Oscars 2014 Predictions: Best Actor

The three-way battle for the Best Actor Oscar seems to be coming down to who has the most heat. Many are picking Chiwetel Ejiofor for this category, but I think an upset might very well be possible. Here are the nominees and who I think will win on Oscar night.


Christian Bale


Bale portrayed a fun caricature of a character in David O. Russell’s American Hustle. His balding con man character certainly brought some much needed weight in tying the jumbled storyline and its characters together. Bale has won before (in 2011 for The Fighter) but I don’t see him even being in the running here. I’m sure we’ll be seeing the former Batman actor at future Oscar nights contending for the golden statue.

Bruce Dern


Does the Academy enact their occasional gifting of token trophies to elderly nominees to honor their extensive body of work? No and nor should they. That’s what the Lifetime Achievement Award is for. Dern may have earned this nomination in spades, but he certainly doesn’t deserve to win it.

Leonardo DiCaprio


Ah, now we get into the heavy hitters. For a while, it looked like Leo might be garnering some awards season momentum. The marketing campaign for The Wolf of Wall Street has been relentless with Paramount taking out full page spreads in major market newspapers. But will all that ad money be enough to slot Leo’s name in the winning envelope? Probably not.

Chiwetel Ejiofor


When awards season kicked off, Ejiofor had all the buzz. The 12 Years a Slave actor was the odds on favorite to sweep the acting awards and the film was destined to capture the best picture award. My, how things change in the span of five months. Ejiofor would very much still be a front-runner if Matthew McConaughey didn’t surge seemingly from out of nowhere to win one award after another. I suspect 12 Years will win Best Picture, but I don’t think Ejiofor has enough to overtake McConaughey in the acting category.

The Winner: Matthew McConaughey


Heat and timing are everything in Hollywood. McConaughey blazed out of nowhere about midway into the awards season (my guess is folks checking out Jared Leto’s captivating performance caught wind of McConaughey’s acting by accident). Add to the string of wins a critically buzzed about HBO series (True Detectives) and this award is McConaughey’s to lose. All riiiight.

See Best Picture Predictions here.


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