The Best Actor category is now starting to take shape. It’s not quite as competitive as Best Actress this year.
Right now Gary Oldman is the frontrunner for not only a nomination, but the win. In Darkest Hour Oldman plays Winston Churchill in this WW II drama. The physical transformation is amazing and the script gives Oldman multiple “Oscar type” speeches. The Academy loves an actor that transforms himself into a real life historical figure. Right now it’s Oldman’s to lose.
Timothée Chalamet should absolutely get a nomination this year for Call Me by Your Name. It would be a travesty if it doesn’t happen. The film has had incredible critical support since its debut at Sundance. Young actors rarely get Best Actor nominations, but if the Academy has any sense, they will nominate him.
Now that Phantom Thread has been seen, it’s probably a good bet that Daniel Day-Lewis will get a nomination. He has announced that this will be his final performance. (We’ll see how long that lasts).
We also have James Franco for The Disaster Artist. The film is beginning to gain some traction and Franco’s name is being bandied about as a possibility. Franco plays Tommy Wiseau in the true behind the scenes making of The Room. The Spirit Award nomination should not be ignored, making a Franco Oscar nomination not so crazy.
Much like Meryl Streep, if Tom Hanks is in a movie, he is automatically considered a contender. This year he is in Steven Spielberg’s The Post. The true-story drama takes in the Freedom of the Press and Presidential corruption. Hanks plays Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. Hanks was snubbed for Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies. He hasn’t been nominated since 2001 for Cast Away.
Jake Gyllenhaal gives one of the best performances of his career in Stronger. The film hast been a huge box office success and may get lost in the shuffle. There no denying that Gyllenhaal is overdo.
Andrew Garfield could again the mix for his turn as a paraplegic in true-story drama Breathe. This film also has mixed reviews, which may prevent Garfield from being noticed. The Academy loves him based on his nomination last year for Hacksaw Ridge.
Denzel Washington lost out last year for Fences, but he may have another chance in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Another movie with not so great reviews. He is not nearly as good here as he was in Fences, but if they need someone to fill the fifth spot it could be Washington.
Hugh Jackman is the lead in the P.T. Barnum musical The Greatest Showman on Earth. No one had seen the film yet we don’t know if he is a contender, but 20th Century Fox is not pushing the film for Oscar consideration. Jackman’s chances remain slim.
Depending on how the Academy reacts to Blade Runner 2049, we also have Ryan Gosling. Harrison Ford could sneak in, but that’s unlikely.
Right now it’s Oldman’s to lose. A lot can change between now and January.
Best Actor possibilities:
Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
Timothée Chalamet – Call Me by Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
James Franco – The Disaster Artist
Tom Hanks – The Post
Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger
Andrew Garfield – Breathe
Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Hugh Jackman – The Greatest Showman