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2023 Oscars Best Actor Predictions

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars, Emmys, Grammys and Tony awards ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis. The prediction pages are Davis’ assessment of the current standings of the race and do not reflect personal preferences for any film or performance. Like any organization or body that votes, each individual category is fluid and subject to change. Predictions are updated every Thursday.
LAST UPDATED: Oct. 6, 2022
2023 Oscars Predictions: Best Actor
Devotion Eli Adé/Columbia Pictures
CATEGORY COMMENTARY: Without a doubt, Austin Butler’s turn as Elvis Prestley remains the standout performance from the first half of the year. Debuting at Cannes and boasting an impressive box office, the film has a huge populist appeal which will benefit Warner Bros., as its leading awards contender that’s seeking major attention. While he may not have the longevity in the biz like Hugh Jackman (“The Son”) or Bill Nighy (“Living”), if the film is factoring into the best picture conversation, he’s likely to be among those multiple mentions.
Don’t sleep on Colin Farrell’s turn in “The Banshees of Inisherin,” especially after winning the Volpi Cup at Venice for best actor. With two additional turns in Amazon/MGM’s “Thirteen Lives” and WB’s “The Batman,” he could become the runaway favorite if the early precursors embrace him.
Sony Pictures Classics’ “Living” premiered at Sundance, and since, has played at nearly all the fall festivals except for New York, gaining more traction and acclaim for its leading performer Bill Nighy. This run could bring him his first Oscar nomination, similar to Richard Jenkins for “The Visitor” (2008).
See the latest film predictions, in all 23 categories, in one place on Variety’s Oscars Collective.
To see the ranked predictions for each individual category, visit Variety’s Oscars Hub.
ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS :
And The Predicted Nominees Are: Rank Name Film Distributor 1 Brendan Fraser “The Whale” A24 A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. 2 Colin Farrell “The Banshees of Inisherin” Searchlight Pictures Two lifelong friends find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship, with alarming consequences for both of them. 3 Hugh Jackman “The Son” Sony Pictures Classics Peter as his busy life with new partner Emma and their baby is thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas. 4 Austin Butler “Elvis” Warner Bros Biopic of Elvis Presley, from his childhood to becoming a rock and movie star in the 1950s while maintaining a complex relationship with his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. 5 Bill Nighy “Living” Sony Pictures Classics An English-language adaptation of the script of “Ikiru” (1952), set in London in the 1950s. Next in Line 6 Tom Cruise “Top Gun: Maverick” Paramount Pictures After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete Mitchell is where he belongs, pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot and dodging the advancement in rank that would ground him. 7 Diego Calva “Babylon” Paramount Pictures A tale of outsized ambition and outrageous excess, it traces the rise and fall of multiple characters during an era of unbridled decadence and depravity in early Hollywood.
8 Jeremy Pope “The Inspection” A24 Based on the life of filmmaker and Marine Corps veteran Elegance Bratton. 9 Jonathan Majors “Devotion” Sony Pictures A pair of U.S. Navy fighter pilots risk their lives during the Korean War and become some of the Navy’s most celebrated wingmen. 10 Tom Hanks “A Man Called Otto” Sony Pictures A cranky retired man strikes up an unlikely friendship with his boisterous new neighbors. A remake of the Swedish film from 2015 film “A Man Called Ove.” Other Top-Tier Contenders 11 Will Smith “Emancipation” Apple Original Films 12 Adam Sandler “Hustle” Netflix 13 Adam Driver “White Noise” Netflix 14 Gabriel LaBelle “The Fabelmans” Universal Pictures 15 Christian Bale “The Pale Blue Eye” Netflix 16 Wes Studi “A Love Song” Bleecker Street 17 Jim Parsons “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies” Focus Features 18 Song Kang-ho “Broker” Neon 19 Daniel Giménez Cacho “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” Netflix 20 Mehdi Bajestani “Holy Spider” Utopia Also In Contention 21 Eden Dambrine “Close” A24 22 Mark Rylance “The Outfit” Focus Features 23 Mark Rylance “The Phantom of the Open” Sony Pictures Classics 24 Harris Dickinson “Triangle of Sadness” Neon 25 Nicolas Cage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” Lionsgate 26 N.T. Rama Rao Jr. “RRR” Variance Films 27 Ram Charan Teja “RRR” Variance Films 28 Ricardo Darín “Argentina, 1985” Amazon Studios 29 Park Hae-il “Decision to Leave” Mubi 30 Christian Bale “Amsterdam” 20th Century Studios Other Awards Possibilities 31 Viggo Mortensen “Crimes of the Future” Neon 32 Winston Duke* “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Marvel Studios 33 Daniel Kaluuya “Nope” Universal Pictures 34 Sam Worthington “Avatar: The Way of Water” 20th Century Studios 35 Daryl McCormack “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Searchlight Pictures 36 Cooper Raiff “Cha Cha Real Smooth” Apple Original Films 37 Patton Oswalt “I Love My Dad” Magnolia Pictures 38 Caleb Landry Jones “Nitram” IFC Films 39 Owen Teague “Montana Story” Bleecker Street 40 Nicolas Cage “Butcher’s Crossing” Saban Films Unranked Possible Contenders — Adam Sandler “Hustle” Netflix — Alexander Skarsgård “The Northman” Focus Features — Antonio Banderas “Official Competition” IFC Films — Austin Butler “Elvis” Warner Bros. — Ben Kingsley “Dalíland” No U.S. Distribution — Benedict Cumberbatch “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” Marvel Studios — Bill Nighy “Living” Sony Pictures Classics — Billy Eichner “Bros” Universal Pictures — Brad Pitt “Bullet Train” Sony Pictures — Brendan Fraser “The Whale” A24 — Brendan Gleeson* “The Banshees of Inisherin” Searchlight Pictures — Caleb Landry Jones “Nitram” IFC Films — Channing Tatum “Dog” MGM/United Artists Releasing — Chris Evans “The Gray Man” Netflix — Chris Evans “Lightyear” Pixar — Chris Hemsworth “Thor: Love and Thunder” Marvel Studios — Christian Bale “Amsterdam” 20th Century Studios — Christian Bale “The Pale Blue Eye” Netflix — Colin Farrell “After Yang” A24 — Colin Farrell “The Banshees of Inisherin” Searchlight Pictures — Cooper Raiff “Cha Cha Real Smooth” Apple Original Films — Daniel Craig* “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” Netflix — Daniel Giménez Cacho “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” Netflix — Daniel Kaluuya “Nope” Universal Pictures — Daryl McCormack “Good Luck to You, Leo Grande” Searchlight Pictures — David Earl “Brian and Charles” Focus Features — Diego Calva “Babylon” Paramount Pictures — Dwayne Johnson “Black Adam” Warner Bros — Eden Dambrine “Close” A24 — Ethan Hawke* “Raymond & Ray” Apple Original Films — Ewan McGregor* “Raymond & Ray” Apple Original Films — Gabrielle LaBelle “The Fabelmans” Universal Pictures — George Clooney “Ticket to Paradise” Universal Pictures — Gregory Mann “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” Netflix — Harris Dickinson “Triangle of Sadness” Neon — Hugh Jackman “The Son” Sony Pictures Classics — Idris Elba “Three Thousand Years of Longing” MGM/United Artists Releasing — Jake Gyllenhaal “Ambulance” Universal Pictures — Jim Parsons “Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies” Focus Features — Joel Edgerton “The Stranger” Transmission Films — Jonathan Majors “Devotion” Sony Pictures — Justin Chatwin “The Walk” Vertical Entertainment — Mark Rylance “The Outfit” Focus Features — Mark Rylance “The Phantom of the Open” Sony Pictures Classics — Mehdi Bajestani “Holy Spider” Utopia — Michael Banks Repeta “Armageddon Time” Focus Features — N.T. Rama Rao Jr. “RRR” Variance Films — Nicholas Hoult* “The Menu” Searchlight Pictures — Nicolas Cage “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” Lionsgate — Nicolas Cage “Butcher’s Crossing” Saban Films — Owen Teague “Montana Story” Bleecker Street — Park Hae-il “Decision to Leave” Mubi — Pascal Greggory “One Fine Morning” Sony Pictures Classics — Patton Oswalt “I Love My Dad” Magnolia Pictures — Paul Mescal* “Aftersun” A24 — Ralph Fiennes “The Forgiven” Roadside Attractions — Ralph Fiennes* “The Menu” Searchlight Pictures — Ram Charan Teja “RRR” Variance Films — Ricardo Darín “Argentina, 1985” Amazon Studios — RJ Cyler “Emergency” Amazon Studios — Robert Pattinson “The Batman” Warner Bros. — Ryan Gosling “The Gray Man” Netflix — Sam Rockwell “See How They Run” Searchlight Pictures — Sam Worthington “Avatar: The Way of Water” 20th Century Studios — Song Kang-ho “Broker” Neon — Sope Dirisu “Mr. Malcolm’s List” Bleecker Street — Sterling K. Brown “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” Universal Pictures — Steve Coogan* “The Lost King” Warner Bros. — Tim Roth “Resurrection” IFC Films — Timothée Chalamet* “Bones and All” MGM/United Artists Releasing — Tom Cruise “Top Gun: Maverick” Paramount Pictures — Tom Hanks “A Man Called Otto” Sony Pictures — Viggo Mortensen “Crimes of the Future” Neon — Vincent Lindon “Both Side of the Blade” IFC Films — Wes Studi “A Love Song” Bleecker Street — Will Ferrell “Spirited” Apple Original Films — Will Smith “Emancipation” Apple Original Films — Winston Duke* “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” Marvel Studios — Zac Efron “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” Apple Original Films
2023 Academy Awards Predictions
BEST PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY | ADAPTED SCREENPLAY | ANIMATED FEATURE | PRODUCTION DESIGN | CINEMATOGRAPHY | COSTUME DESIGN | FILM EDITING | MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING | SOUND | VISUAL EFFECTS | ORIGINAL SCORE | ORIGINAL SONG | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE | INTERNATIONAL FEATURE | ANIMATED SHORT | DOCUMENTARY SHORT | LIVE ACTION SHORT
The 95th Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC.
2022 category winner: Will Smith, “King Richard” (Warner Bros.)
About Variety Awards Circuit:
Variety’s unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provides inside reports on all the contenders in this year’s awards season races. In addition to predictions, the section includes — Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders in the race; Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly series featuring interviews with the top contenders in the awards race and an expert roundtable discussion with Variety’s leading editors and columnists; Awards Circuit Predictions Video Series, a deep dive into specific categories, led by the leading pundits.

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