Best Actor

Awards Nominations:

Gotham Award Winner
* Independent Spirit Award Nominee
National Board of Review Winner
New York Film Critics Circle Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Winner
Broadcast Film Critics Association Nominee
Golden Globe Nominee
* Screen Actors Guild Nominee
National Society of Film Critics Nominee
* BAFTA Nominee

The Low Down

This category is nothing less than a bloodbath, and come Oscar morning there are going to be some serious upsets. Two things that everyone can agree on, however: Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix.

In the frontrunner’s seat (by a slim margin) is Driver, who is hot off his first career nom in Supporting Actor for BlackKklansman. Driver’s ascent has been nothing short of meteoric; he’s quickly  become regarded as one of the finest working actors, and the Star Wars exposure won’t hurt. Phoenix, on the other hand, is a respected veteran delivering a performance that rises above the vitriol for the film. Marriage Story is bound to be a bigger player across the board (Picture, Screenplay, Director, Actress and Supporting Actress, etc) which gives him the edge over Phoenix, who may very well be the lone nominee for his film (give or take some techs). 

But that leaves three spots, and honestly my answers change every single day. DiNiro is a legend in one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, DiCaprio’s comeback resulted in one of the most successful films of the year (and it’s a hit with the Academy allegedly), Banderas looks likely to earn his first nomination ever, Sandler is winning the best reviews of his career in what’s likely to be the cool choice, while Bale headlines a popular box office success and a bit of a throwback (we know how they love those). And that still leaves Robert Pattinson, newcomer George McKay and Jonathan Pryce. So while this may very well be Driver’s to lose, it’s gonna be a photo finish for everyone involved. 

The Frontrunners

  1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story***+
  2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker***

The Contenders

  1. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory**++
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time In… Hollywood***
  3. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems**+
  4. Christian Bale, Ford v. Ferrari**
  5. Robert DiNiro, The Irishman*

The Dark Horses:

  1. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name**
  2. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes*
  3. Taron Edgerton, Rocketman**
  4. Robert Pattinson, The Lighthouse*

The Question Marks:

  1. George McKay, 1917
  2. Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell