Mon. Jul 13th, 2020

2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions: BEST ACTOR (September)

Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES (Photo: Peter Mountain)

Adam Driver (Netflix’s Marriage Story) is #1 again this month after receiving the best reviews of his career. He also has Amazon’s The Report in November (just a week after Marriage Story‘s theatrical release) but that will only bolster him, not hurt him. I expect Driver to earn a healthy amount of critics awards this season that he’ll likely share with…

…Joaquin Phoenix from Warner Bros’ Joker. Not only did the film shock by winning the Golden Bear at the Venice Film Festival, Phoenix found himself with stellar reviews that an actor only dreams of. As a three-time Oscar nominee, he could find himself the second winner for this role (after Heath Ledger’s iconic turn in 2008’s The Dark Knight).

Jonathan Pryce, who was my #1 on paper earlier this spring and summer, bounces back into the top 3 after Netflix’s The Two Popes charmed and surprised audiences at Telluride and Toronto. A veteran angling for a first-time nomination, Pryce is due.

Leonardo DiCaprio (Sony/Columbia’s Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood) and Antonio Banderas (Sony Classics’ Pain and Glory) dip a bit but not out of the top 5. They’re both still in good shape and Banderas, like Pryce, is a veteran looking for a first nomination and this is his best chance ever.

Taron Egerton (Paramount’s Rocketman) and Mark Ruffalo (Focus Features’ Dark Waters) climb into the Next Up section this month.

Adam Sandler (A24’s Uncut Gems) got the best reviews of his career since Punch Drunk Love and critics and pundits are liking him for a potential nomination but I’m not there. I’m moving him up a bit into the Watch Out For section but it’s going to take some serious critics wins and industry nominations for me to put him any higher.

There are rumblings that Fox will position both Christian Bale and Matt Damon in lead for Ford v Ferrari but that seems awfully risky. I’m keeping Damon in lead and Bale in supporting for now (where he’s in the top 5) and Fox should do the same.

Here are my 2020 Oscar Nomination Predictions in Best Actor for September 19, 2019.

Green – moves up Red – moves down Blue – new/re-entry

1. Adam Driver – Marriage Story (Netflix)
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Joker (Warner Bros)
3. Jonathan Pryce – The Two Popes (Netflix)
4. Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Sony/Columbia)
5. Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory (Sony Classics)

NEXT UP (alphabetical by actor)

Taron Egerton – Rocketman (Paramount)
Robert De Niro – The Irishman (Netflix)
Michael B. Jordan – Just Mercy (Warner Bros)
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name (Netflix)
Mark Ruffalo – Dark Waters (Focus Features)

WATCH OUT FOR (alphabetical by actor)

Matt Damon – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Edward Norton – Motherless Brooklyn (Warner Bros)
Eddie Redmayne – The Aeronauts (Amazon)
Matthew Rhys – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems (A24)

OTHER CONTENDERS (alphabetical by actor)

Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Timothée Chalamet – The King (Netflix)
Daniel Kaluuya – Queen & Slim (Universal)
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse (A24)
Brad Pitt – Ad Astra (20th Century Fox)


Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse (A24)
Matt Damon – Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. – Waves (A24)
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes (Netflix)
Robert Pattinson – The Lighthouse (A24)
Matthew Rhys – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony/TriStar)

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