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2015 Awards Season: Oscar Highlight: Best Lead Actor

February 26th, 2016

The Revenant

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. If Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't win, there will be rioting in the streets.

(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

Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
Tomatometer Score: 73% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for this Performance: Two SAG, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Wins for this Performance: None
Actor's Career Major Nominations:One SAG
Actor's Career Major Wins: One SAG
Notes: Bryan Cranston is best-known for his TV work, so while he's earned a large number of awards, his movie career hasn't been as critically acclaimed, yet. He won't win an Oscar this year, but he could in the future.

Matt Damon for The Martian
Tomatometer Score: 92% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for this Performance: Golden Globes and BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Wins for this Performance: Golden Globes
Actor's Career Major Nominations: Two Oscars, Five Golden Globes, and Five SAGs
Actor's Career Major Wins: None
Notes: Matt Damon has won an Oscar in the past, but not for acting. This might hurt his chances, except the chances of winning an Oscar for anyone not named Leonardo DiCaprio are currently zero.

Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
Tomatometer Score: 82% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for this Performance: SAG, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Wins for this Performance: SAG, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
Actor's Career Major Nominations: Four Oscars, Ten Golden Globes, Three BAFTAs, and Eight SAGs
Actor's Career Major Wins: Two Golden Globes,
Notes: Leonardo DiCaprio probably should have won the Oscar for What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which came out more than 20 years ago. Since then, he's been nominated several times for an Oscar, but has never won. Granted, The Revenant isn't earning Oscar-worthy reviews, but Leonardo DiCaprio is due for a win.

Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
Tomatometer Score: 85% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for this Performance: SAG, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Wins for this Performance: None
Actor's Career Major Nominations: One Oscar, Two Golden Globes, Three BAFTAs, Three SAGs, and one Independent Spirit Award
Actor's Career Major Wins: One SAG
Notes: Michael Fassbender has been shut out this Awards Season going zero for three in the previous major nominations he has received. Maybe if it weren't Leonardo DiCaprio's year, he would be the favorite this year.

Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
Tomatometer Score: 69% Positive
Actor's Previous Major Nominations for this Performance: SAG, Golden Globes, and BAFTA
Actor's Previous Major Wins for this Performance: None
Actor's Career Major Nominations: One Oscar, One Golden Globes, Two BAFTAs, and Three SAGs
Actor's Career Major Wins: One Oscar, One Golden Globe, One BAFTA, and One SAG
Notes: In about a decade people are going to look back at this film and cringe at its portrayal of its central trans character. Its reviews are nowhere near Oscar-worthy, while Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar last year, so it is very, very unlikely he will win another so soon.

Conclusion: The Revenant isn't an Oscar-worthy film in my opinion, but Leonardo DiCaprio deserves to finally win an Oscar. Call it a Lifetime Achievement award, but he's earned it.


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Filed under: Awards Season, The Danish Girl, The Martian, The Revenant, Trumbo, Steve Jobs, Matt Damon, Bryan Cranston, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Fassbender, Eddie Redmayne