Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Golden Globe Predictions: Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

I’ve been predicting the Golden Globe nominations for more than fifteen years, and even if the group doesn’t have the same industry relevance as in the past, it’s still helpful and fun to see what films and performances get honored. Here’s my assessment of the contenders in this category.

Last year’s nominees:
Mahershala Ali (Swan Song)
Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
Will Smith (King Richard)
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

This category doesn’t feel all that loaded, which suggests that there could be some true surprises who show up. At the head of the pack are Brendan Fraser (The Whale) and Austin Butler (Elvis), two actors whose films may earn other nominations but also may not. Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) has a much better Golden Globes history than he does with Oscar, winning three of his seven bids. While some prognosticators believe that Bill Nighy (Living) and Hugh Jackman (The Son) will grab the last two slots, I feel like the former is too under-the-radar and the latter is in a film that no one seems to like (I didn’t hate it but also was not impressed by either the film or Jackman’s performance). I’m also not sure that last year’s winner, Will Smith (Emancipation), can return following what happened at the Oscars, but if voters had the chance to see the film, he might just make it. Gabriel LaBelle (The Fabelmans) and Harry Styles (Don’t Worry Darling) are possibilities, but I think two other independent film darlings are likelier: Jeremy Pope (The Inspection) and Paul Mescal (Aftersun).

Current predictions:
Austin Butler (Elvis)
Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick)
Brendan Fraser (The Whale)
Paul Mescal (Aftersun)
Jeremy Pope (The Inspection)

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