Thursday, January 3, 2013

Oscar Nominations Predictions: Lead Actor

Lead Actor is usually one of the most competitive categories as far as getting nominated goes and this year is a fine example of that. It's more than likely that Daniel Day-Lewis will walk away with the Academy Award this February. His work in Steven Spielberg's Lincoln fits into so many of the things Academy voters look for in their winners, it's virtually impossible that he'll lose. I have no problem with that, since the performance is truly outstanding thanks to Day-Lewis' understanding that to play a great character, even if it's a real-life person, the mind is more important than the mimicry. But while Daniel Day-Lewis should be getting his speech ready, there are five other guys fighting to become the four nominees that will surely lose to him on Oscar night.
The most likely to get the nomination alongside Day-Lewis are, in my opinion, John Hawkes from The Sessions and Denzel Washington in Flight. Both are pretty good performances of the kind that get nominations. It's either Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman or Joaquin Phoenix that won't be invited to this year's ball.
Hugh Jackman has the advantage to have finally find the kind of role that serves both his dramatic and musical skills in Les Miserables, and even if the movie is getting some negative reviews, I think it will still resonate with voters. Bradley Cooper has the advantage of starring in one of this year's favorites, Silver Linings Playbook, but the disadvantage of being a young, handsome man. Oscar doesn't like awarding pretty boys in this category (just like at Brad Pitt for proof). The final contender is Joaquin Phoenix, whose performance in The Master is so weird and brilliant it no doubt deserves a spot among the five nominees, but whose performance is so weird and brilliant that it might turn off some voters. It doesn't help that The Master seems to be losing steam left and right and that he recently was heard talking smack about the Academy Awards. The most common opinion is that Joaquin seats this one out, but I'm having a hunch he will make the cut at the expense of Cooper.

Who Will Be Nominated? Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), John Hawkes (The Sessions), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)

Who Should Be Nominated? Jack Black (Bernie), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Denis Lavant (Holy Motors), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)

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