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2019 Oscars: The Best Actor Contenders (March)

This year’s crop of Best Actor contenders looks like it will largely come from previous Oscar nominees and winners with a smattering of first-timers ready, and certainly willing, to break through.

Top of the list is Christian Bale, a Supporting Actor winner for 2010’s The Fighter. He’s looking for a lead win playing Dick Cheney, the most controversial Vice President in US history in Adam McKay’s highly anticipated biopic Backseat. We’ve already seen Bale in his fat suit and makeup and Gary Oldman won for doing just.

Willem Dafoe could heal the wounds of his missed Supporting Actor win this year with a lead win next year playing Vincent Van Gogh in At Eternity’s Gate. Ryan Gosling re-teams with his Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle in First Man where he plays astronaut Neil Armstrong. Young star and Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges co-starred in two Best Picture nominees last season (Lady Bird and Three Billboards) and this year takes the reigns as lead in Boy Erased, playing a teen sent to a gay conversion camp by his pastor father and based on Garrard Conley’s best-selling memoir. The Dolby might also see the return of Brad Pitt to the acting nominations in James Gray’s cerebral sci-fi Ad Astra.

It’s only March but this is a wide open category that could find room for first time nominations for Rami Malek playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, John David Washington in Spike Lee’s Black Klansman, Rory Kinnear in Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Chadwick Boseman in Ryan Coogler’s blockbuster Black Panther or Oscar Isaac in Operation Finale.

Here are the first Best Actor predictions for the 2019 Oscars.

1. Christian Bale – Backseat
2. Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
3. Ryan Gosling – First Man
4. Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased
5. Brad Pitt – Ad Astra

6. Steve Carell – Beautiful Boy
7. Robert Redford – Old Man and the Gun
8. Hugh Jackman – The Front Runner
9. John David Washington – Black Klansman
10. Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody

Any number of these other contenders could easily find themselves a major player as the year progresses:

Javier Bardem – Everybody Knows
Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther
Steve Carell – The Women of Marwen
John Cho – Search
Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born
Jesse Eisenberg – The Hummingbird Project
Chiwetel Ejiofor – Come Sunday
Colin Firth – The Mercy
Andrew Garfield – Under the Silver Lake
Garrett Hedlund – Burden
Oscar Isaac – Operation Finale
Rory Kinnear – Peterloo
George MacKay – The True History of the Kelly Gang
Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
Jack O’Connell – Trial by Fire
Nick Offerman – Hearts Beat Loud
Robert Pattinson – High Life
Joaquin Phoenix – The Sisters Brothers
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here
Chris Pine – Outlaw King
John C. Reilly – Stan and Ollie
Paul Rudd – The Catcher Was a Spy
Toni Servillo – Loro
Sunny Suljic – Mid 90s
Christoph Waltz – Georgetown
Roman Kolinka – Maya
John Huston – The Other Side of the Wind
Jonathan Pryce – The Wife

Best Picture Contenders | Best Director Contenders

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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