4 Films With Black Leads To Bet On For Oscars Attention

Black Panther 2018 Oscar Contenders

We’re about to enter the fall, which means it’s time for cinema to get serious. There are exceptions, but more and more we see the Oscars contenders start to roll out late in the year rather than in the spring or summer. And along with these releases comes increased chatter about the award shows. That may be more the case than ever this year given the changes coming to the Oscars (and the exciting but bizarre new category of “Most Popular Film”).

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As we inch into the fall, along with increased conversation, we may start to see actual odds about which movies and people will win the major awards. These are best found on UK sites since betting is most widely legalized there, and while finding trusted websites can be a monumental task, it’s not so hard to simply look up the odds for the Oscars (meaning even if you don’t want to place a bet). And while the odds are never exact, they actually do give us a good idea, sometimes months in advance, of where the big awards might be headed.

Before we even get to the point at which actual odds are available however, I’m putting forth a few informal bets of my own – not on which movies will win Oscars, but on which films with black leads will be in consideration in major categories. These are merely educated guesses, but they’re based on critical reviews and/or expectations and general buzz about cinema.

2018 Oscar Contenders - Black Panther
1 – Black Panther

Black Panther swept the cinematic world early in 2018. It’s one of the most successful films, not just in the superhero genre or with a black lead, but of all time, in general. And it was widely praised for its quality – not just its box office appeal. It already seemed like a possible Best Picture candidate, and now that there is almost a Most Popular category, this film seems like a shoe-in for consideration in one category or another. What will be interesting is whether it leads to any individual nominations, such as Best Actor for Chadwick Boseman or Best Director for Ryan Coogler.

2018 Oscar Contenders - BlackKklansman
2 – BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee’s films can be a little bit hit or miss in terms of broad appeal. This time however, the legendary filmmaker appears to have struck gold, making a movie that everyone enjoys seeing and which still gets across some vital social commentary. BlacKkKlansman is being appreciated for being as important as it is funny, and it seems fair already to call it one of the surprise hits of 2018. Here too a nomination of some sort for the film feels likely, but we’ll be watching to see if Lee or lead actor John David Washington (son of Denzel) get any recognition on an individual level.

2018 Oscar Contenders - Widows
3 – Widows

We haven’t seen Widows yet, but it’s due out before long. And as a piece at Essence put it when the trailer came out, we can probably go ahead and give Viola Davis and Steve McQueen all the awards. Not really, but that’s a very strong lead actress/director combo when it comes to major awards, which should put Widows on all of our radar. Contrary to Davis’s typical fall and winter release roles, this is actually a little bit more thriller than drama. It’s a dark take on four women who band together to finish a heist job when their husbands (who were initially working the job) are killed, and leave behind massive debts. Other major names like Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez are attached as well, and the story is based on a novel by Gillian Flynn – but Davis is the star, and seems like a de facto Best Actress candidate as usual.

2018 Oscar Contenders - Creed 2
4- Creed II

Creed was famously shafted by the Oscars, and if the sequel is anywhere near as good it’s hard to imagine that happening again. It was actually Sylvester Stallone most people felt should have earned more recognition the first time around, as he seemed well positioned for a possible Best Supporting Actor honor. Regardless, Michael B. Jordan is back in the lead role in a movie that will attempt to meet massive expectations, and which is probably another candidate for the Oscars’ new Most Popular category.