OSCAR PREDICTIONS: Best Actor

Updated: September 21, 2017

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

1

Gary Oldman
“Darkest Hour” (Focus Features)

PROS:
WAY overdue for love. Winston Churchill is a baity role and judging by the trailer, we are in for something fierce from this one-time nominee ("Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy").
CONS:
It's hard to be the declared frontrunner and survive it all year long. Simply put, he has to be good.

2

Daniel Day-Lewis
“Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film” (Focus Features)

PROS:
One of the greatest living actors is rumored to be retiring. 3-time winner and could be able to become the male Katherine Hepburn.
CONS:
He has many Oscars already and this subject matter may not be necessarily "accessible."

3

Tom Hanks
“The Post” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
Two-time Oscar-winner of "Philadelphia" and "Forrest Gump." Hasn't been nominated since "Cast Away" in 2000. Many also remember his shocking snub for "Captain Phillips." Playing a high-profile figure.
CONS:
It's becoming a trend that we think Tom Hanks is going to make it, until he doesn't (i.e. "Saving Mr. Banks," "Sully").

4

Hugh Jackman
“The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "Les Miserables" taking on P.T. Barnum.
CONS:
Was also great in "Logan," which is getting a campaign. Could he split?

5

Steve Carell*
“Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios)

PROS:
Has felt like a contender for some time for a future win with his nomination for "Foxcatcher" and his miss for "The Big Short." If "Battle of the Sexes" falls off, this could be his ticket.
CONS:
Split votes with himself and internal competition.

NEXT IN LINE

6

Jake Gyllenhaal
“Stronger” (Lionsgate)

PROS:
Still on the hunt for his second nomination following "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005 and a huge snub for "Nightcrawler" a few years ago. Is this his ticket?
CONS:
He always feels close until the rug is pulled out from under him.

7

Jeremy Renner
“Wind River” (The Weinstein Company)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "The Hurt Locker" and "The Town" who delivers his best work in years. If there's a push, he can squeeze in.
CONS:
Will TWC focus on the film and his performance?

8

Domhnall Gleeson
“Goodbye Christopher Robin” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

PROS:
Gleeson has shown promise for years with terrific turns in "Ex Machina" and "The Revenant."
CONS:
Oscar likes their Best Actor nominees and winners a little older. He'll need to be on Eddie Redmayne/Jesse Eisenberg level to get noticed.

9

Matt Damon
“Downsizing” (Paramount Pictures)

PROS:
Two big projects this year. This seems to be the most promising.
CONS:
Could be too lightweight. Split votes with SUBURBICON.

10

Andrew Garfield
“Breathe” (Bleecker Street)

PROS:
Just nominated for his work in "Hacksaw Ridge." Word is that he's very good and the role is extremely baity by Oscar standards.
CONS:
He may need the film to be a bigger player outside of him.

OTHER TOP TIER CONTENDERS

11

Timothée Chalamet
“Call Me By Your Name” (Sony Pictures Classics)

PROS:
Sundance praised him and he could be able to do some damage if the film is a big player.
CONS:
Very young for a Lead Actor candidate. They'll need to REALLY love the film.

12

James Franco
“The Disaster Artist” (A24)

PROS:
SXSW launched the talk that his work here is completely worthy and could find its way to a nomination (following his first for "127 Hours").
CONS:
Comedy in Lead Actor? Good luck, because many have missed over the decades.

13

Donald Sutherland
“The Leisure Seeker” (Sony Pictures Classics)

PROS:
Despite an outstanding career, he's never been nominated. The reviews for him are great.
CONS:
The film's buzz is low and it may get the 2018 push back.

14

Hugh Jackman
“Logan” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "Les Miserables" who captured the tears of superhero lovers everywhere with his final outing as Wolverine. Very moving.
CONS:
"The Greatest Showman" will likely be the focus for him. Genre.

15

Liam Neeson
“Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House” (Sony Pictures Classics)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "Schindler's List." He seem to rally many for "Silence" until people saw how little his screen time was.
CONS:
This is from the director of "Parkland." He may not be the showcase we're thinking.

16

Benedict Cumberbatch
“The Current War” (The Weinstein Company)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "The Imitation Game" playing Thomas Edison and pushed by Harvey Weinstein. In a lesser than Best Actor race, there may be room.
CONS:
Needs the critics to push the film more.

17

Steve Carell
“Battle of the Sexes” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "Foxcatcher" looks as though he's having the time of his life in the trailer.
CONS:
Could be campaigned in Lead Actor and/or split with himself for "Last Flag Flying."

18

Denzel Washington
“Roman Israel, Esq.” (Sony Pictures)

PROS:
Just lost his third Oscar for "Fences" and they may still be in the mood for more Denzel.
CONS:
Reviews weren't exactly glowing. He'll likely sit this one out.

19

Bryan Cranston
“Last Flag Flying” (Amazon Studios)

PROS:
Former nominee of "Trumbo" who is rumored to have a strong performance.
CONS:
Internal competition.

20

Chadwick Boseman
“Marshall” (Open Road Films)

PROS:
Has shown promise with well-received performances in films like "42" and "Get On Up." Early word is positive for him.
CONS:
He'll need to show strength at the televised shows.

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

Jason Clarke
“Mudbound” (Netflix)

PROS:
Has been climbing the ranks of reputable and dependable actors in the industry. Early buzz was positive.
CONS:
Has been said to be more of an ensemble. This could hurt if he is declared for a lead run.

22

Javier Bardem
“mother!” (Paramount Pictures)

PROS:
Oscar-winner for "No Country for Old Men." Is layered with lots
CONS:
May have another film later this year where he plays Pablo Picasso. This also could be about the ladies.

23

Ali Fazal
“Victoria and Abdul” (Focus Features)

PROS:
Holds his own remarkably against the veteran Judi Dench.
CONS:
It's hard for "newcomers" to enter the Best Actor fray. He also borders on Supporting.

24

Robert Redford
“Our Souls At Night” (Netflix)

PROS:
One of his final performances, alongside Jane Fonda. One last time?
CONS:
He's always been more of a directing love for Oscar rather than acting.

25

Ben Stiller
“Brad’s Status” (Amazon Studios)

PROS:
Seems to be in line with "Greenberg," which many liked and felt he should have been in contention for.
CONS:
Film's reviews are not that good to get him in a competitive Oscar race.

26

Idris Elba
“The Mountain Between Us” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
Big snub for "Beasts of No Nation" and will surely get his the next time he's in contention.
CONS:
Has "Molly's Game" which could eat up his support.

27

Jamie Bell
“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” (Sony Pictures Classics)

PROS:
Received best-in-show reviews out of Telluride and TIFF. Even better than Bening.
CONS:
The film's reviews seem to be so-so. If Bening ain't happening, don't think he will.

28

Michael Fassbender
“The Snowman” (Universal Pictures)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "12 Years a Slave" and "Steve Jobs." Playing the lead in a mystery story that could give him some material to work with.
CONS:
Seems to be more of a commercial play.

29

Miles Teller
“Thank You for Your Service” (Universal Pictures)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "12 Years a Slave" and "Steve Jobs." Playing the lead in a mystery story that could give him some material to work with.
CONS:
Seems to be more of a commercial play.

30

Sam Elliott
“The Hero” (The Orchard)

PROS:
Veteran actor received career-best reviews. Snubbed for so many, even most recently for "Grandma."
CONS:
Smaller film with an early release. Needs the critics awards to go his way.

OTHER POSSIBILITIES

31

Robert Pattinson
“Good Time” (A24)

PROS:
There are vocal admirers of his work and his post-Twilight career has been steadily rising. Could he be moving towards his eventual Oscar nomination?
CONS:
He needs to do a few more high-profile and well-received films before Oscar bites.

32

Kenneth Branagh
“Murder on the Orient Express” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
Five-time nominee (really?) who hasn't had his Oscar moment yet. Can this remake do it for him? Also good in "Dunkirk."
CONS:
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33

Christian Bale
“Hostiles” (No U.S. Distribution)

PROS:
Academy Award winner for "The Fighter" said to deliver once again and he's becoming a "default" choice for the Academy (remember his nods for "American Hustle" and "The Big Short?").
CONS:
Film still has no distribution.

34

Matt Damon
“Suburbicon” (Paramount Pictures)

PROS:
A possible double threat with both this and "Downsizing?"
CONS:
Not based on the early reviews.

35

Andy Serkis
“War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)

PROS:
People have been shouting for an Honorary Oscar for sometime. Doesn't feel like an acting nomination is more apt since it's exactly what he's been doing for this entire franchise? Some voters may feel compelled.
CONS:
They have foolishly campaigned him supporting before. Honestly, actors don't care or see the magic of this...yet.

36

Mark Wahlberg
“All the Money in the World” (Sony Pictures)

PROS:
Previous nominee for "The Departed" taking on a serious role again. Can he reclaim his Oscar glory?
CONS:
The buzz from the trailer was heavy on the works of Michelle Williams and Kevin Spacey.

37

Daniel Kaluuya
“Get Out” (Universal Pictures)

PROS:
Brings a natural charisma to his role of a man with lots under the surface of just fear.
CONS:
Unknown and the genre is a huge factor.

38

Doug Jones
“The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

PROS:
He's the man in the creature. Can he translate outside of that?
CONS:
If Andy Serkis can't do it, then no one can.

39

Joel Edgerton
“It Comes at Night” (A24)

PROS:
Helms the horror-thriller with an impeccable precision. Feels like something people will notice...
CONS:
...if they watch the film and even then, it's very uncomfortable horror.

40

Oakes Fegley
“Wonderstruck” (Amazon Studios)

PROS:
Young new talent can have an impact once in a while.
CONS:
This seems to be just a vehicle for the Todd Haynes enthusiasts.

CLICK THE CATEGORY TO SEE THE OSCAR PREDICTIONS:

MOTION PICTURE | DIRECTOR |
LEAD ACTOR | LEAD ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | 
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE |
PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING | SOUND MIXING | SOUND EDITING | VISUAL EFFECTS |
ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG |

  • Alec Glass

    Would love some more thoughts as to your predicting Joaquin Phoenix’s nom? I’m so tempted to hop on that train as well but between the fact that he’s not exactly the kind of celebrity that campaigns well are and the potential genre bias against the film for an acting nom, it gives me pause… and yet that Cannes win is sweet…

  • Sentinel666

    My predictions :

    1.James Franco “The Disaster Artist”
    2.Daniel Day-Lewis “Phantom Thread”
    3.Gary Oldman “Darkest Hour”
    4.Joaquin Phoenix “You Were Never Really Here”
    5. Bryan Cranston “Last Flag Flying”

    Next in line :

    6.Denzel Washington “Roman Israel, Esq”
    7.Jake Gyllenhaal “Stronger”
    8.Donald Sutherland “The Leissure Seeker”
    9.Daniel Kaluuya “Get Out”
    10.Hugh Jackman “The Greatest Showman”

    • chrosTV

      They did not even include Franco? Are they kidding?

      • Sentinel666

        And He is at 12! But Joaquin Phoenix disappeared :/

  • mads

    Steve Carell a former nominee for ‘Trumbo’?

    • Rapid Readers

      Now, it says former nominee for Les Miserables, and was also good in Logan ?!??

  • chrosTV

    Did they throw Sandler and Pattinson out of the race?!