Oscar Race: Best Actor

I think this is it, people. I think this is the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally gets his Oscar. Well, he will at least get nominated, and that is a guarantee. Much like the Best Actress race, most of the five slots here are pretty easy to fill. Along with DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), and Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) are all going to get their names called. Okay, it’s not that certain. For Fassbender, it is, but for Redmayne and Cranston, it’s more like a 90% chance than 100%.

Unlike the Best Actress slot, that fifth slot is extremely hard to predict. Johnny Depp (Black Mass) received a SAG nomination but missed out on a Golden Globe. He has been on the campaign trail, and almost everyone acknowledges it is refreshing to see Depp actually acting (rather than Mortdecai-esque mugging) again. But no one is talking about Black Mass. No one.

Will Smith (Concussion) was the man who took Depp’s place at the Golden Globes. Everyone likes Will Smith. It’s hard not to, and he has a history of getting nominations for biopics (Ali, The Pursuit of Happyness). He has the “tell the truth” finger pointing clip to show at the ceremony. He has the charm capabilities to get people to vote for him. There is a good possibility he will be one of the nominees, but like Black Mass, who is talking about Concussion?


Another contender who received a Golden Globe nomination (but in the Musical or Comedy category) was Matt Damon (The Martian). Like Will Smith, it is really difficult to not like Matt Damon. However, The Martian is a film that has maintained a conversation since it came out and will be nominated in plenty of categories. This is why I am picking Damon to fill that fifth slot. He gets to be funny and charming, plus he has the acting challenge of acting against nobody. The Martian is a very well liked movie, and I think that will propel Damon to getting a nomination.

Cases could be made for Michael Caine (Youth), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Ian McKellan (Mr. Holmes), and Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight), but I am not sure the passion is there for any of them that compares to the others I’ve mentioned. The best chance of this group is Carell, who is continuing to prove he has tremendous range as an actor.

My Predictions:

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

In the race between Depp, Smith, and Damon, who do you think will win out? Will it be more than one and Redmayne, Cranston, or someone else ends up off the list?

Other Oscar Category Predictions:

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