Last year’s Best Actor Oscar race was over before it started. Although the other nominees gave acclaimed performances, everyone knew that Daniel Day-Lewis was going to walk away with the Oscar for Lincoln. At first, this year’s award seemed like another easy one, with 12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor getting near unanimous acclaim. But as more films have come out, it’s clear that we have a race for Best Actor this year.
So, let’s start looking at some of the frontrunners for this year’s race. You can check out my list of potential Best Actress nominees here.
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years A Slave
[new page = Leonardo DiCaprio]
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall StreetDiCaprio has surprisingly not won an Oscar yet, and that’s partly because he has rotten luck in the years that he’s been nominated. He hasn’t been nominated since 2006’s Blood Diamond and he lost that award to Forest Whitaker, who is also in the running this year. If Ejiofor wasn’t such a strong candidate, I’d suspect that this would finally be DiCaprio’s year. His performance as Jordan Belfort is easily the best he’s given for Martin Scorsese and likely the best of his career.
[new page = Forest Whitaker]Forest Whitaker – Lee Daniels’ The ButlerSpeaking of Whitaker, he is in the running for The Butler, in which he stars as the title character, who served in the White House for over 50 years. The film had strong awards potential, but then hit a snag when he didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination. Still, he was nominated for a SAG Award, so clearly actors like his performance.
[new page = Robert Redford]Robert Redford – All Is LostIt’s amazing that Redford has never won for acting – his Oscar came for directing 1980’s Ordinary People. He also won an honorary award in 2002. However, he hasn’t been up for a competitive acting Oscar since 1972’s The Sting. He earned acclaim for his performance in All Is Lost and is the only actor in the movie. It might just finally be his time to win Best Actor.
[new page = Tom Hanks]Tom Hanks – Captain PhillipsIt’s been nearly 20 years since Forrest Gump and over a decade since Hanks was nominated for Cast Away. He earned positive marks for playing Captain Phillips and should at least get nominated.
[new page= Oscar Isaac]Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn DavisThere’s an outside chance that Isaac will get a nod for the latest Coen Brothers film, in which he plays a 1960s folk singer. Isaac has been in supporting parts for years, so a Best Actor nod would be a significant boost for his career.
[new page = Matthew McConaughey]Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers ClubMcConaughey has never even been nominated in his long career and this would be a perfect opportunity for him to win. He plays Ronald Woodroof, a man diagnosed with AIDS and decides to smuggle in drugs to help other patients.
[new page= Bruce Dern]The top two outside contenders I can think of are Idris Elba, who plays Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom and Christian Bale for American Hustle. Bruce Dern has also won rave reviews for Nebraska.
top image: Tim P. Whitby/Getty/image.net
Daniel S Levine is a longtime movie fan and a graduate of Hoftsra University. I also know just about everything you might need to know about Star Wars.