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2019 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (August)

Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased (Focus Features)

Lucas wedges into the top spot

For the first time since my 2019 Oscar predictions began, Christian Bale has been relegated to, well, the Backseat. Lucas Hedges has emerged at the new frontrunner for Best Actor with his TIFF and Telluride-bound Boy Erased.

This wasn’t an easy leap to make, putting a 21-year old at the top of a Best Actor Oscar lineup, his age is a big strike against him. Adrien Brody (20002’s The Pianist) is still Oscar’s youngest Best Actor winner ever and he was just two week shy of his 30th birthday, a far cry from 22, which is the age Hedges will be at the time of the Oscars. Still, Hedges comes in with a slew of bonafides: he’s already an Oscar nominee (Supporting Actor for 2016’s Manchester by the Sea), appeared in two Best Picture nominees last year (Lady Bird and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and has no less than three films this fall – all hitting the Toronto Film Festival (Boy Erased, Mid90s and Ben is Back).

John David Washington in BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)

That move bumps down Bale and Steve Carell (Beautiful Boy) just a bit with John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Ryan Gosling (First Man) holding down the top 5. For now.

I’m feeling more bullish about Bradley Cooper by the day. A Star Is Born should have a huge splash at Venice and Toronto before its October bow and Cooper is just the kind of actor-turned-director the Academy loves to multi-honor. Although, an acting nomination might be the hardest to get as a director. It’s happened 17 times, most recently Denzel Washington in 2016’s Fences.

Robert Redford in his swan song, The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight)

Speaking of actors-turned-director, Robert Redford, who won the Best Director Oscar for his directorial debut (1980’s Ordinary People) is set to make his final film appearance in The Old Man & the Gun and Fox Searchlight is going to go all out for this nomination, their only push in that category. It’s going to be a tough fight, especially against some of the other 6-10 contenders like Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) and Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) but anything can happen, anyone can fall. I suspect my top as it is could find any number of them failing to hit the mark and making room for one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars.

Here are my 2019 Oscar predictions in Best Actor for August 15, 2018.

Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – chart debut

1. Lucas Hedges – Boy Erased (Focus Features)
2. Christian Bale – Backseat (Annapurna)
3. Steve Carell – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
4. John David Washington – BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
5. Ryan Gosling – First Man (Universal)

6. Bradley Cooper – A Star Is Born (Warner Bros)
7. Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody (20th Century Fox)
8. Hugh Jackman – The Front Runner (Sony)
9. Robert Redford – The Old Man & the Gun (Fox Searchlight)
10. Viggo Mortensen – Green Book (Universal)

NEXT UP

Steve Carell – Welcome to Marwen (Universal)
Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate (CBS Films)
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed (A24)
Rory Kinnear – Peterloo (Amazon)
Brad Pitt – Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)

OTHER CONTENDERS

Javier Bardem – Everybody Knows (Focus Features)
Chadwick Boseman – Black Panther (Disney)
Timothée Chalamet – Beautiful Boy (Amazon)
John Cho – Searching (Screen Gems)
Jesse Eisenberg – The Hummingbird Project
Rupert Everett – The Happy Prince (Sony Pictures Classics)
Colin Firth – The Mercy (Lionsgate)
Ben Foster – Leave No Trace (Bleecker Street)
Jake Gyllenhaal – Velvet Buzzsaw (Netflix)
Garrett Hedlund – Burden
John Huston – The Other Side of the Wind (Netflix)
Oscar Isaac – Operation Finale (MGM)
Michael B. Jordan – Creed II (Warner Bros)
George McKay – Where Hands Touch
Tim Blake Nelson – The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix)
Robert Pattinson – High Life
Joaquin Phoenix – You Were Never Really Here (Amazon)
Chris Pine – Outlaw King (Netflix)
Jonathan Pryce – The Wife (Sony Pictures Classics)
John C. Reilly – The Sisters Brothers (Annapurna)
John C. Reilly – Stan and Ollie (Entertainment One)
Sam Rockwell – The Best of Enemies (STX Films)
Toni Servillo – Loro (Focus Features)
Alexander Skarsgård – The Hummingbird Project
Christoph Waltz – Georgetown

2019 Oscar Predictions: ADAPTED and ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (August)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTRESS (August)

2019 Oscar Predictions: SUPPORTING ACTOR (August)

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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