2018. Oscars. Best Actor. We’re all thinking the same thing: Will the Academy give James Franco the award just to see what happens when he brings Tommy Wiseau on stage?
- Timothee Chalamet – Call Me By Your Name
- Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread
- James Franco – The Disaster Artist
- Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out
- Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
In the Hunt:
- Tom Hanks – The Post
- Jake Gyllenhaal – Stronger
- Denzel Washington – Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Best Actor is not as deep of a category this year as Best Actress. The top five is all but squared away.
There is the Tom Hanks question. He could sneak in in place of Kaluuya, whose history in the industry is far less deep a well as Hanks’. However, if Get Out is getting any major category nods besides Best Picture, it’s going to be here.
Kaluuya’s performance is perhaps the most crucial node of what makes Get Out effective, aside from Peele’s script. If he gets the nod here, it’s because he earned it. If Hanks gets it, well…it’s probably just because he’s Tom Hanks.
Gyllenhaal’s chances of an upset appearance in this category is so minuscule I hesitate putting him on the board at all. He’s been snubbed before for roles that received much more attention than his in Stronger. But I might as well hedge my bets. Then if he gets in I can say I told you so.
Washington has that veteran status where he can always be a contender, regardless of the film he’s in. Getting the Golden Globe nod only acts to help his chances. But Roman J. Israel, Esq. did not receive favorable attention from critics. In a quieter year for acting, he would round out the top five.
Instead, the top five is strong across the board. The Kaluuya-Hanks switch is the only thing I can foresee happening without the outcome being a major upset. The Academy isn’t going to go off the beaten path and honor a different performance like James McAvoy in Split or Andy Serkis in War for the Planet of the Apes. And the other traditional choices, like Andrew Garfield (Breathe) or Chadwick Boseman (Marshall) or Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman), were in movies that were either underseen or poorly received (or both).
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)