Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

2016 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR


With each day, frontrunner Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) gets closer and closer to being an Oscar winner. He has a perfect score with the Gold Rush Gang, meaning all 10 members have him at #1 (and many have for a long time). His Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations positioned him even better but he’s also doing something he hasn’t in quite a while; he’s winning critics awards too. Just last week he won Chicago, San Diego, Dallas-Fort Worth and Las Vegas. It’s a groundswell that is going to put him so far out in front that his long journey to the Oscar stage will finally come to fruition.

Now, some people are trying to position Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) as a formidable competitor to DiCaprio. To me, that’s nothing more than trying to create a race where there isn’t one. Much like Julianne Moore (Still Alice) last year, the time has come and it’s best to just let it. Narratives are important and right now, no one has a better one than DiCaprio. It won’t hurt that The Revenant is also likely to scoop up a ton of other nominations next month, including Best Picture, Director and techs galore.

Elsewhere, we’re just kind of seeing the Best Actor chart being a ‘who gets a participant ribbon?’ list. Michael Fassbender’s Los Angeles critics win for Steve Jobs is strong enough to put him in the #2 slot and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) still holds on at #3 despite the perceived lack of passion for his performance (his co-star Alicia Vikander has grabbed almost all of that). Matt Damon (The Martian) is a tough call; he missed out on SAG, which should have been an easy get but landed a Comedy Globe nod.Same goes for Steve Carell (The Big Short). Johnny Depp (Black Mass) made SAG but missed the Globe (of all places).

A handful of actors sit even below this with no votes but are still a part of the race in some form. Golden Globe nominated Will Smith (Concussion), Michael Caine (Youth) or Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes) could stage a coup if one of these guys are this year’s ‘Who Got Nominated for Everything and Then Missed an Oscar Nom?’ contender. In reality, that could be anyone but DiCaprio. If Michael Keaton (Spotlight) had been campaigned in Lead (where he should be) he would probably be a very likely nominee here. He won the Best Actor prize from New York’s film critics but Open Road Films hasn’t budged on their ‘all actors are supporting’ push and it could sink Keaton’s chances entirely.

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 50 1
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs 32 2
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl 28 3
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo 24 4
Matt Damon, The Martian 12 5
Steve Carell, The Big Short 3 6
Johnny Depp, Black Mass 1 7

To follow the Gold Rush Gang and their Best Actor predictions and find out how we voted, go here.

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