Monday, July 21, 2014

The Oscar Narrative: July Nomination Predictions - Best Actor

2014 Nomination Predictions
Steve Carell "Foxcatcher"
Michael Keaton "Birdman"
Oscar Isaac "A Most Violent Year"
Joaquin Phoenix "Inherent Vice"
Channing Tatum "Foxcatcher"

Other Contenders - Chadwick Boseman "Get On Up", Timothy Spall "Mr. Turner" , Benedict Cumberbatch "The Imitation Game", Robert Downey Jr. "The Judge",  Brendon Gleeson "Cavalry", Eddie Redmayne "Theory of Everything", Brad Pitt "Fury", Ben Affleck "Gone Girl", Matthew McConaughey "Interstellar", Miles Teller "Whiplash", Ralph Fiennes "The Grand Budapest Hotel", Jack O'Connell "Unbroken", David Oyelowo "Selma", Adam Sandler "Men, Women, & Children", Michael Fassbender "Macbeth", Ellar Coltrane "Boyhood", James McAvoy "The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby", James Franco "True Story", Jonah Hill "True Story" Bill Hader "The Skeleton Twins", Tom Hardy "Locke", Tom Hardy "The Drop", Alfred Molina "Love is Strange", Christian Bale "Exodus: Gods and Kings", Philip Seymour Hoffman "A Most Wanted Man", Tommy Lee Jones "The Homesman", Christoph Waltz "Big Eyes"

Commentary - I have moved out earlier contenders such as Chadwick Boseman and Timothy Spall, as other contenders have popped up, but they are no less important contenders in this race that, as usual, is stacked this year. And contenders such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz, as previously mentioned are borderline lead/supporting. The first place to start is Steve Carell. He is apparently mesmerizing in Foxcatcher, a completely unrecognizable performance. But there is already a big push for Tatum. His profile has risen considerably recently, and I honestly think he is one to watch for in his race, and definitely one to watch if they drop him down to supporting. Joaquin Phoenix surprised a lot of people with a nod for The Master, proving that his "breakdown" or whatever it was did not stop voters from recognizing his brilliance as an actor. He is re-teaming up with Paul Thomas Anderson, and it was just announced that Inherent Vice will be the NYFF centerpiece. Another nomination, his fourth, could be on its way soon enough. I had initially hesitated on Birdman. But new trailer and word from those close to the project have sparked a ton of buzz. So naturally, Michael Keaton, at its center is benefiting from it. If it is as unique and interesting as it looks, he will certainly be in this race. It is the last slot that I am having trouble with. Boseman and Spall are tough ones to not include. But I am going with Oscar Isaac. His profile is rising, many felt he was snubbed last year for Inside Llewyn Davis, and I have a good feeling about A Most Wanted Man. But there are plenty of other possibilities. Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne are young British talents with two big leading roles this year in period pieces. Robert Downey Jr. up against Robert Duvall in the The Judge could be pure gold. Brad Pitt in Fury and Jack O'Connell could capture the intensity of war with passion in Fury and Unbroken. Ben Affleck has won two Oscars, but has never been nominated for acting. Gone Girl could change his fate. Ralph Fiennes is the early contender that may stick around. David Oyelowo was underrated in The Bulter last year, and has a potentially star-making role in Selma. Ellar Coltrane has a performance stretching twelve years, and Miles Teller is an up and coming star, with rave reviews out of Sundance with Whiplash. Even Adam Sandler, yes Adam Sandler, could see some attention if Jason Reitman's Men, Women, & Children is a hit. Finally, don't forget about James McAboy, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Alfred Molina, and Tommy Lee Jones.

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