Friday, December 23, 2016

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Guild Predictons - Best Actor

Pre-Guild Predictions
Casey Affleck "Manchester By the Sea"
Andrew Garfield "Hacksaw Ridge"
Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
Viggo Mortensen "Captain Fantastic"
Denzel Washington "Fences"

Other Contenders - Joel Edgerton "Loving", Tom Hanks "Sully", Colin Farrell "The Lobster", Ryan Reynolds "Deadpool", Michael Keaton "The Founder", Warren Beatty "Rules Don't Apply", Chris Pine "Hell or High Water", Jake Gyllenhaal "Nocturnal Animals", Matthew McConaughey "Gold", Michael Keaton "The Founder"

Commentary - Will the Oscars really match up with SAG 19/20 this year? Even a year after they went 13/20? The answer is: of course they can. As soon as the SAG nominations came out last year, pundits immediately knew that they were completely off the mark. And while there are always those nominations that immediately feel like they are out (Emily Blunt is this year's), this year, the SAG nominations neatly lined up with a lot of what we all assumed was happening in the awards race. Sure in races like Best Actress, some big names were left off like Annette Bening, Isabelle Huppert, Taraji P. Henson, Ruth Negga, etc. But in a category as stacked and competitive as that one, it was bound to happen. So once again, I am going to move around my predictions in Best Actor to match the SAG five (and all five were nominated by the Globes as well). Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington seemed locked at this moment, and are probably going to be the two battling it out for the win. Affleck was clearly in the lead, but the resurfacing of his past sexual harassment claims are hurting his chances, and Denzel could overtake him. Or Oscar voters could go for younger talent like Ryan Gosling and Andrew Garfield, both of whom feel like pretty safe bets for a nomination. Both are leads in Best Picture contenders, both are popular in their field, and if they don't want to rush Denzel to a third one so fast, then this race might shift entirely over the next couple of weeks. The final slot was reserved for Joel Edgerton or Tom Hanks for most of the season. But neither made the SAG list, and Hanks also missed the Globe cut, paving the way for an out of the box pick. Captain Fantastic has been slowly gaining steam over the last couple of weeks, and now Mortensen has an Indie Spirit, Golden Globe, and SAG nomination under his belt. While BAFTA could throw us for a loop with that slot, I think Mortensen is on his way to a surprise second Oscar nomination.

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