So, let’s knock this out too…
1) Russell Crowe/Les Miserables
2) David Strathairn/Lincoln
3) Leonardo DiCaprio/Django Unchained
4) John Cusack/The Paperboy
5) Joel Edgerton/The Great Gatsby
6) Samuel L. Jackson/Django Unchained
7) Sacha Baron Cohen/Les Miserables
8) Paul Giamatti/Cosmopolis
9) Tommy Lee Jones/Lincoln
10) Bruce Willis/Moonrise Kingdom
Ok, so we all know that I worship the ground that Russell Crowe acts on, and so I have been WAITING for this inevitability to happen. This role, this film, this director, this track record, this EVERYTHING just screams Oscar frontrunner, and so I cannot wait for this to happen. Sure, I hate Tom Hooper for stealing David Fincher’s Oscar, but Crowe>>>Fincher (in terms of my personal devotion) and so I’m willing to let the troll slide this time if it means Crowe can get within arm’s reach of his second Oscar (I’ll deal with a nomination at this point).
But this category looks pretty packed with potential frontrunners. I mean, you have previous nominee Strathairn in the Lincoln biopic with a plum role, if transferred correctly, and you have three time Oscar loser Leonardo DiCaprio coming off the heels of a snub in an Eastwood biopic now starring as the primary antagonist in a Tarantino flick; and we all know how well Tarantino and Supporting Villain go together.
I fully expect this to boil down to a Crowe/DiCaprio battle to the podium.
Then there is John Cusack. I like him, not as much as I adore his sister, but he’s pretty good. A lot of people have worked with him, he’s been skirting around recognition for years (and years) and this is a really good role for Oscar to recognize. THEY LOVE VILLAINS IN THIS CATEGORY! Still, I’m not completely sold considering his Oscar track record, even when he’s buzzed (wasn’t he supposed to be nominated in 2007 for that horribly mediocre Grace is Gone movie?). Besides, are we really meant to expect that after the surprise phenom that was Precious took Oscar by storm that Lee Daniels is all of a sudden an Oscar name? I mean, Precious could have been a fluke, and to be honest, his direction was the film’s worst asset.
And I love Joel Edgerton and where is career is heading and he is just primed and ready for an Oscar nomination; right? He’s been turning in respectable work for the past few years and his star is ready to explode. Sadly, this could be a case of Michael Fassbender (too hot and too young for his own good) but this is supporting, and The Great Gatsby could very well be a huge hit. Also, this is a great role, so he has that going for him!
After that, we have the potential for a double up in various ways. That was really the only reason I didn’t predict certain potentials. I can’t really see them doubling up so much, and Supporting Actress is locked up for one and honestly, do they ever double up here (last time was in 1974), so I’m thinking no. BUT, Sacha Baron Cohen could snag a first time nomination, if he nails it and controls himself in the midst of his Dictator campaigning. Previous winner Tommy Lee Jones could come through if Lincoln proves more than a one (possibly two) man showpiece, and Tarantino + Samuel L. Jackson = magic; so there is that.
I know that Bruce Willis is complete and total wishful thinking, but I allow myself the liberty to do that this early in the game.