With predictions heating up following the autumn festival premieres, let’s take a look at the Best Actor battle for the Oscars.
Leonardo DiCaprio appears to be gaining ground as the front-runner for this year’s Best Actor Oscar. In Cannes, where the movie screened outside of competition and received a nine-minute standing ovation, the actor’s work in Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon was universally praised by critics and viewers. It would be interesting to see who breaks through from the Fall Festival circuit to challenge DiCaprio, who was nominated for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and won the Oscar for his leading performance in The Revenant.
Leo versus Cillian
But before the issue with the Fall Festival premieres even came up, there was already another name that was the center of attention. The enormous success of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer defied all expectations for Cillian Murphy, who has never received an award. The haunted role by Murphy, who easily gives the performance of his career in the movie, caught the attention of both critics and viewers. The Academy likes both a biopic-inspired performance and the discussion surrounding the actor, and Cillian Murphy has both.
Cooper’s Bradley Maestro
With the arrival of new premieres in Telluride, Toronto, and Venice, the lead actor race for the Oscars became even more competitive. Bradley Cooper made a splash with Maestro, his second film as a director in which he starred as the musical genius Leonard Bernstein. Cooper is a nine-time Academy Award contender. The discussion was somewhat harmed by the criticism for sporting a huge prosthetic nose, which some claimed enabled the Hollywood “Jewface” caricature, but the positive reviews more or less made up for it. It will be interesting to watch how Netflix moves the campaign along because Cooper is long overdue and this is a highly awards-friendly performance.
Peter Sarsgaard won the Volpi Cup at Venice for Best Actor in Michel Franco’s love drama Memory, which also stars Jessica Chastain. Sarsgaard has worked in the field for more than 20 years but has never received an award. Could this be the year he receives the Academy’s official recognition?
The first nomination for Andrew Scott is forthcoming?
The unexpected success of Andrew Haigh’s bizarre LGBT drama All Of Us Strangers following its Telluride debut. Everyone praised Andrew Scott’s captivating performance as a screenwriter meeting up with his deceased parents. The actor is this year’s independent choice after charming everyone as the Hot Priest in Fleabag just a few years ago. Don’t forget the favors he has received as well. His All Of Us Strangers co-star Paul Mescal recently managed to snare an unexpected Best Actor nomination for his work in the modest, critically lauded debut film Aftersun. Then there was also Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years, which had Charlotte Rampling in a widely praised performance that only a few years ago earned her an Oscar nomination. Could this year’s odds be favorable as well?
Colman Domingo for Rustin, Glen Powell for Hitman, Paul Giamatti for The Holdovers, Jeffrey Wright for American Fiction, Gael Garcia Bernal for Cassandro, and Barry Keoghan for Saltburn are some of the other actors fighting for the role.