Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Best Actor Predictions

The Predicted Five
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers' Club
Pros: Career has enough momentum to carry him to a win and Oscars love a comeback story.  He has gained a lot of respect and people really seem to want to work with him.  His weight loss for the part has been well documented.  A great role that touches on themes of homophobia and the healthcare system.
Cons: Many will still hold his previous career choices against him.  This movie may not be up for too much outside of acting categories, best actor winners are often in best picture nominees.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Pros: Been receiving rave reviews along with the movie which is considered the best picture frontrunner.  Ejiofor has been a very dependable actor for years that has just needed the right movie to bring him to the Oscars.
Cons: Competitive category, will definitely get a nomination but has to compete with McConaughey and Redford for the win.

Robert Redford, All is Lost
Pros: The movie has been receiving great reviews and word of mouth with most of the buzz surrounding Redford.  Redford is not just a veteran he is a legend and an icon.  He has also only received one acting nomination.  His revered status and likability along with the strength of his difficult one man performance should easily carry him to a second nomination and potential win.
Cons: The movie may not play well outside of critics and could be overshadowed by flashier productions.  Redford may have to compete with Bruce Dern for one veteran slot.  

Forest Whitaker, The Butler
Pros: A well respected, prolific actor and recent winner who led one of the breakout films of the year.  The positive reviews and incredible box-office should keep this movie as a major contender.  As the focal point among a large cast Whitaker should be easy to notice for his decades spanning role.
Cons: It is an early release and Whitaker has not been up for an Oscar since his win in 2006.  Some have found the movie to be too lightweight or have focused on specific inaccuracies.  Much of the buzz is around Oprah.

Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Pros: Veteran actor who has only received one nomination.  Won this year's top prize at Cannes.  Alexander Payne has led several actors to nominations.
Cons: Competitive year and is not as large of a name as his many competitors.    The movie may be too small to be a major Oscar contender.

Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Pros: Film has had good box office and better reviews, with the likable actor receiving most of the buzz.  Hanks is having a comeback year with this and the upcoming Saving Mr. Banks.  Playing a real life figure in recent history will help get him back in the Oscar game.
Cons: Hanks has not been up for an Oscar since 2007 and has not been nominated since 2000.  Greengrass movies get less attention for its actors.  Hanks will probably stand a better chance in supporting for Saving Mr. Banks.

Joaquin Phoenix, Her
Pros: Received a nomination last year despite missing out on several important precursors.  Seems to disappear into this character that seems very relatable to modern technology based society.  Spike Jonze works well with actors.
Cons: Movie may be too unconventional for traditional voters.  May relate better with an internet fan base than actual Oscar voters.

Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station
Pros: The kind of breakthrough role that is difficult to ignore.  Completely carries this difficult movie.  Jordan is very likable and delivers a memorable performance that balances humor and tragedy.  One of the best performances of the year, an up and coming actor.
Cons: Early release date, not as well known yet.  Needs precursor notice and the film to be a best picture contender to make it into the race.

Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Pros: Been an up and coming actor for a while now who finally has his big Oscar role.  Great word of mouth for this performance and the movies.  The status that the Coen Brothers hold in the industry should help him out.
Cons: Seems to be a very underrated performance which is harder for voters to recognize.  Acting does not always get noticed in Coen Brothers movies.  Still not sure if the movie itself will do well with voters in general.

Christian Bale, American Hustle
Pros: Recent winner reteaming with a popular, current director.  Goes through an appearance change.  Gets a big commanding role in a movie that should be a major best picture contender.
Cons: Actors making themselves appear ugly does not work as well as it does with actresses.  Won recently, could be overshadowed by his incredible supporting cast.  A lot of competition.  Movie has not been seen yet.

Also in Contention
The only other actor I can see being a potential contender is the well liked Idris Elba for Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom.  However the film has little buzz and may be too small to gain Oscar attention.  If Wolf of Wall Street ends up being released this year then Leonardo DiCaprio could gain some traction.  However moving the release date has hurt the film's momentum and DiCaprio is not the lock his fans often want to believe he is.  The popular Hugh Jackman has been said to have given his best performance for Prisoners.  Ethan Hawke could join the race if Before Midnight is up for best picture. Despite poor reviews for Secret Life of Walter Mitty at New York Film Festival Ben Stiller may still be in the race if the movie is popular with audiences.

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