Post Festival Predictions
Casey Affleck "Manchester By the Sea"
Robert DeNiro "The Comedian"
Andrew Garfield "Silence"
Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
Denzel Washington "Fences"
Other Contenders - Michael Keaton "The Founder", Joel Edgerton "Loving", Tom Hanks "Sully", Warren Beatty "Rules Don't Apply", Ben Affleck "Live By Night", Matthew McConaughey "Gold", Dev Patel "Lion", Brad Pitt "Allied", Chris Pratt "Passengers", Nate Parker "The Birth of a Nation", Don Cheadle "Miles Ahead", Ethan Hawke "Born to Be Blue", Colin Farrell "The Lobster", Viggo Mortensen "Captain Fantastic", Miles Teller "Bleed for This", Adam Driver "Paterson", Will Smith "Collateral Beauty", Mark Wahlberg "Patriot's Day", Mark Wahlberg "Deepwater Horizon", Logan Lerman "Indignation", Chris Pine "Hell or High Water", Shia LeBeouf "American Honey", Parker Sawyers "Southside With You", Michael Shannon "Midnight Special", Lucas Jade Zumann "20th Century Women"
Commentary - Ryan Gosling and Casey Affleck are definitely in the lead at the moment. Both of their films have premiered to rave reviews, and both films are big Best Picture contenders. It doesn't hurt that both guys are also previous nominees, with stellar careers. Beyond that I am currently pick three performances sight unseen. Denzel is, well, Denzel. He is directing himself in a role that won him a Tony Award. Never discount the power of one of our finest actors. Silence is the newest Scorsese film, and Andrew Garfield has been flirting with Oscar for years. In a weaker race, he could finally make the cut. Finally, a newcomer, The Comedian, with Taylor Hackford at the helm, puts Robert DeNiro in this race. He is the legend, and until some of the others sort themselves out, I think that his buzzed role could once again net him an Oscar nomination. Micheal Keaton has fallen out of the top five, as The Founder seems to have been lost in the mix. Good reviews will put him back in. Joel Edgerton and Tom Hanks are fantastic in their roles, but Loving seems to have slipped a bit (its theatrical release could boost it), and if Hanks couldn't get in for Captain Phillips, I'm not predicting him till we see some precursors. Coming up are folks like Warren Beatty, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Brad Pitt, Chris Pratt, Will Smith and Mark Wahlberg, all in big roles that will either soar or crash. Then there are the earlier contenders hoping for a revival later in the year: Don Cheadle, Colin Farrell, Ethan Hawke, Adam Driver, Miles Teller, Viggo Mortensen, Logan Lerman, Michael Shannon, Parker Sawyers, Shia LeBeouf, and Chris Pine. In a weaker race this year, don't be surprised if an early contender gets back in the race.