One of the most revered categories, we have some amazing actors in the nominees this year. Neither Bradley Cooper nor Hugh Jackman have ever been nominated before, while Daniel Day-Lewis has won twice (nominated five times) and Denzel Washington has won this and Supporting once each.
Although I have Jackman listed as number one and Day Lewis as second, I’m not sure who I think will actually win the award. Daniel Day Lewis is playing President Lincoln which brings a much larger rah rah America! vibe and is one of those characters that is sure to get lots of votes just because of who he is playing. I have nothing against his performance (it was spectacular) but I didn’t love the movie. Les Miserables was one of my favourite movies of the year and Hugh Jackman delivered a moving, powerful performance. Day-Lewis has won before which sometimes works against nominees, but as it is Jackman’s first nomination he might not be as likely to win.
- Hugh Jackman (Les Misérables) puts on the most magnificent performance of the year as Jean Valjean in this musical. One of the biggest talking points was the fact that the singing is all live, allowing for more mistakes and less perfection but it also allows for amazing performances that are gripping and emotional. Jackman has an incredible voice that portrays the hardships Valjean goes through and the emotion that comes through in his voice from the live performances makes it all the better. He was a perfect choice for the role and he did it wonderful justice. This is Jackman’s first Oscar nomination.
- Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) is Abraham Lincoln in Spielberg’s drama. He definitely does a great job in the role, and is one of the front runners for the award, but I wasn’t blown away like I expected I would be. Playing a presidential role such as Lincoln provides good opportunity for winning, so I’d probably bet that he will win even though it wasn’t my favourite. Day-Lewis has been nominated for Best Actor five times, and has won the Oscar twice.
- Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) put in a wonderful performance of an animalistic, alcoholic, Freddie Quell who gets swept up by Master Lancaster Dodd. Although a dull movie, his performance captivates through it’s boldness and his complete mastery of the visual character that makes it seem natural. This is Phoenix’s third Oscar nomination, and second in this category.
- Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) is a bipolar man trying to get his life back. He performed well but he wasn’t as transformative as some other nominees and it is his first nomination so he has lots of time to prove his skills. This is Cooper’s first Oscar nomination.
- Denzel Washington (Flight) . This is Washington’s sixth Oscar nomination and fourth for Best Actor. He has won twice before, once for Supporting Actor and once for this category