It's that foolish time of year - April Foolish to be precise. I try and suss out what's going to happen nearly a whole year from now without having seen any of the films. I am actually better than most at the year-in-advance thing... it's only later when my skills and prediction ratios put me a bit further back in the Best Prognosticators pack. Must be letting my familiarity with the films cloud the actual buzz! (They do always say that people who don't follow the race closely win Oscar pools just by casually parroting the buzz.)
The big year in advance question that people are already talking about of course is whether Leonardo DiCaprio can finally win for J. Edgar (if the film is released this year as I firmly expect it will be.)
Whether or not Leo is truly overdue is another matter. I was a very early disciple (1993, baby) but I have been losing interest over the years. I may be the only one who thinks that he's actually kind of bad in Inception. That performance just gets clunkier on repeated views, and he's not nearly as successful at making the exposition sound natural and conversational as the other actors are. But then again. That may just be the problem of "The Dead Wives Club," previously discussed. When actors get in role-ruts, it sometimes dulls the range of their imagination.
Still and all, biopics may suit him. (And they definitely suit Oscar.) He was very good in The Aviator (2004) but here's the other odd thing about his "overdue" status. It comes more from the fact that he's his generation's biggest star than from "should've won!" issues. I personally don't think he's ever come close to winning (which is usually when overdue status sets in). In 1993 the race was between Fiennes & Jones, in 2004 there was no race at all with Jamie Foxx sweeping in one of those Helen Mirren/Colin Firth style inevitabilities. 2006 was a "just happy to be nominated" situation and for the wrong film to boot.
Though he has to be considered a contender for a multiplicity of reasons, the year has barely begun. Other major stars that may have roles tailor-made for their persona or skill set include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Mel Gibson, Ryan Gosling and there's always the reliably strong actors like Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Woody Harrelson or the rising stars like Michael Fassbender who already seems to be staking claim on 2011 and His.
I have lots more to say about the actors but I'll save some of it for the supporting actor post.
What do you make of The Film Experience chart or Leo's "winning" chances?