Friday, February 26, 2016

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actor

The competition: Bryan Cranston’s communist writer (Trumbo), Matt Damon’s stranded astronaut (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio’s determined trapper (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender’s brilliant inventor (Steve Jobs), and Eddie Redmayne’s transitioning artist (The Danish Girl).

Previous winners: Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jean Dujardin, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Sean Penn, Daniel Day-Lewis
My winner: Jacob Tremblay
The facts: This is the fifth nomination for DiCaprio, who last contended in 2013 for "The Wolf of Wall Street." This is the third nomination for Damon, who was honored for "Good Will Hunting" in 1997 and "Invictus" in 2009. Redmayne won this award last year for "The Theory of Everything." This is the second nomination for Fassbender, who was recognized in 2013 for "12 Years a Slave." Four-time Emmy winner Cranston earns his first Oscar nomination this year. Only DiCaprio and Damon's films are nominated for Best Picture. DiCaprio won at the Globes, SAG, BAFTA, and Critics' Choice Awards.

Who should win: I like DiCaprio but feel like his best performances were actually two Oscar ignored, in "Catch Me If You Can" and "The Departed." I don't mind him winning but I'm not rooting for him the same way everyone else seems to be. Cranston was good and it's a fun performance, and I'm still somewhat surprised that he made it all the way to the Oscrs for the role. Redmayne was great but it wasn't as astounding as last year's winning turn. For me, it's a toss-up between Fassbender and Damon, who were both excellent in terrific films, mixing drama and humor seamlessly to create truly memorable performances.
Who will win: There's no way this doesn't go to DiCaprio. Even though the other Globe winner, Damon, didn't compete at the SAGs, this exact lineup appeared at both BAFTA and the Critics' Choice Awards. With no new nominee to take on DiCaprio and no ill will against him, he has this in the bag.

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