Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner & More Review: ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner & More Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

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 | The Playlist 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