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Best Actor in a Leading Role

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Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master
Denzel Washington, “Flight

Analysis
January 2013

This has shaped up into being a particularly difficult category to predict, even if the slate of contenders are limited to about seven. Daniel Day-Lewis is a virtual lock – his nomination only secures his eventual march to a third Best Actor Oscar. From there, things get murky. The Sessions has felt particularly minor following its release and while John Hawkes has garnered his share of nominations, I’m not hearing a whole lot of chatter on behalf of the film or its performances. Denzel Washington is in a similar spot – it’s a performance that has garnered critical and guild approval, but the passion for Flight has been somewhat muted.

Joaquin Phoenix’s omission by the Screen Actors Guild may have been the writing on the wall – The Master is simply not a film that has won guild members over. While opposition for the film has been prevalent, there’s a vocal audience for the performance and the film – which is something that John Hawkes and Denzel Washington seem to be missing. Also, can the cool reception to Les Miserables hinder Hugh Jackman’s chances? I’m not too sure. The biggest spoiler could very well be Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour – can both him and Emmanuelle Riva secure nominations or is it Blue Valentine all over again?

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