Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival The Best, Worst And Most Disappointing Films Of The 2014 Toronto International Film Festival David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' David Fincher Says Differences Over Casting And Disney's Corporate Culture Stalled '20,000 Leagues Under The Sea' Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Review: 'No Good Deed' Starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Watch: First Trailer For ‘Serena’ Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Could Bill Murray & Keira Knightley Be Oscar Winners? We Prematurely Predict Best Actor & Actress At The 2013 Academy Awards

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 2, 2012 at 11:58AM

At the Academy Awards, Best Picture might be the big prize, but the ones that both the winners and the audience have the most emotional connection to tend to be the acting prizes. Seeing a beloved star, or a fresh-faced newcomer, finally pick up a statue more often than not ends up leading the mainstream media coverage; it's always more moving than some producer's acceptance speech.
86
Best Actor Actress 2013

At the Academy Awards, Best Picture might be the big prize, but the ones that both the winners and the audience have the most emotional connection to tend to be the acting prizes. Seeing a beloved star, or a fresh-faced newcomer, finally pick up a statue more often than not ends up leading the mainstream media coverage; it's always more moving than some producer's acceptance speech.

This year, we saw Meryl Streep finally win her third, and Christopher Plummer win his first, becoming the oldest actor ever to pick up a statuette. Those might have been predicted a while off by many. Meanwhile, two relative unknowns, Jean Dujardin and Octavia Spencer, also became Oscar-winners. Anyone who claims that they predicted those twelve months ago is a liar. Once again, the awards season can be guessed at, but it also springs up all kinds of surprises.

After our picks for Best Picture yesterday, we're going to take our now-annual stab at picking the acting categories, starting with best actor and actress. Last year, we didn't do too badly, with four of the Best Actress nominees (if you count Viola Davis, who we'd pegged in Supporting), and three of the actors (albeit Brad Pitt for "Tree of Life," rather than "Moneyball"). But like anything this far out, it's educated guesses and luck rather than anything else.

The next twelve months promise has a number of meaty parts to choose from, with several previous winners coming back with roles that seem made for the category. Right now, Best Actress seems a little weaker, but that could all change by the time the awards season kicks off. So, with the usual caveats in place, below we've run down the major contenders for the two lead acting prizes, once more in descending order of likelihood.
 
Best Actor

Strong Contenders

"Hyde Park on Hudson"
"Hyde Park on Hudson"
Bill Murray - "Hyde Park On Hudson"
The other big presidential biopic of the year, this sees Franklin Delano Roosevelt being portrayed by Bill Murray, in a relatively straight role. And given that Murray was widely deemed to have been robbed nine years ago when he failed to win for his sole nomination to date, "Lost In Translation," and given that biopics are normally a goldmine in this category (eleven of the last twenty winners of Best Actor and Actress played real people), Murray can probably go ahead and order his tux.

Daniel Day-Lewis - "Lincoln"
Given that the man has two Oscars already, and only missed out by the skin of his teeth for "Gangs of New York," any Daniel Day-Lewis performance is going to get awards attention. But when that role is the part of a lifetime, President Abraham Lincoln, and directed by Steven Spielberg, it's pretty much a lock. The question is, will the Academy feel that he's been been honored too recently ("There Will Be Blood" five years ago) to take the prize again, particularly with such strong competition?

The Surrogate
John Hawkes - "The Surrogate"
The toast of Sundance this year, John Hawkes' performance as journalist and poet Mark O'Brien, confined to an iron-lung because of polio since childhood, who becomes determined to lose his virginity, has all the makings of the kind of performance that Oscar eats up with a spoon. A few years ago, it might have slipped by, but veteran character actor Hawkes arrived on Academy radars with a nomination for "Winter's Bone," though he missed out this year for "Martha Marcy May Marlene." The only hurdle would seem to be the subject matter: will the Academy embrace the combination of sex and disability?

This article is related to: Academy Awards, Oscars, The Amazing Race, Bill Murray, Daniel Day-Lewis, Clint Eastwood, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Hawkes, Viola Davis, Keira Knightley, Laura Linney, Helen Hunt, Sandra Bullock


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates