Oscar Analysis 2014: Breaking Down The Best Actor Race

By Sean O'Connell 2014-01-18 10:42:20discussion comments
The Best Actor race is no laughing matter this year, despite the fact that The Wolf of Wall Street star Leonardo DiCaprio keeps picking up acting awards in Best Actor in a Comedy categories (like at the Golden Globes and the Criticsí Choice Movie Awards). Oscar streamlines its categories to five worthy nominees, so while Leo is in, it means Ė as we pointed out Ė that deserving actors such as Tom Hanks and Robert Redford were left out in the cold on Oscar morning.

Now we know who our five Best Actor nominees are, and we can begin to properly handicap the race. Weíre going to continue analyzing all of the top Oscar categories as we work to the March 2 ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. By the time all is said and done, CinemaBlend will offer you the most comprehensive analysis of the entire Oscar field, all but guaranteeing you a win in your office Oscar pools. (Youíre welcome!) Letís start with our choice for the Best Actor category:

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DARK HORSES: Christian Bale and Bruce Dern
For some, the nominee is the win. Thatís likely the case with these fine actors who deserved nominations, but will probably see their performances eclipsed by the higher-profile movies like 12 Years and Dallas Buyers.

The problem for Bale might be that there are too many performances in American Hustle, and no one in David O. Russellís all-star ensemble was given a chance to break out. Itís a true team effort, so while the Academy selected Bale here (and sprinkled love to his co-stars in other categories), I think the American Hustle section will be rowdy, happy to be there, but the ones who go home empty handed on Oscar night.

Dern needs a bigger boost for Nebraska, overall. The movie was well-received by the Academy, earning noms for Picture, Director, Supporting Actress, Screenplay and more. But you donít hear a lot of experts talking about the movie. Iím sure the older Academy members appreciated seeing Dern in a relevant part again. He deserves the nomination. Iíd be very surprised to see him triumph against the competition in this stacked category.
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