Best Actor

Michael Keaton

#1 Michael Keaton (Birdman)

Fox Searchlight Pictures /  Directed By
Release Date: October 17, 2014 (Limited)

Eddie Redmayne

#2 Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Focus Features /  Directed By
Release Date: November 7, 2014 (Limited)

Benedict Cumberbatch

#3 Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)

The Weinstein Co. /  Directed By
Release Date: November 28, 2014 (Limited)

Bradley Cooper

#4 Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)

Warner Bros. /  Directed By
Release Date: December 25, 2014 (LImited; Expands Jan 16, 2015)


Steve Carell

#5 Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)

Sony Pictures Classics /  Directed By
Release Date: November 14, 2014 (Limited)

  • ghislaine

    May 2014
    Some other possibilities that may be further down on your list:

    James McAvoy - Eleanor Rigby
    Mark Ruffalo - Begin Again
    Brad Pitt - Fury
    Tommy Lee Jones - The Homesman
    Bradley Cooper - Serena
    Matthew Schoenaerts - Suite Francaise, Far From the Madding Crowd
    Michael Shannon - Midnight Special
    John Hawkes - Lowdown
    Alfred Molina - Love is Strange
    Christophe Waltz - Big Eyes

  • Stacey James

    I like the full list of prospects and am looking forward to a lot of their performances this year. As for the early top 5 though, I'm worried Jack o Connell might be betrayed by his age, Michael Keaton might be betrayed by his resume (Robocop and Need for Speed are not exactly good oscar precursors), and Chadwick Boseman (& Ralph Fiennes) might be betrayed by his film's release date (which is sad in both cases). Just guesses. I'm really looking forward to Boseman, but I can't help but notice that Get On Up was given a release date less than a week apart from the excellent-but-premature Fruitvale Station. if Boseman's performance is that good, I have no doubt it will stick, but being outside the periphery of actual awards-friendly months will be a challenge for any talent.

    It will be an interesting year with this mix. Looks like we could be in for some treats, regardless of how the oscars go.

  • Michael Norris

    I don't know how the kid from Boyhood isn't at least going to be in the discussion.

  • Bri

    How about BRAD PITT in FURY?

  • Anon

    I've been on the AwardsWatch forum and some of them are saying (in light of the reviews for 'Foxcatcher') that Carell may be campaigned in the Supporting Actor category (where, they say, he may have a better chance of winning).

  • Mana

    Ralph Finnes deserves a nomination and I hope to see Oscar Janeada for "Cantinflas"

  • Gautam Anand

    Hey Brad, did you change your predictions after looking at Jeff's list ? It seems like. Though, I think the changes you have made gives this list a much better look (Only, Bill Murray could have been placed higher. Possibly in top 10. That trailer does promise a lot. Both for him and the film itself)

  • Alex Feinstein

    Joaquin Phoenix should be much higher on this list. I have yet to see anything from Jack O'Connell to consider him a nom at this point. I can also see Channing Tatum being campaigned as a lead along side Carell. Coming out of Cannes Timothy Spall should be considered the favorite right now

  • Filmix

    All I can say is once you've seen Chadwick Boseman in GET ON UP you'll all be singing a different tune. If Jamie Fox won for Ray then Chadwick will no doubt be nominated and very well could win this year. His performance is truly AMAZING !!!!!!

    • Alex Feinstein

      When did you see it?

      • Filmix

        I mixed the sound on the film. Saw it for the last 2 months.

    • Michael Dalton

      Sometimes when a film is too obviously positioned as Oscar bait (as The Judge is) it can turn off any of its potential. Not always I grant you but often.

  • Alex Feinstein

    Christoph Waltz will most likely be campaigned in the lead role for Big Eyes. The film will focus on Walter Keane (Waltz) as much as Margaret Keane (Adams)

  • Bri

    How come Brad Pitt is not even in your 30 predicted nominees for his role in Fury?

  • gemini56

    Hi, Brad, I'm finding it difficult to believe that you don't have Philip Seymour Hoffman listed for his amazing performance in A Most Wanted Man. Not for sentimental reasons, but it may just be his finest work on film. Also, after seeing Chadwick Boseman inhabit James Brown, I think he will be moving up the list. I can't wait for the rest of your predictions to be posted.

    • cassandra7

      Absolutely agree re Hoffman.

    • xscarletstorm

      I agree 100%

  • Luiz queiroga

    Top :

    Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
    Tobey Maguire (Pawn Sacrifice)
    Garrett Hedlund (Mojave)
    Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)
    Michael Fassbender (Macbeth)
    Miles Teller (Whiplash)
    Jack O'Connell (Unbroken)

  • David Forbes

    I don't think Ben Afflect will ever be nominated in his entire career.

    • Michael Dalton

      He won Oscars for writing Good Will Hunting and for producing Argo.

  • jhairo cordova

    My predictions:
    1) Bill Murray - St. Vincent
    2) Eddie Redmayne - The theory of everything
    3) Michael Keaton - Birdman
    4) Joaquin Phoenix - Inherent Vice
    5) Benedict Cumberbatch - The imitation game

  • Hawkeye

    Miles Teller getting the nomination isn't going to happen. At least, I'd be very, very surprised if it did. He was ok in Whiplash, but it wasn't anything particularly impressive. Plus, he would have to beat out several others who have a better chance of getting that fifth spot, including Timothy Spall (Best Actor winner at Cannes), Bill Murray, Bradley Cooper, Chadwick Boseman, and Ralph Fiennes. That being said, those top four seem very strong at the moment.

  • gemini56

    For the time being, I agree with your top 4, but I think Miles Teller is far from a lock. Personally, I would like to see Jake Gyllenhaal or Chadwick Boseman take a slot in the top 5. I'm also happy to see that you have Bill Murray sliding down the list. We've seen this performance from him over and over again (Yawn).

  • Halo_Insider

    I'm honestly shocked to see Chadwick Boseman anywhere near the Top 10. His performance may have received raves, but it was nowhere near the box office money-earner that it should have been, and the lack of critical backing for the film will dearly hurt him.

    1) Michael Keaton, Birdman
    2) Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
    3) Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
    4) Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
    5) Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner'

    6) Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
    7) Matthew McConaughey, Interstellar
    8) Jack O'Connell, Unbroken
    9) Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher
    10) Miles Teller, Whiplash

  • Ziad Salem


  • Michael Dalton

    I saw Nightcrawler yesterday. Gyllenhaal, playing absolutely against type, should be in the top 5 when announced (as should Dan Gilroy for writing it). It is an incredible performance. Same for Spall. I liked Redmayne but I'm not sure if that's a great performance or a great imitation. Its interesting how much the mood and attitude can change. 6 months ago everyone was convinced Fiennes was a lock for a nomination. Now look...
    1. Jake Gyllenhaal: Nightcrawler
    2. Miles Teller: Whiplash
    3. Timothy Spall: Mr. Turner
    4. Michael Keaton: Birdman
    5. Steve Carell: Foxcatcher

  • jhairo cordova

    My predictions:

    1) David Oyelowo - Selma
    2) Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
    3) Michael Keaton - Birdman
    4) Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
    5) Eddie Redmayne - The Theory Of Everything

    Winner: David Oyelowo - Selma

  • ericko

    u hit the jackpot. all these gentlemen were nominated for best actor.

  • jhairo cordova

    My predictions:

    1) Michael Keaton - Birdman
    2) Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
    3) David Oyelowo - Selma
    4) Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
    5) Eddie Redmayne - The Theory Of Everything

  • BobbyZim

    I agree Keaton is the most likely win in this category, and I'm pretty sure Cumberbatch will get nominated, but I genuinely see very few scenarios by which Carell doesn't at least get nominated. Remember, actors choose this category, and Carell does exactly what actors like to see other actors do: He becomes completely unrecognizable and totally changes our expectations of him. MAYBE if Sony submits him in the same category as it submits either Channing Tatum or Mark Ruffalo, but I'm still giving Carell a clear edge in either of those two situations.

  • Phillip Friday

    Those are my exact predictions! I was gonna write that myself but you saved me the work. Thanx