With each passing week it seems clear that Anthony Hopkins is headed to his second Best Actor win after receiving career best reviews for The Father. It helps, a bit, that the Best Actor slate this year seems…not weak, per se, but more open than usual.
Still strong are Delroy Lindo in Netflix’s Da 5 Bloods, who’s receiving festival tributes and as a never-nominated veteran has a great narrative and a stellar performance behind him. It’s assumed that News of the World (from Universal Pictures) will still be a holiday player for Tom Hanks but where it’s a full, traditional theatrical release is up in the air. Universal proved itself to be ahead of the curve this summer when it pulled Trolls: World Tour from a theatrical release and putting straight to VOD, quite successfully.
Two big new additions to the top 10 this month include Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal (Amazon) as a punk drummer who’s losing his hearing. That will debut in November. Then Apple announced a massive $40M deal for The Russo Brothers’ Cherry with Tom Holland. The directors have been very vocal about Holland’s performance as Army medic suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder becomes a serial bank robber to support a drug habit being Oscar-worthy so look for a healthy campaign from the streamer there.
The lead vs supporting placements of multiple contenders remains a bit of a mystery and with that I have Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami…) and Sacha Baron Cohen (no, not for Borat, for The Trial of the Chicago 7) as top 10 possibilities this month while still keeping them in supporting as well.
Gone from the list this month are Ben Affleck in Deep Water (moved to 2021, but he also has The Way Back from WB)) and the Searchlight titles The Eyes of Tammy Faye (with Andrew Garfield) and Next Goal Wins (with Michael Fassbender) until the studio gives some clue as to their release during the eligibility period. Focus Features has also been cagey about its upcoming contenders like Matt Damon in Stillwater and Oscar Isaac in The Card Counter so they’re going to ‘Other Contenders.’ Bill Murray (On the Rocks) moves off to supporting.
Here are my ranked 2021 Oscar predictions in Best Actor for September.
Green – moves up; Red – moves down; Blue – new entry this month
- Anthony Hopkins – The Father (Sony Classics)
- Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
- Tom Hanks – News of the World (Universal)
- Gary Oldman – Mank (Netflix)
- Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros)
- Trevante Rhodes – The United States vs Billie Holiday (Paramount)
- Tom Holland – Cherry (Apple TV+)
- Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal (Amazon)
- Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami… (Amazon)
- Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)
Other contenders: Ben Affleck – The Way Back (Warner Bros), Gabriel Basso – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix), Timothée Chalamet – Dune (Warner Bros), Winston Duke – Nine Days (Sony Pictures Classics), George Clooney – The Midnight Sky (Netflix), Max Harwood – Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (20th Century), Oscar Isaac – The Card Counter (Focus Features), Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight), Joaquin Phoenix – C’mon, C’mon (A24), Mark Wahlberg – Good Joe Bell (Solstice Studios)