Oscar Predictions: Best Actor – ‘Living’ Could Bring British Veteran Bill Nighy His First Nomination

Other contenders include Austin Butler, Colin Farrell, Brendan Fraser, Hugh Jackman and Jeremy Pope

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.

LAST UPDATED: Sept. 15, 2022

2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actor

Courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis

CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Sony Pictures Classics’ “Living” premiered at Sundance, and since, has played at nearly all the fall festivals except for New York, gaining more traction and acclaim for its leading performer Bill Nighy. This run could bring him his first Oscar nomination, similar to Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor” (2008).

Brendan Fraser continues to be the comeback story of the year after big debuts out of Venice and Toronto for his work in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale.” But it won’t be easy for the 53-year-old actor. A competitive race is underway that will include one-time nominee Hugh Jackman in Florian Zeller’s “The Son” and Volpi Cup winner Colin Farrell for one of his best turns yet in Martin McDonagh’s “The Banshees of Inisherin.”

See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.

To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

And The Predicted Nominees Are:
RankNameFilmDistributor
1Brendan Fraser“The Whale”A24
A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.
2Hugh Jackman“The Son”Sony Pictures Classics
Peter as his busy life with new partner Emma and their baby is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas.
3Colin Farrell“The Banshees of Inisherin”Searchlight Pictures
Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them.
4Bill Nighy“Living”Sony Pictures Classics
An English-language adaptation of the script of “Ikiru” (1952), set in London in the 1950s.
5Austin Butler“Elvis”Warner Bros
Biopic of Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker.
Next in Line
6Tom Hanks“A Man Called Otto”Sony Pictures
A cranky retired man strikes up an unlikely friendship with his boisterous new neighbors. A remake of the Swedish film from 2015  film “A Man Called Ove.”
7Tom Cruise“Top Gun: Maverick”Paramount Pictures
After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him.
8Jeremy Pope“The Inspection”A24
Based on the life of filmmaker and Marine Corps veteran Elegance Bratton.
9Song Kang-ho“Broker”Neon
Boxes that are left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies.
10Adam Sandler“Hustle”Netflix
A basketball scout discovers a phenomenal street ball player while in Spain and sees the prospect as his opportunity to get back into the NBA.

Other Top-Tier Contenders
11Adam Driver“White Noise”Netflix
12Christian Bale“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
13Gabriel LaBelle*“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
14Paul Dano*“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
15Diego Calva“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
16Harris Dickinson“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
17Timothée Chalamet“Bones and All”MGM/United Artists Releasing
18Paul Mescal“Aftersun”A24
19Mehdi Bajestani“Holy Spider”Utopia
20Daniel Giménez Cacho“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Netflix
Also In Contention
21Jim Parsons“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”Focus Features
22Jonathan Majors“Devotion”Sony Pictures
23Christian Bale“The Pale Blue Eye”Netflix
24Daniel Craig*“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Netflix
25Cooper Raiff“Cha Cha Real Smooth”Apple Original Films
26Wes Studi“A Love Song”Bleecker Street
27Patton Oswalt“I Love My Dad”Magnolia Pictures
28Ricardo Darín“Argentina, 1985”Amazon Studios
29Caleb Landry Jones“Nitram”IFC Films
30Mark Rylance“The Phantom of the Open”Sony Pictures Classics
Other Awards Possibilities
31N.T. Rama Rao Jr.“RRR”Variance Films
32Ram Charan Teja“RRR”Variance Films
33Park Hae-il“Decision to Leave”Mubi
34Sam Worthington“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios
35Billy Eichner“Bros”Universal Pictures
36Harry Styles*“My Policeman”Amazon Studios
37Daryl McCormack“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”Searchlight Pictures
38Daniel Kaluuya“Nope”Universal Pictures
39Viggo Mortensen“Crimes of the Future”Neon
40Ewan McGregor*“Raymond & Ray”Apple Original Films
Unranked Possible Contenders
Aaron Pierre*“Brother”No U.S. Distribution
Adam Sandler“Hustle”Netflix
Alexander Skarsgård“The Northman”Focus Features
Antonio Banderas“Official Competition”IFC Films
Austin Butler“Elvis”Warner Bros.
Ben Kingsley“Dalíland”No U.S. Distribution
Benedict Cumberbatch“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness”Marvel Studios
Bill Nighy“Living”Sony Pictures Classics
Billy Eichner“Bros”Universal Pictures
Brad Pitt“Bullet Train”Sony Pictures
Brendan Fraser“The Whale”A24
Brendan Gleeson*“The Banshees of Inisherin”Searchlight Pictures
Brian Cox“Prisoner’s Daughter”No U.S. Distribution
Caleb Landry Jones“Nitram”IFC Films
Casey Affleck“Dreamin’ Wild”No U.S. Distribution
Channing Tatum“Dog”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Chris Evans“The Gray Man”Netflix
Chris Evans“Lightyear”Pixar
Chris Hemsworth“Thor: Love and Thunder”Marvel Studios
Christian Bale“Amsterdam”20th Century Studios
Christian Bale“The Pale Blue Eye”Netflix
Colin Farrell“After Yang”A24
Colin Farrell“The Banshees of Inisherin”Searchlight Pictures
Cooper Raiff“Cha Cha Real Smooth”Apple Original Films
Daniel Craig“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”Netflix
Daniel Giménez Cacho“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”Netflix
Daniel Kaluuya“Nope”Universal Pictures
Daryl McCormack“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”Searchlight Pictures
David Earl“Brian and Charles”Focus Features
Diego Calva“Babylon”Paramount Pictures
Dwayne Johnson“Black Adam”Warner Bros
Eddie Redmayne*“The Good Nurse”Netflix
Eden Dambrine“Close”A24
Elio Germano“Il Signore Delle Formiche”No U.S. Distribution
Ethan Hawke*“Raymond & Ray”Apple Original Films
Ewan McGregor*“Raymond & Ray”Apple Original Films
Gabrielle LaBelle“The Fabelmans”Universal Pictures
George Clooney“Ticket to Paradise”Universal Pictures
Géza Röhrig“The Way of the Wind”No U.S. Distribution
Gregory Mann“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”Netflix
Harris Dickinson“Triangle of Sadness”Neon
Harry Styles*“My Policeman”Amazon Studios
Hugh Jackman“The Son”Sony Pictures Classics
Idris Elba“Three Thousand Years of Longing”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Jake Gyllenhaal“Ambulance”Universal Pictures
Jim Parsons“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”Focus Features
Joel Edgerton“The Stranger”Transmission Films
Jonathan Majors“Devotion”Sony Pictures
Joshua Boone*“A Jazzman’s Blues”Netflix
Justin Chatwin“The Walk”Vertical Entertainment
Kelvin Harrison Jr.“Chevalier”Searchlight Pictures
Lamar Johnson*“Brother”No U.S. Distribution
Marin Grigore“R.M.N.”IFC Films
Mark Rylance“The Phantom of the Open”Sony Pictures Classics
Matthias Schweighöfer“The Swimmers”Netflix
Mehdi Bajestani“Holy Spider”Utopia
Michael Banks Repeta“Armageddon Time”Focus Features
N.T. Rama Rao Jr.“RRR”Variance Films
Nicholas Hoult*“The Menu”Searchlight Pictures
Nicolas Cage“Butcher’s Crossing”Saban Films
Nicolas Cage“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”Lionsgate
Owen Teague“Montana Story”Bleecker Street
Park Hae-il“Decision to Leave”Mubi
Pascal Greggory“One Fine Morning”Sony Pictures Classics
Patton Oswalt“I Love My Dad”Magnolia Pictures
Paul Mescal“Aftersun”A24
Ram Charan Teja“RRR”Variance Films
Ralph Fiennes“The Forgiven”Roadside Attractions
Ralph Fiennes*“The Menu”Searchlight Pictures
Ricardo Darín“Argentina, 1985”Amazon Studios
RJ Cyler“Emergency”Amazon Studios
Robert Pattinson“The Batman”Warner Bros.
Ryan Gosling“The Gray Man”Netflix
Sam Rockwell“See How They Run”Searchlight Pictures
Sam Worthington“Avatar: The Way of Water”20th Century Studios
Song Kang-ho“Broker”Neon
Sope Dirisu“Mr. Malcolm’s List”Bleecker Street
Sterling K. Brown“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”Universal Pictures
Steve Coogan*“The Lost King”Warner Bros.
Taj Atwal“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”No U.S. Distribution
Tim Roth“Resurrection”IFC Films
Timothée Chalamet“Bones and All”MGM/United Artists Releasing
Tom Burke*“The Wonder”Netflix
Tom Cruise“Top Gun: Maverick”Paramount Pictures
Tom Hanks“A Man Called Otto”Sony Pictures
Viggo Mortensen“Crimes of the Future”Neon
Vincent Lindon“Both Side of the Blade”IFC Films
Wes Studi“A Love Song”Bleecker Street
Will Ferrell“Spirited”Apple Original Films
Will Smith“Emancipation”Apple Original Films
Winston Duke*“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”Marvel Studios
Zac Efron“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”Apple Original Films

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT

The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.

2022 category winner: Will Smith, "King Richard" (Warner Bros.)

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