Monday, November 25, 2013

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Actor

November Predictions
Bruce Dern "Nebraska"
Chiwetel Ejiofor "12 Years a Slave"
Tom Hanks "Captain Phillips"
Matthew McConaughey "Dallas Buyers Club"
Robert Redford "All is Lost"

Other Contenders - Forest Whitaker "Lee Daniel's The Butler", Christian Bale "American Hustle", Leonardo DiCaprio "The Wolf of Wall Street", Michael B. Jordan "Fruitvale Station", Oscar Isaac "Inside Llewyn Davis", Idris Elba "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom", Joaquin Phoenix "Her", Mark Wahlberg "Lone Survivor"
Commentary - Last night American Hustle finally screened, and a few mixed reactions did not hold back a relatively enthusiastic response, especially from SAG and Academy members, which are the votes that count. Christian Bale is said to be fantastic in both Out of the Furnace and in a subtle role in American Hustle. Both will need some major campaigning to crack this tough race. Forest Whitaker continues to work the circuit, but once again subtlety could end up dooming his chances. Still on the outside are Leonardo Dicaprio (not sure yet), Oscar Issac, Joaquin Phoenix, and Michael B. Jordan (Harvey might campaign him as supporting, which is category fraud plain and simple). So I am still stuck with the same five I have been with for a while. I think that Ejiofor and McConaughey have broad enough performances to make the cut, and the last 20 minutes of Captain Phillips should gain Hanks another nod. Bruce Dern will have the support of the actors, I think, and older members will relate with his character. But Nebraska needs to be seen, needs more positive buzz, and needs a solid campaign to survive the onslaught. So Dern is still in, but he is vulnerable. The other one that I think is vulnerable may shock some readers and fellow bloggers. I think Robert Redford needs to keep up the pace. Some people are avoiding All is Lost, and Redford himself will probably not be a heavy campaigner. Once again, he is still in this race. But if Bale and DiCaprio come on strong, with bolder performances Redford could be pushed out. I know that seems crazy for some people, but this is a stacked year in this category, so not even the great Robert Redford is safe.

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