First 2016 Predictions
Andrew Garfield "Silence"
Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
Michael Keaton "The Founder"
Nate Parker "The Birth of a Nation"
Denzel Washington "Fences"
Other Contenders - Joe Alwyn "Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk", Casey Affleck "Manchester By the Sea", Tom Hanks "Sully", Joel Edgerton "Loving", Will Smith "Collateral Beauty", Jim Broadbent "Sense of Ending", Woody Harrelson "LBJ", Woody Harrelson "Wilson", Chris Pratt "Passengers", David Oyelowo "A United Kingdom", Brad Pitt "War Machine", Brad Pitt "Allied", Don Cheadle "Miles Ahead", Ethan Hawke "Born to Be Blue", Warren Beatty "Untitled Howard Hughes Project", Michael Fassbender "The Light Between Oceans", Colin Farrell "The Lobster", Logan Lerman "Indignation", Tom Holland "The Lost City of Z", Christian Bale "The Promise", Ryan Gosling "The Nice Guys", Russell Crowe "The Nice Guys", Dev Patel "Lion", Colin Firth "Deep Water", Matthew McConaughey "Free State of Jones", Matthew McConaughey "Gold", Mark Rylance "The BFG", Joseph Gordon-Levitt "Snowden", Mark Wahlberg "Deepwater Horizon", Alden Ehrenrich "The Yellow Birds", Tye Sheridan "The Yellow Birds", Colin Firth "Genius", Andre Holland "Moonlight", Jake Gyllenhaal "Nocturnal Animals", Ben Affleck "The Accountant", Parker Sawyers "Southside With You", Gael Garcia Bernal "Neruda", Cliff Curtis "The Dark Horse", Johan Heldenbergh "The Zookeeper's Wife", Jeremy Renner "Story of Your Life", Jim Carrey "True Crimes", Chris Evans "Captain America: Civil War", Josh Brolin "Hail, Caesar!", George Clooney "Hail, Caesar!", Ryan Reynolds "Deadpool", Stephan James "Race", Taron Egerton "Eddie the Eagle", Tom Hiddleston "I Saw the Light", Blake Jenner "Everybody Wants Some!!", Ice Cube "Barbershop: The Next Cut", Keegan-Michael Key "Keanu", Jordan Peele "Keanu", Jesse Eisenberg "Cafe Society", George Clooney "Money Monster", Sam Claflin "Me Before You", Jack Huston "Ben-Hur", Edgar Ramirez "Hands of Stone", Denzel Washington "The Magnificent Seven", Tom Hanks "Inferno", Benedict Cumberbatch "Doctor Strange", Eddie Redmayne "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them", Billy Bob Thornton "Bad Santa 2", Mark Wahlberg "Patriot's Day"
Commentary - Can Michael Keaton, after starring in two back to back Best Picture winners, finally get some overdue Oscar recognition? Weinstein moved The Founder to the summer to make some money. But if he is willing to push it, and Keaton and the film look good, the overdue factor could propel him to victory. Every couple of years Denzel has a great project. This time he brings the Tony-winning Fences to screen, re-teaming up with Viola Davis (both won Tonys for the latest revival). He is directing, he starring, and if he can recreate the stage magic, he's in. Also directing himself is Nate Parker. After two years of #OscarsSoWhite there could be two black nominees here, with Nate Parker joining for the Sundance smash The Birth of a Nation. Damien Chazelle returns after Whiplash did so well two years ago, and despite solid work, Ryan Gosling hasn't been nominated now for a decade. He could get in again. Finally, Andrew Garfield. Let's forget the Spider-Man movies for a second (although I still preferred him to Tobey Maguire). This guy has been churning out great work for a while now, and the lead role in Martin Scorsese's latest sounds like Oscar bait if anything ever has. I hope he's good, and I hope that Oscar voters take notice. Those five look good for now, but this race is going to be a wild one. The first footage of Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk received raves, and newcomer Joe Alwyn could be a Lupita Nyong'o or Jennifer Hudson, and take his first major role to an Oscar. Casey Affleck got raves out of Sundance for Manchester By the Sea, Joel Edgerton is getting good reviews out of Cannes for Loving, and Colin Farrell has been on people's minds for over a year now. After missing for Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies, I don't know if he can get in for Clint Eastwood's latest Sully, but he is definitely on the list. Jim Broadbent is getting a ton of buzz for Sense of Ending, Woody Harrelson has two potentials, as does Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey. Chris Pratt is now a genuine movie star, and this latest project with Jennifer Lawrence might make him an Oscar nominee as well. Michael Fassbender has another lead role based on a popular book, Tom Holland could build on his goodwill from Spider-Man with The Lost City of Z, and Will Smith could go where he couldn't last year. The Yellow Birds duo is a possibility, David Oyelowo is still owed a nod for Selma, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is playing Snowden, Mark Wahlberg is in a baity project, Gael Garcia Bernal is getting raves out of Cannes, and Parker Sawyers is playing the president. Jim Carrey, Jeremy Renner, Andre Holland, Blake Jenner, Jesse Eisenberg, George Clooney, Jake Gyllenhaal, and a whole bunch of superheroes, comedy legends, and big names are battling just to get their name in the race for these five competitive slots.