ByElle McFarlane, writer at
'There's always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you.'
Elle McFarlane

With only 3 weeks to go until the Award ceremony of the year, everyone and their dog is trying to figure out just who are going to be the losers and the winners of the 2017 Academy Awards, and who's going to take home the golden Oscar to put on their mantel piece.

Manchester By The Sea [Credit: Roadside Attractions]
Manchester By The Sea [Credit: Roadside Attractions]

With movies such as Moonlight, La La Land and Hacksaw Ridge absolutely dominating the list of Oscar nominations, it could seem as though it will be a clean sweep for the big titles — but it's never as simple as that. This year sees the likes of Casey Affleck, Denzel Washington, Andrew Garfield, Ryan Gosling and Viggo Mortensen all up for the Best Actor Academy Award, so here's a closer look at which of these A-listers is most likely to win the coveted Best Actor Oscar Award.

5. The Outsider: Viggo Mortensen In Captain Fantastic

  • Previous Oscar Wins = 0
  • Chances Of Winning = 50/1

With the Screen Actors Guild, the Golden Globes, BAFTA and the Critics Choice all nominating Viggo for his role as a recently widowed father raising his children within a forest in Captain Fantastic, there's little doubt that Viggo put in a incredibly moving performance this year. Having previously been nominated for Best Actor for his role in Eastern Promises back in 2008, Viggo is no stranger to the Academy Awards, although he is yet to pick up a coveted Oscar.

However, all things considered, the hype surrounding Viggo and Captain Fantastic is relatively quiet. When compared to the other nominees in his category, it just doesn't look like 2017 is going to be Viggo's year.

4. The Wild Card: Andrew Garfield In Hacksaw Ridge

  • Previous Oscar Wins = 0
  • Chances Of Winning = 40/1

Marking the controversial return of Mel Gibson to the Academy Awards, Hacksaw Ridge is nominated for 6 Academy Awards, with Andrew Garfield who plays the movie's lead role, nominated for Best Actor. 2016 was a busy year for Garfield who also played alongside Adam Driver in Martin Scorsese's Silence as well as shooting for upcoming movie Breathe and starring in Mel Gibson's WWII biopic.

While Garfield's role in Hacksaw Ridge has all the makings of a classic Oscar worthy winner — an all American, Christian hero valiantly standing up for what he believes even though the world tells him he is wrong — it does appear that his competition is just too great to hand him the Oscar this year.

3. Going Ga Ga For La La: Ryan Gosling In La La Land

  • Previous Oscar Wins = 0
  • Chances Of Winning = 25/1

The movie that just refused to die, La La Land swept across the world like a musical plague of neon locusts and in doing so, earned itself an intimidating number of Award nominations — including the Best Actor Academy Award for Ryan Gosling. Having previously been nominated for Best Actor in 2007 for his role Half Nelson, Gosling actually went on to win the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Musical or Comedy for La La Land, as well as getting nominated by both the BAFTA's and the Screen Actors Guild.

Though his odds are not bad, there is a sense that the inflated hype surrounding La La Land may have reached saturation point and now the tide is turning against the movie, which could somewhat lessen Ryan's chances of scooping up that golden figure into his sculpted forearms.

2. The Big Threat: Denzel Washington In Fences

  • Previous Oscar Wins = 2
  • Chances Of Winning = 14/1

The most established and respected actor from the Oscar nominee selection, Denzel has already picked up the Best Actor Academy Award for his role in Training Day back in 2002 as well as Best Supporting Actor in 1990's Glory. While Fences (not to be confused with ) has not been given as much critical support as its other movie peers in the Best Picture category, the performances of both Denzel and his co-star, Viola Davis, have created much buzz around the film.

At the moment, Denzel looks like the strongest contender to knock the apparent front runner out of the race — but this would mean favoring an older, more established talent rather than potentially nurturing a fresher, more 'upcoming' face.

1. The Favorite: Casey Affleck In Manchester By The Sea

  • Previous Oscar Wins = 0
  • Chances Of Winning = 10/1

The actor that has undoubtedly caused the most hype, for better or for worse, last year was Ben's younger brother, Casey, in his slam dunk of a performance in Manchester By The Sea. Having already scooped up the National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Critics Choice, Gotham and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor for his role in the movie, it looks like a pretty sure thing that Casey will also be honored by the Academy for his role as a janitor struggling with the black dog of depression.

However, Casey has been plagued with allegations of sexual assault with both the producer and the cinematographer of his 2010 mokumentary I'm Still Here filing lawsuits against him. Not only is this incredibly concerning, but it opens up a discussion on whether such high profile celebrities should still be honored with such prestigious Awards given their gross misconduct. Here's looking at you Mel. If Casey is denied his Oscar, it will in part be due to this, but whether the Academy has the strength to deny him the Award on the basis of these allegations will remain to be seen.


Who do you think will win the 2017 Best Actor Award?


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