Early Best Actor Predictions – Special Features #4

A couple of weeks ago, I released my early predictions for Best Picture at the 90th Academy Awards. This week, I’m looking at another category. Last year, Casey Affleck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as Lee Chandler in Manchester by the Sea. But what about next year? Is it finally time for Gyllenhaal or Oldman, or will Hanks or Day-Lewis nab yet another win?

One of the things that have changed since my early Best Picture predictions is the fact that I no longer believe in The Current War after hearing so many negative reactions. Similarly Denzel Washington has been removed from my ‘Other Potential Contenders’ due to reactions to his new film Roman J. Israel, Esq.. Just like with the Best Picture predictions, I’ll start by listing my top five candidates in alphabetical order (for movies), I’ll also give a substantial list of other potential contenders and long shots for the nomination. Again, I must remind you that I have not seen most of these films. So, this is tough.


Predicted Best Actor Nominees – As of September 2017


Timothée Chalamet — CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Chalamet is perhaps known best for his appearance in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, but 2017 is his breakthrough year. He appears in Scott Cooper’s Hostiles, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, and, last but certainly not least, Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name. Based on early reviews, Chalamet is getting his first nomination for what is supposedly an incredibly strong film from Guadagnino.


Gary Oldman — DARKEST HOUR

If you had asked me to pick the winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Actor, then Gary Oldman would be my pick. Awards-wise Gary Oldman is one of our most under-appreciated actors, as he has surprisingly only been nominated once before (for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy). I will say this, though. Having only seen the trailers for the film, I’m not sure how I feel about all of the make-up that, ahem, makes up the look of Oldman’s character. It may be off-putting to some.


Daniel Day-Lewis — PHANTOM THREAD

We still have not gotten the chance to see how good Daniel Day-Lewis is in a trailer. Day-Lewis is one of the best actors of our time, so he should be one of the frontrunners. It just makes sense.


Jake Gyllenhaal — STRONGER

Jake Gyllenhaal has shockingly only been nominated for one Oscar (for Brokeback Mountain). Somehow his performances in Nightcrawler, Zodiac, and even Nocturnal Animals were all overlooked by the Academy. However, I am pretty sure that we’ll see Gyllenhaal nab his second Oscar nomination for Stronger, as his role ticks all the boxes for Oscar bait movies.


Tom Hanks — THE POST

We still have not seen a trailer for this Steven Spielberg film, but it’ll probably be released any day now. David S. Pumpkins Tom Hanks has previously won two Oscars and a third win may be on the horizon. This film’s star-studded cast is led by Hanks and Meryl Streep, and I think they both have a chance — even though I have no idea how large their roles are.


Other Potential Contenders:

  • Andrew Garfield — Breathe
  • Robert PattinsonGood Time
  • Christian BaleHostiles
  • Hugh JackmanLogan
  • Harry Dean StantonLucky
  • James FrancoThe Disaster Artist
  • Hugh JackmanThe Greatest Showman

Now, Joaquin Phoenix would actually be among the ‘Potential Contenders’ were it not for the fact that his new film You Were Never Really Here has supposedly been pushed to 2018. However, if that isn’t the case, then he’s probably got a good chance based on early reactions to the film. I definitely think there is a good chance Stanton gets a nomination posthumously, but not just because he is no longer with us. The two biggest surprises here may be Franco for The Disaster Artist and Jackman for Logan. I just don’t think this category is as packed as it could be, and I, especially, think Jackman could sneak in with either Logan or The Greatest Showman.

Long Shots: 

  • Ryan Gosling — Blade Runner 2049
  • Matt Damon Downsizing
  • Denzel WashingtonRoman J. Israel, Esq.
  • Adam SandlerThe Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)
  • Andy SerkisWar for the Planet of the Apes
  • Jeremy RennerWind River

Serkis is the one contender who I’d most like to see get a nomination. What he has done with Caesar is amazing, and I honestly think he deserves recognition from the Academy. I think Damon and Washington, though household names, are tough to predict in the category based simply on early reactions.


LAST FRIDAY: What’s Next For Indiana Jones? – Special Features #3

NEXT FRIDAY: Early Best Actress Predictions – Special Features #5

– Jeffrey Rex

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