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Oscars 2009: Predictions for Best Actor

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING
ROLE

Sean Penn in “Milk
(Focus Features)
Benicio Del Toro in “The Argentine” (TBD)
Brad Pitt  in “The Curious
Case of Benjamin Button
” (Paramount Pictures)
Michael Sheen in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal Pictures)
Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax Films)

Comments:

Quality and quantity this year in the men’s category coming from some highly anticipated interpretations, impersonations and idolatry. The to be highly disputed category includes Benicio Del Toro in his Che role  – the only question is: will there be both the intro and sequel in 08′? Next up with what should be the show-in of the category is Sean Penn‘s playing the hero that falls victim to “harsh” politics in Van Sant’s Harvey Milk role. After satisfying auds with his take on Tony Blair, Michael Sheen plays David Frost and goes head to head with Richie Nixon – it may get th same kudos he received for the Broadway act. Phillip Seymour Hoffman may still have an Oscar shelf that is dust free but he could walk away with at least a nom and perhaps more in sobering Father Flynn role and perhaps the long shot of the category is A-lister Brad Pitt. The actor has yet to pick up even a single nom, but the pedigree of David Fincher’s role and no Ocean’s film to bring down his stock might make voters finally take notice.

Contenders:

Leonardo DiCaprio should have another heck of a year – a nom is not out of the question for his lead role in Revolutionary Road and one might never know with his pairing with Russell Crowe in Body of Lies. Hoffman (like Leo) also has another role that is worth considering – he could very well make a splash with a comedic role in Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New
York
. Then we have very popular actors in Hugh Jackman (Australia), Tom Cruise (Valkyrie) and Viggo Mortensen (The Road) and the extreme longshot might come from Mickey Rourke in Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler and Ralph Fiennes in The Reader. The one name that will be on many people’s lips might be the posthumous mention going to Heath for his take on the Joker in The Dark Knight.

Tomorrow: Predcitions for Best Actress.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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