Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season 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 The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 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 | 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


Clint Eastwood - "Trouble With The Curve"
When you realize that Clint Eastwood has never won an acting Oscar, you'll realize why we've pegged him this high for a film that's mostly under the radar at this point. He's been nominated twice -- for "Unforgiven," and "Million Dollar Baby," but never picked one up, and given that he was already thought to have retired from on-screen appearances once before, this could well be the Academy's last chance to honor one of the movies' greatest stars? Does the film -- a "Blind Side"-ish tale about a baseball scout losing his sight -- sound particularly enticing? No. Will that matter? No.

PSH Oscars
Philip Seymour Hoffman - "The Master"
Another relatively recent winner (for "Capote" in 2006), Hoffman has reunited with Paul Thomas Anderson, for what could be the role of a lifetime: a charismatic intellectual in 1950s America who founds a Scientology-like religion. But will this film grab voters in the same way that Day-Lewis did as Daniel Plainview? Religion is a hot-button issue, even if the Scientology parallels have been dialed down since early drafts, and the film might well be less accessible, particularly given how strong the subject matter is. He's still a formidable threat though.

Hugh Jackman - "Les Miserables"
Of all the roles in musical theater, Jean Valjean, the escaped convict turned wealthy factory owner caught up in revolution around whom everything revolves, is one of the real doozies. And Tom Hooper's film version provides the first cinematic musical role for Hugh Jackman, who's had great success as a stage song and dance man over the years, so this certainly provides the Australian star, and former Oscar host, his best chance at a nomination. Indeed, in a weaker year, he might be the frontrunner. But musicals are so execution dependent, and Jackman might end up going the way of Daniel Day-Lewis in "Nine" if the film doesn't work.

Song For Marion
Terence Stamp - "Song For Marion"
Arguably this year's Gary Oldman, Stamp has been nominated once before, but it was fifty years ago, for his screen debut in "Billy Budd." Few would deny that the British actor is due, and we've been saying since we read the script that Paul Andrew Williams' "Song For Marion" provides the perfect vehicle for the actor. But we didn't know then how fiercely competitive the year would turn out to be, and if the film fails to please crowds as "The King's Speech" did, Stamp's nomination could fall by the wayside. Then again, he has the best narrative of any of the contenders, and sometimes that's the most important thing.

Leonardo DiCaprio - "The Great Gatsby"
Always the bridesmaid at the Oscars, Leonardo DiCaprio has often found himself missing out for his mega-hits ("Titanic," "The Departed," "Inception"), and beaten out by others when he is nominated. He's perfectly suited for the title role in Baz Luhrmann's F. Scott Fitzgerald adaptation, but is this Leo's year? He was shut out for "J. Edgar" because of strong competition and the film in general being poorly-received. If Luhrmann's film doesn't work, Leo's chances will go with it.

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