Wednesday, February 15, 2012

85th Oscar Lead Actor Updates (2012-2013 Awards Season) (2/15/12)

The lead actor category feels really stacked with former nominees and baity roles--at least on paper. I realize that most people are predicting Daniel Day-Lewis or Philip Seymour Hoffman to take home the award, but those prestige pieces haven’t been playing out quite the way we might have expected lately, and I’m guessing that the Academy may wish to reward John Hawkes now that he’s officially on their radar.  Additionally, Daniel Day-Lewis and Steven Spielberg will have to deal with competition from the Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter movie also coming out this year. (Well, maybe not so much competition as sarcastic remarks like this one.)

While it is unusual to have the lead actor and lead actress award go to the same film, as I am currently predicting for The Surrogate, it is not impossible. The last time it happened was at the 70th Oscars--and just happened to involve Helen Hunt (this time with Jack Nicholson) in As Good As It Gets.

Here are today’s rankings for the 85th Oscar Lead Actor race (2012-2013 awards season), with previous ranking shown in parenthesis after each entry. There is some significant movement in the rankings since my last update in May, largely due to the number of projects that our more famous actors get offered, but which never seem to develop.

1. John Hawkes in The Surrogate (Predicted Winner) (New)
2. Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln (previous rank 1)
3. Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master (New)
4. Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables (New)
5. Denzel Washington in Flight (previously listed in 87th Oscar race, rank 2)

6. Bill Murray in Hyde Park On Hudson (previous rank 5)
7. Leonardo DiCaprio in The Great Gatsby (previous rank 13)
8. Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained (New)
9. Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis (New)
10. Tommy Lee Jones in Great Hope Springs (New)
11. Chiwetel Ejiofor in Twelve Years A Slave (previously listed in 87th Oscar race, rank 20)
12. Suraj Sharma in Life Of Pi (previous rank 11)
13. Tom Hardy in Wettest County (previous rank 20)
14. Brad Pitt in Cogan’s Trade (previous rank 32)
15. Richard Gere in Arbitrage (New)
16. Tony Leung Chiu Wai in The Grandmasters (previous rank 8)
17. Morgan Freeman in The Magic Of Belle Isle (previous rank 33)
18. Ryan Gosling in Gangster Squad (New)
19. Anthony Hopkins in Hemingway & Fuentes (previous rank 34)
20. Clint Eastwood in Trouble With The Curve (New)
21. Sam Riley in On The Road (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 14)
22. Tahar Rahim in Black Gold (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 29)
23. Ryan Gosling in The Place Beyond The Pines (previously listed in 86th Oscar race, rank 1)
24. Ryan Gosling in Only God Forgives (New)
25. Ben Affleck in Argo (New)

26. Terrence Stamp in Song For Marion (New)
27. Colin Farrell in Seven Psychopaths (New)
28. Riz Ahmed in The Reluctant Fundamentalist (New)
29. Antonio Banderas in Dali (previous rank 9)
30. Dwight Henry in Beasts Of The Southern Wild (New)
31. Eric Bana in Elvis And Nixon (New)
32. Ben Affleck in Untitled Terrence Malick Project (formerly The Burial) (previously ranked 39)
33. Tom Hanks in Cloud Atlas (previous rank 36)
34. Colin Firth in The Railway Man (New)
35. Frank Langella in Robot And Frank (New)
36. James Caviezel in Savannah (previous rank 35)
37. Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis (previous rank 21)
38. Terrence Howard in Macbett: The Caribbean Macbeth (previous rank 6)
39. Michael Cane in Mr. Morgan’s Last Love (New)
40. Paul Dano in Being Flynn (previous rank 23)
41. James Howson in Wuthering Heights (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 48)
42. Ewan McGregor in Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 41)
43. Liam Neeson in The Grey (New)
44. Al Pacino in King Lear (New)
45. Anthony Mackie in Bolden (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 39)
46. Paul Dano in For Ellen (previous rank 46)
47. Matthew McConaughey in Mud (New)
48. Bradley Cooper in The Silver Linings Playbook (New)
49. Matthew McConaughey in The Paperboy (New)
50. Martin Freeman in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (New)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!   
See Lead Actor predictions for other years HERE.
Or check out the Lead Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress predictions.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  


  1. Predictions in 3 of the acting catergories:

    Daniel Day - Lewis - Lincoln
    Leonardo DiCaprio - The Great Gatsby
    John Hawkes - Surrogate
    Brad Pitt - Cogan's Trade
    Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Master

    Keira Knightley - Anna Karenina
    Carey Mulligan - The Great Gatsby
    Helen Hunt - Surrogate
    Meryl Streep - Great Hope Springs
    Sandra Bullock - Gravity

    Jude Law - Anna Karenina
    Tobey Maguire - The Great Gatsby
    James Gandolfini - Cogan's Trade
    Richard Armitage - The Hobbit: an unexpected journey
    Christoph Waltz - Django

    (When you will post you Supp. Actress predictions? i think it could help me...)

    1. Nice predictions! I'm hoping to post supporting actress in the next day or two. I can usually only do one post a day due to time constraints and the fact that I give 50 contenders and pictures. And it always takes me a bit longer at these early stages when I'm still considering a lot of possibilities, so I may need to throw in a review first as those are a little faster to write. I should have all 4 acting races renewed by the end of the weekend though!

  2. Where's Russell Crowe? Javert is just as big a role (and maybe bigger, in terms of acting) as Valjean in Les Mis, and he is going to ROCK IT.

    1. I had assumed that Crowe would go supporting, but you are quite right that there's a possibility for category swapping. I figured that Jackman would be billed as the bigger lead, and then just went with the one.

  3. John Hawkes is definitely the early frontrunner in this category. I will be predicting DDL and PSH as well when I do my first set of predictions. Also I think Richard Gere got enough critical support in Sundance to carry him all the way to an Oscar nomination (unless of course it's a strong year in the category, which is looking likely). Despite being snubbed in recent years, I think Eastwood has to be considered a strong contender too. Although like you said in your comment from the Lead Actress category, his partner is an unknown quantity as a director.

    1. Gere may jump higher on my list once we know more about when it is getting released. Last year I underestimated Margin Call, and this sounds similar, although not exactly the same.

      I originally had Eastwood a little lower, but moved him into the top 20 based on your recommendation, so I'm slowly coming around to the idea!

  4. Ahah, I don't think the vampire hunter Abe is more of an 'acting' movie, so yeah, no competition for Mr. Day Lewis regardless :D Oh, I'd LOVE to see this on the ballot: Richard Armitage - The Hobbit: an unexpected journey. Richard will not be an unknown for too long.

    1. Yeah, I just couldn't resist the Vampire Hunter joke.

      I'm assuming that Armitage will be supporting, and he'll definitely be on that list when I post later this week. The only challenge is that Oscar has tended to think of this series mostly in terms of the technical categories, so we'll have to see whether any actors can break through other than Ian McKellan!

  5. Wow looking at this list, next year's Oscar is probably going to be stacked with amazing performances. Great set of prediction! Looking forward to see how it unfolds as the year unfolds.

    1. Yeah, it should be a really great year. Of course some of them won't pan out, and Oscar may decide to snub the best performances, but at least we'll get to see them!

    2. I'm so excited that someone finally has the guts to touch Lincoln and Les Mis. They'll be difficult but outstanding if executed properly.

    3. I really love musicals, so Les Mis is at the top of my most anticipated list, and will be the one that I'm most upset about if it doesn't turn out well.

      I admit that I'm probably a little less excited about Lincoln, but that could all change once the first trailer hits. I can't argue with the talent that Spielberg is collecting though!

  6. I highly doubt Twelve Years A Slave will be ready for a 2012 release

    1. You're probably right about that. There was a poster that said 2012, but those can be easily changed. At one point it had an IMDB date of 2014, which has now been changed to 2013, so at least it's moving in the right direction!

      The more I think about it, McQueen will probably need to go the film festival route. Maybe Cannes 2013?