Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Year In Advance Oscar Predictions 2013: Best Actor

I'm back!!!! Hello, is anyone out there? I know, I had given up hope that I would get to blogging again as well. But, here I am! I'm gonna try to blog at least once a week, so please stay with me. Also, that post about Edward Scissorhands couldn't be the last thing I did on here...

By now, everyone is aware of how the Oscars went down this past Sunday. So here's a brief recap: Seth McFarlane brought in younger viewers...but at what cost, I ask you? Everyone hates Annie Hathaway still–as a person, not an actress–and she was upstaged by her dress's weird nipple darts. Christoph Waltz won his 2nd Best Supporting Actor Oscar for a lead role and kinda doing the same thing he did in Inglorious Bastards. J.Law fell on the way to get her Oscar and the world (and by world, I mean the internets)  has decided that they have a new best friend who can do no wrong. DDL won his 3rd Best Actor Oscar and was funny, y'all! Meanwhile, Meryl Streep presented it to him all the while wondering why it took 30 years for her to get her third and only 5 measly years for D-Day. Sexist. Argo is now the Driving Miss Daisy of our time, being the first film since that gem to win Best Picture without a Best Director Nomination. But, Affleck still won, so...bygones. Whew. But, I never wrote anything about this past Oscar season, so let's pretend like it never happened. Agreed? Good.

But I'm not here to talk about the films of 2012, that's so last year. That's right, it's time to look ahead to next year's Oscars with my annual Year in Advance Oscar Predictions for acting! You can read all about how well I did this past year here and here. Let's just say Daniel Day-Lewis and Annie were both there. Just don't pay attention to that Best Actress category...yikes. Let's get started! I'll do Lead Actor in this post and come back this week for Actress and the Supporting categories.

Best Actor
Bruce Dern Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor Twelve Years a Slave
Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club

Bruce Dern Nebraska 
The Role: Oscar favorite director, Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) returns to his home state (I bet you can't guess what it is) in this father-son road trip film. Bruce Dern plays the distant, booze-soaked patriarch that journeys with his son (played by–wait for it–SNL's Will Forte! Did not see that one coming) from Montana to Nebraska to pick up the winnings of Publisher's Clearing House. Those giant checks are a bitch to mail. Along the way, they stop in the small town in Nebraska that Dern's character grew up in. And I don't want to spoil anything, but I'm guessing lessons are learned.
Why Him: Payne's past films have been showcases for Best Actor, picking up nominations for George Clooney, Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt), and Paul Giammati. The former Oscar nominee (Best Supporting Actor Coming Home) and father of Oscar nominee, Laura Dern, is one of those respected actors that have made a career in charactery, supporting parts. A nomination here in lead would be, in a way, an acknowledgement of his entire career which began in the early 60's. 

Are we sure this isn't a still from Revolutionary Road?
Leonardo DiCaprio The Wolf of Wall Street 
The Role: DiCaprio and Marty Scorsese team up for the fifth time in this true-life story based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, a New York stockbroker in the 90's who served jail time because he refused to cooperate in a huge securities fraud case involving corruption and involvement with the mob (well, it wouldn't by Scorsese without the mob).
Why Him: The three-time Oscar nominee has yet to win and has missed out on his past two bids with J. Edgar and Django Unchained. Leo is one of those actors that does weighty, Oscary roles that don't always payoff (see those 2 mentioned films. Then again, you can skip J.Edgar), but I always predict him to be nominated because a) he really wants it and b) he's actually good. One of these days he's actually gonna win. And this may be a good year for him if May's The Great Gatsby also turns out well. Then again, there's rumors that he'll go full frontal in the film and that there's lots of graphic sex scenes. Oscar tends to be weary of male's being sexualized (poor Michael Fassbender and Matthew McConaughey), so we'll just have to see how the reception is when the film comes out.

Chiwetel Ejiofor Twelve Years a Slave
The Role: The real-life story of Solomon Northup, a freed slave in New York in the early 1800's who was kidnapped and sold into slavery for, well, 12 years in Louisiana. His story was written as a memoir that became a best-seller at the time. Steve McQueen (Hunger, Shame) directs the film with a cast that includes Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, and everyone's favorite puppy-purse-carrying, youngest Best Actress nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis.
Why Him: And you thought Quvenzhane was hard to pronounce...it's Chew-It-Tell Edge-Oh-For. And the British star of stage and screen already has 3 Golden Globe nominations, won an Independent Spirit Award, and is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for drama...so, yeah, he's got some acting chops. He may not be a name that people know, but I'm guessing that with this role, which seems tailor-made for Oscar, it could be his first shot at wider recognition and his first chance at a nomination.

Ready to board the HMS Oscar
Tom Hanks Captain Phillips
The Role: Oscar nominated director (and director of the last two Matt Damon-starring Bourne films), Paul Greengrass works with Tom Hanks as Captain Richard Phillips, the real-life story (I'm beginning to sense a theme. Oscar loves a true story) of the 2009 hijacking of an American cargo ship by Somali pirates. He offered himself as a hostage and was rescued by the Navy Seals.  
Why Him: The Academy used to love Tom Hanks. Hell, America loved Tom Hanks. And it's not that we don't love the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner any less. It's just that he hasn't really done much lately that reminds us why we love him. His last Oscar nomination was way back in 2000 for Castaway. But, Hanks playing a real-life hero, shot in the gritty style of Greengrass seems like exactly the type of thing that will welcome him back to the Oscars. Hanks is also playing Walt Disney this year in Saving Mr. Banks. Playing the most Oscar nominated person in history could do the trick as well, but I'm giving the edge to this film.

Guys, THIS is McConaughey. Who knew?
Matthew McConaughey Dallas Buyers Club
The Role: Loosely based on the (you guessed it) true story of Ron Woodroof, a womanizing, boozer, who contracts AIDS in the 1980's. He starts taking an alternative treatment not yet approved by the FDA and with the help of his doctor (played by Jennifer Garner) starts selling the treatments to other patients to give them a chance at a longer life.
Why Him: Alright, alright, alright...2012 marked everyone's favorite shirtless bongo player as more than just the male lead in every bad rom-com, but as the gifted, diverse actor we all thought he would be after A Time to Kill. With Killer Joe and his shoulda been nominated performance in Magic Mike, we began to see that he was capable of more. He just had to realize it for himself. And 2013, should be the year that he's rewarded with his first nomination. McConaughey lost over 30 pounds to play the dying man and if there's something Oscar loves more than a true-life story, it's a physical transformation that shows a dedication to the craft. Good notices in the Sundance film Mud and a supporting role in Wolf of Wall Street should only help in making 2013 the year of McConaughey: Serious Actor. 

Other Contenders: Christian Bale Out of the Furnace, Daniel Bruhl The Fifth Estate, Idris Elba Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, Michael B. Jordan Fruitvale


  1. I don't want to be picky but Benedict Cumberbatch in The Fith Estate is the lead actor, he's not a supporting actor.

  2. I wrote about it today! but, yeah, he probably is lead. i just went with a hunch and put him in supporting.