I now have an addendum to my previous entry on the race for Best Actor. As of right now, the top five will be: Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) to win; Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) and John Hawkes (Sessions) as Lewis’s only competition; Richard Gere (Arbitrage: career nomination); and Denzel Washington (Flight—getting incredible buzz).
At this point, because of the Oscar voting time table now, an actor is really going to have to blow away the voters in order to get a nom; the more days go by without a movie opening that has an actor in it that is on the additional possibilities list, the less likely they will be nominated. The only other actor with potential now, I think, is Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, but I suspect he’s not going to make it. He may be great in the movie, but the movie will open too late and just not excite the voters enough (and he’s too young for a career nom).
Others that are possible are Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock) and Billy Murray (Hyde Park on the Hudson), who have the advantage of playing real people, but the voters already have Lewis and Hawkes for that. There’s also Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), but the more I see the previews, the less substantial the performance and part feels when it comes to the Academy and when it is held up against the other possibilities (at the same time, it’s being distributed by the Weinstein Company and never count out a Weinstein actor—though it may be Jennifer Lawrence who benefits from that association more than Cooper).
Of course, what could happen is that once again, Gere doesn’t get his career nom and someone else gets in; his promoters had really better get to work.