Sunday, January 2, 2011

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor in a Leading Role

Because of the busy nature of the next few weeks awards-wise, here are my current Oscar predictions, subject to minor revisions before nominations are announced on January 25th.

Last year’s nominees: Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Jeremy Renner

This year’s locks: Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), James Franco (127 Hours), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)

Very likely: None

Possible: Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Robert Duvall (Get Low), Ryan Gosling (Blue Valentine)

Unlikely: Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception or Shutter Island), Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter), Aaron Eckhart (Rabbit Hole), Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version)

The rundown: Well, this is quite a category to start with, because last year we had five pretty solid frontrunners, and this year, we have at least six plus a few more with a decent shot. At this point in the race, it would be hard to imagine contenders like Bardem or Eckhart surging since recognition for their films has thus far mostly been limited to other categories (foreign and actress, respectively). DiCaprio could feasibly pick up buzz for either of his films and snatch someone’s spot, but it’s not too likely. Despite his Golden Globe nomination, I don’t think Wahlberg has much of a chance. Bridges is a probably a good bet, and I don’t see Gosling getting in without Williams also getting in (more on that in the next post). Honestly, the SAG lineup probably makes sense as the likely list of nominees, unless Duvall’s film is all forgotten about. I’m not nearly as confident about these picks as I was a year ago.

One possible crazy scenario: Just like the Globes, no Bridges or Duvall, but maybe Bardem and DiCaprio?

Forecasted winner: Given the fact that he was also up last year, Firth.

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