Monday, January 11, 2016

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston "Trumbo"
Matt Damon "The Martian"
Leonardo DiCaprio "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne "The Danish Girl"

Other Contenders - Johnny Deep "Black Mass", Steve Carell "The Big Short", Tom Hanks "Bridge of Spies", Will Smith "Concussion"

Commentary - DiCaprio, Redmayne, Fassbender, and Cranston have hit all the marks along the way, and seem locked and loaded. That last slot is tricky. The BAFTA nomination for Damon right there at the end over Johnny Depp, who was also snubbed at the Globes sealed the deal for me. But Depp isn't out, that is the type of flamboyant performance that does well. I also think that Tom Hanks and Steve Carell could benefit from the rapid rise of The Big Short and Bridge of Spies, so there is still some wiggle room.

Best Actress
Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"
Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"

Other Contenders - Maggie Smith "The Lady in the Van", Rooney Mara "Carol", Charlotte Rampling "45 Years", Sarah Silverman "I Smile Back", Helen Mirren "Woman in Gold", Lily Tomlin "Grandma"

Commentary - Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, and Saoirse Ronan are all pretty safe at this point, but those other two slots have been a mess all season. When BAFTA put Vikander in lead here, and Mara in supporting, that seemed to be the direction the two were going. So I think Vikander is going to go lead. But that still leaves one slot. Silverman and Mirren got the SAG, Maggie Smith the BAFTA, and we are all hoping for Charlotte Rampling. But I think that the biggest movie star in the world Jennifer Lawrence, despite Joy's rapid decline, can still make it in here. She is beloved by this industry, and in a crazy year, she seems like a safe bet.

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale "The Big Short"
Idris Elba "Beasts of No Nation"
Mark Ruffalo "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance "Bridge of Spies"
Sylvester Stallone "Creed"

Other Contenders - Michael Shannon "99 Homes", Benicio Del Toro "Sicario", Jacob Tremblay "Room", Paul Dano "Love & Mercy", Michael Keaton "Spotlight", Tom Hardy "The Revenant".

Commentary - Bale and Rylance are the locks here, hitting all the marks, and Elba, with BAFTA and SAG looks pretty good as well. After the Spotlight guys were completely ignored for so long, it is Ruffalo that is emerging at the finish line as the potential nominee for that film. That leaves one slot. Michael Shannon was there for a long time after his SAG nomination, and Benicio Del Toro's Sicario BAFTA nod is telling. But after the massive standing ovation at the Globes last night, it is clear that there is a lot of love for Sly Stallone. It has yet to materialize in the form of a major nomination outside of the Globe, but he has been campaigning hard, and I think he can pull off a nod.

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara "Carol"
Rachel McAdams "Spotlight"
Helen Mirren "Trumbo"
Kate Winslet "Steve Jobs"

Other Contenders - Julie Walters "Brooklyn", Alicia Vikander "Ex Machina", Jane Fonda "Youth", Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"

Commentary - Once again, I see three: Winslet, Mara, and JJL. Helen Mirren feels safe, although missing that BAFTA nod was perplexing. A lot of folks are moving toward Vikander in Ex Machina, but I just don't see that type of performance getting in. If she does, it is because of her rising star power, and Ex Machina's surprising support across the board. But Spotlight is still popular, Rachel McAdams managed a SAG nod, and the film has had trouble lately, I still think that she is the one that benefits from Vikander's move to lead with The Danish Girl.

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