Oscar Experts have Timothee Chalamet and Sam Elliott nearly neck and neck in supporting actor race

It won’t be long until “A Star Is Born,” a remake of the evergreen showbiz tale, takes it bow at the Venice film festival that kicked off this week. Meanwhile,“Beautiful Boy,” based on a memoir about a young man’s struggle with meth addiction seen through the eyes of his father, is to be unveiled at the Toronto International Film Festival next week.

Seven Gold Derby Experts favor the latter film’s Timothee Chalamet for the Best Supporting Actor award. Last year’s Oscar It boy for his love-struck lead performance in “Call Me by Your Name” lost to Gary Oldman’s unforgettable immersion into Winston Churchill in “Darkest Hour.” But being a substance abuser, whether it’s Nicolas Cage in “Leaving Las Vegas,” Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married “or Denzel Washington in “Flight,” is one of the surefire ways to prove to academy voters how committed you are to a role.

SEE Timothee Chalamet in the trailer for “Beautiful Boy”

Chalamet, 22, could claim the statuette in part because voters appreciated his work in both “Lady Bird” and “Call Me by Your Name” last year. But just like his buddy, the Dude, in “The Big Lebowski,” Sam Elliott, 74 — who has never been nominated —  just might abide, thanks to his turn as a talent manager in “A Star Is Born.” Only Tariq Khan of Fox TV, however, thinks the guy with the best mustache around will pull off a victory.

SEE how each Expert ranked their predicted nominees and all the Experts’ choices combined.

Another one of Chalamet’s rival’s last year, “Get Out’s” Daniel Kaluuya, has five Experts backing him for his role in the heist thriller “Widows,” which is also premiering in Toronto. One lone prognosticator, Matthew Jacobs of the Huffington Post, thinks he is the one to beat.

Rounding out the top five is Sam Rockwell, last year’s winner in this category for his racist small-town cop in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” His five supporters probably can just conjure what this colorful actor might do with his role as George W. Bush in “Backseat.” Unfortunately, the biopic about Bush’s VP Dick Cheney probably won’t be seen much before its opening date in December.

A movie in contention that has been seen and praised already is “BlackKklansman,” Adam Driver, one of the most in-demand actors around, is a white detective who helps a black colleague infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan. He has been deemed worthy of four Expert mentions. Keep your eye on their  predictions, updated every hour, now that festival premieres are happening and opinions will be shifting.

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