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88th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2015 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog


Sept 28th Predicted Five

The competition is thinning with Spotlight going "all supporting" and weak reviews for some second tier contenders

Eddie Redmayne
1 nom | 1 win
The Danish Girl
Nov 27th

Michael Fassbender
1 nomination
Steve Jobs
Oct 9th

Michael Caine
6 noms | 2 wins
(Fox Searchlight)
Dec 4th

Leonardo DiCaprio
4 noms for acting
The Revenant
Matt Damon
2 noms for acting
The Martian
Oct 2nd

Real Life Role Alert: He's playing trans pioneer Lili Elbe

Oscar loves actors who "transform" and they just handed him an Oscar for doing just that. Now, a new challenge: playing before & after of an historic gender reassignment surgery

Real Life Role Alert: He's playing computer genius Steve Jobs. Bonus points: also trying his hand at Shakespeare this year in MacBeth

If Fassbender is still against campaigning this could be tough to land but it looks classy / dramatic



Oscar has always had a jonesing for Michael Caine when he's got a juicy role. They also like movies about movies so don't bet against this one, however quiet the online buzz will continue to be (given that the movie skews older audiences)


Real Life Role Alert: He's playing fur trapper frontiersman Hugh Glass

With Leo it all comes down to the countdown. Everyone (including unfortunately Leo) knows he's going to win one eventually so they wait... will it be this time?

Despite the "he might die!" drama in this sci-fi survival blockbuster, this would be an atypically light nominee in this category. But Damon has often generated goodwill and he's a lot of fun in a movie he truly carries.

Tier 2 - Other Strong Contenders
Johnny Depp
3 nominations
Black Mass
(Warner Bros)
Sept 18th
Sir Ian McKellen
2 nominations
Mr. Holmes
July 17th
Michael B Jordan
never nominated
Nov 25th 
Tom Hardy
never nominated
Oct 2nd
 Jake Gyllenhaal
1 nomination
(Weinstein Co)
Jul 31st / TBA

He was once an actor that everyone eagerly awaited each time to see what he would do with a role. Reviews suggest an artistic comeback but they may want to welcome him back only if this sticks in case he just returns to wacky cartoon characters?



I'll admit that I may have been sleeping on this one. Though Mr Holmes seemed too modest for Oscar play (and Oscar has been resistant to out leading men -- even McKellen who easily should've won already) the movie performed well with legs at the arthouse. The campaign is stepping up with tributes now for McKellen.


 He's a young actor that the public and critics seem excited about and Oscar attention generally follows if those two groups agree. Will they take this reigniting of the Rocky franchise seriously or is this strictly a commercial play?


Real Life Role Alert: He's playing twin gangsters Reggie & Ronnie Kray

This might be too outre and low profile for the Academy's acting branch and when was the last time someone playing twins was nominated? But his reviews are sensational and it's the right time in his career for Oscar to take note


Gyllenhaal is on a roll and he's overdue for nomination #2. Oscar loves boxers and they owe him  after Nightcrawler.


Tier 3 - Long Shots
Don Cheadle
1 nomination
Miles Ahead
Oct 10th
Tom Hanks
5 noms | 2 wins
Bridge of Spies
Oct 16th 
Bryan Cranston
never nominated
(Bleecker Street)
Nov 6th
Tom Courtenay
2 nominations
45 Years
(Sundance Selects)
Géza Röhrig
never nominated
Son of Saul
Real Life Role Alert: He's playing music legend Miles Davis

The title is too punny for total confidence but the well positioned spotlight at NYFF is promising. Can he also direct? We'll see.


Bridge of Spies will undoubtedly be taken seriously given its powerhouse team but is it an "actor's movie"? The trailer was underwhelming and if he didn't get in for Capt. Phillips...


Real Life Role Alert: He's playing Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo

Hollywood enjoys Hollywood history and they also like to vote for retro causes via proxy. But TIFF didn't generate any buzz for this

He's excellent in the co-lead role as a confused husband who gets unthinkable news about an ex girlfriend. But it's a recessive character and the film belongs to Charlotte Rampling which might make this nomination challenging unless they really push them as a His & Hers unit.

Oscar rarely goes for leading men with subtitles... unless they're very famous. But the crowd is thinning and people love this movie. Could it happen?  


Tier 4 - Other Leads. Someone Could Surprise
Whoever is supposed to be the lead of - The Big Short; Abraham Attah - Beasts of No Nation;  Tom Hiddleston - I Saw the Light; Jesse Eisenberg - End of the Tour; Bradley Cooper - Burnt; Will Smith - Concussion; Joseph Gordon-Levitt - The Walk; Joaquin Phoenix Irrational Man; Chris Hemsworth - In the Heart of the Sea;  Antonio Banderas - The 33; Chiwetel Ejiofor - Secret in Their Eyes; Paul Dano - Love & Mercy