1. Joel Edgerton in Loving: Just like Ruth Negga’s praise in Loving, lead actor Joel Edgerton is receiving praise for his performance as well. I think he has a very good shot after the reading the reviews, though Ruth Negga’s performance may upstage him.
2. Michael Keaton in The Founder: Michael Keaton has really been doing well in his career lately. He received an Oscar nomination for his role in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), another almost nomination for his work in Spotlight and now he might be nominated for his take on the founder of McDonald’s, Ray Kroc. With a solid director and cast, this could be another great year for Keaton.
3. Miles Teller in Bleed for This: The trailer for boxing drama was just released, and it looks very impressive. Teller will be portraying World Champion Box Vinny Pazienza, who after a near fatal car crash, which left him not knowing if he’d ever walk again, made one of sports most incredible comebacks.
4. Tom Hanks in Sully: Hanks will be playing Captain Sully in this true story adaptation of Clint Eastwood’s new film, Sully. The trailer was just released, and it looks very good. Captain Sully is the hero pilot who managed to land a place in the Hudson River, saving all people on board.
5. Denzel Washington in Fences: Denzel Washington will not only return in the Tony winning lead role alongside Viola Davis, but he is also directing the film adaptation of Fences. This could be a good year for him.
6. Nate Parker in The Birth of a Nation: This film has been receiving rave reviews since it premiered earlier this year at Sundance. Nate Parker is being praised for his direction, writing and acting, but I wonder which one will pay off more.
7. Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea: Sundance provided rave reviews for Affleck’s performance, with Vanity Fair saying “As Lee, Affleck is tight-lipped and weary, a gnarl of swallowed hurt who occasionally lashes out in fits of aimless violence. It’s a striking performance, one already earning gold-tinged buzz.”
8. Michael Fassbender in The Light Between the Oceans: Michael Fassbender looks fantastic in this film, and the Academy loves him. However, I would if Vikander and Weisz will pack more of an emotional punch this is a movie more about mothers and loss.
9. Brad Pitt in Allied: Brad Pitt will be starring along Marion Cotillard in this film, which means it could ultimately be her show. But don’t count Pitt out, as he is known for providing excellent performances.
10. Joe Alwyn in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk: Hollywood loves a newcomer, and Joe Alwyn could be this year’s favorite in Ang Lee’s (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) adaptation of the novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.
- Joel Edgerton – Loving
- Miles Teller – Bleed for This
- Denzel Washington – Fences
- Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
- Michael Keaton – The Founder