Best Actor in a Leading Role 2014

Most recent update: In flux as of Dec. 1

A photo of Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner (via Collider).

Timothy Spall sure shook up the race with his New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) win, huh? More to come.

Predictions (as of Dec. 1)

My “official” top five includes only films/performances that already have distributors for release in the United States. I also hope to write/post pages for each contender in the near future. The process of guessing who’ll get in and who won’t always seems to be collaborative, so feel free to leave a comment – here or on Twitter – that addresses any relevant information you don’t see on the page and/or any corrections I need to make.

Predicted Nominees

  1. Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything (more)

  2. Michael Keaton for Birdman (more)

  3. David Oyelowo for Selma (more)

  4. Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game (more)

  5. Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner (more)

Next in line?

  1. Steve Carell for Foxcatcher (more)
  2. Bradley Cooper for American Sniper (more)
  3. Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher (more)
  4. Bill Murray for St. Vincent (more)
  5. Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year (more)
  6. Jack O’Connell for Unbroken (more)
  7. Ben Affleck for Gone Girl (more)
  8. Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel (more)
  9. Chris Rock for Top Five (more)
  10. Tommy Lee Jones for The Homesman (more)
  11. Mark Wahlberg for The Gambler (more)
  12. Joaquin Phoenix for Inherent Vice (more)
  13. Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood (more)
  14. Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar (more)
  15. Chadwick Boseman for Get on Up (more)
  16. James Corden for Into the Woods (more)
  17. John Lithgow for Love is Strange (more)
  18. Alfred Molina for Love is Strange (more)
  19. Miles Teller for Whiplash (more)
  20. Brad Pitt for Fury (more)

Other Potential Contenders

  • Gael García Bernal for Rosewater (more)
  • Jeremy Renner for Kill the Messenger (more)
  • Brendan Gleeson for Calvary (more)
  • Mark Ruffalo for Begin Again (more)
  • Denzel Washington for The Equalizer (more)
  • Christian Bale for Exodus: Gods and Kings (more)
  • Russell Crowe for Noah (more)

A photo of Ellar Coltrane in Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (via Collider).


Box Office

Boyhood recently passed $10 million. Young male actors rarely score leading nominations, but critics love the film, and audience reaction is positive, too. IFC Films will probably give the film a huge Oscar campaign. We shouldn’t count out leading boy/man Ellar Coltrane – especially if the race ends up being weak by year’s end.

Dates and Distribution

Warner Bros. just announced that Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper with Bradley Cooper will hit select theaters on Christmas Day ahead of its nationwide release on Jan. 16. Also, Sony Pictures bumped up the release of David Ayer’s Fury, which stars Brad Pitt to Oct. 17 from its original date of Nov. 14.


Thomas McCarthy’s The Cobbler with Adam Sandler will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. While it might be a contender by year’s end, it all sounds very Walter Mitty (2013) to me.


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