Oscar Predictions: Best Actor – Austin Butler’s ‘Elvis’ and Brendan Fraser’s ‘Whale’ Among the Transformational Hopefuls in the Running

·8-min read
.
.

More from Variety

Variety Awards Circuit section is the home for all awards news and related content throughout the year, featuring the following: the official awards predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies, curated by Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis; Awards Circuit Column, a weekly analysis dissecting the trends and contenders by television editor Michael Schneider (for Emmys) and Davis (for Oscars); Awards Circuit Podcast, a weekly interview series with talent and an expert roundtable discussion; and Awards Circuit Video analyzes various categories and contenders by Variety's leading awards pundits. Variety's unmatched coverage gives its readership unbeatable exposure in print and online, as well as provide inside reports on all the contenders in this year's awards season races.

To see all the latest FILM predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE OSCARS COLLECTIVE
Visit each category, per the individual awards show from THE OSCARS HUB (coming soon)
To see old predictions and commentary, click the OSCARS PREDICTIONS ARCHIVES
Link to TV awards is atTHE EMMYS HUB

UPDATED: August 13, 2022

2023 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST ACTOR

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY:

The fall festival circuit is weeks from kicking off where we’ll get first looks at “The Whale” with Brendan Fraser, “The Son” with Hugh Jackman and “White Noise” with Adam Driver. Pundits and critics are already well aware that names like Austin Butler from “Elvis,” Bill Nighy from “Living” and perhaps even Tom Cruise from “Top Gun: Maverick” will be in the discussion.

Transformational performances could take center stage with the likes of Butler and Fraser from their films as they play real-life people.

“The Inspection” was named as the closing film for New York Film Festival, and in its midst is said to be an awards-worthy performance from Jeremy Pope, and then there’s the possible double dose of Christian Bale this year with Scott Cooper’s “The Pale Blue Eye” and David O. Russell’s “Amsterdam.”

Plenty more to come.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Oscars Predictions Hub

Check out the latest predictions rankings below.

Read moreVariety’s Awards Circuit Emmys Predictions Hub

2022 category winner: Will Smith, “King Richard” (Warner Bros.)

ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

Bill Nighy in ‘Living’ - Credit: Ross Ferguson
Bill Nighy in ‘Living’ - Credit: Ross Ferguson

Ross Ferguson

And The Predicted Nominees Are:

Rank

Name

Film

Distributor

1

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.

2

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.

3

Bill Nighy

“Living”

Sony Pictures Classics

An English-language adaptation of the script of “Ikiru” (1952), set in London in the 1950s.

4

Daniel Giménez Cacho

“Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)”

Netflix

The film explores the political and social modernity of Mexico.

5

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.

Next in Line

6

Adam Driver

“White Noise”

Netflix

“White Noise” dramatizes a contemporary American family’s attempts to deal with the mundane conflicts of everyday life while grappling with the universal mysteries of love, death, and the possibility of happiness in an uncertain world.

7

Christian Bale

“Amsterdam”

20th Century Studios

Set in the ’30s, it follows three friends who witness a murder, become suspects themselves, and uncover one of the most outrageous plots in American history.

8

Song Kang-ho

“Broker”

Neon

Boxes that are left out for people to anonymously drop off their unwanted babies.

9

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.

10

Jeremy Pope

“The Inspection”

A24

Based on the life of filmmaker and Marine Corps veteran Elegance Bratton.

Other Top-Tier Contenders

11

Colin Farrell

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Searchlight Pictures

12

Christian Bale

“The Pale Blue Eye”

Netflix

13

Colin Firth

“Empire of Light”

Searchlight Pictures

14

Harry Styles*

“My Policeman”

Amazon Studios

15

Diego Calva

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

16

Winston Duke*

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”

Marvel Studios

17

Jim Parsons

“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”

Focus Features

18

Paul Mescal

“Aftersun”

A24

19

Eddie Redmayne

“The Good Nurse”

Netflix

20

Adam Sandler

“Hustle”

Netflix

Also In Contention

21

Patton Oswalt

“I Love My Dad”

Magnolia Pictures

22

Tom Hanks

“A Man Called Otto”

Sony Pictures

23

Harris Dickinson

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

24

Billy Eichner

“Bros”

Universal Pictures

25

Mehdi Bajestani

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

26

Ewan McGregor*

“Raymond & Ray”

Apple Original Films

27

Daniel Craig

“Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

Netflix

28

Kelvin Harrison Jr.

“Chevalier”

Searchlight Pictures

29

Mark Rylance

“The Phantom of the Open”

Sony Pictures Classics

30

Park Hae-il

“Decision to Leave”

Mubi

Other Awards Possibilities

31

Daniel Kaluuya

“Nope”

Universal Pictures

32

Sam Worthington

“Avatar: The Way of Water”

20th Century Studios

33

Daryl McCormack

“Good Luck to You, Leo Grande”

Searchlight Pictures

34

Caleb Landry Jones

“Nitram”

IFC Films

35

Ricardo Darín

“Argentina, 1985”

Amazon Studios

36

Viggo Mortensen

“Crimes of the Future”

Neon

37

Zac Efron

“The Greatest Beer Run Ever”

Apple Original Films

38

Cooper Raiff

“Cha Cha Real Smooth”

Apple Original Films

39

Jack O’Connell

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Netflix

40

Ben Kingsley

“Dalíland”

No U.S. Distribution

Unranked Possible Contenders

Aaron Pierre*

“Brother”

No U.S. Distribution

Adam Sandler

“Hustle”

Netflix

Adam Sandler

“Spaceman”

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

Brad Pitt*

“Babylon”

Paramount Pictures

Brendan Fraser

“The Whale”

A24

Brendan Gleeson*

“The Banshees of Inisherin”

Searchlight Pictures

Brian Cox

“Prisoner’s Daughter”

No U.S. Distribution

Caleb Landry Jones

“Nitram”

IFC Films

Casey Affleck

“Dreamin’ Wild”

No U.S. Distribution

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

Colin Firth*

“Empire of Light”

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

Eddie Redmayne

“The Good Nurse”

Netflix

Eden Dambrine

“Close”

A24

Elio Germano

“Il Signore Delle Formiche”

No U.S. Distribution

Ethan Hawke*

“Raymond & Ray”

Apple Original Films

Ewan McGregor*

“Raymond & Ray”

Apple Original Films

Finn Wolfhard

“When You Finish Saving the World”

A24

Gabrielle LaPelle

“The Fabelmans”

Universal Pictures

George Clooney

“Ticket to Paradise”

Universal Pictures

Géza Röhrig

“The Way of the Wind”

No U.S. Distribution

Gregory Mann

“Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”

Netflix

Harris Dickinson

“Triangle of Sadness”

Neon

Harry Styles

“My Policeman”

Amazon Studios

Hugh Jackman

“The Son”

Sony Pictures Classics

Idris Elba

“Three Thousand Years of Longing”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Jack O’Connell

“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”

Netflix

Jake Gyllenhaal

“Ambulance”

Universal Pictures

Jalyn Hall*

“Till”

Orion/United Artists Releasing

Ji-Min Park

“Return to Seoul”

Sony Pictures Classics

Jim Parsons

“Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies”

Focus Features

Jo Koy

“Easter Sunday”

Universal Pictures

Joel Edgerton

“The Stranger”

Transmission Films

Joshua Boone*

“A Jazzman’s Blues”

Netflix

Justin Chatwin

“The Walk”

Vertical Entertainment

Kelvin Harrison Jr.

“Chevalier”

Searchlight Pictures

Kevin Kline

“The Good House”

Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions

Lamar Johnson*

“Brother”

No U.S. Distribution

Marin Grigore

“R.M.N.”

IFC Films

Mark Rylance

“The Phantom of the Open”

Sony Pictures Classics

Matthias Schweighöfer

“The Swimmers”

Netflix

Mehdi Bajestani

“Holy Spider”

Utopia

Michael Banks Repeta

“Armageddon Time”

Focus Features

N.T. Rama Rao Jr.

“RRR”

Raftar Creations

Nicholas Hoult

“The Menu”

Searchlight Pictures

Nicolas Cage

“Butcher’s Crossing”

Saban Films

Nicolas Cage

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”

Lionsgate

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

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

Sebastian Maniscalco

“About My Father”

Lionsgate

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.

Taj Atwal

“What’s Love Got to Do With It?”

No U.S. Distribution

Tim Roth

“Resurrection”

IFC Films

Timothée Chalamet

“Bones & All”

MGM/United Artists Releasing

Tom Burke

“The Wonder”

Netflix

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

“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

Zachary Levi

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods”

Warner Bros.

2023 Academy Awards Predictions

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the nearly 10,000-person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The 95th Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre and televised live on Sunday, March 12, 2022, on ABC

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting