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2014 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Lead Actor

February 13th, 2015

The Theory of Everything 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. Today we look at the two leading actor categories, finishing with Best Lead Actor. As I previously mentioned, three of the four actor races are not even close; however, this is the one exception and there is a two-horse race to pay attention to.

(Note: All previous awards listed are only for acting and not other categories. However, they are for supporting and lead acting. Previous awards and nominations are not for TV roles, on the other hand. )

Best Lead Actor

Steve Carell for Foxcatcher
Tomatometer Score: 88% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: While Steve Carell has won a number of major awards, it has always been for his TV performances. Foxcatcher is the first film that he was in that has really earned him a lot of Awards Season buzz. He won't win an Oscar this year, but he might by the end of his career.

Bradley Cooper for American Sniper
Tomatometer Score: 73% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: None
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two Oscars, Two BAFTAs, Two Golden Globes, Two SAGs, and One Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: This is the third year in a row that Bradley Cooper has earned an Oscar nomination. However, the only chance he has to win is if enough Oscar voters regret not giving him the award the past two years. I really don't think that's likely. On the other hand, this does increase his chances of winning later in his career.

Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game
Tomatometer Score: 89% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: None
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Benedict Cumberbatch is still best know for his TV work, but he is rapidly becoming a excellent movie star as well. He might even win an Oscar, but not this year.

Michael Keaton for Birdman
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG
Actor's Previous Major Nominations: None
Actor's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Early in this year's Awards Season, Michael Keaton had all of the buzz and for a while it looked like he would be a slam dunk to win. However, that has changed and at the moment he looks like the underdog. I want him to win and there's still a chance he will win, but he is no longer the favorite. Had her earned a bunch of nominations earlier in his career, but not won, then his chances would be better.

Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Tomatometer Score: 80% Positive
Movie's Previous Major Nominations: Two SAGs, BAFTA, and Golden Globe
Movie's Previous Major Wins: SAG, BAFTA, and Golden Globes
Actress's Previous Major Nominations: BAFTA and SAG
Actress's Previous Major Wins: None
Notes: Eddie Redmayne has come from behind to be the favorite to win the Best Actor Oscar. He's won the three previous major awards he was up for, which is a great omen for Oscar night. That said, he's not an overwhelming favorite and he's about a 2 - 1 favorite over Michael Keaton.

Conclusion: Eddie Redmayne is the favorite to win, while I want Michael Keaton to win. That said, if either man wins, it won't be a shock.


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Filed under: Awards Season, Foxcatcher, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), The Theory of Everything, The Imitation Game, American Sniper, Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne