Monday, January 25, 2010

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Last year’s nominees: Frank Langella, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, Mickey Rourke

This year’s locks: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), George Clooney (Up in the Air), Colin Firth (A Single Man), Morgan Freeman (Invictus)

Very likely: Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)

Unlikely: Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man), Daniel Day-Lewis (Nine), Matt Damon (The Informant), Tobey Maguire (Brothers), Sam Rockwell (Moon), Viggo Mortensen (The Road), Ben Foster (The Messenger)

The rundown: This race looks pretty secure, with the SAG list ripe to repeat in its entirety. The main reason that it’s set is that none of the seven males who could potentially upset actually have a shot at doing so. Either their films tanked or weren’t widely seen, and the only one that doesn’t fit that description is “A Serious Man,” but I still don’t see Stuhlbarg upsetting, especially since he lost the Golden Globe to Robert Downey Jr. The lone Globe nominee for Best Motion Picture Actor – Drama who won’t make it is Maguire, but he was a filler nominee from the start and his inclusion was a real surprise. There shouldn’t be any such surprises in this category at the Oscars.

One possible crazy scenario: Freeman misses out and is replaced by Stuhlbarg, Damon, or Foster

Forecasted winner: Jeff Bridges

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