Monday, May 29, 2023

Predicting The 89th Academy Awards: The Acting Categories

One acting category is pretty much locked at this year’s Oscars unless if Hell were prepared to freeze over. The other three categories have their favorites but present some unique scenarios which may or may not play out. This is my in-depth analysis of the acting categories for the 89th Academy Awards and who I predict will ultimately walk away with Oscar gold.

​Click below to read my in-depth analysis.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Best Supporting Actress

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actress…

Viola Davis – “Fences
Naomie Harris – “Moonlight
Nicole Kidman – “Lion
Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – “Manchester By The Sea”

This is one of those races that there is no need for us to even break out the stats. This Oscar is going to Viola Davis. I pity the individual who ends up beating her if god forbid, that happens. It would most likely go down as one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history.

Renee Zellweger, Jennifer Hudson, Mo’Nique, Octavia Spencer, Anne Hathaway and Patricia Arquette are the people who have won the Critics Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG and all of them went on to win the Oscar. No one, since the introduction of SAG back in 1994, has ever gone on to win all of those awards and lose the Oscar. This is Viola’s year. She deserves it. And it’s going to be sweet.

PREDICTED WINNER: Viola Davis – “Fences
RUNNER UP: Naomi Harris – “Moonlight

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Best Supporting Actor

Here are the nominees for Best Supporting Actor…

Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight
Jeff Bridges – “Hell Or High Water
Lucas Hedges – “Manchester By The Sea
Dev Patel – “Lion
Michael Shannon – “Nocturnal Animals

And now it starts to get tougher. Here, for Best Supporting Actor we are going to break out the stats for Critics Choice, Golden Globe, BAFTA and SAG wins since SAG first came to be in 1994 and see how they all translated to the Oscar.

CRITICS CHOICE
​1995: Kevin Spacey
1996: Cuba Gooding Jr.
1997: Anthony Hopkins
1998: Billy Bob Thornton
1999: Michael Clarke Duncan
2000: Joaquin Phoenix
2001: Ben Kingsley
2002: Chris Cooper
2003: Tim Robbins
2004: Thomas Haden Church
2005: Paul Giamatti
2006: Eddie Murphy
2007: Javier Bardem
2008: Heath Ledger
2009: Christoph Waltz
2010: Christian Bale
2011: Christopher Plummer
2012: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
2013: Jared Leto
2014: JK Simmons
2015: Sylvester Stallone
​2016: Mahershala Ali
GOLDEN GLOBE
​1994: Martin Landau
​1995: Brad Pitt
1996: Edward Norton
1997: Burt Reynolds
1998: Ed Harris
1999: Tom Cruise
2000: Benicio del Toro
2001: Jim Broadbent
2002: Chris Cooper
2003: Tim Robbins
2004: Clive Owen
2005: George Clooney
2006: Eddie Murphy
2007: Javier Bardem
2008: Heath Ledger
2009: Christoph Waltz
2010: Christian Bale
2011: Christopher Plummer
2012: Christoph Waltz
2013: Jared Leto
2014: JK Simmons
2015: Sylvester Stallone
​2016: Aaron Taylor-Johnson
BAFTA
​1994: Samuel L. Jackson
​1995: Tim Roth
1996: Paul Scofield
1997: Tom Wilkinson
1998: Geoffrey Rush
1999: Jude Law
2000: Benicio del Toro
2001: Jim Broadbent
2002: Christopher Walken
2003: Bill Nighy
2004: Clive Owen
2005: Jake Gyllenhaal
2006: Alan Arkin
2007: Javier Bardem
2008: Heath Ledger
2009: Christoph Waltz
2010: Geoffrey Rush
2011: Christopher Plummer
2012: Christoph Waltz
2013: Barkhad Abdi
2014: JK Simmons
2015: Mark Rylance
​2016: Dev Patel
SAG
​1994: Martin Landau
​1995: Ed Harris
1996: Cuba Gooding Jr.
1997: Robin Williams
1998: Robert Duvall
1999: Michael Caine
2000: Albert Finney
2001: Ian McKellen
2002: Christopher Walken
2003: Tim Robbins
2004: Morgan Freeman
2005: Paul Giamatti
2006: Eddie Murphy
2007: Javier Bardem
2008: Heath Ledger
2009: Christoph Waltz
2010: Christian Bale
2011: Christopher Plummer
2012: Tommy Lee Jones
2013: Jared Leto
2014: JK Simmons
2015: Idris Elba
​2016: Mahershala Ali
OSCAR
​1994: Martin Landau
​1995: Kevin Spacey
1996: Cuba Gooding Jr.
1997: Robin Williams
1998: James Coburn
1999: Michael Caine
2000: Benicio del Toro
2001: Jim Broadbent
2002: Chris Cooper
2003: Tim Robbins
2004: Morgan Freeman
2005: George Clooney
2006: Alan Arkin
2007: Javier Bardem
2008: Heath Ledger
2009: Christoph Waltz
2010: Christian Bale
2011: Christopher Plummer
2012: Christoph Waltz
2013: Jared Leto
2014: JK Simmons
2015: Idris Elba
​2016: ?

This is an odd year for Best Supporting Actor. Mahershala Ali did a near critics sweep throughout the whole season which many did not expect. He has taken a total 34 wins throughout the season including Critics Choice and SAG which has worked out only once in favor of Cuba Gooding Jr. back in 1996 who also similarly lost the Golden Globe and BAFTA to two different people. Many feel that a win for Ali here is a way to represent the film “Moonlight” in case it loses Best Adapted Screenplay. Ali also gave a moving speech at SAG which did a lot to help raise his profile with his “I’m a Muslim” proclamation. However, that could have also created some backlash with some voters as well. Let’s take a look to see if his competition makes a more compelling argument…

The one who people keep looking to for an upset is Dev Patel in “Lion.” After winning the BAFTA, the only people since 1994 to win only the BAFTA and go on to win the Oscar have been Alan Arkin and Mark Rylance. Both films were nominated for Best Picture which Patel’s film is and “Lion” has had a groundswell recently with a lot of backing from Harvey Weinstein. Many expect it could squeeze out at least one win and this is the most likely place for it to happen. If people think “Moonlight” is safe in Adapted Screenplay and feel like spreading the wealth, they may go towards Dev Patel here. However, Patel is still young, while Ali is in his early 40’s. While there is no guarantee that either will come back for another nomination, I’d bet that Patel has the better chance than Ali does there. It’s a lot harder than we initially thought. Ali is featured heavily in the first part of “Moonlight” while Patel is featured in the last part of “Lion.” You could flip a coin but I’d argue it’s 60-40 Ali.

PREDICTED WINNER: Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight
RUNNER UP: Dev Patel – “Lion

BEST ACTRESS

Best Actress

Here are the nominees for Best Actress…

Isabelle Huppert – “Elle
Ruth Negga – “Loving
Natalie Portman – “Jackie
Emma Stone – “La La Land”
Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins

Now it’s about to get ugly. Best Actress feels like it’s signed sealed and delivered for Emma Stone in “La La Land.” After winning the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA, she seems unstoppable. However, there has been talk of a potential upset from Isabelle Huppert in “Elle” which was not eligible for BAFTA and was not nominated at SAG. Let’s take a look at the stats and see if they reveal any trends here.

CRITICS CHOICE
​1995: Nicole Kidman
1996: Frances McDormand
1997: Helena Bonham Carter
1998: Cate Blanchett
1999: Hilary Swank
2000: Julia Roberts
2001: Sissy Spacek
2002: Julianne Moore
2003: Charlize Theron
2004: Hilary Swank
2005: Reese Witherspoon
2006: Helen Mirren
2007: Julie Christie
2008: Anne Hathaway & Meryl Streep
2009: Sandra Bullock & Meryl Streep
2010: Natalie Portman
2011: Viola Davis
2012: Jessica Chastain
2013: Cate Blanchett
2014: Julianne Moore
2015: Brie Larson
​2016: Natalie Portman
GOLDEN GLOBE
​1994: Jessica Lange/Jamie Lee Curtis
​1995: Sharon Stone/Nicole Kidman
1996: Blenda Blethyn/Madonna
1997: Judi Dench/Helen Hunt
1998: Cate Blanchett/Gwyneth Paltrow
1999: Hilary Swank/Janet McTeer
2000: Julia Roberts/Renee Zellweger
2001: Sissy Spacek/Nicole Kidman
2002: Nicole Kidman/Renee Zellweger
2003: Charlize Theron/Diane Keaton
2004: Hilary Swank/Annette Bening
2005: Felicity Huffman/Reese Witherspoon
2006: Helen Mirren/Meryl Streep
2007: Julie Christie/Marion Cotillard
2008: Kate Winslet/Sally Hawkins
2009: Sandra Bullock/Meryl Streep
2010: Natalie Portman/Annette Bening
2011: Meryl Streep/Michelle Williams
2012: Jessica Chastain/Jennifer Lawrence
2013: Cate Blanchett/Amy Adams
2014: Julianne Moore/Amy Adams
2015: Brie Larson/Jennifer Lawrence
​2016: Isabelle Huppert/Emma Stone
BAFTA
​1994: Susan Sarandon
​1995: Emma Thompson
1996: Brenda Blethyn
1997: Judi Dench
1998: Cate Blanchett
1999: Annette Bening
2000: Julia Roberts
2001: Judi Dench
2002: Nicole Kidman
2003: Scarlett Johansson
2004: Imelda Staunton
2005: Reese Witherspoon
2006: Helen Mirren
2007: Marion Cotillard
2008: Kate Winslet
2009: Carey Mulligan
2010: Natalie Portman
2011: Meryl Streep
2012: Emmanuelle Riva
2013: Cate Blanchett
2014: Julianne Moore
2015: Brie Larson
​2016: Emma Stone
SAG
​1994: Jodie Foster
​1995: Susan Sarandon
1996: Frances McDormand
1997: Helen Hunt
1998: Gwyneth Paltrow
1999: Annette Bening
2000: Julia Roberts
2001: Halle Berry
2002: Renee Zellweger
2003: Charlize Theron
2004: Hilary Swank
2005: Reese Witherspoon
2006: Helen Mirren
2007: Julie Christie
2008: Meryl Streep
2009: Sandra Bullock
2010: Natalie Portman
2011: Viola Davis
2012: Jennifer Lawrence
2013: Cate Blanchett
2014: Julianne Moore
2015: Brie Larson
​2016: Emma Stone
OSCAR
​1994: Jessica Lange
​1995: Susan Sarandon
1996: Frances McDormand
1997: Helen Hunt
1998: Gwyneth Paltrow
1999: Hilary Swank
2000: Julia Roberts
2001: Halle Berry
2002: Nicole Kidman
2003: Charlize Theron
2004: Hilary Swank
2005: Reese Witherspoon
2006: Helen Mirren
2007: Marion Cotillard
2008: Kate Winslet
2009: Sandra Bullock
2010: Natalie Portman
2011: Meryl Streep
2012: Jennifer Lawrence
2013: Cate Blanchett
2014: Julianne Moore
2015: Brie Larson
​2016: ?

Since the SAG has been around, they have correctly predicted the winner for Best Actress 16/22 times (73%). The BAFTA has gotten the winner right 11/22 times (50%). The Golden Globe Comedy/Musical Actress winner has gone on to win 5/22 times (23%). Even though the Golden Globe Drama Actress winner has gone on to win the Oscar 13/22 times (59%), the only time the winner for just the Golden Globe and nothing else has gone on to win the Oscar has only happened once and that was for Jessica Lange in “Blue Sky” in 1994.

Quite frankly, the odds simply favor Stone. No winner of the Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA has gone on to lose the Oscar. If she did lose to Isabelle Huppert (Who, to her credit has also won the most critics awards), it would be because they saw that Emma was still relatively young and she would have another opportunity to win again, while this would represent a career win for the 63 year old legendary French actress. As much as I would love to see Huppert get awarded for her entire career, “Elle” is a controversial film for many, while “La La Land” remains the safe choice. I would also argue that Natalie Portman has just as much of a chance of winning here as Ryan Gosling does in Best Actor, which we’ll get to in a second.

PREDICTED WINNER: Emma Stone – “La La Land
​RUNNER UP: Isabelle Huppert – “Elle

BEST ACTOR

Best Actor

And finally, here are the nominees for Best Actor…

Casey Affleck – “Manchester By The Sea
Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – “La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – “Fences

Remember Sean Penn vs. Bill Murray? Or Sean Penn again vs. Mickey Rourke? How about Eddie Redmayne vs. Michael Keaton? Well, guess what? We’re here again folks. Best Actor is a coin flip. Let’s see what the stats say…

CRITICS CHOICE
​1995: Kevin Bacon
1996: Geoffrey Rush
1997: Jack Nicholson
1998: Ian McKellen
1999: Russell Crowe
2000: Russell Crowe
2001: Russell Crowe
2002: Daniel Day Lewis
2003: Sean Penn
2004: Jamie Foxx
2005: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
2006: Forest Whitaker
2007: Daniel Day Lewis
2008: Sean Penn
2009: Jeff Bridges
2010: Colin Firth
2011: George Clooney
2012: Daniel Day Lewis
2013: Matthew McConaughey
2014: Michael Keaton
2015: Leonardo DiCaprio
​2016: Casey Affleck
GOLDEN GLOBE
​1994: Tom Hanks/Hugh Grant
​1995: Nicholas Cage/John Travolta
1996: Geoffrey Rush/Tom Cruise
1997: Peter Fonda/Jack Nicholson
1998: Jim Carrey/Michael Caine
1999: Denzel Washington/Jim Carrey
2000: Tom Hanks/George Clooney
2001: Russell Crowe/Gene Hackman
2002: Jack Nicholson/Richard Gere
2003: Sean Penn/Bill Murray
2004: Leonardo DiCaprio/Jamie Foxx
2005: Phillip Seymour Hoffman/Joaquin Phoenix
2006: Forest Whitaker/Sacha Baron Cohen
2007: Daniel Day Lewis/Johnny Depp
2008: Mickey Rourke/Collin Farrell
2009: Jeff Bridges/Robert Downey Jr.
2010: Colin Firth/Paul Giamatti
2011: George Clooney/Jean Dujardin
2012: Daniel Day Lewis/Hugh Jackman
2013: Matthew McConaughey/Leonardo DiCaprio
2014: Eddie Redmayne/Michael Keaton
2015: Leonardo DiCaprio/Matt Damon
​2016: Casey Affleck/Ryan Gosling
BAFTA
​1994: Hugh Grant
​1995: Nigel Hawthorne
1996: Geoffrey Rush
1997: Robert Carlyle
1998: Roberto Benigni
1999: Kevin Spacey
2000: Jamie Bell
2001: Russell Crowe
2002: Daniel Day Lewis
2003: Bill Murray
2004: Jamie Foxx
2005: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
2006: Forest Whitaker
2007: Daniel Day Lewis
2008: Mickey Rourke
2009: Colin Firth
2010: Colin Firth
2011: Jean Dujardin
2012: Daniel Day Lewis
2013: Chiwetel Ejiofor
2014: Eddie Redmayne
2015: Leonardo DiCaprio
​2016: Casey Affleck
SAG
​1994: Tom Hanks
​1995: Nicholas Cage
1996: Geoffrey Rush
1997: Jack Nicholson
1998: Roberto Benigni
1999: Kevin Spacey
2000: Benicio del Toro
2001: Russell Crowe
2002: Daniel Day Lewis
2003: Johnny Depp
2004: Jamie Foxx
2005: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
2006: Forest Whitaker
2007: Daniel Day Lewis
2008: Sean Penn
2009: Jeff Bridges
2010: Colin Firth
2011: Jean Dujardin
2012: Daniel Day Lewis
2013: Matthew McConaughey
2014: Eddie Redmayne
2015: Leonardo DiCaprio
​2016: Denzel Washington
OSCAR
​1994: Tom Hanks
​1995: Nicholas Cage
1996: Geoffrey Rush
1997: Jack Nicholson
1998: Roberto Benigni
1999: Kevin Spacey
2000: Russell Crowe
2001: Denzel Washington
2002: Adrian Brody
2003: Sean Penn
2004: Jamie Foxx
2005: Phillip Seymour Hoffman
2006: Forest Whitaker
2007: Daniel Day Lewis
2008: Sean Penn
2009: Jeff Bridges
2010: Colin Firth
2011: Jean Dujardin
2012: Daniel Day Lewis
2013: Matthew McConaughey
2014: Eddie Redmayne
2015: Leonardo DiCaprio
​2016: ?

While there has never been a moment since SAG has been around that the Critics Choice/Golden Globe/BAFTA Best Actor winner has lost the Oscar to the SAG winner, there has been a time when a performance swept all of the 4 major awards and still went on to lose the Oscar. Russell Crowe lost in 2001 for his performance in “A Beautiful Mind” to…you guessed it, Denzel Washington for “Training Day.” Back then, the voting period was longer and the Oscars were held later which allowed for…stuff to happen. Russell Crowe got in trouble for roughing up someone at the BAFTA’s and the rest is history. Casey Affleck finds himself in a similar situation this year where a sexual harassment charge from his time making the documentary “I Am Not Here” threatens to derail his Oscar chances.

We have said all season that Affleck would win the majority of critics awards, which he did, and this was surprising as he became the most awarded actor of the season with 40 different award wins. We also said that when the televised awards started that Affleck would still probably win Critics Choice, but then go on to lose Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA to Denzel Washington. Well, Affleck beat Washington at Golden Globe and won the BAFTA because Denzel was not nominated. Denzel did take the SAG which many expected but the question is, did he take it for the right reasons? Did he win because he had never won a SAG before? Or did he win because people like Denzel’s performance more? Or, (And in what might be deciding factor here) did he win because simply like Denzel more?

Denzel Washington is one of the most acclaimed actors of our generation. Already a two time Oscar winner, should he win this Sunday he will join a small and illustrious group of people who have ever won three Oscars before and he will become the first African American to do so. An icon to an entire generation of actors and filmgoers, if anyone deserves this distinction, it’s Denzel. “Manchester By The Sea” may have more fans than “Fences” does, but the fact remains that Denzel is simply more liked than Casey is. Denzel has also been campaigning hard all awards season while Affleck is trying to keep a low profile. Affleck has had 3 chances to get up on stage and charm the crowd with a speech and he has mumbled his way through them every time. The long beard and hair have also not helped on the awards season trail. Denzel’s SAG speech charmed the room and reminded people how much they love him as a performer even if the character he plays in “Fences” is as unlikable as Affleck is perceived to be in this town. People however, sympathize with Affleck’s character in “Manchester By The Sea” and in a year where even Mel Gibson could get a nomination for Best Director, perhaps the Academy will be more forgiving towards Affleck and he will continue to sweep through the season without the SAG win.

​That SAG win however, is extremely important. As you could see above, SAG has only ever gotten this category wrong 4/22 times. It has an 82% success rate. Nobody has yet to win just SAG, SAG only, and still win the Oscar. There is a lot at play here but the one thing I keep going back to in my mind is the image of Denzel Washington and Viola Davis smiling together and holding each of their Oscars up proudly for the deserved work that they did together. It may be the toughest call of the night, but my gut tells me its Denzel.

PREDICTED WINNER: Denzel Washington – “Fences
RUNNER UP: Casey Affleck – “Manchester By The Sea

So what do you think? Which performances are you predicting to win the acting categories? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.

You can follow Matt and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @NextBestPicture

Matt Neglia
Matt Negliahttps://nextbestpicture.com/
Obsessed about the Oscars, Criterion Collection and all things film 24/7. Critics Choice Member.

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