When the critics awards started last week things took an interesting turn for the top 3 in Best Actor. Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) won Los Angeles and remains unmoved at the top spot (where he’ll remain the entire season) and the battle for 2nd and 3rd saw Anthony Hopkins (The Father) with wins from Boston (who announced first this year) and Florida, not bad. But it was Delroy Lindo’s win from New York (for Da 5 Bloods) that shifted the race a bit. He added Boston Online and Indiana to his list and could enter the new year with the most wins so far.
With no other official wins yet, we look to runner up placement and nominations, which bumps Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal) up to #4. The fight for the 5th spot is already making this one of the most contentious races of the year with previous Oscar winners like Gary Oldman (Mank) and Tom Hanks (News of the World) in big films that could hit double digit nominations. Minari‘s Steven Yeun will try and cut through that with a quiet performance that, while it has significantly less screen time than Oldman and Hanks, is no less impactful.
With the official news finally dropping about a release date for Judas and the Black Messiah (February 12, 2021), LaKeith Stanfield moves up a bit as well. I still think there’s some room for European Film Awards Best Actor winner Mads Mikkelsen to spoil with Another Round (which swept the EFAs) but he’d have to secure some nomination hardware somewhere first.
One outlier here might once again be Hamilton, which has been accepted as eligible by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Golden Globe contention in the Comedy/Musical categories, where Lin Manuel-Miranda and Leslie Odom, Jr. would compete in Best Actor. I talked about this way back in July’s Best Actor predictions but the song remains the same, until the Academy or Disney makes an official announcement as to its eligibility there…you don’t have the vooootes.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Best Actor for December.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
1. Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)
2. Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
3. Anthony Hopkins – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)
4. Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)
5. Gary Oldman – Mank (Netflix)
6. Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)
7. Tom Hanks – News of the World (Universal Pictures)
8. LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
9. Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami… (Amazon Studios)
10. Ben Affleck – The Way Back (Warner Bros)
Other Contenders: Winston Duke – Nine Days (Sony Pictures Classics), George Clooney – The Midnight Sky (Netflix), Colin Firth – Supernova (Bleecker Street), Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger (Netflix), Max Harwood – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (20th Century), Tom Holland – Cherry (Apple TV+), John Magaro – First Cow (A24), Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round (Samuel Goldwyn Mayer), Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight), Trevante Rhodes – The United States vs Billie Holiday (Paramount Pictures), Mark Wahlberg – Joe Bell (Solstice Studios), John David Washington – Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)