Well as usual my predictions for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor
Now for Lead Actor I quite simply with the SAG line up. It's usually a pretty good indicator I suppose and really any guess is as good as another. This is an odd one in that no contender, outside of DiCaprio, seems especially strong (not in terms of quality necessarily). For example the other presumed locks, Redmayne, and Fassbender have films that have been under performing in other areas. I still think they're in, as much as one can be in, but that leaves two others spots. Cranston's film has been over performing, and he seems well liked, though that may not transition to the Academy who have not dealt with him before so to speak, as SAG and the Golden Globes have. This leaves Depp for me who is the only other previous multiple nominee besides DiCaprio, though like Fassbender and Redmayne his film has been under performing otherwise. Of course I've now probably doomed two of these fellows to being snubbed, or hey maybe just one by predicting them now. As in contention there is also Matt Damon, Will Smith, possibly Michael Caine, Ian McKellen and I believe (probably wrongly) Tom Hanks. My Hanks thoughts my be a delusion, but it will seem a little odd that the same academy who embraced War Horse will ignore Bridge of Spies outside of Supporting Actor. Not to mention technically speaking only the Academy "owes" him for Captain Phillips since he got in everywhere else.
Ahh now Supporting Actor is the opposite of last year, where apparently there was only one possible line up. This time there's at least ten different legitimate combinations one could come up with, the reason I only decided to do one set this time. Now for my explanations of my predicted five. Elba and Rylance have the precursor love, and just seem like they're in, although who knows with this category. Shannon almost has just as much, but everyone believes he'll miss. I'm banking on 99 Homes getting a surprise Original Screenplay nomination, "legitimatizing" his nomination. Stallone missed SAG, though many claim his campaign came late which is possible, and the whole underdog story for his nomination just seems a little too good to ignore when we're talking about Rocky Balboa himself. Then of course there's Tom Hardy who hasn't been doing too well, but hey DiCaprio gets his supporting actors in, which naturally will probably stop this time, though I'm just going to have to stick with it anyway. My only other solace being the films of Alejandro González Iñárritu are well liked by the academy. Now the problem is past those five there's Christian Bale, Paul Dano, Jacob Tremblay, who've also turned up in the precursors then the supporting players of presumed best picture front runner Spotlight with Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo. Now with ten actors in the running that potentially opens up for a thin vote for each contender open up to a slew of dark horses. Dark horses which likely would be related to the academy showing more love than was expected to a particular film. That means Black Mass: Joel Edgerton, Joy: Robert De Niro, Steve Jobs: Seth Rogen, Youth: Harvey Keitel, Sicario: Benicio Del Toro, Brooklyn: Emory Cohen, The Hateful Eight: Walton Goggins.