Monday, February 13, 2017

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actor

The competition: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Previous winners: Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jean Dujardin, Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Sean Penn
My winner: To be announced soon!
The facts: Washington, who took home his first SAG award a few weeks ago for this performance, has been nominated six times before and won twice, in 1989 for “Glory” and in 2001 for “Training Day.” Gosling, Affleck, and Mortensen have all each been nominated once before, in 2006, 2007, and 2007, respectively. This is Garfield’s first nomination. All but Mortensen’s film are nominated for Best Picture. Affleck has won virtually everything so far this awards season, but Washington’s recent SAG win casts doubt on the certainty of his Oscar chances. The main thing going against him is the revelation of a number of sexual harassment cases in his past, and it’s very possible that Washington will win again due in part to the frontrunner being undone by his own actions (Russell Crowe’s bad behavior during the 2001 awards season may have cost him his Oscar for “A Beautiful Mind,” which instead went to Washington). The good thing is…

Who should win: …even though Affleck is far-and-away my choice, Washington was also undeniably excellent. I’d also be happy with a Gosling win although I think he’s the only nominated part of that movie with no shot.
Who will win: SAG may just have awarded Washington because they never had before, so I think that Affleck can still win this. I’m not too confident in that prediction, but for now I’ll stick with him.

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