A Look at Best Actor

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


Hostiles Gets a Trailer

Hostiles starring Christian Bale is set in 1892. He plays an Army captain who agrees to help bring a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family back to their tribal land . They are joined by a suicidal widow (Rosamund Pike) who is still grieving over the murder of her family.

Christian Bale has had three Oscar nominations and he could get fourth for Hostiles. It debuted in Telluride and many are Bale’s performance in Hostiles as his best yet.

It will be in select theaters December 22nd.

Daniel Day-Lewis Could Win One Final Oscar

Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement on Tuesday at age 60. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject his statement reads. Day-Lewis is one of the few actors to shy away from attention as you can even tell by his retirement statement. He may hate the spotlight, but he has won 3 Best Actor Oscars, more than anyone in Academy history.  

He could possibly win his 4th and final Oscar with this year’s release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. The official description from IMDB is rather vague. Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, a dressmaker (Charles James) is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family. Known for his method style of preparation, Day-Lewis is bound to make it a little more interesting than described.

Who is Charles James?

Charles James was a real designer, who was born in 1906  into a wealthy military family and became known as America’s First Couturier. James is little-known in the UK, but his influence was considerably greater across the Pond, where he designed dresses for socialites and movie stars including Marlene Dietrich. By 1950, when Phantom Thread is set.

James mixed in glamorous circles. He was a close friend of Cecil Beaton whom he met while at school in Harrow, where he also met Evelyn Waugh, before being expelled for a “sexual escapade”. He apparently made no effort to hide his homosexuality, much to the ire of his father, a British army officer. In 1954, however, he married Nancy Lee Gregory, an affluent woman from Kansas who was 20 years his junior; they were together for seven years.

James is credited with inspiring Christian Dior to create The New Look, the flirtatious, fitted styling of the late Forties that revolutionized fashion in the middle of the last century.

Besides a few behind the scenes pictures on the internet, there is very little else being said about the film. If it is any good at all, the Academy may want to honor Day-Lewis one last time with Best Actor nomination. If anything, it will get him to attend the ceremony.

Phantom Thread is set to be released on the very Oscar-friendly date of December 25th.

Will Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Win an Oscar?

This will be the million dollar question throughout the upcoming Oscar season. Most agree that Leonardo DiCaprio is long over due for an Oscar win. He has been nominated 5 times.

1993– Best supporting actor- WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. (Tommy Lee Jones won for THE FUGITIVE)

2004– Best actor nomination- THE AVIATOR (Jamie Fox won for RAY)

2006 -Best actor nomination – BLOOD DIAMOND (Forest Whitaker won for LAST MAN IN SCOTLAND)

2013 – Best Actor – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Matthew Mcconaughy won for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB)

There are several Tumblr pages dedicated to his plight :
Poor Leo Tumblr Page
Leonardo Oscar

This year DiCaprio tries again in THE REVENANT.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up to BIRDMAN, last years best picture winner.

Based on the novel by Michael Punke, THE REVENANT is based on true story.  DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is injured in a fight with a bear. His colleague John Fitzgerald played Tom Hardy robs him and leaves him for dead, but Glass survives and promises revenge on Fitzgerald.

The trailer was released this week, officially kicking off his Oscar campaign.


Right now the Best Actor race is between Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 YEARS A SLAVE and Robert Redford in ALL IS LOST.  Both rolls may seem very different, but in reality they are almost the same. Both are survival stories. Both actors have to convey the psychological toll that their predicaments cause. And both do so brilliantly, but in different ways. It is hard to imagine anyone beating out Ejiofor at this point, but nothing is a lock. The scenes below are examples of why Chiwetel Ejiofor and Robert Redford are the two to beat.





THE DALLAS BUYER CLUB premiered Saturday night in Toronto.  The world got its first look of McConaughey’s  performance as a Texas man diagnosed with HIV in the 1980s. Based on the true story, the film follows his frustration with FDA and smuggles in his own drugs.  McConaughey received a standing ovation for the role that he lost 50 pounds for.  The acting branch of the Academy love to see actors “suffer for their art”.   Matthew McConaughey could very well get his first Oscar nomination.

Jared Leto, who is unrecognizable could also get his first Oscar nomination in a supporting role.  I am not making this up.

Jared Leto in Dallas Buers Club
Jared Leto in Dallas Buers Club

Jeff Wells writes,

The surprise is that everyone sat down expecting to see a Best Actor-calibre performance from Matthew McConaughey. They got that, but when the lights came up the first words out of everyone’s mouth were “Jared Leto,” who is easily in the Best Supporting Actor race now. And Jennifer Garner really nails it also — her Dallas Buyers Club doctor is probably the best role she’s ever had and the best performance she’s ever given.

Twitter was also abuzz…

dallas2 dallasleto

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB will be released November 1st.