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Best Actor - April Foolish Oscar Predix 

This year's best actor race could well be entirely composed of famous stars playing real life people... as is not unfortunately uncommon as creating a wholly original character from the imagination to the point where they feel three dimensional to the audience without any "borrowed glory" can be just as if not more difficult! But awards are what they are and "true stories" are preferred. This year Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum, Gary Oldman as Winston Churchill, Benedict Cumberbath as Thomas Edison, Domhnall Gleeson as A.A. Milne, Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs, and Chadwick Boseman asThurgood Marshall. And that's just the famous real life people. Other actors going the true story / real life character route include Andrew Garfield, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jamie Bell, Miles Teller, and Tom Hanks.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Jeff Bauman, Boston Marathon bombing survivor in STRONGER

I didn't mean to predict two movies that feature stars in wheelchairs in the predictions but that's what happened with Stronger and Breathe

Other possibilities for awards honors this year include fictional characters played by Michael Fassbender, Timothy Chalamet, Colin Farrell, Idris Elba, Matt Damon, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Who do you think makes the list 10 months or so from now?


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Reader Comments (34)

Stronger - If the recent response of Lionsgate means something, they dump the film and have zero confidence. They give the film to Roadside Attractions, the release date is mostly for dump or filler contenders and they didn't promoted the film for CinemaCon. Also, reading the names behind the production, it's so B-List. So I guess another year for Gyllenhaal's Oscar chances.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterleon

Great predictions as always. I would love it if Garfield got in again second year on the trot. I've read the script for Stronger and on the basis of that I'd bet money on Gyllenhaal being in as he's got a lot to work with. It's worth pointing out that Miranda Richardson's character is basically leading in the film and she has a lot of mother-in-anguish scenes, so I'd say she's more of a bet than Maslany(!)

I hope The Darkest Hour and Oldman don't turn out to be as desperately baity as they look.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBillyBob

Is it confirmed that Armie Hammer is going supporting for "Call Me By Your Name"? Because I have him at least in the top 10, for now.

I agree about Gary Oldman; in fact, to many right now he's kind of the Viola Davis in Fences thing where someone becomes the default frontrunner in his/her category as soon as his/her role is announced. I also have him winning at the moment but it could become a case similar to Naomi Watts in "Diana", where he has a baity role but his film turns out to be terrible and that buries his chances. I'm confident for now, though.

For now I've got Oldman, Day-Lewis, Jackman, Cumberbatch and... Garfield? Or Gleeson.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I get the feeling you're not particularly bullish on the Daniel Day-Lewis/PTA collab this time...maybe it will go the way of Inherent Vice and end up with a screenplay nomination and a costume design nomination, but I think it could do much better than that.

Speaking of Day-Lewis, I'm getting some major Nine-vibes from The Greatest Showman. I could see this totally underwhelming.

I have seen multiple pundits predicting Armie Hammer in Best Actor for Call Me By Your Name, but he's in supporting here. Is this a Carol situation where both actors are obviously lead, but one will be demoted to supporting? I really hope not. I have strong hopes for this film and feel it will be the critical darling of this year.

I've always thought The Snowman was more commercial fare based on the source material, but maybe it's not. That cast sure is incredible.

My biggest bet this year is that Woody Allen's Wonder Wheel is Blue Jasmine-level great and Kate Winslet will be the Best Actress frontrunner, with Juno Temple getting best supporting actress mentions.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Thank you, this year seems very interesting for the men. I would love Hanks and Streep to win for The Post, since they are the top, modern American cinema acting icons, but they have to film the movie first. With Spielberg, and a story on the free press being so timely due to Trump, it could be a great movie.

I agree that there is a strange vibe regarding Daniel Day-Lewis for a fashion film. I am still rooting for Jake Gylenhaal. He can't ever seem to get a strong foothold with movie stardom.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

This sounds awful, but these predictions bored me. I'm not bored by the actors themselves or anything, but most of these projects don't excite me. I hope I am proven wrong and it's an exhilarating race for best actor.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCash

Joe: My ten for this category is:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
2. John Boyega, Detroit
3. Jacob Tremblay Wonder
4. Kenneth Branagh, Murder on the Orient Express
5. Luke Evans, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (It's a way to react to Wonder Woman, without having to, y'know, react to Wonder Woman.)
6. Daniel Day-Lewis, Untitled PT Anderson Project
7. Matt Damon, Downsizing
8. Ryan Gosling, Blade Runner 2049
9. Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver (If any acting nomination happens for this, it's Hamm, frankly, but this probably should be a Globe nominee)
10. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (I know people are calling this obvious on paper. But, I'm going to be cautious on this one, if only because Joe Wright's last movie was PAN. So, the potential of another Diana/Queen of the Desert? Not low.)

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Cash-I agree. Call Be My Your Name, Film Stars, and On Chesil Beach (because it's my favorite book of this millennium) are the only ones I'm clamoring for. I'm already comforting myself that Gary Oldman will have an Oscar, finally, though.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Thanks for another great list.

Ethan Hawke was great in Maudie too.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRod

PTA movies are too esoteric these days to be given surface dismissals from their plot summaries. Once a teaser is cut together the Internet will have an excuse to campaign for Oscar four for Day-Lewis.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Joe -- nothing is confirmed this early. I only put him in supporting because i know someone will cheat and from my understanding Timothee is the leadiest of the two leads (of course he is younger so perhaps he'll be deemed supporting even though he's the focal point of the movie?

April 20, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

/3rtful -- it's not a surface dismissal. In order to make predictions, you have to call ranks. Otherwise there is no way to draw up lists. Try it sometime. you'll have to "dismiss" things. This says nothing of quality. It's just fun to predict.

I'm excited to see the film.

April 20, 2017 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

What about Sam Elliott in The Hero? The poster makes me swoon and if he's as good as he was in Grandma...

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't get Oscar nominations when he has feminine glamour to compete with onscreen—The Age of Innocence, Nine. That's why we're all iffy about the PTA fashion movie. His acclaim melts near talented/beautiful actresses.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHayden

The front runner:

Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour (the Winner, let just say this now! God, I Will love this! Even more If was Huppert to give him the Oscar)

The Companion of Honour:

Hugh Jackman - The Greateast Showman
Daniel Day-Lewis - PTA MOVIE*
Idris Elba - The Mountain between Us

Maybe Will be part of the Companion of Honour too:

Steve Carell - The Battle of the Sexes

If there was place for youngers (not all the time, as we know):

Timothee Chalamet - Call me by your name
Billy Howle - On Chesil Beach
John Boyega - Detroit

*I know the Idea of 4 times Oscar Winners Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis on the same night will blow our minds, but let us all remain the mantra:

"2018 was a great movie year
Gary, Glenn and Michelle make History
As fans we only have to thanks
The universe for make this dream come true!"

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

Jon-if that's the case can we also give the fourth Oscar to acting legend John Hurt please?

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Steve Carroll can be so good in comedic dramas. People forget how great a dramatic performance he gave in 40-yr old virgin while still hitting the comedic beats. I'm hopeful he can return to that form here and think his chemistry with Stone has lots of potential.

IF he's great, I'll love him but expect oscar to pass on that type of performance sadly.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Well, this is shaping up to be a really interesting category for once.
The idea of a biopic heavy season is sad.

I love Domnall Gleeson and I will not be surprised when he gets nominated for the right role, but a biopic about AA Milne? Is there really a story there?

Jake looks stunning in the pic, and that might help. But no offense to Bauman, is this really a timeless story? Jake has made so many good choices in recent years, but this doesn't feel like one of them.

I didn't know much about the "Film Stars" movie, but I'm ready to reserve my seat now. Bening and Bell? Orgasms. Hope that reignites his career.

It's one thing if Hammer goes lead, but if Chalamet goes supporting, that's terrible fraud.

How about Oldman, Elba, Bell, Farrell, and Sutherland? That would be most satisfying.

For On Chesil Beach, are they going to ug up that cutie? I never imagined Edward as being particularly handsome, given his lack of confidence.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermikey67

@John T

"Jon-if that's the case can we also give the fourth Oscar to acting legend John Hurt please?"


(But my heart is with Michael Stuhlbarg too)

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJon

There are already some indicators that The Snowman is a dud. It's dated for October, much like The Girl on the Train was in 2016, but Universal didn't even showcase any promo materials at Cinemacon. And the film has been done for a while. Not great test screen reactions too.

April 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate

Daniel Day Lewis as fashion designer feels..."

like Daniel Day Lewis as a film director?

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Oh...my fucking LORD!!!!

Have you seen the pictures they just released of Denzel Washington in Gilroy's Inner City?


He looks like a complete and utter dork (the hair, the glasses, the suit... he looks tragic, but in a fun way). Denzel as a nerd has to count as a transformation. If Inner City gets a 2017 release, this could be a Denzel vs Oldman race. I think Sony will have it ready for an end of year awards push, not only because Denzel will an afterglow effect and narrative from his Fences loss (and many feel he deserved the win over Casey), but Colin Farrell has got some heat with recent projects, and is due a nomination. Farrell is supporting in Inner City, so he may be campaigned as well.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAveq

If Netflix breaks through finally, maybe Dustin Hoffman in The Meyerowitz Stories? They love Hoffman.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Hugh winning would be amazing but not half amazing as if he won for Logan. I hate Academy's ridiculous bias

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commentersati

Kate -- Girl on the Train did pretty well by Emily Blunt during awards season. Also October is a GREAT month for Oscar releasing (see the past 15 years of Oscar races -- as long as the studio believes in the film, of course, but that's true of every month.

I also find it hard to take test screening reactions too seriously. You're usually getting one person's opinion and they a) may have terrible taste and b) complex or challenging fare tends to do more poorly with test audiences than with critics / oscar voters...

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Though the possibilities get more interesting to me by the third tier, I have to agree with Cash to an extent. We're back on the real-life-person/disability/substance abuse train, which has me desperate for comedic and genre performances.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

What about Johnny Depp in LAbyrinth? I'm optimist about that.

Btw I'll really hope to see Gary Oldman taking the gold.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLuis

I'd like to see Harry Dean Stanton get recognized for "Lucky".

It makes me think of those nominations like Richard Farnsworth for "The Straight Story" or Art Carney for "Harry and Tonto". Stanton has been so interesting for so long, he occupies a place in my heart.

I was watching his performance in that Bernard Tavenier movie last week, and marvelling how his every line reading was fresh and unexpected.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Luis: That the movie is ungoogleable if all you remember is the title (LAbyrinth (nice, you made an un-searchable title for a pun) isn't different to the search engine than the David Bowie movie) will hurt it at least a little.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

After watching the photos of LAbyrinth on imdb, this looks like Black Mass 2.0. No thanks.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterleon

I'm going to guess Oldman, Jackman, Day Lewis, Garfield and Chalamet for now.

April 21, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAbel

By far my watch is on Gyllenhaal. I heard from multiple sources the pain he went
Through on set during filming (man whose legs were blown off) escalates him to best actor nod.

April 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Agreed with Jennifer. Surprised more attention has t been given to JG for the physical challenges he endured for this film. Not a huge fan of Boston (he cheated), but I like the story of Stronger (read the book by Bauman).

April 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKate

HUGH JACKMAN! No brainer. The press on this is very strong and very LA LA Landish. I also agree with Gary Oldman (finally) and Jake Gyllenhaal (deserving based on body of work).

April 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCaitlyn

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