In some respects, 2017 is a very boring year for Oscar predictions. This also means that many of the categories are downright pieces of cake to narrow down. What’s good for the Oscar ballot is not as good for the press, I guess.
In Best Actor, we have a handful of great performances, but there is only one that has been the favorite from the very start.
- Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
- Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
- Ryan Gosling – La La Land
- Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
- Denzel Washington – Fences
Will Win: Casey Affleck
Could Win: Denzel Washington
Should Win: Casey Affleck
[Update 1/30]: Following his SAG award win, Denzel Washington’s stock is rising and I am eating my words. The Oscar race is a two-horse one as of now. Affleck and Washington will duke it out until the final word is announced.
Washington is actually in a good footing to launch up and upset Affleck. With the negative PR campaign launched against Affleck—he allegedly repeatedly sexually harassed workers on a film he directed, I’m Still Here—some may be hesitant to give him his due for his performance in Manchester by the Sea. Not to mention we are in the year where the Academy poised itself for redemption following two years of #OscarsSoWhite. Don’t be surprised if Washington ends up taking this award.
Affleck has the award in the bag. We will watch what happens at the upcoming SAG awards, but look for him to take that and move into the Oscar hunt with highly favorable odds.
The only actor that could sweep in and take his crown is Ryan Gosling if La La Land proves to have an historic night. I wouldn’t put it past the Academy to want to give La La Land as much recognition as possible just so it can get a record-breaking number of wins. Still, Gosling’s good performance bears no weight against Affleck’s heart-wrenching and movie-making turn as a grieving widow.
Of course, Washington too gives a great performance in Fences, but the film’s overall stock is not as high as either La La Land or Manchester by the Sea. He’s a veteran who has had his day in the Oscar sunlight, so he is a dark horse candidate at best.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)