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

Premature Oscar Predictions: The 2014 Best Actor Nominees

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 27, 2013 at 2:45PM

As part of our steady quest to go cold turkey from the Oscar season over the next few days, we've been running down some of our possibilities for the films that will be elbowing each other for awards in 2014. Yesterday, we looked at Best Picture, and today, we turn to Best Actor, won this year by Daniel Day-Lewis.
37

Possibilities

Tom Hanks, Mr. Banks, set image
Tom Hanks - "Saving Mr. Banks"/"Captain Phillips"
Despite five nominations and two (consecutive) awards, it'll be thirteen years since Tom Hanks was last nominated for an Oscar by the time the 2014 ceremony rolls around. But fortunately for him, he's got his best chance in years with a pair of films due for release in the next twelve months. In the first, Paul Greengrass' true story tale "Captain Phillips," Hanks plays the captain of the Maersk Alabama, that was held hostage by Somalian pirates. In the second, he's playing none other than Walt Disney, in "Saving Mr. Banks," which tells the story of the making of "Mary Poppins." The big question is which of the two turns out to be the one that vies for Oscar. Greengrass' films haven't traditionally been great showcases for actors, but this sounds like it could be the exception. Meanwhile, Walt Disney is an iconic role, but from the script, it's perhaps less showy than Emma Thompson's P.L. Travers. And then there's the possibility that the two films split the Hanks vote and leave him empty-handed (it would help if 'Banks' was cheated into a supporting turn, but that's a fairly big ask).

Leonardo DiCaprio - "Wolf Of Wall Street"/"Great Gatsby"
Despite three nominations, Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to actually win an Oscar, his part in "Django Unchained" having failed to make the cut this year, in favor of co-star Christoph Waltz. He's talking about taking a break from acting, but first up, he's got two big parts on the way, in the shape of Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby" and Martin Scorsese's "Wolf Of Wall Street." Strictly speaking, the former is, at least in the novel, technically a supporting part, but Warner Bros are likely to campaign it as the lead (he is the title character, after all), while there isn't much option for category fraud in "Wolf Of Wall Street." It's hard to tell at this stage which is the more viable option (we'd lean with 'Gatsby,' but the film's production troubles give us pause), and so we wonder if DiCaprio might end up missing out once again.

Idris Elba
Idris Elba - "Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom"
Four of the last five years have seen an actor from a Weinstein Company film pick up an Oscar nomination, and this year, the best chance the company have could come from British actor Idris Elba. Already nominated for Golden Globes and Emmys for "Luther," and winning increasingly major roles in studio tentpoles (he has "Pacific Rim" and "Thor: The Dark World" on the way this year), Elba follows in the footsteps of Morgan Freeman and Terrence Howard to play Nelson Mandela. It might seem like an odd fit at first, but one forgets that Mandela is 6'4, so Elba's imposing frame is actually a solid fit. And he's certainly charismatic and talented enough to pull the part off. Even if the film disappoints, Elba could certainly be someone to watch in this category, particularly with Harvey Weinstein pushing him.

Inside Llewyn Davis, Oscar Issac,
Oscar Isaac - "Inside Llewyn Davis"
One of the more consistently underrated actors of the last few years, Oscar Isaac finally started getting the attention he'd long been due thanks to his role in "Drive." And while he's got a few potentials on the way that could grab awards attention ("Therese" with Elizabeth Olsen, "The Two Faces Of January"), easily his best chance at his first Oscar nod comes with the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis." Isaac has the title role, and the film's trailer suggests that he's very much front-and-center, and he looks absolutely terrific, funny and charismatic. The Coens' leading men haven't always had much luck awards-wise (Jeff Bridges in "True Grit," is the only time someone earned a Best Actor nomination for one of their films), but this could change here. Our big question is with stiff competition, will enough people know who Isaac is? And moreover, does CBS Films have the resources to make it happen?

The Butler Forest Whitaker Set Pic
Anne Marie Fox
Forest Whitaker - "The Butler"
As we've discussed before, Forest Whitaker's had one of the more depressing post-Oscar careers around, with various DTV releases and short-lived TV series. But he's got a damn good chance at a comeback with "The Butler." The part, originally intended for Denzel Washington, is that of Eugene Allen, who worked for eight different presidents at the White House, so there's a lot to play with there. The Weinstein Company are putting the film out, which always helps, and for all his flaws as a director, Lee Daniels has proved impressive with actors in the past, helping Mo'nique win her "Precious" Oscar. Still, we wonder if the role may prove to be too passive, more of a sounding board for the various actors cameoing as presidents, than anything else. We'll find out later in the year.

This article is related to: Premature Predictions, Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscars, Awards, The Amazing Race, Academy Awards


The Playlist

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

E-Mail Updates