Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) and Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) remain in a locked, heated battle with neither contender moving in placement nor in vote totals. That means Redmayne is champion once again and that DiCaprio is in a familiar place, 2nd. DiCaprio could be perceived as lucky though as this month saw The Revenant faltering in the top two categories, Best Picture and Best Director.
Tom Hiddleston (I Saw the Light) jumps up and over Michael Caine (Youth) this month, improving his vote total in the process. He’s now in a solid 3rd place. If the film manages a film festival or two this fall (which is entirely likely), expect those numbers to rise. Caine’s position is starting to seem tenuous as there isn’t much passion for the performance but more of a placeholder status for a ‘veteran’ in this category. That could all change once the film is released but that remains to be seen.
Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs) also sees a rise this month, but just in vote totals; he remains in 5th place. After a few test screenings of the film word is he’s not the standout he should be (that would be Kate Winslet) and that the 3rd act might be getting some retooling after bad word of mouth. That puts Fassbender’s placement in the top 5 a precarious one, ready to be usurped by a handful of other performances.
One of those might come from Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle’s decade-long passion project of bringing the story of Miles Davis (or part of it, anyway) to life has come to fruition and although it doesn’t have studio distribution as of yet it did snag a very high profile spot at this year’s New York Film Festival as the closing film. That should be enough to find a buyer but the question is: will there be enough time to mount a campaign for Cheadle this year or will it be pushed off to 2016?
Jake Gyllenhaal takes a TKO this month in the form of a double knockout in the Best Actor race. First his Fox Searchlight film Demolition gets pushed to 2016 (despite being the opener at Toronto next month), then Southpaw from The Weinstein Company debuts to less than stellar reviews, albeit decent box office. The film really needed to hit hard on both counts to keep Gyllenhaal in the race and as a result, it looks like he’s out.
Some single vote getters this month include Christian Bale in The Big Short. We know so little about the release plans for the Paramount film but he manages a single vote from Chris Pepper just in case. With so little on Paramount’s Oscar slate one would think this will find its way to a release this season but time is ticking. Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies) manages a sole vote from Long Pham, a holdout from last month. Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes finds a spot from yours truly and I realize it’s a risky one. Roadside Attractions isn’t the best Oscar campaigner and former Oscar powerhouse Miramax hasn’t had a major Oscar contender since 2008’s Doubt. But, the box office success of the film has been a surprise and one that hasn’t gone unnoticed. It also brings McKellen back together with his Gods and Monsters (1998) director Bill Condon and that previous effort resulted in an Oscar nomination for McKellen and a win for Condon. The pair could very well strike gold again for what I think is the best performance of Ian McKellen’s career.
Don’t forget, you can always get up to the minute Oscar predictions from the Gold Rush Gang on all of our 2016 Oscar Prediction Charts:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS