Can Leonardo DiCaprio ever catch a break? Every time it seems he has the role that will net him that elusive Oscar (this year it’s The Revenant), someone comes in and grabs it from him. Usually it’s later in the year when the sting hurts a bit more but this year it’s right off the bat, and from the most recent Best Actor winner, no less. Just when you thought Eddie Redmayne couldn’t have a baiter project than Stephen Hawking, his role as one of the world’s first transgender persons, Lili Elbe, is poised to make him the first back to back Oscar winner since Tom Hanks in the 1993/1994 Oscar years. Now yes, it’s only May and we have months and months to go and things could change. But then, sometimes they don’t and frontrunners are out of the gate so quickly and get so far ahead that simply no one can catch them. With Focus Features behind Redmayne’s The Danish Girl (just as they were with his Oscar-winning The Theory of Everything) the Gold Rush Gang is putting nearly all of their chips on the table for him. Only two members, James Narvey and Jacqui Sutherland don’t have him at #1 and he’s still their #2.
Further down the list we have another potential match-up between Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition from Fox Searchlight) and Bradley Cooper (Adam Jones from The Weinstein Company). After netting every single precursor for Nightcrawler (SAG, BAFTA, Golden Globe, BFCA) Gyllenhaal missed out on an Oscar nomination in favor of American Sniper‘s Bradley Cooper who had zero precursor support. It was his third nomination in three years and he could very easily make it four with Adam Jones, putting him in Marlon Brando territory. Let that sink in for a bit.
But the secret spoiler here could be Tom Hiddleston. Yes, Loki from The Avengers and Thor. His Hank Williams biopic, I Saw the Light, was picked up by Sony Pictures Classics and they know how to run a campaign and win Oscars. Right now just four of us have him getting a nomination (Evan Kost, Jason Osiason, Kenneth Polischuk and myself) but expect that to grow. Scattered votes for Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs, Bryan Cranston in Trumbo and Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies round out the votes from the Gold Rush Gang for May.
For an expanded Best Actor chart click here. For the rest of the Gold Rush Gang’s Oscar Predictions click below.