-don’t-give-a-shit-edness is hilarious.” (4)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 28

Woody Harrelson was in two Oscar-nominated films last year, and neither of them was the one where he put a bunch of makeup on his face and played a legendary president. Who says the Oscars are predictable?

19. Daniel Day-Lewis
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: Tied for 8th (25.5)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: None (0)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 30.5

Daniel Day-Lewis managed to place this high on the list while sitting out awards season entirely, which meant that we sadly never got to see James Corden make him try to eat the entire “hungry boy” breakfast in one sitting. Shame.

Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

18. Martin McDonagh
Awards: Two Oscar nominations (10) + BAFTA and Writers Guild awards (10)
Google Ranking: 27th (7)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Martin McDonagh Talks About His Most Messed Up Play Yet” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” (4)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 32

Martin McDonagh did plenty of interviews to promote Three Billboards, and somehow no one asked him the most important question of all: What the heck was up with Woody Harrelson’s Australian wife?

Tier V: The Former Olympic Athlete Who Gained a Measure of Redemption Thanks to a Sympathetic Biopic

17. Tonya Harding
Awards: None
Google Ranking: Second (32)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Tonya Harding & Margot Robbie: I, Tonya & a Love of Skating” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 33

After Hamilton I used to joke that, when I got my own musical, I hoped that the song that covered the worst thing I ever did would also be about how much I totally didn’t want to do it. Wouldn’t you know it, Tonya Harding got that deal! You can’t say she didn’t suffer for it, but I can’t help wonder how Nancy Kerrigan feels about this whole image makeover.

Tier IV: The Iconoclasts

Three guys who did awards season their own way, often by not doing it at all.

16. Denzel Washington
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 5th (29)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Garth Brooks gushes over latest Denzel Washington movie” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 35

I don’t think Denzel thought he was going to get a nomination for Roman J. Israel, Esq., but now that he’s got one, he sure isn’t going to let it get in the way of whatever else he had planned. A year after sitting through the whole rigmarole for Fences, he simply can’t be bothered to do it again.

15. Daniel Kaluuya
Awards: Oscar nomination + BAFTA (10)
Google Ranking: 22nd (12)
Vulture Story: Get Out’s Daniel Kaluuya on How Racism Feels Like Living in a Horror Film” (10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Daniel Kaluuya: Get Out Shows How White People Say Weird Stuff” (5)
Representative T+L Quote: “He’s very consistently old-school in his style — all black suits and solid, low-key ties with white shirts.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 38

Talk about timing: Daniel Kaluuya’s Oscar campaign for his role in the buzziest movie of 2017 came at the same time as he was promoting the buzziest movie of 2018. Too bad he only got to ride an armored rhino in one of them.

14. Sufjan Stevens
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 21st (13)
Vulture Story: “Sufjan Stevens on the First Time He Saw Call Me by Your Name (15)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “‘Mystery of Love’ by Sufjan Stevens from the Call Me By Your Name Soundtrack” (7)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 40

For a while, it seemed like those 48 unmade state albums were going to loom over Sufjan’s career for the rest of his days. But just like his idol, this Oscars season saw the press-shy crooner change the conversation. And he got a new coat out of it, too!

Tier III: Now We’re Getting Somewhere

The five artists in this tier aren’t quite breakout stars, but I think they’re all probably pretty happy with how their awards seasons have gone so far.

Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

13. Mary J. Blige
Awards: Two Oscar nominations (10)
Google Ranking: “Mary J. Blige” has next to no search volume, but “Mary J Blige” — no period — is tied for 14th (19.5)
Vulture Story: “Mary J. Blige Sees Herself Anew” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Mary J. Blige Breaks Down At Star Unveiling: ‘I Was Homeless Last Year’” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “Flippin’ fabulous.” (8)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 43.5

This year, Mary J. Blige became the first person ever nominated for acting and songwriting Oscars in the same ceremony, a fine reward for putting up with all the hateration, holleration in this Mudberie.

Photo: Handout/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

12. Frances McDormand
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA wins (20)
Google Ranking: Tied for 14th (19.5)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Frances McDormand Wins Best Actress in a Drama at the 2018 Golden Globes” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “We’re not going to rip apart her nun’s habit. It’s fine. It’s who she is. ” (5)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 45.5

McDormand doesn’t really do a lot of the silly things Oscar front-runners are “supposed” to do — her sole interview was this wonderful New York Times Magazine profile, and the only time she came anywhere close to viral was during her Globes acceptance speech — and yet, she’s picked up almost every Best Actress trophy anyway. It’s almost as if everything else I’m ranking people on doesn’t matter. Ha ha ha, what an idea!

11. Meryl Streep
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 6th (28)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep Play Each Other’s Iconic Characters” (10)
Representative T+L Quote: “[A] good, get-the-job-done kind of look, which is pretty much what we’d expect from her.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 49

The Post didn’t make as much noise as people thought it would, but the world still loves Queen Meryl. This year, she didn’t have to feud with the president to make headlines; she was in the news all season long as one of the leaders of the #TimesUp movement.

10. Allison Janney
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA wins (20)
Google Ranking: 20th (14)
Vulture Story: “Allison Janney Goes for the Gold” (10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Allison Janney on What Tonya Harding Thinks of I, Tonya (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “Miss Allison sees no reason to stop doing what she’s always done: pick sleek, unfussy pieces with a twist.” (6)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 51

Unlike her partner in the winners’ circle, Janney has been absolutely everywhere this awards season. There’s an approximately zero chance she’ll do “The Jackal” at the podium Sunday night, but hey, we can dream.

9. Guillermo del Toro
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe, Directors Guild, and BAFTA wins (20)
Google Ranking: Tied for 8th (25.5)
Vulture Story: “Guillermo del Toro Hopes You’re Ready to Fall in Love With a Monster” (5)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Guillermo del Toro Wins Best Director at the 2018 Golden Globes” (1)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 51.5

Oscar voters, if you don’t hand Guillermo del Toro the Best Director trophy this weekend, you don’t even want to know how he’ll try to top himself. So please, do it. Orifices everywhere are depending on you.

Tier II: The Runners-up

Here we have a talented collection of actors and filmmakers who all feel very “now.” This could have been their year — if not for the fact that it was someone else’s year more.

8. Sam Rockwell
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA wins (20)
Google Ranking: 13th (21)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Tucci Gang” (10)
Representative T+L Quote: Newp.” (2)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 53

Sam Rockwell’s Three Billboards character was at the center of the season’s biggest political controversy, but Rockwell himself came through it basically unscathed; most of the backlash focused on Martin McDonagh, and even the movie’s fiercest critics had kind words for the actor’s performance. He won basically every Supporting Actor award there was, his dad defended him in the comments section, and the world learned he was in a long-term relationship with Popular’s Leslie Bibb. All in all it was a fun, happy time for him.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

7. Greta Gerwig
Awards: Two Oscar nominations (10)
Google Ranking: 18th (16)
Vulture Story: “Greta Gerwig Is a Director, Not a Muse” (20)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Greta Gerwig Wrote a Letter to Justin Timberlake Asking to Use His Music in Lady Bird (1)
Representative T+L Quote: “We love that she sticks with her preferences for odd or quirky pieces, just upscaled for awards season.” (7)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 54

The early word on Lady Bird was that it would be an “ode to Sacramento,” three words that had never quite been put together in that order before. It turned out to be one of the best films of the year, and now Gerwig says she wants to make a whole suite of films about her hometown. If they’re all as good as her first one, she’ll never have to pay for Kings tickets again.

6. Armie Hammer
Awards: None (0)
Google Ranking: 12th (22)
Vulture Story: “Armie Hammer’s Complicated Affair with Call Me by Your Name(25)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet Talk Passionate First Rehearsal” (7)
Representative T+L Quote: “He’s Armie. He’s always fine.” (5)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 59

The walking (or is it dancing?) meme. Armie Hammer entered 2017 as a hunk whose attempts at A-list stardom had all fallen short — a WASPier Taylor Kitsch — and left it as a sensitive performer who blended effortless masculinity with shocking vulnerability. If there’s any cloud to his year, it’s that awards voters haven’t quite fallen in love with him the way the internet has, with Saturday’s Indie Spirits marking his last chance to pick up some hardware.

5. Margot Robbie
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 3rd (31)
Vulture Story: None (0)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Guest Host Chris Pratt Interviews Margot Robbie” (15)
Representative T+L Quote: “Did somebody say ‘Movie Star?’” (9)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 60

Did you realize Margot Robbie was this famous? I don’t think I did. She had the most popular late-night appearance on this list, and the highest search volume of anyone who hasn’t been involved in a scandal. (Unless you count getting secretly married a scandal, which I don’t.) Was this all from I, Tonya? People do seem to love that movie; it’s the one Oscar contender that acquaintances who aren’t in the industry rave to me about. And yet, it’s only made $28 million domestically, about the same as Molly’s Game, which I have never heard a human being discuss. So I dunno. Consider this your latest Margot Robbie mystery.

4. Jordan Peele
Awards: Two Oscar nominations + Directors Guild and Writers Guild wins (20)
Google Ranking: 23rd (11)
Vulture Story: “How Jordan Peele’s Get Out Got Made” (20)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Jordan Peele Breaks Down Get Out Fan Theories from Reddit” (10)
Representative T+L Quote: None (0)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 61

Daniel Kaluuya may be top-billed, but Hollywood’s decided that the real star of Get Out is Jordan Peele. For good reason: A sketch comedian hasn’t broken out such an assured directorial vision since Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. (And that was Gilliam’s third solo film.) The only bad thing about Get Out going the distance with a year-long Oscar campaign? We’ll have to wait that much longer for Peele’s next film.

Tier I: The Contenders

All three of these names have a solid case for being named the winner of the 2018 awards season. But in the end, only one could triumph. Who will it be?

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

2. (tie) Saoirse Ronan
Awards: Oscar nomination + Golden Globe win (10)
Google Ranking: 7th (27)
Vulture Story: “Saoirse Ronan Wants You to Take Female-Led Films Seriously, Especially Bridesmaids(10)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Saoirse Ronan Plays ‘Who’d You Rather?’” (10)
Representative T+L Quote: “She bounces back and forth between goofy/edgy looks and practically minimalist ones.” (5)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 62

One weird thing I’ve noticed this awards season is that, when TV hosts interview Saoirse Ronan, for some reason they act like they’ve never met an Irish person before? These are people who I’m sure have talked to Bono and Colin Farrell and Liam Neeson with no trouble, but bring out Sersh and suddenly it’s tra-la-la and fiddle-dee-dee. (Jimmy Fallon even slipped into a brogue during a game of Catchphrase, before she told him to knock it off.) And it’s not like they just met her — this is her third nomination! Hopefully they get it out of their systems by the time she’s promoting On Chesil Beach, or Mary, Queen of Scots, or one of the many other Oscar movies that I’m sure are in her future. But that gets at the reason Ronan doesn’t quite feel right at the top spot — she seems less specific to this year than the other two. She’s been here before, and she’ll be here again.

2. (tie) Tiffany Haddish
Awards: None (0)
Google Ranking: 10th (24)
Vulture Story: “Tiffany Haddish on Beyoncé, Her Super Bowl Ad, and Announcing the Oscar Nominations” (20)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Oprah Shocks Superfan Tiffany Haddish’” (10)
Representative T+L Quote: “Standing ovation, Miss Girl. It’s not chic, but it sure as fuck is loud.” (8)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 62

In the past six months, Tiffany Haddish has become so universally beloved that I’m surprised we haven’t found out a terrible secret yet. It seemed like everything Haddish touched turned into a delightful piece of internet gold: a late-night story about a swamp tour, an SNL sketch about video games, the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the typically snooze-worthy Oscar nominations. She even found a way to make grapefruits funny, and everyone knows grapefruits are the least-funny fruit. Had Haddish managed to snag that Oscar nom, she would have been a shoo-in for the top spot, but as it is, we can at least content ourselves with the knowledge that she’ll be presenting Sunday night.

Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

1. Timothée Chalamet
Awards: Oscar nomination (5)
Google Ranking: 11th (23)
Vulture Story: Call Me by Your Name’s Timothée Chalamet Is a Superfan Who Made It Big” (20)
Most Viral YouTube Clip: “Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet Talk Passionate First Rehearsal” (7)
Representative T+L Quote: “He really does have great style, which means, in this case, the ability to make something as simple as this look dead-chic.” (8)
#MeToo Scandal? No (0)
Total: 63

A controversial choice, to be sure, but the numbers don’t lie. He didn’t quite Stuhlbarg, but Chalamet managed to play major roles in two of the year’s most adored films. Lady Bird let him further refine the star image he’d established in Homeland — handsome, aloof, kind of dickish — but Call Me by Your Name complicated that image in interesting ways. The movie itself marked him as a major young talent, while the never-ending press tour allowed him to show off his openness, excitement, and an endearing hidden nerd side. As my colleague Kyle Buchanan is fond of proclaiming, Oscar’s love for ingenues is typically matched by its disdain for young men, and yet Chalamet’s managed to become the only guy this year with a chance at prying the Best Actor trophy away from Gary Oldman. Not bad for a former statistics rapper.

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