Thursday, February 22, 2018

Oscar Winner Predictions: Best Actor in a Leading Role

The competition: Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

Previous winners: Casey Affleck, Leonardo DiCaprio, Eddie Redmayne, Matthew McConaughey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jean Dujardin, Colin Firth
My winner: Announcing shortly after the Oscars!

The facts: Day-Lewis won three times: in 2012 for “Lincoln,” 2007 for “There Will Be Blood” and in 1989 for “My Left Foot.” He was also nominated in 2002 for “Gangs of New York” and in 1993 for “In the Name of the Father.” Washington won twice: in 2001 for “Training Day” and in 1989 for “Glory.” He was nominated last year for “Fences,” in 2012 for “Flight,” in 1999 for “The Hurricane,” in 1992 for “Malcolm X,” and in 1987 for “Cry Freedom.” Oldman was previously nominated in 2011 for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” This is the first nomination for both Chalamet and Kaluuya. Oldman has won the Globe, the SAG, the BAFTA, and the Critics’ Choice Award so far this season. James Franco, who isn’t nominated, won the comedy Globe for “The Disaster Artist.” All but Washington have their films nominated for Best Picture. The last time the star of a film not nominated for Best Picture won this prize was Jeff Bridges for “Crazy Heart” in 2009.

Who should win: I can’t understand why Washington is here given how much better his work and his films usually are. Kaluuya was the best part of his movie, though I don’t know that he should win from among this field. Chalamet has a bright future ahead of him, and he was certainly good in his film too. Day-Lewis purports that this is his last performance, and though he is strong as usual, he’s not as good as some of his previous turns, like my favorite, “Gangs of New York.” None of these four compare to Oldman, who was completely unrecognizable and fully commanding in his portrayal of Winston Churchill.

Who will win: Washington doesn’t stand a chance, and I’d be pretty shocked in Kaluuya or Day-Lewis won also. The incredible nature of Oldman’s performance is likely to propel him to a win, and his primary challenger, Chalamet, doesn’t have significant wins or enough buzz for his film to overtake him at this point.

No comments: