Daniel Day-Lewis in "Lincoln" (Photo : Paramount Pictures)
The Best Actor Category is by far one of the easiest races to predict this year. One actor has swept virtually every award leaving no room for surprises. Past winners in this category are Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Colin Firth (The King's Speech), Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Sean Penn (Milk), and Daniel Day Lewis (There Will be Blood).
Bradley Cooper-Cooper received his first Academy Award nomination for his role as Pat Solitano in "Silver Linings Playbook." When the film first premiered at Toronto, all the buzz behind the film went to its lead actress Jennifer Lawrence. Additionally, throughout awards seasons the actor was thought to be a weak choice and many pundits thought he would not get nominated. However, Cooper managed to pick up five precursor awards including the Satellite and the National Board of Review awards. He also received nominations for the Screen Actors Guild, the Critics' Choice, the Golden Globe and the British Academy Awards. However Cooper stands no chance against Daniel Day-Lewis.
Daniel Day-Lewis-Day-Lewis's portrayal of Lincoln has been hailed as the Best Performance of the year by over 33 awards organizations including the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the SAG award. The actor received his fifth nomination for Lead actor; he has previously won two for his work in 2007's "There Will be Blood" and in 1989 for "My Left Foot."Lewis's subtle performance is the front runner in the competition and it is unlikely for him to lose. If he wins he will become the most awarded male actor at the Academy with three wins.
Hugh Jackman- Jackman's performance as Jean Valjean earned the Australian actor his first Oscar nomination. The actor, known for his singing voice, was Tom Hooper's first choice for the daunting role. When approached he was hesitant but eventually took the part. Jackman has only won one award this year and that was the Golden Globe. He was nominated for the SAG and BAFTA and for many other prizes. However, like Cooper, Jackman will most likely go home empty handed.
Joaquin Phoenix-Phoenix's performance in "The Master" brought the actor his third nomination at the Academy Awards; he was previously nominated for 2000's "Gladiator" and 2005's "Walk the Line." Before awards season began, Phoenix's performance was hailed as the Best performance of the year. He won the Best Actor award at the Venice Film Festival and many believed he would follow it up with his first Oscar win. However, Phoenix's controversial antics spoiled all his chances. The actor stated that he hated awards and said that it was the hardest time in his career. This infuriated pundits and organizations. The actor later retracted his comments and stated that he would not have the career he has had if not for his two Oscar nominations. However it was far too late. Phoenix won 8 precursor awards including the Los Angeles Film Critics. He was nominated for the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Critics Choice. His failure to be mentioned at the SAG brought all his chances to win the Oscar to rest.
Denzel Washington-Two time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington received his sixth nomination and became the highest nominated African American in the history of the Oscars. He won for "Training Day" and "Glory." For his performance in "Flight," Washington received the African American Film Critics Award for Best Actor. He received nominations for the SAG, the Critics' Choice, and the Golden Globe. However he did not get nominated for the BAFTA. Washington has no chance at the award with Day-Lewis in the competition. However if the Academy decides to make more history they can give him his third and he can become the highest winning male actor and African American in Oscar history.
Predictions-Daniel Day-Lewis is unstoppable and he will easily win his third Academy Award.