Nominees for Best Leading Actor

    Who will be crowned Best Leading Actor at the 2023 Oscars? Although the category for Best Actress has changed radically after the first screenings of the most anticipated films of 2023 in Venice and Toronto, the statuette for Best Actor is close and has not had any major surprises or failures so far. As is the tradition in these years, they prefer the tour de forcethe imitations of real characters and the candidacies-tribute.

    The Oscars have been somewhat conservative in their Best Actor category: last year the award went to Will Smith for his role in the tennis biopic ‘The Williams Method’, and in 2021 it went to Anthony Hopkins for ‘The Father’ (for something was one of the best movies of 2021). It is curious that Hopkins was one of the few dissenting voices that were raised after Will Smith punched Chris Rock at last year’s award ceremony… Hopefully, this year, the ceremony will be conflict-free.

    For the next edition of the awards, and with the data available to date and the films that have already been seen at festivals, we bet on these nominations (subject to many changes and fluctuations in the coming months):

    • brendan fraser by ‘The Whale’
    • Hugh Jackman by ‘The Son’
    • austin butler by ‘Elvis’
    • Colin Farrell for ‘Banbanes of Inisherin’
    • bill nighty by ‘Living’

      Warner Bros.

      They are not the only names that sound in this race for the Oscar for Best Leading Actor. Other names that we would like to see on the list are, on the one hand, that of Paul Mescal as a brooding father in the UK’s ‘Aftersun’, Charlotte Wells’ debut with A24 which won Critics’ Week in Cannes and received a tremendous reception in Telluride. Produced by the company Barry Jenkins, who with ‘Moonlight’ took the Oscar in the biggest slip-up in Oscar history, this story about a sweet and brooding father puts Mescal (‘Normal People’) on our radar. It could be a more than likely bet for this year.

      On the other hand, an Adam Driver whose candidacy seems to have lost strength after the disappointment of ‘Noise in the background’ at the Venice Film Festival. Although the film received quite negative reviews (the review of ‘White Noise’ in FRAMES was one of them), Driver excellent in his role as an academic in Hitlerian Studies. Clumsy and sad at the same time, we would love to see him among the nominees… Whether or not he comes back will depend, we suppose, on his performance in theaters. Who will win the Oscar for Best Actor in 2023? Who are the most likely candidates?

      Brendan Fraser for ‘The Whale’

      the whale


      It sounds like the highest bid in the Best Actor category since the critics for ‘The Whale’ at the Venice Film Festival were more than enthusiastic. Although the Volpi Cup was finally won by Colin Farrell for ‘Inisherin’s Banshees’, Fraser’s Oscar still sounds like more than possible. First, because he would represent a gesture of heartfelt reconciliation on the part of the Academywhose members turned their backs on the actor, iconic protagonist of ‘The Mummy’, after the abuses that separated him from the front line of the industry (we explain the story of the rise, fall and return of Brendan Fraser).

      Then, because Hollywood often rewards wild performances and the artistry of disguise, and Fraser delivers on both (this is Brendan Fraser’s incredible transformation for ‘The Whale’). In Aronofsky’s he gives life to a literature professor who has confined himself at home due to being grossly overweight. There, based on a very theatrical script (very “actory”), she meets several characters who could change her mind in her efforts to end his life. Criticism was generally good for the film., who saw this chamber piece as Aronofsky’s homage to the actor. Sadie Sink, his daughter in the film (she is Max in ‘Stranger Things’), also sounds like a Supporting Actress. We don’t have a release date scheduled for it yet.

      Hugh Jackman for ‘The Son’

      the son hugh jackman


      This would be the most conservative option. At the 2020 Oscars Florian Zeller stood as the prodigal son of the Academy, when he presented ‘El padre’ with great critical and public success. ‘El padre’ won the award for Best Leading Actor at the Oscars, for a superb Anthony Hopkinsand Best Adapted Screenplay, for Christopher Hampton and Zeller himself, authors of the original play (here the review of ‘El padre’). Yes ok ‘The son’ was received in Venice in a very cold way (compare our review of ‘The Son’), Zeller’s good name and the importance that the film gives to its two actors can position Jackman very high in the stakes.

      ‘The son’, with premiere scheduled for November 11completes Florian Zeller’s diptych on mental illnesses that disrupt different generations: if Anthony Hopkins suffered from Alzheimer’s, now zen mcgrathson of Jackman in fiction, will go through a severe depression. Hugh Jackman plays a concerned father but unable to manage the boy’s relapses along with the needs of his new family (he has another son with Vanessa Kirby), an absorbing job, and the concerns of his ex-wife, Laura Dern. The entire movie revolves around his efforts, so if there’s any award he can hope to win, it’s this one.

      Austin Butler for ‘Elvis’

      austin butler in elvis

      Warner Bros.

      A fact: of the last ten winners in the category of Best Actor at the Oscars, seven have been for playing a real character. They were Will Smith for ‘The Williams Method’, Rami Malek for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, Daniel Day-Lewis for ‘Lincoln’, Matthew McConaughey for ‘Dallas Buyers Club’, Eddie Redmayne for ‘The Theory of Everything’, Leonardo DiCaprio for ‘ The Revenant’ and Gary Oldman for ‘The Darkest Moment’ (these are some of the incredible true stories that cinema has revealed to us). What is more mathematically likely than expecting Oscar too for Austin Butler as Elvis Presley? Our review of ‘Elvis’ endorses it as one of the best of the year.

      The only element that works against him is that The Elvis biopic was released a long time ago, so that your ballot will arrive in the second instance for voting. For the rest, Butler could take the statuette for his first leading role (before ‘Elvis’ he had had very minor roles in film and television) at the height of the rest of the great competitors. Austin Butler vibes with the king of rock (although he neglects to tell the true story that ‘Elvis’ doesn’t tell) and, most importantly, he avoids the “Malek” strategy, focused on simply imitating his referent.

      Colin Farrell for ‘Banbanes of Inisherin’

      colin farrell banshees by inisherin

      Blueprint Pictures, Film 4, Fox Searchlight, Metropolitan Films International

      in Venice, Colin Farrell Y Brendan Gleeson they were reunited with Martin McDonagh (with whom they had worked on ‘Hide in Bruges’), today in ‘Banban Souls of Inisherin’. ‘Inisherin’ was an absolute hit: whoever writes to you hasn’t seen such a unanimous reaction in a press release for a long time. The film is based on a conflict between two lifelong friends, one of whom (Gleeson) decides to stop talking to the other for no reason or explanation. Farrell plays the simpler and better of the two, a candid but robust role that is among the best of the year and that earned him the Volpi Cup for Best Actor in Venice (‘Inisherin’ was one of the essential films of the Venice Festival).

      Perhaps it is for this reason that at the Oscars he has fewer numbers to repeat in the category… Fraser also sounded strong for the Venetian list of winners and was on the verge of victory. In the absence of one role being more popular than the other, it may the Oscars are the perfect opportunity to achieve a tie between the two.

      Bill Nighy for ‘Living’

      living movie bill nighy 2022

      Film I Väst, Filmgate Films, Ingenious, Kurosawa Production Co., Number 9 Films, Film4 Productions

      The remake from ‘Live’ from akira kurosawa (also an adaptation of ‘The Death of Ivan Ilyich’ Tolstoy), directed by Oliver Hermanus (‘Moffie’), premiered Out of Competition in Venice and has been going through festivals without too much pain or glory. However, there are not a few firms that set up bill nightyits protagonist, as the best of the film. Nighy has never been nominated for an Oscar but, due to the noise that his interpretation is generating, he could easily position himself as a candidate on the American podium.

      It would be a big leap for an actor who, at the moment, he only has a BAFTA for his supporting role in ‘Love Actually’but it suits us as a gesture of homage to the British, one of the names most lavished by recent European cinema. In ‘Living’, which premieres on December 23, plays a veteran civil servant buried under paperwork as the city rebuilds after World War II. After receiving a very unpromising diagnosis, the man will put all his efforts to make the people around him happy.

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