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Oscars 2018 Category Breakdown: Best Actor

So what we do here each year as a warm up for the Oscars is, I break down each of the 24 categories. The idea is to both familiarize everyone with the category and its history. I look at what the major trends are throughout the past bunch of years, how the precursors tend to go, whether they matter or not, that sort of stuff. I look at how the category came to be this year, and just anything else that seems totally pertinent about it. Then I rank each of the nominees and tell you what their likelihood (at this particular moment in time) of winning is.

This is all prelude to my giant Oscar ballot that I’m gonna give you. But I figure, if you have these as the warmup, it’s not as intimidating. You’ll have seen a lot of the pertinent trends here and we’ll all be able to reference these as a sort of cheat sheet. Plus it shows you where my head is at for how I think each of the categories are gonna go, and you can see me working my way up to all the bad decisions I usually make while guessing. Pretty much, with this, you’ll have a pretty good idea of how the category is gonna turn out.

Today is Best Actor, which I thought was locked one way at the start of the season. Turns out it may be locked another way instead.

Year Best Actor Winner Other Nominees
1927-1928 Emil Jannings, The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh Richard Barthelmess, The Noose and The Patent Leather Kid
1928-1929 Warner Baxter, In Old Arizona George Bancroft, Thunderbolt

Chester Morris, Alibi

Paul Muni, The Valiant

Lewis Stone, The Patriot

1929-1930 George Arliss, Disraeli George Arliss, The Green Goddess

Wallace Beery, The Big House

Maurice Chevalier, The Big Pond and The Love Parade

Ronald Colman, Bulldog Drummond & Condemned

Lawrence Tibbett, The Rogue Song

1930-1931 Lionel Barrymore, A Free Soul Adolphe Menjou, The Front Page

Jackie Cooper, Skippy

Richard Dix, Cimarron

Fredric March, The Royal Family of Broadway

1931-1932 TIE

Frederic March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Wallace Beery, The Champ

Alfred Lunt, The Guardsman
1932-1933 Charles Laughton, The Private Life of Henry VIII Leslie Howard, Berkeley Square

Paul Muni, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

1934 Clark Gable, It Happened One Night Frank Morgan, The Affairs of Cellini

William Powell, The Thin Man

1935 Victor McLaglen, The Informer Clark Gable, Mutiny on the Bounty

Charles Laughton, Mutiny on the Bounty

Paul Muni, Black Fury

Franchot Tone, Mutiny on the Bounty

1936 Paul Muni, The Story of Louis Pasteur Gary Cooper, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Walter Huston, Dodsworth

William Powell, My Man Godfrey

Spencer Tracy, San Francisco

1937 Spencer Tracy, Captains Courageous Charles Boyer, Conquest

Fredric March, A Star is Born

Robert Montgomery, Night Must Fall

Paul Muni, The Life of Emile Zola

1938 Spencer Tracy, Boys Town Charles Boyer, Algiers

James Cagney, Angels with Dirty Faces

Robert Donat, The Citadel

Leslie Howard, Pygmalion

1939 Robert Donat, Goodbye, Mr. Chips Clark Gable, Gone with the Wind

Laurence Olivier, Wuthering Heights

Mickey Rooney, Babes in Arms

James Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

1940 Jimmy Stewart, The Philadelphia Story Charlie Chaplin, The Great Dictator

Henry Fonda, The Grapes of Wrath

Raymond Massey, Abe Lincoln in Illinois

Laurence Olivier, Rebecca

1941 Gary Cooper, Sergeant York Cary Grant, Penny Serenade

Walter Huston, The Devil and Daniel Webster

Robert Montgomery, Here Comes Mr. Jordan

Orson Welles, Citizen Kane

1942 James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy Ronald Colman, Random Harvest

Gary Cooper, The Pride of the Yankees

Walter Pidgeon, Mrs. Miniver

Monty Woolley, The Pied Piper

1943 Paul Lukas, Watch on the Rhine Humphrey Bogart, Casablanca

Gary Cooper, For Whom the Bell Tolls

Walter Pidgeon, Madame Curie

Mickey Rooney, The Human Comedy

1944 Bing Crosby, Going My Way Charles Boyer, Gaslight

Barry Fitzgerald, Going My Way

Cary Grant, None But the Lonely Heart

Alexander Knox, Wilson

1945 Ray Milland, The Lost Weekend Bing Crosby, The Bells of St. Mary’s

Gene Kelley, Anchors Aweigh

Gregory Peck, The Keys of the Kingdom

Cornel Wilde, A Song to Remember

1946 Frederic March, The Best Years of Our Lives Laurence Olivier, Henry V

Larry Parks, The Jolson Story

Gregory Peck, The Yearling

James Stewart, It’s a Wonderful Life

1947 Ronald Colman, A Double Life John Garfield, Body and Soul

Gregory Peck, Gentleman’s Agreement

William Powell, Life with Father

Michael Redgrave, Mourning Becomes Electra

1948 Laurence Olivier, Hamlet Lew Ayres, Johnny Belinda

Montgomery Clift, The Search

Dan Dailey, When My Baby Smiles at Me

Clifton Webb, Sitting Pretty

1949 Broderick Crawford, All the King’s Men Kirk Douglas, Champion

Gregory Peck, Twelve O’Clock High

Richard Todd, The Hasty Heart

John Wayne, Sands of Iwo Jima

1950 José Ferrer, Cyrano de Bergerac Louis Calhern, The Magnificent Yankee

William Holden, Sunset Boulevard

James Stewart, Harvey

Spencer Tracy, Father of the Bride

1951 Humphrey Bogart, The African Queen Marlon Brando, A Streetcar Named Desire

Montgomery Clift, A Place in the Sun

Arthur Kennedy, Bright Victory

Fredric March, Death of a Salesman

1952 Gary Cooper, High Noon Marlon Brando, Viva Zapata!

Kirk Douglas, The Bad and the Beautiful

José Ferrer, Moulin Rouge

Alec Guinness, The Lavender Hill Mob

1953 William Holden, Stalag 17 Marlon Brando, Julius Caesar

Richard Burton, The Robe

Montgomery Clift, From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster, From Here to Eternity

1954 Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront Humphrey Bogart, The Caine Mutiny

Bing Crosby, The Country Girl

James Mason, A Star is Born

Dan O’Herlihy, Robison Crusoe

1955 Ernest Borgnine, Marty James Cagney, Love Me or Leave Me

James Dean, East of Eden

Frank Sinatra, The Man with the Golden Arm

Spencer Tracy, Bad Day at Black Rock

1956 Yul Brynner, The King and I James Dean, Giant

Kirk Douglas, Lust for Life

Rock Hudson, Giant

Laurence Olivier, Richard III

1957 Alec Guinness, The Bridge on the River Kwai Marlon Brando, Sayonara

Anthony Franciosa, A Hatful of Rain

Charles Laughton, Witness for Prosecution

Anthony Quinn, Wild is the Wind

1958 David Niven, Separate Tables Tony Curtis, The Defiant Ones

Paul Newman, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Sidney Poitier, The Defiant Ones

Spencer Tracy, The Old Man and the Sea

1959 Charlton Heston, Ben-Hur Laurence Harvey, Room at the Top

Jack Lemmon, Some Like it Hot

Paul Muni, The Last Angry Man

James Stewart, Anatomy of a Murder

1960 Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry Trevor Howard, Sons and Lovers

Jack Lemmon, The Apartment

Laurence Olivier, The Entertainer

Spencer Tracy, Inherit the Wind

1961 Maximilian Schell, Judgment at Nuremberg Charles Boyer, Fanny

Paul Newman, The Hustler

Spencer Tracy, Judgment at Nuremberg

Stuart Whitman, The Mark

1962 Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird Burt Lancaster, Birdman of Alcatraz

Jack Lemmon, Days of Wine and Roses

Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce, Italian Style

Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia

1963 Sidney Poitier, Lilies of the Field Albert Finney, Tom Jones

Richard Harris, This Sporting Life

Rex Harrison, Cleopatra

Paul Newman, Hud

1964 Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady Richard Burton, Becket

Peter O’Toole, Becket

Anthony Quinn, Zorba the Greek

Peter Sellers, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

1965 Lee Marvin, Cat Ballou Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Laurence Olivier, Othello

Rod Steiger, The Pawnbroker

Oskar Werner, Ship of Fools

1966 Paul Scofield, A Man for All Seasons Alan Arkin, The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming

Richard Burton, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Michael Caine, Alfie

Steve McQueen, The Sand Pebbles

1967 Rod Steiger, In the Heat of the Night Warren Beatty, Bonnie and Clyde

Dustin Hoffman, The Graduate

Paul Newman, Cool Hand Luke

Spencer Tracy, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

1968 Cliff Robertson, Charly Alan Arkin, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

Alan Bates, The Fixer

Ron Moody, Oliver!

Peter O’Toole, The Lion in Winter

1969 John Wayne, True Grit Richard Burton, Anne of the Thousand Days

Dustin Hoffman, Midnight Cowboy

Peter O’Toole, Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Jon Voight, Midnight Cowboy

1970 George C. Scott, Patton Melvyn Douglas, I Never Sang for My Father

James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope

Jack Nicholson, Five Easy Pieces

Ryan O’Neal, Love Story

1971 Gene Hackman, The French Connection Peter Finch, Sunday Bloody Sunday

Walther Matthau, Kotch

George C. Scott, The Hospital

Chaim Topol, Fiddler on the Roof

1972 Marlon Brando, The Godfather Michael Caine, Sleuth

Laurence Olivier, Sleuth

Peter O’Toole, The Ruling Class

Paul Winfield, Sounder

1973 Jack Lemmon, Save the Tiger Marlon Brando, Last Tango in Paris

Jack Nicholson, The Last Detail

Al Pacino, Serpico

Robert Redford, The Sting

1974 Art Carney, Harry and Tonto Albert Finney, Murder on the Orient Express

Dustin Hoffman, Lenny

Jack Nicholson, Chinatown

Al Pacino, The Godfather, Part II

1975 Jack Nicholson, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Walther Matthau, The Sunshine Boys

Al Pacino, Dog Day Afternoon

Maximilian Schell, The Man in the Glass Booth

James Whitmore, Give ‘em Hell, Harry!

1976 Peter Finch, Network Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver

Giancarlo Giannini, Seven Beauties

William Holden, Network

Sylvester Stallone, Rocky

1977 Richard Dreyfuss, The Goodbye Girl Woody Allen, Annie Hall

Richard Burton, Equus

Marcello Mastroianni, A Special Day

John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever

1978 Jon Voight, Coming Home Warren Beatty, Heaven Can Wait

Gary Busey, The Buddy Holly Story

Robert De Niro, The Deer Hunter

Laurence Olivier, The Boys From Brazil

1979 Dustin Hoffman, Kramer vs. Kramer Jack Lemmon, The China Syndrome

Al Pacino, …And Justice for All

Roy Scheider, All That Jazz

Peter Sellers, Being There

1980 Robert De Niro, Raging Bull Robert Duvall, The Great Santini

John Hurt, The Elephant Man

Jack Lemmon, Tribute

Peter O’Toole, The Stunt Man

1981 Henry Fonda, On Golden Pond Warren Beatty, Reds

Burt Lancaster, Atlantic City

Dudley Moore, Arthur

Paul Newman, Absence of Malice

1982 Ben Kingsley, Gandhi Dustin Hoffman, Tootsie

Jack Lemmon, Missing

Paul Newman, The Verdict

Peter O’Toole, My Favorite Year

1983 Robert Duvall, Tender Mercies Michael Caine, Educating Rita

Tom Conti, Reuben, Reuben

Tom Courtenay, The Dresser

Albert Finney, The Dresser

1984 F. Murray Abraham, Amadeus Jeff Bridges, Starman

Albert Finney, Under the Volcano

Tom Hulce, Amadeus

Sam Waterston, The Killing Fields

1985 William Hurt, The Kiss of the Spider Woman Harrison Ford, Witness

James Garner, Murphy’s Romance

Jack Nicholson, Prizzi’s Honor

Jon Voight, Runaway Train

1986 Paul Newman, The Color of Money Dexter Gordon, Round Midnight

Bob Hoskins, Mona Lisa

William Hurt, Children of a Lesser God

James Woods, Salvador

1987 Michael Douglas, Wall Street William Hurt, Broadcast News

Marcello Mastroianni, Dark Eyes

Jack Nicholson, Ironweed

Robin Williams, Good Morning, Vietnam

1988 Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man Gene Hackman, Mississippi Burning

Tom Hanks, Big

Edward James Olmos, Stand and Deliver

Max von Sydow, Pelle the Conqueror

1989 Daniel Day-Lewis, My Left Foot Kenneth Branagh, Henry V

Tom Cruise, Born on the Fourth of July

Morgan Freeman, Driving Miss Daisy

Robin Williams, Dead Poet’s Society

1990 Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune Kevin Costner, Dances with Wolves

Robert De Niro, Awakenings

Gérard Depardieu, Cyrano de Bergerac

Richard Harris, The Field

1991 Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs Warren Beatty, Bugsy

Robert De Niro, Cape Fear

Nick Nolte, The Prince of Tides

Robin Williams, The Fisher King

1992 Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman Robert Downey Jr., Chaplin

Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven

Stephen Rea, The Crying Game

Denzel Washington, Malcolm X

1993 Tom Hanks, Philadelphia Daniel Day-Lewis, In the Name of the Father

Laurence Fishburne, What’s Love Got to Do with It

Anthony Hopkins, The Remains of the Day

Liam Neeson, Schindler’s List

1994 Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump Morgan Freeman, The Shawshank Redemption

Nigel Hawthorne, The Madness of King George

Paul Newman, Nobody’s Fool

John Travolta, Pulp Fiction

1995 Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas Richard Dreyfuss, Mr. Holland’s Opus

Anthony Hopkins, Nixon

Sean Penn, Dead Man Walking

Massimo Troisi, Il Postino

1996 Geoffrey Rush, Shine Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire

Ralph Fiennes, The English Patient

Woody Harrelson, The People vs. Larry Flynt

Billy Bob Thornton, Sling Blade

1997 Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets Matt Damon, Good Will Hunting

Robert Duvall, The Apostle

Peter Fonda, Ulee’s Gold

Dustin Hoffman, Wag the Dog

1998 Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful Tom Hanks, Saving Private Ryan

Ian McKellen, Gods and Monsters

Nick Nolte, Affliction

Edward Norton, American History X

1999 Kevin Spacey, American Beauty Russell Crowe, The Insider

Richard Farnsworth, The Straight Story

Sean Penn, Sweet and Lowdown

Denzel Washington, The Hurricane

2000 Russell Crowe, Gladiator Javier Bardem, Before Night Falls

Tom Hanks, Cast Away

Ed Harris, Pollock

Geoffrey Rush, Quills

2001 Denzel Washington, Training Day Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind

Sean Penn, I Am Sam

Will Smith, Ali

Tom Wilkinson, In the Bedroom

2002 Adrien Brody, The Pianist Nicolas Cage, Adaptation.

Michael Caine, The Quiet American

Daniel Day-Lewis, Gangs of New York

Jack Nicholson, About Schmidt

2003 Sean Penn, Mystic River Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Ben Kingsley, House of Sand and Fog

Jude Law, Cold Mountain

Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

2004 Jamie Foxx, Ray Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda

Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator

Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote Terrence Howard, Hustle & Flow

Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain

Joaquin Phoenix, Walk the Line

David Strathairn, Good Night, and Good Luck

2006 Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland Leonardo DiCaprio, Blood Diamond

Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson

Peter O’Toole, Venus

Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness

2007 Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood George Clooney, Michael Clayton

Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

2008 Sean Penn, Milk Richard Jenkins, The Visitor

Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon

Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

2009 Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart George Clooney, Up in the Air

Colin Firth, A Single Man

Morgan Freeman, Invictus

Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker

2010 Colin Firth, The King’s Speech Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Jeff Bridges, True Grit

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network

James Franco, 127 Hours

2011 Jean Dujardin, The Artist Demian Bichir, A Better Life

George Clooney, The Descendants

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

2012 Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

Denzel Washington, Flight

2013 Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club Christian Bale, American Hustle

Bruce Dern, Nebraska

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

2014 Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

2015 Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

2016 Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

2017 Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

So historically, SAG is the voting body that matters most in terms of acting awards. SAG is 19/24 all-time in picking this category. Only five times did someone win SAG and not win the Oscar. Though one of those five includes Benicio Del Toro, who won SAG for Best Actor and then won the Oscar for Supporting Actor. So they’re not really wrong there.

The other four, though — 2001, Russell Crowe won SAG and Denzel won the Oscar; 2002, Daniel Day-Lewis won SAG and Adrien Brody won the Oscar; 2003, Johnny Depp won SAG and Sean Penn won the Oscar; and 2016, Denzel won SAG and Casey Affleck won the Oscar. So yeah, a group of three in a row in the early 2000s and then once in the past 15 years. Not a bad run.

Another thing I like to do that I didn’t do last year because it doesn’t really deserve an article (it’s stupid, but I enjoy it) — I do this dumb thing where I look at what positions on the nominations ballot (for the big categories only) win most of the time. It’s totally meaningless. It’s a function of spelling and who’s nominated. But I like it. So I’m gonna talk about it because I can. If you don’t think it’s interesting, skip ahead. For me, this is where I can get it out because it doesn’t matter.

So in the history of the Best Actor, here’s how the positions have fared:

#1 – 24 times

#2 – 22 times

#3 – 19 times

#4 – 10 times

#5 – 16 times

The person listed first has statistically won the most and the fourth position averages one win just about every decade. See what I mean? Pointless.

  • The last #1 to win was Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
  • The last #2 to win was Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
  • The last #3 to win was Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • The last #4 to win was Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • The last #5 to win was Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

This year’s category is:

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

So based on that stupid statistics game up here, the way the category should end up is: 1) Bale, 2) Cooper, 3) Dafoe, 4) Mortensen, 5) Malek. And that’s not how this is gonna go.

Anyway, this category was pretty much locked all the way through. There wasn’t a whole lot in the way of surprise here. Bale, Cooper, Malek and Mortensen hit all the major precursors and there was no surprise for their nominations the entire way. That fifth spot, though, that was up for discussion. John David Washington got a SAG nomination and a Globes nomination. Willem Dafoe and Ethan Hawke both got BFCA nominations. Steve Coogan got a BAFTA nomination, but no one thought that was gonna happen. And then everyone else only managed a Globe nomination, which is about as good as raffle ticket at a baseball game. Good luck assuming that’s automatically gonna come in. So really, it was Washington, Dafoe or Hawke. I assumed based on stature Dafoe was the favorite, since SAG is kinda broad and tends to go populist. Hawke didn’t catch anything, so I didn’t see that happening. It seemed like either Dafoe or Washington, and Dafoe made the most sense. But Washington had the movie with a lot of overall support and another actor nominated. So it was tight, but in the end the actor who made the most sense got on.

So at the start of the season, you thought, “Christian Bale has this one easy.” He won the Globe for Comedy, but then Rami Malek won for Drama. Which was unexpected. But you thought, “Okay, sure.” Then Bale won BFCA, and things seemed back on track. But now… SAG and BAFTA both go to Rami Malek. It’s definitely shaping up to be an interesting Oscar night.

Rankings:

5. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate — He is his film’s only nomination, and does anyone think he’s gonna get any real support in the end? Could you make a case for him over anyone else here? I can’t. So he’s going fifth, even though I love that he got nominated for this performance and has been nominated two years running. But that’s all he’s going home with, sadly.

4. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born — It’s funny how this role is always an Oscar magnet. Guaranteed to get its actor nominated most of the time (sorry, Kris Kristofferson. But you also gave yours in perhaps the Best Actor year ever, so shit happens), but not really anything more. None of the Star Is Born films won any acting awards. Of course the big one is that Judy Garland/Grace Kelly year, but otherwise, they’ve never won. And the guys always take a backseat to the women, because that’s the story. The female lead is the glamorous part, even though the male one is the showy acting role. Still, Cooper missed out on the Globe, which was looked at as his one “given” throughout the season. And he’s never recovered. Looks like he’s gonna end up going home empty-handed when all is said and done. Star Is Born has eight nominations, and the only two it looks on solid ground for are Original Song and maybe Sound Mixing. Actress is up in the air (and looking less likely as time goes on). Picture seems extremely unlikely. Screenplay seems unlikely. Supporting Actor is extremely unlikely. Cinematography also seems nearly impossible. And they left him off Director, which is also a shame. You’d think that snub would funnel more votes for him here, but I don’t know if anyone feels the urge to vote for him. I feel like he gets the applause and the respect, but none of the votes. Look at everyone who’s left. I feel like they make stronger cases for themselves. I mean, maybe you can put him third. Maybe. Because only two people are gonna have precursors when all is said and done. But he’s lost to Bale and Malek every step of the way, and he lost to Malek in the one category you thought was his. That’s not a very good case for me for any higher than fourth.

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book — There’s really no case for him over Bradley Cooper except overall film support. He’s lost to Bale and Malek every step of the way too. What he has going for him is a PGA win for his film (meaning it’s in play for Picture), Mahershala Ali likely winning Supporting Actor, and a possible Screenplay win. It’ll probably lose Editing, unless they go all in on it. But without a Director nomination, that seems unlikely. Possible, but unlikely. I can’t see him somehow winning without any precursors. And since these rankings are all about where things are at the moment, who sees him any higher than third at the highest? He only even gets this high on tiebreaker.

2. Christian Bale, Vice — He’s got the Globe for Comedy and BFCA. He lost the big two to Malek, so there’s nothing on paper that says he should be anything other than a second choice here. He’s great in the role and the film has more overall support than Malek’s, so I’m not gonna rule out him winning. But while the Casey Affleck/Denzel year had me going, “Casey’s gonna win,” I could make an argument for that on paper. Affleck had BAFTA and BFCA and Denzel had the Globe and SAG. And SAG is a much bigger, more broad voting body. Here, SAG and BAFTA went Malek’s way. You know the last time we had that exact combination of precursors? 2014. Eddie Redmayne vs. Michael Keaton. And Bale is currently the Michael Keaton. Hard to see him as anything other than the second choice.

1. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody — SAG win (19/24 all time), BAFTA win, Globes win in Drama. So all Bale really has on him is BFCA. He’s the favorite. Right now this is his category to lose. Hell, SAG and BAFTA, that shit is usually automatic. I guess the case for Bale to still be a contender is the fact that you could say BAFTA voted for Freddie Mercury and SAG is broad. But that doesn’t answer everything. I think this is 75/25 at best, with Malek seeming like the probable winner. Either way, he’s currently the clubhouse leader, and we’re almost at the end of regulation.

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2 responses

  1. A

    Actually Denzel only had SAG.

    February 13, 2019 at 2:28 pm

  2. Pingback: The B+ Oscar Ballot: Guide to the 91st Academy Awards – Site Title

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