Can Tom Hanks Survive The New Flood of Best-Actor Entries?

All Is Lost

This is a big weekend for Oscar watchers. Four films are opening, and each showcases a best-actor contender.

Tom Hanks is already bruited as a favorite for “Captain Phillips,” but he could be going head-to-head in a sea battle with Robert Redford in “All Is Lost.” The other serious front-runner is Chiwetel Ejiofor, who’s in virtually every frame of “12 Years a Slave” and getting loving praise for his work.

Also notable are Daniel Radcliffe in a career-changing performance in “Kill Your Darlings” (which opened Wednesday) and Benedict Cumberbatch, who’s a better Julian Assange than the real Assange in “The Fifth Estate.”

That’s five possibilities right there for Oscar’s best-actor slots, though it’s unlikely those will be the final five. Other upcoming performances that have been getting high praise: Bruce Dern in “Nebraska,” Matthew McConaughey in “Dallas Buyers Club” (which bows Nov. 1), Joaquin Phoenix in “Her,” Idris Elba in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” Oscar Isaac in “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and Ben Stiller in “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

Other possibilities include Bradley Cooper in “American Hustle,” Matt Damon in “The Monuments Men” and Leonardo DiCaprio in “Wolf of Wall Street,” though few have seen those films.

Even before this week, the category was overflowing, thanks to performances in films that have already opened, including Michael B. Jordan in “Fruitvale Station,” Forrest Whitaker in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and Hugh Jackman in “Prisoners.”

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  1. surelyshirley says:

    As of now I’d say Tom Hanks, Chiwetil Ejiofor, Michael B. Jordan, Hugh Jackman, and Robert Redford.

    Benedict Cumberbatch’s film isn’t good enough to get him in, and Daniel Radcliffe was outmatched by several of his supporting cast. He wasn’t the best of that film let alone among the best of the year. I’d put several others ahead such as Forest Whitaker, Daniel Bruhl, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Miles Teller, and Tye Sheridan.

  2. Brit says:

    If you ever see ‘Filth’ in the US, I think James McAvoy’s performance would through a spanner into your predictions, the low budget film getting great sales in UK blowing away the Fifth Estate thanks to McAvoy. If he not nominated for a BAFTA, it will be a massive shock.

  3. The Kingslayer says:

    Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Idirs Elba, Bruce Dern and Mathew McConaughey are my picks for the nominees.

    I hope either Ejiofor or Elba win.

    BTW I like Cooper but from the looks of the American Hustle trailers I get the feeling that’s going to be Christian Bale’s movie.

  4. Mere weeks ago Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl were also getting a lot of awards talk for Rush as well.

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