My line up for Best Actor has changed somewhat in recent weeks as it starts to become clear who are the sure-fire nominees and who has to battle it out for the remaining places. As it stands, there are four main contenders who are all but certain to be nominated while there are 4 or 5 that are trying to nab the 5th place.
1. Michael Keaton (Birdman)- Despite tough competition, Keaton is the runaway leader for his comeback role in Birdman, in which he plays an almost fictionalized version of himself. Birdman has been released in the U.S. to many positive reviews and has been stated as Keaton’s best work yet. It’s Keaton’s way back onto the A-List and could win him his first Oscar.
2. Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)- From what I have seen, Redmayne looks like he could give the best performance of the year in a transformative role as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. The film is released in the U.S. on Friday and all reports are positive stating that Redmayne’s performance is reminiscent of Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot.
3. Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)- This performance doesn’t look as strong as the competition but it is the kind of role that will get Oscar attention. I’m going to see The Imitation Game when it is released in the UK in two weeks and, while I’m not a massive fan of Cumberbatch, I’m sure he will get nominated.
4. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)- While I’d love to see Carell win, I can’t see it happening, despite his transformative role in Foxcatcher. At this stage in his career, a nomination will be great for Carell. He won’t win at the Oscars, but he has a real chance at the Golden Globes.
5. Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)- The first trailer for this film was really promising and even though it’s a year full of top competition, Cooper is my choice for the 5th slot as he is on a hot streak (2 nods in 2 years) and I have been a bit disappointed by what I have seen from his nearest competition.
Other Contenders: Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner), David Oyelowo (Selma), Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice), Miles Teller (Whiplash).