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Sunday, April 20, 2014



2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Lead Actor

Dallas Buyers Club poster

With our annual Oscar Prediction contest underway, now is the best time to look at the nominees and try and figure out who the favorites are and which films should just feel honored to be nominated. This week we will look at the four acting categories, continuing with Best Lead Actor. Like last year, this category is not truly competitive with one nominee way out ahead according to experts. And also like last year, I'm supporting an underdog. (In fact, I'm cheering for two underdogs.)

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting and not other categories. However, they are for supporting and lead acting.)

Best Lead Actor

Christian Bale for American Hustle
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe and One SAGs
Movie's Previous Major Wins: One SAG
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, Three SAG, and One Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, One SAG, and One Independent Spirit Award
Notes: Christian Bale recently won an Oscar and he hasn't won an individual major award yet (he did pick up the SAG for Best Ensemble). These two facts make it impossible to not conclude he is a long shot for the Oscar this year.

Bruce Dern for Nebraska
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe, SAG, and Independent Spirit Award
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Oscar and Two Golden Globes
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: While I don't think Bruce Dern will win, he's my sentimental favorite this year. He has earned three major Awards Season nominations, but so far he is zero for two. He only has one previous Oscar nomination in his career, and that was 35 years ago, so it is unlikely voters will give him the win to make up for previous losses. As much as I would like him to win, the evidence suggests he won't.

Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
Tomatometer Score: 77% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Three Oscars, One Golden Globe, and Eight SAGs
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Golden Globe
Notes: Leonardo DiCaprio will win an Oscar, but not this year. It's getting to the point where the number of major nominations he's earned and the number of times he's gone home empty-handed is an issue. I fear he will win his first Oscar for a sub-standard movie, because voters will be trying to make up for past mistakes.

Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
Tomatometer Score: 96% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe, Two SAGs, and One Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins:None (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe, One SAG, and One Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: One Independent Spirit Awards
Notes: I personally think Chiwetel Ejiofor should win the Oscar. 12 Years a Slave has earned better reviews than Dallas Buyers Club and I think his performance is better. However, I seem to be in the minority here, especially after he lost out to Matthew McConaughey at the Golden Globes and the SAGs.

Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Tomatometer Score: 93% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: One Golden Globe, Two SAGs, and One Independent Spirit Awards
Movie's Previous Major Wins: Golden Globe and SAG (One Pending)
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two Independent Spirit Awards
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Matthew McConaughey seems a lock here. That wasn't always the case, as for most of Awards Season, Chiwetel Ejiofor was seen as the favorite. Something changed and Matthew McConaughey has won both major awards he was nominated for. It is possible for someone to win the Golden Globe and the SAG and miss out on the Oscars, but it has only happened four times (most recently it was Julie Christie for Away From Her). I think Matthew McConaughey likes those odds.

Conclusion: I want Bruce Dern to win. I think Chiwetel Ejiofor should win. However, I think Matthew McConaughey will win. The evidence just points to that conclusion.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-02-20

Movies 
 American Hustle
 Nebraska
 The Wolf of Wall Street
 12 Years a Slave
 Dallas Buyers Club