Oscars Predictions: Best Actor – A Double Dose of Denzel Washington on Christmas Day Helps His Awards Prospects

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  • Denzel Washington
    Denzel Washington
    American actor
  • Benedict Cumberbatch
    Benedict Cumberbatch
    English actor
  • Michael B. Jordan
    Michael B. Jordan
    Actor
  • Andrew Garfield
    Andrew Garfield
    British-American actor
  • Hidetoshi Nishijima
    Hidetoshi Nishijima
    Japanese actor
.
.

Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ACTOR

UPDATED: Dec 23, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Denzel Washington will have two films available for consumers on Christmas Day. The first is his extraordinary turn as Lord Macbeth in Joel Coen’s “The Tragedy of Macbeth” on Apple TV Plus, and the other is for his directorial outing on the adaptation of “A Journal for Jordan” starring Michael B. Jordan and Chante Adams.

This category seems to have four safe bets for nominations – Benedict Cumberbatch for “The Power of the Dog” (the leader in precursors this awards season thus far), Andrew Garfield for “Tick, Tick … Boom!” (a probable winner for the Golden Globe award for lead actor comedy), Will Smith for “King Richard” (the still agreed-upon frontrunner) and Washington.

That seeming fifth spot is between half a dozen men, who all have viable paths. Peter Dinklage’s musical turn in Joe Wright’s “Cyrano” has the backing of critics which helps immensely. The star power of Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” is hard to ignore while actors from smaller features are angling for attention like Clifton Collins Jr. in “Jockey,” Hidetoshi Nishijima in “Drive My Car” or LAFCA winner Simon Rex in “Red Rocket.”

The uptick for “Licorice Pizza” could even present a surprise Cooper Hoffman nomination, especially if he nabs something else big like BAFTA or SAG.

Oscar nominations voting begins on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, and will end on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2022. The official Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, with the ceremony taking place on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022.

Precursor Awards Leader: Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog” (Netflix)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2021-2022)coming soon
Awards Season Calendar

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

“The Power of the Dog”
“The Power of the Dog”

AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE:

RANK

ACTOR

FILM

DISTRIBUTOR

1

Will Smith

“King Richard”

Warner Bros

2

Benedict Cumberbatch

“The Power of the Dog”

Netflix

3

Andrew Garfield

“Tick, Tick … Boom!”

Netflix

4

Denzel Washington

“The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Apple Original Films/A24

5

Peter Dinklage

“Cyrano”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

NEXT IN LINE

6

Clifton Collins, Jr.

“Jockey”

Sony Pictures Classics

7

Leonardo DiCaprio

“Don’t Look Up”

Netflix

8

Hidetoshi Nishijima

“Drive My Car”

Sideshow/Janus Films

9

Cooper Hoffman

“Licorice Pizza”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

10

Simon Rex

“Red Rocket”

A24

OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

11

Nicolas Cage

“Pig”

Neon

12

Javier Bardem

“Being the Ricardos”

Amazon Studios

13

Bradley Cooper

“Nightmare Alley”

Searchlight Pictures

14

Joaquin Phoenix

“C’mon C’mon”

A24

15

Oscar Isaac

“The Card Counter”

Focus Features

16

Mahershala Ali

“Swan Song”

Apple Original Films

17

Jude Hill

“Belfast”

Focus Features

18

Adam Driver

“House of Gucci”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

19

Matt Damon

“Stillwater”

Focus Features

20

Ansel Elgort

“West Side Story”

20th Century Studios

ALSO IN CONTENTION

21

Riz Ahmed

“Encounter”

Amazon Studios

22

Jake Gyllenhaal

“The Guilty”

Netflix

23

Jonathan Majors

“The Harder They Fall”

Netflix

24

Frankie Faison

“The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”

Gravitas Ventures

25

Dev Patel

“The Green Knight”

A24

26

Winston Duke

“Nine Days”

Sony Pictures Classics

27

Adam Driver

“Annette”

Amazon Studios

28

Udo Kier

“Swan Song”

Magnolia Pictures

29

Michael Greyeyes

“Wild Indian”

Vertical Entertainment

30

Tom Holland

“Spider-Man: No Way Home”

Sony Pictures

UNRANKED LISTING

Adam Driver

“The Last Duel”

20th Century Studios

Alessandro Nivola

“The Many Saints of Newark”

Warner Bros

Amir Jadidi

“A Hero”

Amazon Studios

Andrew Garfield

“Mainstream”

IFC Films

Anthony Ramos

“In the Heights”

Warner Bros

Benedict Cumberbatch

“The Electrical Life of Louis Wain”

Amazon Studios

Benedict Cumberbatch

“The Courier”

Lionsgate

Chris Pratt

“The Tomorrow War”

Amazon Studios

Christoph Waltz

“Georgetown”

Vertical Entertainment

Clayne Crawford

“The Killing of Two Lovers”

Neon

Clint Eastwood

“Cry Macho”

Warner Bros

Dan Stevens

“I’m Your Man”

Bleecker Street

Daniel Craig

“No Time to Die”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Don Cheadle

“No Sudden Move”

HBO Max

Ed Helms

“Together Together”

Bleecker Street

Eddie Murphy

“Coming 2 America”

Amazon Studios

Elijah Wood

“No Man of God”

RLJE Films

Eric Bana

“The Dry”

IFC Films

Filippo Scotti

“The Hand of God”

Netflix

Harvey Keitel

“Lansky”

Vertical Entertainment

Hilmir Snær Guðnason

“Lamb”

A24

James McAvoy

“Together”

Bleecker Street

Jim Broadbent

“The Duke”

Sony Pictures Classics

John Leguizamo

“Dark Blood”

FilmRise

Josh O’Connor

“Mothering Sunday”

Sony Pictures Classics

Justin Chon

“Blue Bayou”

Focus Features

Keanu Reeves

“The Matrix Resurrections”

Warner Bros

Mark Duplass

“Language Lessons”

Shout! Studios

Matt Damon

“The Last Duel”

20th Century Studios

Matthew Goode

“The Colour Room”

Sky Cinema

Max Harwood

“Everybody’s Talking About Jamie”

Amazon Studios

Michael B. Jordan

“A Journal for Jordan”

Sony Pictures

Michael C. Hall

“John and the Hole”

IFC Films

Michael Caine

“Best Sellers”

Screen Media Films

Michael Keaton

“Worth”

Netflix

Richard Madden

“Eternals”

Marvel Studios

Riz Ahmed

“Mogul Mowgli”

Strand Releasing

Ryan Reynolds

“Free Guy”

20th Century Studios

Simu Liu

“Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”

Marvel Studios

Tim Blake Nelson

“Old Henry”

Shout! Studios

Tim Roth

“Bergman Island”

IFC Films

Timothée Chalamet

“Dune”

Warner Bros

Tom Hanks

“Finch”

Apple Original Films

Tom Hardy

“Venom: Let There Be Carnage”

Sony Pictures

Tye Sheridan

“The Tender Bar”

Amazon Studios

Zachary Levi

“American Underdog”

Lionsgate

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Best Actor)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The most prominent Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy have two. Tracy and Sir Laurence Olivier have the most nominations in this category, with nine. Anthony Hopkins is currently the oldest winner and nominee ever at 82 for “The Father,” recently surpassing Henry Fonda for “On Golden Pond” and Richard Farnsworth for “The Straight Story.” Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at 29, while Jackie Cooper is the youngest nominee ever for “Skippy” at 9.

2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022

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