2013 Oscar: Best Actor and Supporting Actor - First Predictions Find a Common 'Master'

2013 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor and Supporting ActorYesterday we kicked things off with a look at Best Director and today we move into the first two of the four acting categories with a look at Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively.

Like Best Director, and all the categories at this point for that matter, we're doing a lot of speculation as several titles have not yet been seen with Lincoln, Les Miserables, Flight, Hitchcock, Django Unchained and Promised Land being six I'm particularly keeping an eye on when it comes to these two categories.

Let's take a look...

Best Actor

Joaquin Phoenix in The MasterAt this moment I have a hard time placing anyone over Joaquin Phoenix for his performance in The Master.

I know most will go straight for Daniel Day-Lewis and his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln sight unseen and I can't blame them. It's a performance of a historical figure from a talented actor and the Academy eats those up. Yet, coming out of The Master most are praising Phoenix's performance and Steven Spielberg's track record in the acting department isn't great.

An actor hasn't been nominated for an Oscar in a Spielberg-directed film since Christopher Walken in 2002's Catch Me If You Can and, believe this, no actor has ever won an Oscar in a Spielberg-directed film. Of course, there are a few responses to that... 1.) He's due to direct a winner and 2.) Spielberg has never directed Daniel Day-Lewis. I think we all fully expect Lewis to be nominated, but at this point, having seen The Master and still waiting to see Lincoln, I'm going with what I know... for now.

Denzel Washington comes in third for me and after my comments on Flight yesterday I'm sure that doesn't surprise many of you. I have a feeling this is going to be our one big surprise of the season, that is unless you think of Hitchcock as a surprise.

Hitchcock, at the very least, is a surprise late entry and it's late addition is the reason I throw Anthony Hopkins directly into the top five. After all, Fox has to have added this to the release schedule at such a late date for a reason... right?

John Hawkes in The SessionsFinally, John Hawkes crushes it in The Sessions, which not only boasts great performances, but a great film overall and one I expect, at this time, to come away with more than just one nomination. That is, if we're living in a just world.

Now just below the bubble line I have actors that include Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour), Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Ben Affleck (Argo) and Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), the latter of which is one I can't quite figure out if it will be a film to challenge in all categories or avoid the acting categories.

It's been so long since, I'd say, we've seen a truly great musical that I can't quite put my finger on what the Academy will do. They did, however, nominate Johnny Depp for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which I would argue was the last solid musical we've had and before that Chicago, which boasted four acting nominations and one win (Catherine Zeta-Jones). So there is some precedence, but my lack of familiarity with Les Miserables is going to force me to wait until I (and others) have seen it.

That said, I have added my first predictions for Best Actor directly below and you can see my full field of 16 contenders right here.

  1. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
  2. Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
  3. Denzel Washington (Flight)
  4. Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)
  5. John Hawkes (The Sessions)

Click over the Page 2 for a look at Best Supporting Actor...

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/GothamCity151/ GothamCity151

    I still think the supporting actor most likely to get a nod from Django is Samuel L. Jackson, based on the script.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AS/ AS

    Dude, DiCaprio is a lock. I'd say he's definitely in the top 2 at this point. The Academy loves him (they nominated him 3 times) and he's never won. I think this is going to be his year.

    • Chris

      I agree

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

      I wouldn't be so sure about that. They didn't nominate him for Inception nor J. Edgar, although I think that since his role here will be one of his most different, they may be inclined to nominate him.

      • Chris138

        I loved Inception (and obviously the Academy liked it a bit too giving it 8 nods) but there was no way any actor was getting nominated for that film. And as for J. Edgar, that was just a really bad movie and, IMO, DiCaprio's worst performance to date.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

          Well, I agree that no actor deserved an Oscar nomination for Inception. All I was trying to say is that if the Academy truly loved DiCaprio, he probably would've gotten a nomination more recently than Blood Diamond.

          • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Zevastian/ Zevastian

            I can't agree more with DiCaprio being nominated and I don't know why I feel like this could be his year cause this time he's really stepping into unknown territory for him and for us too. If the performance he gives isn't too similar to Waltz's in Basterds then I really think he has a shot. It's a real shame that if he wins it's going to be for supporting and not as a lead actor which is what he really is in 95% of his movies but still I would love to see that happen.

  • Juan

    Both predictions are wrong because none of them has a single newcomer there has to be one

  • Winchester

    I don't have much of a handle on Best Supporting Actor outside of De Niro and Hoffman at this point. I'm going to throw in Russell Crowe for 'Les Miserables' and probably at least one person from 'Argo'. 'Django' I don't have much of a feel for, probably due to my lack of general interest in it. But someone could slip in here as well. DiCaprio or maybe one of the others.

    Best Actor wise -

    Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
    Daniel Day Lewis for Lincoln
    Denzel Washington for Flight
    Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables
    John Hawkes for The Sessions

    However, I can also see Bradley Cooper getting in. I can't give a reason why but I don't feel Hopkins for Hitchcock though probably should not be counted out. Ben Affleck can content himself with the Best Director nomination if he doesn't get in here since he wouldn't be winning both.

  • Ron Oneal Fresh

    Hoffman is the person to beat in the Supporting Actor category to me.

    Haven't seen Silver Linings Playbook, but from the trailer it doesn't seem like film that going to have actors space to have showy performances and to chew up the scenery.

    DiCaprio is the dark horse here. Tarantino always write these larger than life characters. If hes great, i suspect the Academy will give him the award. If it wasn't for Jamie Foxx brilliant depiction of Ray Charles he would have already gotten an Oscar trophy.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/AndrewJ.S./ Andrew J.S.

    1. DDL
    2. Phoenix
    3. Hawkes
    4. Washington
    5. Cooper

    Supporting Actor:
    1. DiCaprio
    2. Seymour-Hoffman
    3. Alan Arkin
    4. DeNiro
    5. Lee Jones

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Cordia/ Cordia

    i also don't think hopkins will be nominated, think of that more as a all or nothing

    i would trade Hopkins for Cooper at this point for best actor. i agree with the other 4. Joaquin seems like the winner.

    supporting actor is a big question mark, PSH seems like a lock but he already has one but that wasn't for supporting. Arkin and De Niro could be nominated if the movies play well for the academy, but i dont see them winning. Leo dicaprio on the other hand is a leading actor in my opinion, would be strange to see him win for a supporting role. but i think he deserves an oscar at this point..think he will be nominated at least if the role is anything like i think it is.
    and for #5 i will not say anybody for sure at this point we have to see some other movies to judge this. But if i have to go with my feelings at this point i would say russel crowe, i think the academy will love the film and i know they love crowe so he has a good shot.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Ian/ Ian

    I haven't seen The Master yet, but I feel like Phoenix has to be the frontrunner. It just feels like one of those performances that blows away the competition, ironically much like Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. I think he will be nominated again for Lincoln, unless it's utterly terrible, but let's remember that he just won five years ago, and no one has EVER won Best Actor three times. He's in a better position to do it than anyone else, but I think it'll be a good ten years or more before he breaks that glass ceiling. Phoenix, on the other hand, has never won, though he likely would have for Walk the Line had he not been going up against Hoffman in Capote. I think he's an actor who's given consistently good performances, and the Academy may see it as just being his time. And the apparent quality of his performance in The Master makes it an even safer pick I think. After that Hopkins and Hawkes feel like safe bets, though for Hawkes it depends on how much attention The Sessions gets. The last slot seems pretty open...I'm not sure where all the buzz is coming from on Flight, because it seems like a completely mundane actioner to me, just the sort of film Washington has been making for the last five years.

    As far as supporting goes, after Hoffman it seems extremely wide open, so much so that I can't put anyone else in there with any confidence at all. This is shaping up to be an interesting year, with so many categories so wide open. Of course Les Mis may well come along and swipe nominations in most every major category, but for now it's a fun field.

    On a side note Brad, any particular reason you have Guy Pearce on your list for Lawless, but not Tom Hardy? He'd be in Best Actor, which is much more competitive, but I thought he gave an absolutely titanic performance; Pearce on the other hand overacted a bit. I don't think either of them stands a chance, but I'm just curious as to why you threw Pearce a bone but not Hardy.

    • gary james

      Interesting that you say that about day lewis as to my mind he was completely robbed in his performance in gangs of new york..........if it werent for the 9/11 tragedy the previous year he'd have won that oscar hands down.............as it was the academy bottled it by letting adrien brody have the nod.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Travis/ Travis

    I don't see Denzel or Hopkins being nominated. I go with Hugh Jackman-trust me, if anyone gets nominated, it'll be him-and Bradley Cooper. Supporting wise, I don't see Promised Land getting any nominations, and I also just think Bobby Deniro will have a hard time. Also, Alan Arkin is on my cusp. I see Russell Crowe and Eddie Redmayne posing a serious threat from Les Mis, and as a placeholder, I'm buying the Matthew McConaughey push until someone better comes along. However, I think Leo and PSH are too likely to pass up

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Andrew13/ Andrew13

    Agree completely on Best Actor, though I have Hawkes in the 3 slot and I think Hugh Jackman could easily take Anthony Hopkins slot. (Phoenix, Day-Lewis, Hawkes, Washington, Hopkins)

    For Supporting Actor I also think Phil Hoffman is the current frontrunner, though DiCaprio seems to be the runner up right now, and I think Russell Crowe could surprise in Les Miserables. (Hoffman, DiCaprio, De Niro, Crowe, Arkin).

  • aza124

    Top 5 for Actor:
    1.Daniel Day-Lewis
    2.John Hawkes
    3.Joaquin Phoenix
    4.Denzel Washington
    5.Hugh Jackman

    Dark Horses:
    Anthony Hopkins, Bradley Cooper, and Richard Gere.

    Top 5 for Supporting Actor:
    1.Philip Seymour Hoffman
    2.Leonardo DiCaprio
    3.Robert DeNiro
    4.Russell Crowe
    5.Hal Holbrook (either for Promised Land or Lincoln)

    Dark Horses:
    Alan Arkin, Jude Law, and Dwight Henry.

    Somehow, I don’t think Phoenix would win it this year. The role seems too manic and impulsive for the Academy. I could be completely wrong though. For now I’m predicting Day-Lewis for the win. In terms of supporting, I think Hoffman would win his second with DiCaprio as the main challenger.

  • wher

    i relally believe and hope we will finally see Spielberg actor to win as some of them snubbed.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Akd/ Akd

    I think your best actor predictions are spot on. I haven't seen Lincoln, The Sessions or Flight but I doubt they can top what Phoenix did in the Master. The Academy LOVES method acting and Phoenix put on a clinic. That being said, I saw the trailer for The Sessions this past weekend and I was in complete aw of what I saw on screen. If Hawkes can have that type of affect in a brief three minute trailer I don't know how I would feel after I've seen the entire film. I still can't believe that this was the same guy yelling "Star Maps! Get your Star Maps here!" in Rush Hour, it's unbelievable. I think Hawkes is definitely one of best actors working in Hollywood right now and it's fantastic that he takes on such challenging roles.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mikey/ Mikey

    1. Phoenix
    2. DDL
    3. Hawkes
    4. Cooper
    5. Jackman
    Dark Horses (in order): Hopkins, Washington, Trintignant, and although I don't see it happening, I would love to see Gere get a nom.

    Supporting Actor:
    1. Hoffman
    2. DiCaprio
    3. De Niro
    4. Crowe
    5. Henry
    Dark Horses: Arkin, Holbrook, McConaughey

  • randall g gerber

    where is bill murray for best actor,stupid?

    • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

      Oh please, isn't this #GoodComments material? Huh, stupid? HUH???

      • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

        I think Brad already mentioned this on his twitter haha

        • http://www.twitter.com/GregDinskisk GregDinskisk

          Yeah, I saw this on it earlier today hahahaha!!! It's great stuff. Randall G. Gerber should just write comments for a living.

  • Casper12

    They won't give Day-Lewis a third Oscar. Meryl has been nominated so many time that they gave her Oscar just for that. But Day-Lewis has already won twice. Phoenix will win for sure & he deserves it.

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Anthony_X/ Anthony_X

    Best Actor is so crowded this year....

    I do think that there is gonna be a newcomer nominee, as it has happened almost every year... The odds are now going for Hugh Jackman or Bradley Cooper so...

    Sure bets

    1. Joaquin Phoenix
    2. Daniel Day-Lewis
    3. John Hawkes

    Very close
    4. Anthony Hopkins
    5. Hugh Jackman
    6. Denzel Washington
    7. Bradley Cooper

    Long Shots
    8. Jean Louis Trigtinant
    9. Matt Damon
    10. Jamie Foxx

    The Best Supporting Actor is Hoffman's to lose in my opinion.

    1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman
    2. Leonardo DiCaprio
    3. Robert DeNiro
    4. Russell Crowe
    5. Dwight Henry
    6. Ewan McGregor
    7. Alain Arkin
    8. Tommy Lee Jones
    9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
    10. Ewan McGregor

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Criterion10/ Criterion10

    Oh, how I hope Joaquin wins for The Master. Phillip Seymour Hoffman too, they both really deserve it. I still can't help but feel that DDL will be snubbed (either deservingly or undeservingly). Interesting to see that Arkin and DeNiro are actually good in their respective films. I like both actors very much, so I'm excited to see their performances.

  • Lewis

    why do you continue your love affair of Quentin Tarantino by automatically placing leo di caprio in the field of supporting actors? I don't think so...Dwight Henry was terrifying and heartbreaking as the ill father in Beasts. He deserves the nod..

  • marion




  • Rolocop

    I have read the script for DJANGO, and all I have to say is DO NOT count out Samuel L. Jackson. His character is the best in the script. To be honest, Leo's character isn't as key as you'd think. Jackson is the true heavy. And I know what kind of a performance Tarantino can get from Jackson. I think he's definitely to be considered, especially since his character on the page is amazing.

  • Mike

    Some ones you missed though most of these are longshots

    Best Actor
    Adrien Brody- Detachment
    Jake Gyllenhaal- End of Watch
    Clint Eastwood- Trouble with the curve
    Joseph Gordon Levitt- Looper
    Channing Tatum- Magic Mike
    Matthew Mcconaughey- Killer Joe

    Best Supporting Actor
    Don Cheadle- flight
    Michael Pena- End of Watch
    Samuel L. Jackson- Django Unchained (THIS IS NOT A LONGSHOT!)
    Ezra Miller- Perks of being a wallflower
    Tom Hardy- Dark Knight Rises
    Woody Harrelson- The Hunger Games
    Woody Harrelson- Seven Psychopaths
    Sam Rockwell- Seven Psychopaths
    Michael Fassbender- Prometheus

  • Jack

    1. Joaquin Phoenix
    2. John Hawkes- could pull surprise like Adrien Brody in Pianist
    3. Daniel Day Lewis
    4. Dnzel Washington
    5. Hugh Jackman

    BUBBLE LINE: Richard Gere, Anthony Hopkins-depends if it picks up traction, last year Fox Searchlight failed to score Fassbender a nod after a late release date, though this is more Oscar friendly

    1. Philip Seymour Hoffman
    2. Robert DeNiro
    3. Leonardo DiCaprio
    4. Hal Holbrook
    5. Russell Crowe

    Like I previously noted, I foresee a big Chicago night for Les Miss, like Chicago. Previous winner Crowe could easily find his way in. Also, Affleck has directed an Oscar nominated performance in every single one of his films so far, but like Brad noted, can Arkin get in even though he's playing himself?

  • Ritesh Chhabra

    Actor:1.Phoenix 2.DDL 3.Hawkes 4.Hopkins 5.Washington Supporting Actor:1.Hoffman 2.DiCaprio 3.Holbrook 4.Crowe 5.Lee Jones

  • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/profile/Mv11391/ Michael

    Best Actor:

    1. Joaquin Phoenix (The Master)
    2. Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)
    3. John Hawkes (The Sessions)
    4. Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)
    5. Denzel Washington (Flight)
    6. Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook)
    7. Jean-Louis Trintignant (Amour)
    8. Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained)
    9. Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables)
    10. Ryan Gosling (The Place Beyond The Pines)
    11. Ben Affleck (Argo)
    12. Jake Gyllenhaal (End Of Watch)
    13. Matt Damon (Promised Land)
    14. Tom Hardy (Lawless)
    15. Tom Hanks (Cloud Atlas)
    16. Brad Pitt (Killing Them Softly)
    17. Joesph Gordon-Levitt (Looper)
    18. Channing Tatum (Magic Mike)

    Best Supporting Actor:

    1. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master)
    2. Leonardo Dicaprio (Django Unchained)
    3. Alan Arkin (Argo)
    4. Robert De Niro (Silver Linings Playbook)
    5. Hal Halbrook (Promised Land)
    6. Matthew McConaughey (Magic Mike)
    7. Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
    8. Russell Crowe (Les Miserables)
    9. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
    10. Michael Caine (The Dark Knight Rises)
    11. William H. Macy (The Sessions)
    12. Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
    13. John Goodman (Flight)
    14. Michael Pena (End Of Watch)
    15. Guy Pearce (Lawless)
    16. Bill Nighy (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
    17. Sacha Baron Cohen (Les Miserables)

  • Jacob

    Best Actor 2012 is this years 2011 Best Actress race. Absolutely crowded with outstanding male lead performances, something that didn't happen last year in this same category where nominees left a lot to desire. Intuitively, the race seems only to be a Phoenix-DayLewis bloody round, but other potential nominees are not so many steps behind, so in the end anything can happen.

    First of all, we have to realize that the real competition for Daniel Day-Lewis is not Joaquin Phoenix, but Daniel Day-Lewis himself. His last win for "There Will Be Blood" is just still too (relatively) recent, and I don't really think the Academy is planning to make him the first actor ever to win three leading golden statues in Oscar's 85 years history. The fact that he has already won 2 statues and his last one less than 5 years ago has to count something for academy voters, it's not something minor. He may when it's all said and done have given the best male performance of the year, but we all know academy voters don't determine the winners just in base of merit and nothing else. A lot of other criteria count. But ... he's still Daniel Day-Lewis, starring on a Spielber film, and playing one of USA most famous presidents of all times. 3 strong reasons to indeed becoming this year in the first actor to win 3 leading best actor awards. And what if Lincoln doesn't win nor Best Picture, nor Best Director, nor Adapted Screenplay and not even a technical award? Is really the Academy going to allow Lincoln goes empy-handed? Since "The Master" is most likely to win Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor and other films like "Argo", "Silver Linings Playbook", "Les Miserables" represent strong competition, the only category safe for "Lincoln" so far is not other than Best Actor.

    Joaquin Phoenix is also a safe bet, a lock, and a potential winner, but what if Academy decides that Philip Seymour Hoffman is also a lead in "The Master" and assigns him one of the 5 spots? That would leave Daniel Day Lewis way completely clear of obstacles, since "The Master" academy fans votes would split into both actors. And we haven't still taken into account that "The Master" is a bizarre story and not the class of film precisely in line with Academy tastes. That's another factor working against a Phoenix win. But, he's never won and has built an amazing carrer, and we all know "trayectory + no past win" sometimes makes the Academy to reconsider it's obvious historical choices (unless your name is Peter O'Toole).

    And how about Hugh Jackman in "Les Miserables"?, maybe he delivers a great musical performance and comes up as a strong competition as well. We can't just discard him just because it's "Jackman the Wolverine guy".

  • Sarah

    I would like to see Javier Bardem get at least nominated for best supporting actor

  • wakar

    guys, thr does not even predict joaquin phoenix will get nod :D i think he did performance of the decade alongside with heath ledger(dkr) and daniel day lewis(twbb)