Oscars Predictions: Best Actor – Can Leonardo DiCaprio Make a Last Minute Entry?

Other actor contenders include Nicolas Cage, Clifton Collins, Jr, Bradley Cooper, Peter Dinklage and Denzel Washington.

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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ACTOR

UPDATED: Jan 21, 2022

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The Golden Globes gave their lead acting prizes to Will Smith for “King Richard” in drama and Andrew Garfield for “Tick, Tick … Boom!” in comedy/musical, solidifying two parts of a presumed top four candidates for best actor. Both of their movies are contending for spots in best picture, and if both of their films make the cut, it could make this race even more interesting. When it comes to Garfield in particular, he could get a significant advantage if he were to win the BAFTA prize, which is possible. We’ll see if he’s able to make it past the jury phase of voting.

The other two likely inclusions are the precursor leader Benedict Cumberbatch for “The Power of the Dog” and legendary Denzel Washington for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”

Leaving one spot open for grabs, Javier Bardem makes the biggest rise in the charts this week after he landed a critical SAG nod for “Being the Ricardos.” Shouldn’t be considered safe in the slightest, he’s still fending off previous Oscar-winners Nicolas Cage for “Pig” and Leonardo DiCaprio for “Don’t Look Up” – both having one high profile nod from a televised ceremony so far. It’s worth noting that Cage was omitted from the BAFTA longlist.

Oscar favorites Bradley Cooper (“Nightmare Alley”), Adam Driver (“House of Gucci”) and Joaquin Phoenix (“C’mon C’mon”) are darker horse possibilities, but still within the arm’s reach of a spot. Peter Dinklage’s campaign for “Cyrano” took a huge hit after missing the SAG nod, which seemed safe given his television ties, but the film might not be seen enough for him to make an impact.

Essentially, we’re looking to see if there’s a possible “out-of-nowhere” nominee like Tommy Lee Jones for “In the Valley of Elah” (2007). Perhaps the younglings Jude Hill (“Belfast”) or Cooper Hoffman (“Licorice Pizza”) could fill those spots?

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022.

Precursor Awards Leader: Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2021-2022) – coming soon
Awards Season Calendar


ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

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Courtesy of Apple TV Plus
AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:
RANK ACTOR FILM DISTRIBUTOR
1 Will Smith “King Richard” Warner Bros
2 Andrew Garfield “Tick, Tick … Boom!” Netflix
3 Benedict Cumberbatch “The Power of the Dog” Netflix
4 Denzel Washington “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Apple Original Films/A24
5 Leonardo DiCaprio “Don’t Look Up” Netflix
NEXT IN LINE
6 Javier Bardem “Being the Ricardos” Amazon Studios
7 Bradley Cooper “Nightmare Alley” Searchlight Pictures
8 Nicolas Cage “Pig” Neon
9 Cooper Hoffman “Licorice Pizza” MGM/United Artists Releasing
10 Peter Dinklage “Cyrano” MGM/United Artists Releasing
OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS
11 Joaquin Phoenix “C’mon C’mon” A24
12 Clifton Collins, Jr. “Jockey” Sony Pictures Classics
13 Adam Driver “House of Gucci” MGM/United Artists Releasing
14 Daniel Craig “No Time to Die” MGM/United Artists Releasing
15 Jude Hill “Belfast” Focus Features
16 Simon Rex “Red Rocket” A24
17 Hidetoshi Nishijima “Drive My Car” Sideshow/Janus Films
18 Mahershala Ali “Swan Song” Apple Original Films
19 Oscar Isaac “The Card Counter” Focus Features
20 Riz Ahmed “Encounter” Amazon Studios
ALSO IN CONTENTION
21 Winston Duke “Nine Days” Sony Pictures Classics
22 Matt Damon “Stillwater” Focus Features
23 Ansel Elgort “West Side Story” 20th Century Studios
24 Jake Gyllenhaal “The Guilty” Netflix
25 Jonathan Majors “The Harder They Fall” Netflix
26 Anthony Ramos “In the Heights” Warner Bros
27 Frankie Faison “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain” Gravitas Ventures
28 Dev Patel “The Green Knight” A24
29 Adam Driver “Annette” Amazon Studios
30 Filippo Scotti “The Hand of God” Netflix
UNRANKED LISTING
Adam Driver “The Last Duel” 20th Century Studios
Alessandro Nivola “The Many Saints of Newark” Warner Bros
Amir Jadidi “A Hero” Amazon Studios
Andrew Garfield “Mainstream” IFC Films
Benedict Cumberbatch “The Electrical Life of Louis Wain” Amazon Studios
Benedict Cumberbatch “The Courier” Lionsgate
Chris Pratt “The Tomorrow War” Amazon Studios
Christoph Waltz “Georgetown” Vertical Entertainment
Clayne Crawford “The Killing of Two Lovers” Neon
Clint Eastwood “Cry Macho” Warner Bros
Dan Stevens “I’m Your Man” Bleecker Street
Don Cheadle “No Sudden Move” HBO Max
Ed Helms “Together Together” Bleecker Street
Eddie Murphy “Coming 2 America” Amazon Studios
Elijah Wood “No Man of God” RLJE Films
Eric Bana “The Dry” IFC Films
Harvey Keitel “Lansky” Vertical Entertainment
Hilmir Snær Guðnason “Lamb” A24
James McAvoy “Together” Bleecker Street
Jim Broadbent “The Duke” Sony Pictures Classics
John Leguizamo “Dark Blood” FilmRise
Josh O’Connor “Mothering Sunday” Sony Pictures Classics
Justin Chon “Blue Bayou” Focus Features
Keanu Reeves “The Matrix Resurrections” Warner Bros
Mark Duplass “Language Lessons” Shout! Studios
Matt Damon “The Last Duel” 20th Century Studios
Matthew Goode “The Colour Room” Sky Cinema
Max Harwood “Everybody’s Talking About Jamie” Amazon Studios
Michael B. Jordan “A Journal for Jordan” Sony Pictures
Michael C. Hall “John and the Hole” IFC Films
Michael Caine “Best Sellers” Screen Media Films
Michael Greyeyes “Wild Indian” Vertical Entertainment
Michael Keaton “Worth” Netflix
Richard Madden “Eternals” Marvel Studios
Riz Ahmed “Mogul Mowgli” Strand Releasing
Ryan Reynolds “Free Guy” 20th Century Studios
Simu Liu “Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Marvel Studios
Tim Blake Nelson “Old Henry” Shout! Studios
Tim Roth “Bergman Island” IFC Films
Timothée Chalamet “Dune” Warner Bros
Tom Hanks “Finch” Apple Original Films
Tom Hardy “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” Sony Pictures
Tom Holland “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Sony Pictures
Tye Sheridan “The Tender Bar” Amazon Studios
Udo Kier “Swan Song” Magnolia Pictures
Zachary Levi “American Underdog” Lionsgate

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Actor)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The most prominent Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy have two. Tracy and Sir Laurence Olivier have the most nominations in this category, with nine. Anthony Hopkins is currently the oldest winner and nominee ever at 82 for “The Father,” recently surpassing Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond” and Richard Farnsworth for “The Straight Story.” Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at 29, while Jackie Cooper is the youngest nominee ever for “Skippy” at 9.


2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022