The category of best actor this year has with it, a question that has been asked in years past. Is this the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins the Oscar? In the past, when he has been nominated, he has seemed to come up against an actor who has given the performance of their career and everyone just assumes DiCaprio will be back again, and he has been. The field in this category is very, very strong and loaded with veteran talent.
Bryan Cranston Trumbo
Bryan Cranston is still in the midst of the highlight of his career, even after the end of his greatest role and arguably one of the best television shows of all time, in Breaking Bad. He has been steadily working and making his way to leading man, on the big screen. In Trumbo he plays famed blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo and nine others made up the famous, Hollywood ten who went to jail amidst accusations that they were communists. His portrayal of the famed writer is a wonderful representation of the eccentrics that made him such a unique person. It is a performance worthy of the award, but this is a year where the nomination is going to be its reward.
Matt Damon The Martian
This marks Damon’s third nomination for his acting and first in over 5 years. The role of astronaut Mark Watney also earned Damon his first Golden Globe for acting as well. Damon has been one of Hollywoods most consistent actors, rarely making a bad film which is why it feels odd that he doesn’t have more nominations. Teaming up with Ridley Scott Damon had the challenge of having to carry every one of his scenes by himself. Just like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, he is what makes you not able to stop watching. He mixes humor and very technical dialogue so smoothly you feel he actually is an astronaut. It’s once again a very worthy nomination and is one of two who poses a threat to the front runner.
Leonardo DiCaprio The Revenant
While Leo is playing a real life character, it might as well be a fictitious one since there is no point of reference as to anything about Hugh Glass’ personality and demeanor. All that is really known are a few facts and the record of the incomprehensible journey he took, that is what The Revenant is an account of. After being mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead, Glass manages to get just well enough to track through the wilderness in an attempt to find the convoy he was a part of and confront those who left him behind. The depths which Leo went through to bring complete authenticity to the role will make one cringe. In short? Leo’s drought on Oscar night is without a doubt… over.
Michael Fassbender Steve Jobs
Michael Fassbender has really been making a strong name for himself for the last five years when he appeared in Steve McQueen’s very controversial film, Shame. His first nomination came two years ago for playing a slave owner in McQueen’s Oscar winning, 12 Years A Slave. This year he took on playing Apple founder, Steve Jobs, and excellently showed the darker side to the famous idea man. What made his performance so good, is that he in no way attempted to do any kind of imitation of Jobs. He delivers the infamous amount of dialogue that goes along with an Aaron Sorkin script, so perfectly, it’s no wonder he is the other actor that has a shot, albeit a long one, at stealing Leo’s thunder. Read my full review of the movie here
Eddie Redmayne The Danish Girl
Last year’s winner in this category for playing famed genius, Stephen Hawking was in early discussions to possibly be the first back to back winner since Tom Hanks did it just over twenty years ago. He plays a transgender man during a time when not only did people not talk about that sort of thing, many did not even know what that word meant. Lukewarm reviews of the film and the fact that DiCaprio has come on very strong, has made the possibility of back to back wins a long shot by a lot.