Though you can make the argument that some of people in the race this year like Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Mahershala Ali are going to do just fine in their careers regardless if they get Oscar nominated (chances are very high all three of these people will), for others who are in contention this year, it marks the moment in their careers when they elevate their profile to the next level.
For some, being an Oscar contender means getting bigger projects and heftier pay days. For others, especially those in the below-the-line categories, getting nominated or winning a little gold statue can solidify a career.
Here are eight Hollywood players who are getting the most out of their Oscar buzz:
Olivia Colman (Actress) "The Favourite"
Colman has had an established career in the UK for over a decade, but with her acclaimed performance as Queen Anne in Yorgos Lanthimos' "The Favourite" (which has already earned her a Golden Globes win), it's likely roles for her will only increase on this side of the pond.
It's likely Colman will be nominated in the best actress Oscar category when nominations are revealed later this month. Competition to win will be tough with Lady Gaga ("A Star Is Born") and Glenn Close ("The Wife") also likely to be nominated as well. But in the case of Colman, getting the nomination is the win.
John David Washington (Actor) "BlacKkKlansman"
John David Washington has spent most of his life trying to not follow in his famous dad's footsteps. Being the son of Denzel Washington, John only recently got into acting as most of his life, he tried to become a pro football player (which made him the perfect fit to star in the HBO series "Ballers"). Now in the family business, John is forging an impressive career path thanks to one of the directors who made his dad an icon, Spike Lee.
John playing Ron Stallworth in "BlacKkKlansman" is a major reason why Lee will likely get a best director Oscar nomination. Though it's a longshot that John will get a nomination, his performance in the movie will launch him to big roles.
Tony McNamara (Screenwriter) "The Favourite"
This Australian writer's exposure in Hollywood has jumped big time thanks to taking on a rework of "The Favourite." Originally penned by Deborah Davis, McNamara teamed with director Yorgos Lanthimos when he became attached to the project. They worked on making the story even more focused on the three main female leads than it originally was, while also plugging in the little quirks that makes a Lanthimos project so unique.
On top of McNamara and Lanthimos working on another project together, "The Favourite" is a (sorry) favorite to win the Oscar for best original screenplay.
Bryan Woods & Scott Beck (Screenwriters) "A Quiet Place"
Before John Krasinski came along and put his Hollywood clout behind "A Quiet Place," screenwriters Bryan Woods and Scott Beck were shopping around town a unique thriller set around monsters who kill anything that makes a sound. $340-plus million later (the global box office figure for the $17 million movie), the writers are riding the buzz to a possible Oscar nomination.
With a recent nomination by the Writers Guild of America, the chances of Woods and Beck (along with Krasinski who shared a writing credit with the two) getting a nomination in the original screenplay category is a strong possibility.
Ruth E. Carter (Costume Designer) "Black Panther"
A legend in the field having costumed everything from countless Spike Lee movies to "Amistad" and "Selma," Ruth E. Carter has never won an Oscar (she's been nominated twice). But with the beautiful work she did in "Black Panther," she may finally get her win.
Competition is tough with the period piece "The Favourite" also in the mix, but Disney has been masterful so far in how its kept "Black Panther" (which opened in February) in the Oscar conversation.
Jay Cassidy (Editor) "A Star Is Born"
Veteran editor Jay Cassidy is another who is due for a win. Having edited since the 1970s and having such titles on his filmography like "An Inconvenient Truth," "Foxcatcher," and "Joy," his work on "A Star Is Born" is a career highlight.
Competition is strong with movies like "Roma," "First Man," and "Vice," but if anything this Oscar season proves it's that Cassidy is one of the best cutters working today.
Mary E. Vogt (Costume Designer) Crazy Rich Asians
Who is responsible for the gorgeous clothes featured throughout "Crazy Rich Asians"? Mary E. Vogt, who previous to this had done the memorable costumes on countless movies like "Dune," "Hocus Pocus," and "Batman Returns." And she's never been nominated for an Oscar!
As we've already noted, the costume design category is going to be stacked this Oscars, but "Crazy Rich Asians" has exceeded all expectations.
Bing Liu (Director) Minding the Gap
One of the fun stories to track this past year was the evolution of powerful documentary "Minding the Gap" from Sundance hit to Oscar contender. At the center of it is director Bing Liu, who also stars in the movie. Marking his first feature film following years as a camera assistant or camera operator on big budget movies and TV shows, it's going to be fun to see what he does in the years to come.
Liu's "Minding the Gap," which navigates the lives of three friends through their tough home lives and bond over skateboarding, is one of the contenders for the always competitive best feature documentary category.
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