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

 discuss on the blog

April Foolish Predicted Five

Tom Hardy
never nominated
The Revenant
(Fox)
Christmas

Billy Magnussen
never nominated
Bridge of Spies
(Disney)
Oct 16th

Seth Rogen
never nominated
Steve Jobs
(Universal)
Oct 9th

Kurt Russell
never nominated
The Hateful Eight
(Weinstein Co)
TBA
Benicio Del Toro
2 noms | 1 win
Sicario
(LionsGate)
Sept 18th
 He's a hot commodity right now, and despite rumors of tussles with Inarritu, he's a great actor and Inarritu gets great performances from them. This fast rising star is so infinitely likeable that if he gets the right role in a high profile film, watch out. But will this be an actor's movie or more of a mainstream director's show?   I accidentally captioned this photo "jonah hill" at first. Ooops but same principle. Oscar loves a comic actor who gets serious in prestige films. Playing real people always helps, too  Early word from table reads and such is that Russell is "john wayne-esque" in this. And he's exactly the type of famous never-honored actor that could have a good Oscar run if the stars align. It's been a while. But what's his role like? Someone besides Blunt will surely pop if the film is well liked.
Tier 2 - Also Look Like Good Bets This (Too) Early

Alec Baldwin
1 nomination
Untitled Howard Hughes
(TBA)
TBA

Bradley Cooper
3 noms (for acting)
Joy
(Fox)
Christmas
Jude Law
2 nominations
Genius
(TBA)
TBA
Samuel L Jackson
1 nomination
The Hateful Eight
(Weinstein Co)
TBA

Steve Carell
1 nomination
Freeheld
(Lionsgate)
TBA

 Wild Card possibility since little is known about this film yet (though it's finished shooting) but he plays Howard Hughes lawyer. He plays a Home Shopping Network executive to Jennifer Lawrence's entrepeneural single mom. How big is the role. Can magic strike again?  If it stays true to the book about the famous editor Max Perkins, he'll have a co-lead role essentially as the troubled author Thomas Wolfe. And Jude is a great talent in need of a comeback.   It's a role said to be tailor made for him with showy monologues and such. BUT he was the absolute best part of Django Unchained and never got any traction, so who knows? He's a gay activist leader in this true story of a lesbian couple fighting for pension benefits. But how big is the role and is there any Foxcatcher afterglow? 
Tier 3 - or maybe ?
Ralph Fiennes
2 nominations
A Bigger Splash
(Fox Searchlight)
TBA

Bruce Dern
2 nominations
The Hateful Eight
(Weinstein Co)
TBA

Michael Keaton
1 nomination
Spotlight
(Open Road)
TBA
Forest Whitaker
1 nom | 1 win
Southpaw
(Weinstein Co)
Jul 31st
Benedict Cumberbatch
1 nomination
Black Mass
(Warner Bros)
Sept 18th
 As Tilda's ex lover who brings his pot-stirring daughter (Dakota Johnson) along when he visits a European couple, this could be suave sinister magic. And honestly, AMPAS owes him  Given that, according to most reports (unless the script has changed) the film takes place mostly in one location -- it's a true ensemble piece. Who will pop up as the MVP. We won't know until we're seeing it.   If AMPAS feels bad that he lost for Birdman (and really he shouldn't have) maybe they'll invite him back for this true story as this newspaper editor of a team investigating Catholic Church child molestation scandals    Oscar has been known to love boxing movies, and they've nominated boxing mentors before. Might this one return Whitaker to the field?  He plays the senator brother to Depp's mafia FBI informant lead. And it doesn't hurt that the world is in love with him right now.
Tier 4 - Anything is Possible This Early. Imagine the Scenarios.
Tom Holland
never nominated
In the Heart of the Sea
(Warner Bros)
Dec 11th 

David Morse
never nominated
Concussion
(Columbia)
Christmas

Len Cariou
never nominated
Spotlight
(Open Road)
TBA
Jack O'Connell
never nominated
Money Monster
(TBA)
TBA
Rick Springfield
never nominated
Ricki & The Flash
(Sony/Tri-star)
Aug 7th
Remember how great he was in The Impossible. Now he's up against the forces of wet nature again in this seafaring epic. Not that Oscar generally notices teenage boys in the acting categories  It's always fun to imagine long time character actors getitng their due in the category that was initially designed to honor them. And this *might* be a good role given that he's one of the key former football players in the head-injury NFL drama  It's always fun to imagine long time character actors getitng their due in the category that was initially designed to honor them. And this *might* be a good role given that he's the cardinal covering up the catholic church scandal Who knows if this film will be ready in time but it sounds like a very big co-lead villainous role and those can be mighty potent in the supporting category. Plus fast-rising stardom sure helps you get free press.   Hey, Cher wasn't exactly taken seriously before she acted with Meryl Streep either... He plays a member of her band that's romantically involved with her.
Tier -Everyone Else.
Let's see who pops as MVP of their films
Kyle Chandler - Carol; Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Dean O'Gorman, Michael Stuhlbarg Trumbo; RJ Cyler - Me and Earl and the Dying Girl; Alan Rickman, Matthias Schoenaerts - A Little Chaos; Woody Harrelson, Aaron Paul, Casey Affleck - Triple 9; Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts - Far From the Madding Crowd; Rick Springfield, Sebastian Stan, Kevin Kline - Ricki & The Flash; Channing Tatum, Walton Goggins, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Demian Bichir - The Hateful Eight; Cillian Murphy, Brendan Gleeson- In the Heart of the Sea; Mark Rylance, Alan Alda - Bridge of Spies; Guy Pearce, Dominic West - Genius; Hugh Jackman -Pan; David Krumholz, Bradley Whitford - I Saw the Light; Domnhall Gleeson, Will Poulter - The Revenant; Emory CohenDomnhall Gleeson - Brooklyn; Sean Harris, David Thewlis, Jack Reynor - MacBeth; Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson - Snowden; Matthias Schoenaerts- A Bigger Splash; Jack O'Connell, Christoph Waltz - Tulip Fever; Joel Edgerton - Black Mass; Benicio Del Toro, Jon Bernthal, Josh Brolin - Sicario; Michael Shannon, Luke Grimes - Freeheld; Robert DeNiro & Edgar Ramirez - Joy; Bill Murray - Aloha; Alec Baldwin, David Morse, Eddie Marsan - Concussion; Oscar Isaac - Ex Machina; Jack O'Connell, Giancarlo Esposito, Dominic West - Money Monster; Mark Ruffalo, Stanley Tucci, Liev Schreiber, Len Cariou - Spotlight;