Early List of 2013 Best Actor Oscar Contenders: Day-Lewis, Murray, Jackman and More


An early look at the potential 2013 Best Picture nominees
An early look at the potential 2013 Best Picture nominees
Photo: Universal Pictures / Focus Features

I am finally getting to work on my “Contenders” section for the upcoming 2013 Oscars and while I already did a preliminary look at the Best Picture category, I will be exploring even those films again before opening the door on a new season of predictions. That said, I am beginning today with the Best Actor category and I’m asking you to help in adding any performances you think should seriously be taken into consideration once the first round of predictions are made.

This year I’ve decided I’m not going to include any more than 20 names in any category at any time, and at this point I have 21 performances already under consideration based on my list below. Question is, which one should go and do you have any names you believe I’ve seriously overlooked.

If I were to make an early list of likely nominees based on the names below it would probably look like this (in alphabetical order):

  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  • John Hawkes (The Surrogate)
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  • Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
  • Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)

A hard name name to leave off that list is Terrence Stamp who will have the Weinstein Co. backing him for Song for Marion. It would also mark Stamp’s first nomination since his one and only nomination in 1963 for the very excellent Billy Budd. But as hard as it is to leave him off, it would be harder to skip over Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master.

Other “just missed” contenders include Jamie Foxx in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained and I’m not sure what to expect from Baz Luhrmann‘s 3-D adventure with The Great Gatsby, but I’m not getting my hopes up.

Then there’s Tom Hardy with the newly retitled Lawless and Brad Pitt with the unfortunately retitled Killing Them Softly, which will likely end up the actor’s second worthy turn with director Andrew Dominik to be overlooked.

Question marks include Oscar Isaac in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewlyn Davis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Rian Johnson’s Looper and Ryan Gosling is re-teaming with his Drive and Blue Valentine helmers this year. He was overlooked before, but will he be this time?

And how about Robert Pattinson in David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis? It’s likely to hit the Cannes Film Festival and if it sticks and a distributor such as Weinstein or Fox Searchlight picks it up… look out. The days of sparkling vampires may be in Pattinson’s past by the end of 2012.

I’m not counting on Terrence Malick‘s The Burial until it has a distributor and an actual release date so for now Ben Affleck‘s only film on the board is Argo and it will be interesting to see what we get with David O. Russell‘s The Silver Linings Playbook. Russell’s last film did very well in the acting department, but can he get People’s Sexiest Man Alive an Oscar nom?

With that, check out my early list below and tell me what you think. Who am I missing that should be considered? Who on this list doesn’t stand a chance? I’ll explore the rest of the above-the-line categories soon enough and hopefully by the end of the month we’ll have a full batch of early predictions ready to role, just before this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

  1. Ben Affleck (Argo)
  2. Bradley Cooper (The Silver Linings Playbook)
  3. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Great Gatsby) *
  5. Clint Eastwood (Trouble With The Curve)
  6. Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
  7. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
  8. Ryan Gosling (Only God Forgives)
  9. Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond The Pines)
  10. Tom Hardy (Lawless)
  11. John Hawkes (The Surrogate)
  12. Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
  13. Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewlyn Davis)
  14. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
  15. Tobey Maguire (The Great Gatsby)
  16. Bill Murray (Hyde Park on Hudson)
  17. Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
  18. Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis)
  19. Robert Redford (The Company You Keep)
  20. Terrence Stamp (Song for Marion)
  21. Denzel Washington (Flight)

* Could be considered (and most likely will be) a supporting role.

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Weekend: Nov. 14, 2019, Nov. 17, 2019

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