Best Actor Nominees:
Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs or Macbeth
What makes Michael Fassbender such a great actor is how 'in-character' he can be. He can play a vengeful and passionate character such as Magneto or Jonah Hex, yet pull of light and playful performance that is still worthy such as Frank. Based on the trailer and the director of Steve Jobs, I believe Fassbender will give us a witty, eccentric, and a true Steve Jobs depiction. Expect to see a character that is a mix of David from Prometheus and Counselor from The Counselor.
In addition, I believe he just might pull an Oscar from Macbeth if Steve Jobs does not satisfy the Oscar committee. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 92% and the movie received 85% on Metacritic, plus the trailer gave us hints of a new kind of Macbeth. One that Sir Ian McKellan's portrayal did not and that was the gritty side of him.
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant
This movie HAS to be the movie that ends DiCaprio's Oscar curse! Django Unchained, The Aviator, Blood Diamond, AND THE WOLF OF WALL STREET! He was nominated for most of them, but that Oscar always seemed to run away from him. The Revenant packs a wild-eyed and desperate Leonardo and an ominous Tom Hardy on a quest, a chase, survival, etc. I cannot emphasize enough how DiCaprio has to pull a win here and how he should because he has pretty much played every character there is. However, the fact that there are other contenders such as Michael Fassbender only diminishes his chance at grabbing that Oscar.
Johnny Depp in Black Mass
Depp is a versatile actor; from Mortdecai and Sweeney Todd, to Captain Jack Sparrow and John Dillinger. And yet, now matter how diverse he is, most of his movies have always failed. Nonetheless, after watching the trailer for Black Mass, I believe he will be making his re-debut. Perhaps it was the 'Secret Recipe' analogy from the trailer that won me over, or it might have been his creepy haircut, sullen cheeks, or the receding eyebrows, whatever it was, it made it evident that this movie would attract the Oscar attention.
Will Smith in Concussion
At first, I was laughing my ass off hearing Will Smith in his butchered Nigerian-American accent, but towards the end when he said "Tell the truth, tell the truth", I immediately took back my ridicules. When you see an actor like Will Smith on the verge of tears, you know right away he is screaming for an Oscar. Pursuit of Happyness and I am Legend (subtly) showed us how a big guy like Will still has emotional holes, and it seems Concussion will illustrate just how desperate a person can be.
Tom Hiddlestone in I Saw the Light
Another biopic movie, this one starring our beloved, villainous, and very much British Loki as a country singer. Will Smith --> Nigerian-American Accent and now Loki with a Southern-country accent. The stakes are high, but Tom is receiving positive buzz over this movie (aside from his apparent similarity to Hank Williams himself). And although there have been no early screenings nor any reviews, the very fact that he is taking on this mantle puts him as an actor to watch for the Oscars.
Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nations
Okay, first off, this movie will be released on NETFLIX on October 16, 2015! Aside from that, this movie is based on a novel published in 2005 of the same name. When I first heard of this movie, I thought of Last King of Scotland. Both have a power-hungry and ruthless leader who rules over the masses, and there is a primary character who is alongside said leader and his quest to the end. Other than that I have no clue as to what we should expect. Nevertheless, Idris Elba is the one to watch out for. He has the perfect duality between class and grittiness, hence I believe we will not just see a rampaging animal, but a 'beast' with intelligence and meticulousness.
Tom Hardy in Legend
I'll be first to say that Tom Hardy plays, somewhat, the same character in every movie, BUT it is nothing short of entertaining. He barely said much in [Mad Max: Fury Road](tag:41445), and yet he had the most stage presence (much like the Winter Soldier); he's just that type of actor. Now, we have had previous actors and actresses play multiple roles in the same movie (Nicholas Cage, Tom Hanks, ScarJo, Jessie Eisenberg, Jake Gyllenhaal, etc.) but still, the trailer gives us something grounded and convincing. The picture above is a thousand words right there. Regardless he does not win, he is still a worthy contender.
Don Cheadle in Miles Ahead
Don should be credited as a wonderful director and screenwriter, in addition to his acting ability. The Oscar committee is favorable towards biopics and low-budget films when it comes to awarding actors and actresses, and it does make sense. Such movies have time to develop their characters more thoroughly than say characters in Transformers: Age of Extinction (sight, Michael Bay). I find that Don has intensity and wit to every character he plays, much like Fassbender, and for a character like Miles Davis, a musician, Don will embody the vigor of a musician faithfully.
Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw or Demolition
Joseph Gordon Levitt in The Walk
Michael Caine in Youth
Benicio Del Toro in Sicario
Tom Hanks Bridge of Spies