Best Actor in a Leading Role 2016

Most recent update: Oct. 23, 2016

tomhanks_sully-setTom Hanks in Clint Eastwood’s Sully

As in last month’s update, this looks to be between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington. Also, Warren Beatty is out of the picture… unless, of course, the rules don’t apply.


My official predictions include only performances in films set for U.S. distribution in 2016. The process of guessing who will and will not make the cut always seems to be collaborative, so feel free to leave a comment – here or on Twitter – that addresses any relevant information or contenders you feel should be included.


  1. Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea (more)

  2. Denzel Washington for Fences (more)

  3. Tom Hanks for Sully (more)

  4. Ryan Gosling for La La Land (more)

  5. Andrew Garfield for Silence (more)

Next in Line?

  1. Joel Edgerton for Loving (more)
  2. Dev Patel for Lion (more)
  3. Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge (more)
  4. <Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic (more)
  5. Ben Affleck for Live by Night (more)

Other Possibilities

  1. NEW!!! Mark Wahlberg for Patriots Day (more)
  2. Warren Beatty for Rules Don’t Apply (more)
  3. Robert De Niro for The Comedian (more)
  4. Jake Gyllenhaal for Nocturnal Animals (more)
  5. Matthew McConaughey for Gold (more)
  6. Michael Keaton for The Founder (more)

Long Shots

  1. Brad Pitt for Allied (more)
  2. Chris Pratt for Passengers (more)
  3. Lewis MacDougall for A Monster Calls (more)
  4. Will Smith for Collateral Beauty (more)
  5. Miles Teller for Bleed for This (more)
  6. Josh Brolin for Hail, Caesar! (more)
  7. Mark Wahlberg for Deepwater Horizon (more)


  • Ben Affleck for The Accountant (more)
  • Joe Alwyn for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (more)
  • Jim Broadbent for The Sense of an Ending (more)
  • Don Cheadle for Miles Ahead (more)
  • MOVED TO SUPPORTING!!! Adam Driver for Silence (more)
  • Michael Fassbender for The Light Between Oceans (more)
  • Woody Harrelson for Wilson (more)
  • Jaeden Lieberher for The Book of Henry (more)
  • Matthew McConaughey for Free State of Jones (more)
  • Édgar Ramírez for Hands of Stone (more)
  • Ashton Sanders for Moonlight (more)
  • Tom Wilkinson for Denial (more)

In Limbo

I regard these performances as ineligible at the moment, because a) the films might not hit theaters this year due to distributors’ schedules or their not being ready, or b) the films lack stateside distribution altogether. Some films fit under all three categories.

Of course, as anyone who follows this mess knows, things can change at a moment’s notice.

  • Woody Harrelson for LBJ (more)
  • Colin Firth for Deep Water (more)
  • Bryan Cranston for Wakefield (more)
  • David Oyelowo for A United Kingdom
  • Ralph Fiennes for Flying Horse (more)
  • Gaspard Ulliel for Juste la fin du monde, or It’s Only the End of the World (more)
  • Ewan McGregor for American Pastoral (more)
  • Ben Mendelsohn for Una (more)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger for 478 (more)
  • Jason Sudeikis for The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (more)

A photo of Patricia Arquette in Boyhood (via Collider).


Box Office


Dates and Distribution






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