The Oscar Prediction Chart Updates continue with the leading and supporting men. Best Actor seems especially confusing this year what with so many major stars or past Oscar nominees arriving with generally infallible bait right there in the roles. Let's do a quick chart. Here are, arguably, the five most infallible types of Oscar Bait and who is serving them up. (Obviously many of these men are still awaiting critical consensus on their performances or the fourth column would be larger.)
In that chart right there I've only visually (and alphabetically) included the top ten ranked men from my prediction chart. Now I'm even less enthused about Matt Damon's Oscar chances for Promised Land since he doesn't figure into these five columns at all. One might call him overdue if he didn't have that early writing Oscar (Good Will Hunting) but as it stands now he has no surefire hook for his Oscar campaign. This is not to say that "crisis of conscience" isn't a form of bait for leading men. That's a fairly common hook in leading roles but it's hardly the iconic carrot to dangled in front of voters like, say, debilatating suffering, addiction or ol' fashioned biographical dress up are.
If Anthony Hopkins is terrific as Hitchcock it's going to come down to the wire as to which of the top six men are given the boot on nomination morning since they're all packing serious bait as they fish for votes.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The supporting categories are the last to lock down since so much what happens there depends on coattails from leading players and Best Picture nominations. Though you can safely lock up Philip Seymour Hoffman who is already a default Oscar player before you account for his enormous amount of screen time or the kind of reviews he won for The Master. Beyond Hoffman it's still anyone's game though reactions to Lincoln, which premieres Monday at the New York Film Festival, will certainly tell us whether David Strathairn is in the hunt for his second nomination. He's currently my only predicted Supporting Actor nominee who hasn't yet won the Oscar so if he's strong and the field really turns out that way, a win wouldn't be out of the question.
As for the men who have never been nominated, I'm particularly frustrated that Michael Fassbender who was so sublime in Prometheus is fading from the conversation but I expected as much since Oscar don't do sci-fi. I'm also frustrated that Matthew McConaughey who is inarguably having the best year of his career, isn't winning traction. Frustrated by not surprised. Though Oscar himself is famously nude and male and popular with the gays, He isn't generally turned on by the sexualization of male actors. That shiny Global icon is famously resistant to the matinee idol type ignoring them altogether or making them wait until they're gray and less sexually potent for their Oscar glory. Oscar just doesn't like leading men who trade on their own eroticism. Witness the Oscar fate of Michael Fassbender in Shame last year. McConaughey's selfploitation in Magic Mike (and to a lesser but more compromising degree in The Paperboy) is probably working against him no matter how much he's stepped up his game this year.
Which actors are you banking on at this point? Where would you flipflop contenders on our charts?