Oscars 2019 Best Actor Predictions

Who’s going to win the Best Actor Oscar in 2019? Is it going to be an industry veteran like Robert Redford or is it going to be the newest actor-turned director Bradley Cooper? Or will Christian Bale will win his second Oscar? Well, we won’t know the answer to that question anytime soon, but there’s no harm in making intelligent guesses. Lately Best Actor races haven’t been as competitive as Best Actress. Is that going to change this year? We will have to wait and see.

Update 5th Sep, 2018: After Telluride and Venice Film Festivals, A Star is Born, First Man and Roma have emerged as the strongest Oscar contenders. In terms of acting races, I expect the first two to do very well. At this point of time, Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling are certainly the frontrunners in Best Actor’s race. Whether they are able to sustain their lead only time will tell.

Update 18th Sep, 2018: The biggest surprise that emerged out of TIFF was of course Green Book. The good news is that not only is Peter Farrelly’s comedy-drama a Best Picture contender, it is also presents a strong case for both its lead actors, Viggo Mortensen and Mahershela Ali. Even though, I think former will be campaigned for Best Actor, whereas Ali will have to contend with Best Supporting Actor nomination. There were other films like Boy Erased and Beautiful Boy that didn’t do as well, and therefore despite great performances in those films, I don’t see their actors getting too much attention. They will be in conversation but it would be difficult for them to break through. Hugh Jackman is another name who will suffer because of weak showing of ‘Frontrunner’. Having said that, there is one name that won’t find it difficult to remain in conversation. Well, you guessed it right. Robert Redford. The Old Man and the Gun is a delightful film and the fact that it is also Redford’s last will help him secure a spot in the Best Actor nomination list.

Update 13th Dec, 2018: SAG Awards nominations are in. And as expected, there were a few unexpected names on the list of nominees. More surprising, though, was exclusion of names that were doing very well with the critics (e.g. Ethan Hawke). As I mentioned in my Best Picture predictions, a lot has changed since the Oscar season began at TIFF. First Man’s lackluster performance at the box office — and with critics — means chances of Ryan Gosling making Best Actor list also has substantially gone down. On the other hand, Bohemian Rhapsody’s phenomeal showing at the box office means Rami Malik might be looking at his Best Actor nomination. Best Actor predictions are often difficult to make just because of the sheer competition in the category, but this year it is different. Top five, as you would see below, are more or less guaranteed to make the final nomination list.

Update 19th January, 2019: For now, let’s keep the conversation on eventual Best Actor winner aside and let’s just delve into the actors who will get nominated on January 22 morning. I am very confident about top four on the list. The final place could go to either David John Washington or Ethan Hawke or William Dafoe. Let’s jump into the list of actors I feel are guaranteed to get nominations. To read the full list of predictions, CLICK HERE.

Falling Out

12. Steve Carrell, ‘Beautiful Boy’

‘Beautiful Boy’ is based on a bestselling novel  Beautiful Boy: A Father’s Journey Through His Son’s Addiction by David Sheff. The film explore a dysfunctional yet intimate father-son dynamic with an exceptional performance from Steve Carell who, after ‘Foxcatcher’, yet again gets to display his dramatic prowess as an actor. Unfortunately for him, the film’s bleak narrows its reach. He will remain in conversation, but I don’t have high hopes for him.

11. Lucas Hedges, ‘Boy Erased’

Based on Gerrard Conley’s memoir titled ‘Boy Erased: A Memoir’, ‘Boy Erased’ tells the story of a young man who was outed to his parents when he was a teenager. Lucas Hedges, who already impressed us all with a superb performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’, takes the center stage once again in a challenging role. At this point, his chances depend on how well the film does with the Academy.

10. Hugh Jackman, ‘The Front Runner’

American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair. Well, does that sound familiar? Surely, Jason Reitman (who directed ‘Up in the Air’) has found a way to hit the zeitgeist .. or so you would think. The film received mixed reviews but Hugh Jackman’s fantastic performance garnered high praise. I don’t see the film getting much traction, and that’s going to adversely affect Jackman’s chances.

9. Robert Redford, ‘Old Man and the Gun’

The film tells the story of a an elderly bank robber who, after moving to a retirement community, decides to return to the scene to pull off one final heist. Redford plays the role of the charming central character with chutzpah. His chances were looking bright till last month, but now he is at best a long-shot. Film didn’t gain any traction among critics and hence Redford chances also look bleak.

Outside Shot

8. Ryan Gosling, ‘First Man’

When La La Land released, several in the media complained that the film was more from Sebastian’s perspective than Mia’s. But guess who ended up with an Oscar.. Emma Stone. Well, this time, Ryan Gosling won’t have to worry about someone else stealing the limelight (though, in all honesty, Emma was better than him in ‘La La Land’), because he as Neil Armstrong is the central character of ‘First Man’. Critics are swooning over his performance that has been described as subtle but brilliant. His nomination was certain a couple of months back, but because of First Man’s underwhelming performance at the precursor award shows, I am not sure.


7. Willem Dafoe, ‘Eternity Gate’

Willem Dafoe seems to be belong to the list of those evergreen actors who keep surprising you with their performance every single time. Early in the Oscar race, there were some talks about him being a Best Actor contender, but soon it died down… until he received Best Actor nomination at the Golden Globes. Since then there has been a growing chat among industry insiders that he will make final five. I think it is going to be difficult considering the film itself hasn’t received much attention. But then, if Glen Close can make it, then why not Dafoe.

6. Ethan Hawke, ‘First Reformed’

Everybody had almost forgotten ‘First Reformed’ .. till critics started handing out their year end awards. It became evident that critics love the film and Hawke’s performance, which many deem to be his career best. Hawke has a couple of nominations to his name for Writing (Before Sunset and Before Midnight) and one for Best Supporting Actor (for Training Day). Will he also add a Best Actor nomination to his name on January 22? We will have to wait and see.


5. John David Washington, ‘Blackkklansman’

I was confident about Blackkklansman’s chances at getting nominated for Best Picture, but I was not expecting John David Washington to figure among Best Actor nominees. But of all that changed with the announcement of SAG Award nominations. It is clear that actors love Blackkklansman and therefore, Washington is primed to gain a lot of traction among Academy voters too. It is looking more and more likely that he will earn his first Best Actor nomination and make his famous dad proud.


4. Rami Malek, ‘Bohemian Rhopsody’

It is rare — though not unheard of — that a film that critics are lukewarm towards manages to breakthrough in the race by the sheer strength of love from audiences. ‘Bohemian Rhopsody’, which stands at 62% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, is defying all Oscar experts to emerge as one of the top Oscar contenders. And the biggest beneficiary of this surge happens to its lead star, Rami Malek, who just bagged a SAG Best Actor nomination and is all set to receive his first Best Actor Oscar nomination as well.

3. Viggo Mortensen, ‘Green Book’

As a swearing Italian bouncer-turned-driver Viggo Mortensen is terrific in ‘Green Book’. In fact, the whole film rests on the chemistry between him and Mahershela Ali. And neither of them disappoint. The film’s strong showing with both the critics and audiences, almost guarantees Mortensen’s spot on the Best Actor nomination list.

2. Christian Bale, ‘Vice’

One look at Bale’s transformation for the role and you know why he is at the top of this list. In ‘The Big Short’, McKay’s last collaboration, Bale played a supporting role. This time though he will be the focal point of the film as the disgraced former Vice President of US, Dick Cheney. If ‘Vice’ does as well as ‘The Big Short’ with the Academy, rest be assured Bale is going to be hard to beat.

1. Bradley Cooper, ‘A Star is Born’

Bradley Cooper directing himself! That could have gotten wrong in so many ways. But he terrific, both as an actor and as a director. Considering the fact that he has already been nominated thrice, he is well positioned to actually win the Best Actor prize. To read the full list of predictions, CLICK HERE.

Read More: Oscars 2019 Best Picture Predictions

Read More: Oscars 2019 Best Actress Predictions

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