Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
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 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 Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ 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


Possibilities

Denzel Oscars
Denzel Washington - "Flight"
Neither Denzel Washington or Robert Zemeckis have really been awards forces in a decade, but their first team-up, a drama about a substance-abusing airline pilot who becomes a hero after landing a damaged plane safely, certainly seems like it could be either's best shot for a long time. But, the film doesn't currently have a 2012 release date, and it's likely studio types are waiting to see a cut before they determind if they have a horse in the race. But if they do, Denzel can't be counted out and it's certainly a much more substantial role than the action fare he's been doing of late.

Bradley Cooper - "The Silver Linings Playbook"
Cooper has been ruling the multiplex the last couple of years with "The Hangover" films and "Limitless," but 2012 sees him tackle serious fare. Sundance entry "The Words" and Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond The Pines" are both on the way, but it's his lead in David O. Russell's film as a high school teacher released after four years in a mental institution, that could see him head to the Oscars. The Weinsteins have given it a prime Thanksgiving slot shared in recent years by "The Artist" and "The King's Speech," but we feel like Cooper may need to earn his stripes a little more before he gets a nomination. He, and the film, could well end up surprising, though.

Long Shots

Ben Affleck, Argo
Ben Affleck - "Argo"/"Untitled Malick"
If anyone in 2012 seems likely to pick up George Clooney's polymath mantle, it's Ben Affleck: he's starring in the latest Terrence Malick film, while also directing and leading "Argo." Can either provide him with his first acting nomination? Perhaps. The risk is that they might cancel each other out (Clooney had two roles last year, but in different categories), and while "The Tree of Life" made it to nominations, none of them were for acting. Indeed, Malick's films have never won a single acting nomination. "Argo" may be his better bet, as the lead among a strong ensemble, but it doesn't strike us as the kind of part that gets a nomination.

Jamie Foxx - "Django Unchained"
Foxx has one Oscar already, but Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" provides by far the actor's best chance, post-"Ray," for another. Indeed, had Will Smith taken the role that QT wrote for him, he'd be in a very good position -- a major star, playing against type in a big way. But it's a less surprising move with Foxx, and we maintain that the film is a tough sell for Academy voters, given its powder-keg racial subject matter, and pulpy treatment.

"Cosmopolis"
Cannes Film Festival "Cosmopolis"
Robert Pattinson - "Cosmopolis"
Starring in a David Cronenberg film has never been the way to Oscar, but "A Dangerous Method" was certainly the director's most palatable film to date (some would argue too much so...), and things won't get too much freakier in his Don DeLillo adaptation. Indeed, the lead role, of a limo-bound billionaire, has the potential to be a real tour de force. But will Robert Pattinson be able to gain real respect by pulling it off? Word on "Bel Ami" from Berlin was fairly weak, but we're genuinely rooting for him to pull this one off. We suspect even if he does that this won't be a nomination year for him, but you never know. 

Also In The Mix: Brad Pitt has another shot with Andrew Dominik's "Cogan's Trade," but it doesn't feel like Oscar material to us. Robert Redford could make a comeback with the impressively cast thriller "The Company You Keep," while Matthew McConaughey's been on the comeback trail. His ace performance in "Killer Joe" won't go anywhere, but could either "Mud" or "The Paperboy" earn him a nomination? Colin Firth's had good form in the category, but his best chance "The Railway Man," still hasn't started filming, so may well not end up making it to theaters in time.

Ryan Gosling and Tom Hardy both get new chances with "The Place Beyond The Pines" and "The Wettest County," respectively, and while it's an unknown quantity, Guy Pearce has the chance to pick up his first nomination for Drake Doremus' untitled next film. And finally, could Christian Bale get recognition for "The Dark Knight Rises"? Almost certainly not, but stranger things have happened.

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