Sunday, February 6, 2022

Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

This year, Oscar nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 8th. I’ll be offering detailed predictions in all categories.

Last year’s nominees: Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman, Steven Yeun

This year’s locks: Will Smith, Benedict Cumberbatch

Very likely: Andrew Garfield

Possible: Denzel Washington, Javier Bardem, Peter Dinklage, Leonardo DiCaprio

Unlikely: Nicolas Cage, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Mahershala Ali

The rundown: Four out of five of these slots seem safe, though it’s never a good idea to make that proclamation definitively. Will Smith (King Richard) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog) haven’t missed anywhere and should be completely set. Andrew Garfield (tick, tick…BOOM!) and Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth) are both in the situation of having their films be possible Best Picture nominees but far from guaranteed. Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos) seems strongest for the last slot after scoring a SAG bid, but there’s plenty of other competition. Peter Dinklage (Cyrano) might have been a stronger contender if his film had actually been released, and its performance may suffer from a lackluster awards campaign. Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up) managed a BAFTA nomination, but I don’t know that it will translate to a bid here. The same goes for Mahershala Ali (Swan Song), who wasn’t on anyone’s radar for the Golden Globes or BAFTA but is obviously admired by many. Nicolas Cage (Pig), a past winner in this category, is also a possibility, as is Hidetoshi Nishijima (Drive My Car), who gets a boost from his film’s frontrunner status in the Best International Feature category.

For your consideration: I would be thrilled to see Simon Rex (Red Rocket), but I think his film might be too under-the-radar in the end.

Forecasted winner: This looks like Smith.

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