The Best Actor race is a tight one this year. You have fan favorites like A Star is Born. Crowd-pleasers like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. Transformative performances in Christian Bale and Rami Malek. And Willem Dafoe is in there, too. Because why not?
- Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
- Christian Bale – Vice
- Rami Malek – Bohemian Rhapsody
- Viggo Mortensen – Green Book
- Willem Dafoe – At Eternity’s Gate
Will Win: Rami Malek
Could Win: Christian Bale
Dark Horse: Viggo Mortensen
I must admit that I have misunderstood the potential of Bohemian Rhapsody during this awards season. While I think it would be a drastic misstep for the Academy to overly award the film, the performance of Rami Malek is an undeniable barometer of what the Academy likes in an acting performance. It checks all the boxes. And it is a biopic of a famous musician; the Academy doesn’t often ask for more than that in their lead actors. Malek does a full-on embodiment of the Queen frontman, and I doubt the Academy will be able to help themselves.
All the same, Christian Bale’s disappearance into former Vice President Dick Cheney is right up the Academy’s alley, as well. Will the Academy jump at the chance to reward Bale a second time (he won in 2011 for The Fighter)? Who’s to say, but I think Malek has the edge over Bale all the same.
If the Green Book wave continues through the remainder of award season, then Mortensen could be primed to upset this category. Mahershala Ali is a shoe-in to take the Supporting Actor trophy. And the stock of Green Book is only rising after strong showings at the Golden Globes and PGA awards.
I still think this is Malek’s award, but it really is down to these three actors. Cooper is not the strongest acting showing in his own movie, and the stock of A Star is Born is dropping. Willem Dafoe, on the other hand, is an out-of-left-field choice. That is not to say that his performance in the film is bad, but performers like Ethan Hawke (giving the best performance of his career) in First Reformed and John David Washington in Blackkklansman were snubbed to fit him in.
Look for Malek and Bale to duke this one out. And, as per usual, the winner of the SAG will have the edge going into the ceremony.
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)