So far this awards season, Frances McDormand (Best Actress, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Gary Oldman (Best Actor, “Darkest Hour”), Allison Janney (Best Supporting Actress, “I, Tonya”) and Sam Rockwell (Best Supporting Actor, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) have all won acting prizes at the Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice Awards. Should they continue to win at SAG, BAFTA and the Oscars, they would be the first acting foursome in history to sweep an awards season. But can they do it?
McDormand, Oldman, Janney and Rockwell are well on their way to Oscar glory after earning back-to-back wins at the first two televised awards shows of the year. Oldman has long been considered the prohibitive frontrunner in Best Actor and both “Three Billboards” and “I, Tonya” have been exceeding expectations, particularly at SAG and BAFTA. We know how much awards bodies love “most” acting, the kind of in-your-face performance style that tends to win over more subtle work, and all four exhibit that more than their competitors.
Since the Critics’ Choice Awards began in 1995, there have been exactly zero cases where the acting categories went 4-for-4 at the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes, SAG, BAFTA and Oscars. The only years that came close were: 2006, when Forest Whitaker, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Hudson swept everything while Alan Arkin and Eddie Murphy split the Supporting Actor race; and 2014, when Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette won everything but Michael Keaton beat Eddie Redmayne at Critics’ Choice.
SAG is the next awards group, set to air live on Sunday, Jan. 21. The Screen Actors Guild likes veterans, which greatly benefits McDormand, Oldman, Janney and Rockwell, having been in the business for several decades. However, Janney and Rockwell likely face the toughest competition as they are duking it out with fellow veterans Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) and Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”), respectively. Metcalf is perhaps likeliest to upset, considering “Lady Bird” also earned a SAG Ensemble nomination. Both she and Dafoe have led the critics wins in their respective categories this season, so it would be shocking to see both go without at least one televised award.
While Oldman will likely fend off any competition in Best Actor for the remainder of the season, it’s not completely sewn up for McDormand just yet. The actress already has two SAG Awards, for 1996’s “Fargo” and the 2014 limited series “Olive Kitteridge” so voters may want to opt for someone who hasn’t won, like Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”), Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) or Saoirse Ronan (“Lady Bird”). At BAFTA, Hawkins may have hometown advantage as the only Brit in the category.
There are a few spoilers that could pop up in awards to come, but the strength of McDormand, Oldman, Janney and Rockwell could carry all the way through the Oscars, allowing them to become the first class of acting winners to sweep an entire award season.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank Oscar contenders in this and the other top races. Use the drop-down menus at the top of each page to see the other categories. Then take a look at the most up-to-date odds before you make make your Oscar nomination predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.