Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Empire & Sky Movies present coverage of the Academy Awards
Oscars 2014 Cheat Sheet: Best Actor
We explain why they will win, and why they might not

submit to reddit

As is traditional now that the Academy Award nominations have been announced, we’re profiling the nominees in each of the main categories and assessing their strengths and weaknesses going into the competition. We already profiled Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress. Today, it’s time to turn our beady eye on the Best Actor contenders. Ranging from the saintly (Ejiofor’s Solomon Northup) to the venal (DiCaprio’s Jordan Belfort), this is a year so strong that even Tom Hanks at his best didn’t make the cut. Let’s have a look at the guys who did.

WORDS HELEN O'HARA
1 2 3 4 5
  1 of 5 Next
BRUCE DERN - NEBRASKA

Bruce Dern - Nebraska

WHY HE WILL WIN WHY HE WON'T WIN
1. It sometimes seems like the Academy seeks to right past wrongs by rewarding older actors who should really have won for something a decade or two past (see Jeff Bridges winning for Crazy Heart). Dern’s never won and is universally well-respected, so could fit that model. 1. Dern doesn’t have quite as high a profile as a Bridges or a Martin Scorsese, the two most obvious belated winners, nor quite as many past nominations. Also, he’s up against an astonishingly strong field of contenders this year.
2. Dern also landed BAFTA and SAG nominations, as well as a Globe nod. He’s also a previous Oscar nominee for Coming Home. 2. So far, McConaughey has prevailed in head-to-head collision. Dern was an early contender for the Oscar but seems to have lost momentum in the months since the film’s release.
3. His performance is an accomplished blend of tragedy and comedy, with his confused Woody the ornery heart of the picture, reminiscing one moment and driving his family to distraction the next. 3. In a town terrified of aging, can such a raw look at old age really win votes?

1 2 3 4 5
 
1 of 5
Next

Have Your Say
Register or login now to let us know what you think.

Your Comments

1 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:58

2 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:54

3 If OSCAR knows what's good for him he'll give it all away to Ejiofor.
Surprised the big black elephant in the room was left un-adressed with regards to Ejiofor and 12 Years. Taking nothing away from his brilliance and in no way an attempt to detract from the value of the movie itself, the film's role as the long-awaited slavery period piece as brought to life and poetry by a black man (the same goes for Steve McQueen) is surely the nail in the coffin for everyone else? 'Slavery's Schindler's' simply can't be allowed to pass by without being properly ordained by the academy. There may not be a film like it again. There hasn't been another Schindler's List, suggesting the one time round where they nailed it was more than enough for one lifetime. 12 Years A Slave is the slavery film of slavery films, and it's pretty fucking good (which is more than could be said for Argo). What more reason needs the academy to give McQueen and Ejiofor their merits as representatives of blacks the world over who made a great film about slavery, when Peter Jackson got as muchMore

Posted by RyanShanks on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 23:53

4
Nevermind Sahara, if MCConaughey wins, then the two stars of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation" will both have won oscars More

Posted by raven_girl on Tuesday January 28, 2014, 12:05

5
McConaughey cant be nonimated for a BAFTA anyway coz it hasnt even come out over here yet. Right? More

Posted by stephenhickman2 on Monday January 27, 2014, 21:27

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)