In many ways 2020 has been a crazy year, but when it comes to predictions for the Oscars, all bets are off.

A couple of big things are different at Oscars 2021 because of, you know, the pandemic. For one thing, movies released in 2020 are eligible regardless of whether they received a theatrical release or not, because major theaters were closed for much of the year. Which means a lot of Netflix movies have a shot. On the other hand, the deadline for his film to be released and still eligible for the Oscars has been extended from December 31 to February 28, 2021, and the Oscars themselves will not be held until April 25, 2021.

So with all that said, I did my best to put together a preliminary list of Best Actor Oscar predictions. And despite the fact that so many major releases were delayed to 2021 or beyond, there are a number of spectacular performances from 2020 that deserve recognition. Let’s delve into.



Image via Netflix

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s black ass

Anthony Hopkins – The father

Ahmed Rice – Metal Sound

Old Gary – Mank

Steven Yeun – Threatening

Tom Hanks – World News

Delroy Lindo – Give 5 Bloods

The tragic loss of Chadwick boseman Last year still hurts, but the actor is very much in the Oscars mix for his final performance in the Netflix movie. Ma Rainey’s black ass. It’s a powerful and spectacular twist that’s devastating in the way it makes you long for more performances from this outstanding actor. At this point, Boseman is the favorite to win and it’s hard to argue with that. His turn as an ambitious, naive and broke musician with the dream of making his own record is impressive, and it is practically a given that he will get a posthumous nomination here.

The other major threat to this breed, right now, seems to be Anthony Hopkins who is drawing praise for his turn as a man whose mental capacity is rapidly deteriorating in front of his daughter’s eyes. Hopkins only has one Oscar under his belt for The silence of the lambs in 1992, but was nominated last year for The two popes.


Image via Amazon Prime

Hopefully a year like this will see a few smaller movies make it to the Oscars, and a perfect example is the Amazon Studios movie. Metal Sound, in which Ahmed rice gives the best performance of his career as a drummer who suddenly loses his hearing. It’s a really complicated performance because Ahmed’s character makes some questionable decisions every time, but the way Ahmed plays him you always like him and you’re encouraging him to be okay. The critical notice put Ahmed on the scene in a big way, and it appears the industry is keen to acknowledge him as well given that he garnered a SAG Award nomination for Best Actor.

Another great indie performance that premiered at Sundance comes courtesy of Steven yeun in Threatening. He plays a Korean-American who moves with his family to Arkansas to start a farm and finds nothing but struggles throughout the process. The movie is told through the eyes of her young son, but Yeun does a spectacular job of communicating her character’s thoughts, emotions, and frustrations non-verbally. It’s a calmer performance than some of the others in dispute, and as we know the Oscars love a “big” performance, but it also fell into the SAG category, so I have a good feeling about its chances.

And then this old gary for his turn as a starter Citizen Kane scriptwriter in David Fincherit is Mank. Oldman only got his first Oscar nomination a few years ago for Tinker, tailor, spy soldier and then his first win a few years later with Darkest hourBut if Academy voters really rave about Fincher’s black-and-white ode to 1930s Hollywood, Oldman has a very good chance of securing a Best Actor nomination. And his acting is very good! It’s tricky as Mank is always in some drunken state, but I hope the character’s third act monologue can seal the deal. Mank missed an ensemble nomination from the SAG, but Oldman made it into the Best Actor category, so it seems pretty likely that he’ll make the leap to the Oscars as well, though I have a feeling actors are a little cooler in Mank usually.


Image via Netflix

There’s also Delroy Lindo who steals all of Spike leeambitious and conflicting Vietnam War drama Give 5 Bloods. Lindo’s turn as a man utterly devastated by his Vietnam War experience is surprising, and while the character, who is a Trump supporter, could have taken a number of paths, Lindo finds a way to make both of them hate and empathize with him. this man. at the same time. It’s a devastating twist that deserves all the praise, and while he originally had a much higher odds for Lindo, he was turned down by both the SAG Awards and the Golden Globes. That doesn’t mean there’s no chance that he’ll get an Oscar nomination. But it’s possible that Netflix’s decision to push him to lead actor could affect his overall chances. There is also the fact that Give 5 Bloods It came out last summer and has to remind voters of its worth one more time.

And then this Tom Hanksbut it really depends on how you receive the Academy World News. The Universal Pictures film received positive reviews and is a complete western, beautifully made with a strong thematic connection to our world today and a deep emotional center. It’s the kind of thing that might connect well with older Oscar voters, as it feels like a “traditional” Oscar movie in contrast to some of the more independent or character-centric movies, and if it connects, it’s Hanks will most likely win a Best Actor wink for his lead role. But of course Hanks has a strange history with the Academy, prior to his nomination for A beautiful day in the neighborhood, had not won an Oscar since 2001 Discard. That’s how it went Beautiful day Is it a fluke or is the Academy ready to stop overlooking one of the best actors today? I think it depends on how well World News does with the Academy in general.

In the mix

LaKeith Stanfield in Judas and the Black Messiah

Image via Warner Bros.

Kingsley Ben-Adir – One night in Miami

Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Post Movie

LaKeith Stanfield – Judas and the Black Messiah

Ben Affleck – The way back

Tom Holland – Cherry

Andy Samberg – Palm springs

As for who else in the mix, well, it’s narrowed down a bit. Again, this year it could go a number of ways. Kinglsey Ben-Adir he’s fantastic like Malcolm X in Regina kingthe drama One night in Miami, which could make big waves with the Academy, but so far Ben-Adir has missed the best warnings. And honestly a nomination for Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat Post Movie It’s not entirely out of the question, although the Oscars have a history of ignoring great comic performances. Speaking of what, Andy Samberg deserves to be in this conversation for one of the best movies of the year, Palm springs (the same goes for his co-star Cristin Milioti). It offers great laughter but also deep sadness in the Groundhog Day-esque history- is the best performance of his career.

Ben affleck He also made waves earlier this year with his deeply personal spin on sports drama. The way back, so depending on how much Warner Bros. pushes that movie / performance, you might get a nod. But the two big question marks for me right now are LaKeith Stanfield at Warner Bros. ‘ Judas and the Black Messiah Y Tom holland at apple Cherry.

Judas and the Black Messiah has received generally positive reviews, but Stanfield shares the screen with Daniel Kaluuya (who is going to support). Stanfield is surprisingly fantastic in the movie as the FBI informant whose actions led to the murder of Fred Hampton, but Kaluuya has the “flashiest” performance overall and could be the focus of the Academy’s attention here. Plus, it’s a competitive year and other contenders like Oldman and Ahmed are hands down the stars of their respective films.

As for Cherry, the drama comes from The Russo brothers and Holland plays an opioid-addicted veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. The first reactions were somewhat mixed and the full reviews will arrive later this month. That may give us a better idea of ​​the possibilities for Holland, but again in such a competitive playing field, a solid performance in a regular movie may not be enough.


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