Unlike Best Actress, where our predictions are pretty much locked in, Best Actor is one of the toughest categories to predict. There are nine men vying for one of the five spots in the category, and none of them seem safe. The only actor who looks like he is guaranteed a nomination is 12 Years a Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor. After that all of the other men have either been snubbed for precursors, losing buzz, or seem to have just dropped of the radar. Check out our predictions below and all of our predictions here!
Locked for Nomination
1. Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave (For those of you have been following our predictions shouldn’t be surprised to see Ejiofor in our top spot. He is the one element of the Best Picture frontrunner that pulls the film together to make it one of the best films of the year. He is nearly guaranteed a nomination, but a win may be a bit harder. This would be the British actor’s first nomination, however the rest of the category look like veterans.)
2. Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club (Recently his career has made a complete 180. He formerly played the love interest in countless films, but he has now been delving into deep roles such as Killer Joe, Mud, and now Dallas Buyers Club. In this film he plays a homophobic man who discovers he has AIDS. It is an extremely emotional role, and a transformative one. The actor lost a significant amount of weight to play the gaunt man he is portraying in the film. He is also one of the few actors, other than Ejiofor, who has consistently shown up in the precursors. He could finally get his due as a serious actor.)
3. Bruce Dern, Nebraska (He is another veteran actor, who surprisingly has only received one other Oscar nomination. He has the advantage of starring in a film that so beautifully frames his talents as an actor, but what holds him back is 1. his film’s waning buzz, and 2. the confusion over his category placement. He is not the definite lead of the film. That role goes to Will Forte. Of course his campaign is pushing him for lead and he has been consistently showing up in the precursors. Maybe it’s finally time for him to win his much deserved Oscar.)
The Rest of the Possibilities
4. Robert Redford, All is Lost (He is already an Oscar winner for directing Ordinary People, however he has only been nominated once for his acting. I would actually have him in my number one or two slot if not for one reason. He was snubbed at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Now last year they matched 14 of 20 eventual Oscar nominees, but what makes this snub more significant is the fact that he is Hollywood royalty. He still has a good chance at a nomination, but maybe a win is lost at sea for him.)
5. Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips (Tom Hanks is well liked in the industry and is already a double Oscar winner, but lately buzz has been floundering for his performance as Captain Phillips in the film of the same name. However he, like Ejiofor, has showed up consistently in the precursors. This has been a comeback year for Hanks, so it seems that he will receive at least one nomination and it looks like it will be for Phillips rather than Saving Mr. Banks)
6. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street (Leo hasn’t had the best the best luck at the Oscars. I was convinced he would win last year for Django Unchained, but alas he wasn’t even nominated. However, many critics have been raving about his performance in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street. It also helps that it is one of the most complex and well acted performances of the year. This black comedy could be the factor that changes this race.)
7. Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station (I think that this is a film and actor that many are underestimating. Beasts of the Southern Wild similarly premiered and won the top prize at the Sundance Film Festival. That film ended up reaping 5 nominations including ones for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. Jordan runs the film, so if voters embrace the film, he may be swept up as well.)
8. Forest Whitaker, Lee Daniels’ The Butler (He was the frontrunner extremely early in the season, however like many frontrunners he fell. Although he reaped a bid at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, he was snubbed at the Golden Globes. However, his Oscar chances depend mostly on the Academy’s reception of the film. If they like it they may nominate him, if they think its old news, the film’s only nomination might be for Oprah.)
Will veterans rule the category? Or will Michael B. Jordan rain on one of their parade’s?