Oscar Circuit: Lead Actor



 And the Nominees are…

  • Christian Bale – American Hustle
  • Bruce Dern – Nebraska
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
  • Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

This year marks the first time since 1966 that the entire field is comprised of performances from Best Picture-nominated films. Prior to this quintet, the acting categories were filled with performances from Best Picture-nominated films only six times in the 85 years of the Academy Awards. Coincidentally, it happened twice this year (Supporting Actor being the other). So you can update your stat trackers to show that it has now occurred eight times in 86 years.

Like it was with my analysis on the Supporting Actor race, the Lead Actor contest seems pretty sewn up at this point. But we shouldn’t assume this is a done deal or we might look foolish on Oscar night (think: Adrien Brody – The Pianist).

Here is a little bit more information about your nominees:

What do you think?

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Written by Mark Johnson

Lover of all things film and Oscar. Fantasy sports’ equivalent of George Steinbrenner. Your very own Han Solo, making friends all over the movie-loving galaxy in spite of himself. When he’s not ranking just about everything or dominating boardgames, Mark is breaking down the Oscar race 24/7 with Rain Man-like stats and knowledge. In his downtime, you can find him commiserating with other Northeast Ohio sports fans because a hero isn’t complete without a little heartbreak. If Game of Thrones, Lost, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, and Survivor are your style, then congratulations, you have something in common with this inglourious basterd.


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A. A.

Yeah, pretty much agree with all. But recently i’ve been thinking, after watching True Detective, I saw how McConaughey’s acting is really amazing and goes way beyond Dallas Buyers, and all this buzz assures that he’ll have lots of opportunities to blow everybody away again, probably getting more noms in the future. Might not be the same for Ejiofor and Dern, that’s why I would vote for them, the trouble would be figuring out which.


I really resented the whole “sewn up by McConaughey” meme, first because he didn’t do anything that some other actor hasn’t done before and second because the movie while entertaining wasn’t particularly original in any way. His True Detective is a much better acting job and original performance. Give him the Emmy not the Oscar.

Sam Coff

The real bummer is that this race could have been so good, and so fun…but it settled so shockingly quickly right after the Globes.


After I saw “How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days” years back, I never would have thought this would be humanly possible…McConaughey…wow…he has totally redeemed himself!

Jamie Teller

My own ranking of the performances:
1. Ejiofor
2. DiCaprio
3. Dern
4. Bale
5. McConaughey (he’s fine, but I personally liked his work in Mud more)


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