Sunday, January 21, 2018

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor in a Leading Role

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, January 23rd. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in most of the major categories, saving some of the biggest categories for last.

Last year’s nominees: Casey Affleck, Andrew Garfield, Ryan Gosling, Viggo Mortensen, Denzel Washington

This year’s locks: Gary Oldman, Timothée Chalamet

Very likely: James Franco

Possible: Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks

Unlikely: Jake Gyllenhaal, Steve Carell, Matt Damon

The rundown: This category is an interesting one since none of the major awards bodies have agreed. Despite his film having zero support, last year’s nominee Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.) was cited by the Globes and SAG, but not by the Critics Choice, which added Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger), an early favorite who has all but completely fallen off since then to the other top six. Tom Hanks (The Post) and Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread) both missed with SAG, and it’s hard to know how well either of their films will go over with Oscar voters. Globe comedy nominees James Franco (The Disaster Artist) and Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out) successfully merged with Globe drama nominees Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour) and Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) to earn SAG bids on the path to likely Oscar nominations. Though he was honored as a supporting actor by SAG, Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes) could get some votes here, as could Matt Damon (Downsizing) if Oscar voters are unexpectedly excited about the movie.

One possible crazy scenario: It would be a first, but Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes) is a favorite with some critics’ groups – could he pull this off?

Forecasted winner: I don’t see anyone getting in Oldman’s way.

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