Will Smith and Denzel Washington went toe to toe once before at the Oscars, when Smith’s performance in “The Pursuit of Happyness”Lost to a volcano Washington in “Training Day.” This season offers quite the rematch, as Washington’s expert work in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”Smith may have to win his Academy Award for the first time, but Smith is not in danger. “King Richard.”
Cumberbatch and Dinklage could grab two of the other spots here, but I’m curious if Joaquin Phoenix will score a nomination for the appealing “C’mon C’mon,”He plays a normal guy who takes care of his nephew. It’s Phoenix’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning “Joker,” but the last time he played someone this warm and grounded, in Spike Jonze’s “Her,” voters overlooked him. (They prefer their Phoenix to have bright plumage.
Jude Hill, a child actor, is another candidate for best-actor. “Belfast,”Nicolas Cage is a star for his iconic role in “Pig,” an all-in Andrew Garfield in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s adaptation of the musical “Tick, Tick … Boom!” and several indie leading men hoping to catch Oscar’s eye, including Simon Rex as a washed-up porn star in Sean Baker’s “Red Rocket,”Caleb Landry Jones was the Cannes best actor winner in the drama about gun-massacre. “Nitram”Clifton Collins Jr., a long-standing supporting player, takes the lead in the horse racing film “Jockey.”
You have more to do:Netflix has Leonardo DiCaprio acting like a snob as an out-of his-depth astronomer in “Don’t Look Up,”Apple has two dramas that are anchored by Oscar winners, but the Tom Hanks sci fi vehicle is the anchor. “Finch”Cloning and the Cloning Parable “Swan Song”Mahershala Ali
Two of the three previous best-actress winners are back, with Olivia Colman competing as a conflicted mom in. “The Lost Daughter”Frances McDormand, Lady Macbeth’s mulling spot remover “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”(Though, if you want to get technical they are two of four last best-actress winners since McDormand won that trophy twice in the previous four match-ups.
They are competing against Jennifer Hudson (Oscar winner)“Respect”) and Penélope Cruz (a best-actress winner in Venice for Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers”), as well as two-time nominee Jessica Chastain, who’ll be hindered by the so-so reception to her biopic “The Eyes of Tammy Faye.”Kristen Stewart is one of the many women who could win their first nominations. “Spencer,”Caitriona Balfe, the matriarch of “Belfast,”Tessa Thompson in race drama “Passing”Renate Reinsve was the Cannes best actress winner in the romantic relationship dramedy. “The Worst Person in the World.”