This is the only actor category with a bit of a decision to be made. Redmayne’s spot on performance and manipulation of himself to become Stephen Hawking is impressive and moving in Theory of Everything. Birdman‘s Michael Keaton has one of the best performances of his life. With his (sometimes questionable) body of work and longer time in the business, there’s a good chance he’ll upstage Redmayne for this top prize.
Cumberbatch, Cooper, and Carell all put in very impressive performances as well, but with Redmayne and Keaton battling it out, it’ll take a long shot to get them a win. Unfortunately, Jake Gyllenhaal lost out with Nightcrawler and wasn’t able to snag a nomination for his seedy and terrifying role.
- Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) – first nomination
- Michael Keaton (Birdman) – first nomination
- Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) – first nomination
- Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) – fourth nomination, two this year
- Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) – first nomination