2013 Oscar Predictions: Waltz Plays Runner-Up in Supporting and There’s a Log Jam at the Bubble for Best Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained
Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Jamie Foxx in Django Unchained
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Christoph Waltz saw himself playing runner-up to Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) and Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike, Bernie) from the Los Angeles, Boston and New York film critics respectively in recent days.

The Weinstein Co. has moved the actor who plays a German-born bounty hunter in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, back into the Supporting Actor hunt, but can he find his way into the top five? Especially considering he’s facing off against two co-stars in Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio, the latter of which is virtually guaranteed a seat at the five-chaired table.

This morning I updated my Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor predictions and when it comes to Supporting, while three actors in On the Waterfront, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II have been nominated before (via Gold Derby), I’m not counting on it happening again this year. In fact, at the moment I’m not counting on two of them getting in, though I do have Waltz knocking on the door.

As of now, here’s how my top five is looking in the Best Supporting Actor category:

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
  2. Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained)
  3. Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
  4. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  5. Alan Arkin (Argo)

The top three I’m quite certain are in and even though The Master seems to be dipping at the moment (though the L.A. critics loved it), I think it will, at the very least, be recognized for its three main acting performances. Hoffman remains.

Alan Arkin (Argo) enjoys one of the biggest jumps on today’s list along with Dwight Henry who still remains below the bubble while Arkin joins the top five, narrowly edging out Waltz. This move was made largely because none of the critical orgs are paying Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) or Russell Crowe (Les Miserables) much attention and they (Clarke especially) would need some attention to remain in the hunt.

As for why I’m going with Arkin over Waltz; 1) Arkin is great in Argo and leaves a lasting impression in a film that isn’t likely to runaway with the top awards, but will continue to be remembered and 2) Django Unchained will be a tough watch for many and as great as Waltz is in it I have a feeling DiCaprio and Jackson will be remembered in the end over Waltz. And, at the moment, the push for Jackson seems minimal, while DiCaprio seems a sure thing, which leaves Waltz as the lone question mark.

Whether you’re buying what I’m selling there or not, the short of the matter is, at the moment, my gut tells me Waltz isn’t going to make it.

You can get my full list of Best Supporting Actor contenders, rankings and position movements right here.

Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Moving to Best Actor, I have two new names in my top five, though my top three remain the same.

Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables) moves into the top five at #4, a move I’m quite confident in and while it pained me to do so, I have moved John Hawkes (The Sessions) to #6 and, for the moment, given the edge at #5 to Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook).

I Silver Linings Playbook quite a bit, but I have to say even I’m shocked I was able to move him into the top five over Hawkes, though it’s a move I may be reversing sooner rather than later.

Here’s my top five for Best Actor at the moment:

Best Actor

  1. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  2. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
  3. Denzel Washington (Flight)
  4. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
  5. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)

You can get my full list of Best Actor contenders, rankings and position movements right here.

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