OSCAR PREDICTIONS 2017: The male acting awards
On February 26th, Jimmy Kimmel will host the 89th Academy Awards and it’s time to make predictions. On this website, I've been tabulating all of the minor and lead-up award winners in all of the Oscar categories since last November on my 2017 Awards Tracker. Those results have been my data trends to predict these winners. In this sixth post, we look at the races for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Stick with me and I will win you your Oscar pool!
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
The nominees: Mahershala Ali for “Moonlight,” Jeff Bridges for “Hell or High Water,” Lucas Hedges for "Manchester by the Sea," Dev Patel for “Lion,” and Michael Shannon for “Nocturnal Animals”
AWARDS TRACKER DATA: 34- Ali, 8- Bridges, 2- Patel, 2- Shannon, 2- Ben Foster for "Hell or High Water,” 1- Aaron Taylor-Johnson for "Nocturnal Animals, 1- Hugh Grant for "Florence Foster Jenkins,” 1- Tom Bennett for "Love and Friendship"
Who was snubbed: This is the deepest acting category of the four. If you really wanted to, you could blow the whole thing up and replace the five nominees with John Goodman from “10 Cloverfield Lane,” Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson from “Nocturnal Animals,” Issey Ogata from “Silence,” Hugh Grant from “Florence Foster Jenkins,” and Ralph Fiennes from “A Bigger Splash” and still be snubbing the combined three Chiron performers (Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders, Alex Hibbert) of “Moonlight.” You would also have a razor-thin race. This current race is the opposite.
Happy to be there: Technically, everyone not named Mahershala Ali should be pleased as punch for their fifteen seconds on camera before losing. The supporting categories love to occasionally highlight child/teen/young performers that show talent and potential. Lucas Hedges has a bright future and we may look back to 2017 and “Manchester by the Sea” with remembrance.
Who should win: I’m a big Michael Shannon fan and I think he was the spice in the pie that was “Nocturnal Animals.” Aaron Taylor-Johnson may have had the louder part, but Shannon hit like a sledgehammer and, in my opinion, outdid Jeff Bridges at his own game as the better of the two grizzled Texas lawmen. “Nocturnal Animals” capped a remarkable 2016 that included “Midnight Special,” “Elvis & Nixon,” “Loving,” and more.
Who will win: Matching Best Supporting Actress, the winner is a lock and has been the same one all season. I think the three aforementioned young men (Hibbert, Sanders, and Rhodes) who played Chiron were all better, but there is no denying the mature impact of Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight.” He has won everything and deserves the spotlight. He’s the real deal, not just a knee-jerk, reactionary win to stomp away last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
The nominees: Casey Affleck for “Manchester by the Sea,” Denzel Washington for “Fences,” Ryan Gosling for “La La Land,” Andrew Garfield for “Hacksaw Ridge,” Viggo Mortensen for “Captain Fantastic”
AWARDS TRACKER DATA: 40- Affleck, 5- Washington, 3- Garfield, 2- Adam Driver for "Paterson,” 1- Gosling, 1- Tom Hanks for "Sully,” 1- Peter Simonischeck for "Toni Erdmann,” 1- David Johns for "I, Daniel Blake,” 1- Shahab Hosseini for "The Salesman”
Who was snubbed: Let’s repeat the blow-up method from the last category. You could plug in Jake Gyllenhaal of "Nocturnal Animals," Joel Edgerton of "Loving," Chris Pine of "Hell or High Water," little Sunny Pawar from "Lion," and Adam Driver from "Paterson," and have a strong field. Hell, Andrew Garfield was nominated for the wrong film because his work in "Silence" is better than his hayseed act in "Hacksaw Ridge." Gyllenhaal and Edgerton are the biggest snubs of that group.
Happy to be there: Viggo Mortensen of “Captain Fantastic” is outclassed by the rest of this field. The other nominees have all won lead-up Best Actor awards for their roles and appear in high-profile films. Mortensen is a curveball from the indie depths. For the common audience, he’s the head-scratcher.
Who should win: As you can tell by the Awards Tracker data, if Casey Affleck loses, it will be one of the largest drops and falls from grace in awards history to go from overwhelming front-runner to complete kryptonite. The disturbing accusations surrounding his abuses of others have been brewing all season and have cost him awards respect. In a perfect world, it shouldn’t. He had the best and most definitive lead male performance of the year. What’s happening is his own fault and it’s a shame.
Who will win: The ostracization of Affleck has opened the door for a new leader to emerge. Voters have found the reliable Denzel Washington and “Fences” to fall back on. The biggest indicator for Washington’s upset happening on Oscar night was his surprise win at the SAG Awards. The SAG Award for Best Actor has matched the eventual Oscar winner every year since 2003. Only three times has the winner not matched in the 22 years SAG has been giving awards. If Denzel wins, he will join elite company (and be the only minority performer) with six others (Katharine Hepburn, Daniel Day-Lewis, Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, and Walter Brennan) who have won three acting Academy Awards.