So now that I have covered my premature predictions in the actress categories for next year, time for the boys! First off, I will give my early, premature predictions for Best Actor.
1. Michael Keaton, The Founder: While the film's August release date may induce slight caution, Keaton is holding a big IOU after losing for Birdman (where he really should've won). It also helps he's been in the last two Best Picture winners, he's got Harvey on his corner, and he's playing a real-life person. The more I think about it, the more likely he could actually win.
2. Michael Fassbender, The Light Between Oceans: Despite his lack of campaigning, he still got in Best Actor for Steve Jobs. So they do like the guy. He'll also be everywhere this year with not just this film but X-Men: Apocalypse, Assassin's Creed, and the indie Trespass Against Us opposite Brendan Gleeson. Despite the film getting a Labor Day release date, indicating that it may peak too early, we'll see if it can sustain any buzz by the end of the year. The film does look like an emotional acting showcase.
3. Andrew Garfield, Silence: Garfield must be holding an IOU for a nomination after getting snubbed in the Supporting Actor category for The Social Network. Thankfully, his upcoming collaboration with Martin Scorsese could help him on his path to joining the Oscar club.
4. David Oyelowo, A United Kingdom: Another person holding an IOU for a nomination, David Oyelowo has a few opportunities to finally break through with Oscar. But I think his best bet is the biopic A United Kingdom. The film doesn't have a U.S. distributor quite yet. But if it gets a big one, then after being considered egregiously snubbed for Selma, here comes an opportunity to make up for that.
5. Joel Edgerton, Loving: After making the rounds last year for Black Mass, that will serve as groundwork for his potential promotion of Loving this year. He's one of those actors that seems destined to become an Oscar nominee and with the story that Loving deals with, a real-life interracial couple fighting for equality, he could finally earn that title.
On The Outside Looking In:
Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea: One of Sundance's critical darlings. But will it be more than just a critical darling?
Colin Firth, Deep Water: Welcome back nomination, perhaps?
Tom Hanks, Sully: Tom Hanks has been hit-or-miss lately, both box office and awards-wise. So despite being Tom Hanks, even being Tom Hanks couldn't help him get in for Captain Phillips.
Nate Parker, Birth Of A Nation: Also directed the project. Could be pull a Clint Eastwood or Warren Beatty and get both directing and acting nods?
Will Smith, Collateral Beauty: Concussion couldn't score a touchdown. Hopefully this film will give Smith stronger material.