My impossibly early first looks at the major Oscar races for 2020 arrives at Best Actor. If you happened to miss my posts concerning the supporting performers, you may find them here:
Unlike nearly all of the potential contenders in Supporting Actor and Actress, there are already two viable possibilities from pictures that have already screened or seen release. The Sundance Film Festival shed light on Anthony Hopkins in the forthcoming The Father while Netflix’s Spike Lee joint Da 5 Bloods showcased career best work from Delroy Lindo. If it not yet known whether Lindo will compete in lead or supporting, but I’m guessing he lands here.
As for other hopefuls, there are many intriguing storylines. On the Rocks finds comedic legend Bill Murray reuniting with director Sofia Coppola. Their 2003 collaboration Lost in Translation marked Mr. Murray’s only nomination thus far. Three years after his win for Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman will headline Netflix’s Mank from David Fincher, which on paper seems like a very awards friendly venture. And the trailer out last week for Judas and the Black Messiah appears to be a bait worthy role for Daniel Kaluuya (though its release date is still up in the air).
There’s plenty more recognizable faces to consider. I nearly put Ben Affleck among the top 15. His spring sports drama The Way Back gave him some of the best critical reaction of his career. Yet he’s likely a long shot.
In 2019, my inaugural August estimates yielded an impressive three of the five eventual nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), and Adam Driver (Marriage Story). In my 10 other possibilities, the other two contenders were also named: Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes and the winner, Joaquin Phoenix as Joker.
Here’s my first take!
EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTOR
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
Bill Murray, On the Rocks
Gary Oldman, Mank
Timothee Chalamet, Dune
George Clooney, The Midnight Sky
Matt Damon, Stillwater
Ansel Elgort, West Side Story
Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins
Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Tom Hanks, News of the World
Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon
John David Washington, Tenet
Steven Yeun, Minari
Best Actress is up next! Stay tuned…