2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor

this post was updated January 8th (FINAL PREDICTIONS)

Below you’ll see my FINAL 2016 Oscar Predictions for the male actors.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Folks have known for most of the year that this was DiCaprio’s to lose, and now that people have actually seen The Revenant film it’s even more of a lock. Based on history, last year’s winner Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) also appears to be locked in for a nomination. From there, we (probably) have six men fighting for three spots: Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender, Bryan Cranston, Johnny Depp, Will Smith, and Steve Carell. It doesn’t look like the old men really made much of an impact this year, but you never now. Regardless, supporting actor is a more interesting race,

My FINAL Predicted Nominees…

1. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

DiCaprio is finally winning his Oscar this year so it’s probably time you stop talking about it.

2. Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

The film is not good, and folks are noticing that. But last year’s winner has popped up everywhere he needed to and the nature of the role is something Oscar goes for.

3. Matt Damon (The Martian)

A popular choice who’s gotten some critical notice and is likely to win the Globe (in musical/comedy). I like his chances here a lot more than most. Only one who could possibly beat DiCaprio.

4. Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

Steve Jobs has fallen apart but Fassbender has risen above all criticism and been cited by all the key precursors. He’s not campaigning, but that shouldn’t matter much in terms of a nomination.

5. Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

Getting the BAFTA nom bumped him into this final spot. Globe nom, SAG nom as well. The film is not good and I don’t even think he’s particularly good in it but all the signs are pointing towards this happening.

Is Bryan Cranston a safe bet for his work in ‘Trumbo’?

RIGHT on the Bubble…

6. Johnny Depp (Black Mass)

He’s right there, though the campaign could’ve been a lot stronger (he’s missed out at most key places). He’s probably battling Damon for a spot.

7. Steve Carell (The Big Short)

Even though it’s more of a supporting turn, Paramount is pushing him in lead and The Big Short is looking like a possible BP winner. Globe nominee, can he beat Damon there?

8. Will Smith (Concussion)

The film didn’t land with really anyone, though he’s managed a Globe nom, whatever that means. Like Depp, he’s probably battling Damon.

And your Possible Spoilers…

9. Ian McKellan (Mr. Holmes)

Has worked the trail hard and there’s a lot of love for him but SAG and BAFTA misses mean this probably isn’t happening.

10. Tom Hanks (Bridge of Spies)

Bridge of Spies is in play everywhere. That, along with the name recognition and Captain Phillips snub narrative, keeps Hanks in the discussion at least.

11. Michael B. Jordan (Creed)

If the studio would’ve worked this campaign, it probably could’ve happened. He’s a rising star and is deserving but the buzz hasn’t really been there aside from a few critics groups.

12. Samuel L. Jackson (The Hateful Eight)

He’s popular and is the closest thing to a lead in an ensemble film but he hasn’t been cited anywhere and the film is on the brink with the Oscars as a whole.

13. Tom Courtenay (45 Years)

Reviews are there but the precursors just haven’t been and with a film this small those were a necessity.

Tom Courtenay & Charlotte Rampling in ’45 Years’

14. Geza Rohrig (Son of Saul)

Breakout turn of the year is what they’re saying but I just can’t see him really getting all that close.

15. Michael Caine (Youth)

Even BAFTA passed, showing how far Youth has really fallen.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

THE race of the year. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) is locked in but after that there are at least 10 actors with an arguable shot at hearing their name called on Oscar morning. Does SAG and the Globes throwing support behind Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation) and Michael Shannon (99 Homes) mean as much this year? Which, if any, Spotlight dude will make the cut? Do late rises for films like Brooklyn, Ex Machina, and Sicario put Emory Cohen, Oscar Isaac, and Benicio del Toro in the hunt? And then of course you have Sylvester Stallone, who could be much more of homerun/clear winner than people think. One thing is for sure, there will be deserving turns snubbed in this category this year.

My FINAL Predicted Nominees…

1. Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Has been the lone constant here throughout the season and with Bridge of Spies getting a late boost it really looks like he’s the likely winner despite his personal lack of campaigning.

2. Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

An easy check off, some folks will probably go for him even if they didn’t see all the films this year. That’s fine, since it’s the best turn of his career and certainly deserving. Possible winner?

3. Christian Bale (The Big Short)

You have to figure someone from The Big Short shows up somewhere and given the Academy’s love for Bale, it’s probably him. SAG and Globes both bit.

4. Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Put the film on his back with the SAG and Globe nom. He’s a popular actor who’s long been underrated until this year, really. Doesn’t matter that the film has a lot of critics.

5. Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)

I think he’s the one getting in for Spotlight (BAFTA agrees). He really is the standout. Has the most clear-cut “Oscar scene” of anyone this year. The Academy likes him too.

RIGHT on the Bubble…

6. Michael Keaton (Spotlight)

Should’ve won last year and with Spotlight setup as a frontrunner he’s right there. Swap him with Ruffalo if you’d like.

7. Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

Hasn’t really shown up at precursors but The Revenant has gained some late momentum and he’s had a great year with Mad Max: Fury Road and Legend as well. He’s popular and the overdue narrative is certainly there (will become THE new big narrative if he misses).

8. Michael Shannon (99 Homes)

SAG, Globes, and a number of critics have gone for him. Many say he’s the highlight of the year. But the film is so small that I think he gets left out in a crowded race.

And your Possible Spoilers…

9. Benicio del Toro (Sicario)

Hasn’t shown up anywhere but he’s an Academy favorite and late momentum for Sicario keeps him in play.

Benicio in ‘Sicario’

10. Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)

Has been cited by various critics groups but the early-year film doesn’t seem to have resonated with the industry based on guild notices (he did get Globe nom, however).

11. Jacob Tremblay (Room)

Is Room losing steam? Regardless, it’s going to be tough for a kid to crack this stacked field, even though SAG cited him.

12. Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight)

A CLEAR standout but no critics or precursors have confirmed this. Highly unlikely any of the men from this film get in.

13. Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina)

He’s had a big year and with the late surge by Ex Machina he’s a possible spoiler. But if he couldn’t get in for Inside Llewyn Davis or A Most Violent Year, maybe they’re just not ready to embrace him.

Oscar Isaac in ‘Ex Machina’

14. Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton)

The standout in a likely BP nominee but talk of this film seems to be more about the collective than any one particular performer. SAG Ensemble nod, but does that really help him?

15. Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)

Maybe Brooklyn is a bigger player across the board than we thought a few weeks ago. Many critics say he’s best of the year alongside his co-star Ronan.


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