2017 Oscar Predictions: BEST ACTOR (December) – Casey Affleck Dominates; Andrew Garfield x 2 Could Be a Problem
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We’re just a week into critics’ awards for 2016 and already Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) is dominating. Winning citations from Gotham, the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle (plus a runner-up mention with Los Angeles) puts him far out ahead of the pack, vaulting him ahead of last month’s Gold Rush Gang champ, Denzel Washington (Fences).
Ryan Gosling (La La Land) remains a strong 3rd place, even though the Academy has sometimes shown a preference to the female counterparts of musicals more so than the male leads. He should be pretty safe, though.
After that is where it gets a bit hairy. Tom Hanks (Sully) seems like a safe bet but he missed out on a nomination for Captain Phillips after he received all precursor nominations going into Oscar morning with even his film and co-star, Barkhad Abdi, nominated. Last year, his Bridge of Spies was Best Picture-nominated and his co-star, Mark Rylance, was not only nominated but won. That says to me that Hanks is not much of a sure bet at all. While he is Sully and carries the film, it could end up being closer to Bridge of Spies in terms of Oscar attention and for that, at the moment, I’m predicting a snub. But, that only leaves a few more names in realistic contention; two of them being Andrew Garfield. With two lead performances in films that have both generated Oscar talk, Garfield is at risk of canceling himself out of a first nomination (his snub for The Social Network still stings a bit) or maybe he could DiCaprio himself in (his The Departed/Blood Diamond year). A nomination for Hacksaw Ridge while Silence enjoys more above the line mentions could happen.
Then there’s Joel Edgerton (Loving). Right now just two of us, Richard Anthony and myself, see Edgerton squeaking by. There hasn’t been much love for Loving and that’s usually needed for a first-time nomination. Plus, what if his co-star Ruth Negga misses out? I feel like they’re either both in or both out. The Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe nominations next week could fill out this category a bit or at least give us more to go on.
There isn’t much from the Other Contenders list that breeds promise, either. Michael Keaton in The Founder, with its multiple release dates and oddly received test screenings, have a Burnt aftertaste. Mark Wahlberg in Patriots Day could make sense as a late-breaker a la Bradley Cooper in American Sniper (not showing up at any precursors, crashes Oscar noms) but his film is going to need something before that (AFI could help). Robert De Niro in The Comedian seems like nothing more than a placeholder to have something in Other Contenders. Previous names here like Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Miles Teller (Bleed for This) and Matthew McConaughey (Gold) don’t even seem worth mentioning at this point.
Did I leave anyone out?
Here are the 2017 Oscar predictions for Best Actor from The Gold Rush Gang for December:
Robert De Niro – The Comedian
Michael Keaton – The Founder
Mark Wahlberg – Patriots Day
Follow the updated Gold Rush Gang predictions in these Oscar categories here:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
BEST FILM EDITING
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
BEST SOUND EDITING
BEST SOUND MIXING
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (the shortlist)