Now that I’ve seen most of the leading actors competing for the Best Actor Oscar, with the exception of Napoleon and We Are All Strangers, I’ll be going with either Cillian Murphy or Leonardo DiCaprio to win. Oscar.
There are 11 Best Actor contenders on my list of predictions. I don’t see anyone being added. They are as follows:
Cillian Murphy – “Oppenheimer”
Leonardo DiCaprio – Killers of the Flower Moon
Jeffrey Wright – American Fantasy
Paul Giamatti – “The Leftovers”
Colman Domingo – “Rustin”
Bradley Cooper – “The Master”
Jamie Foxx – “Funeral”
Nicolas Cage – “Dream Script”
Joaquin Phoenix – “Napoleon”
Andrew Scott – “We Are All Strangers”
Theo Yu – “Past Lives”
It will be difficult to beat Cillian Murphy. It’s a stunning performance, and he’s in almost every scene of the three-hour Oppenheimer. I still think about his role as Robert J. Oppenheimer in Nolan’s film. This is almost flawless work on his part.
DiCaprio’s performance isn’t talked about much because, well, he doesn’t have much of a narrative. He already has an Oscar. If quality is in fact a factor in winning awards, then DiCaprio’s rich performance in Killers could have a serious shot at Oscar gold.
Whenever there is a conversation about DiCaprio’s acting talents, he is either overrated or underrated, there is no middle ground. Forget about star power or good looks for a second, there is no doubt in my mind that DiCaprio is one of the most talented actors of his generation.
Eight years ago I had listed DiCaprio performs for Sasha Stone’s Awards Daily. Since then my ranking has changed somewhat, his main performances are as follows:
(1) The Wolf of Wall Street (2) The Aviator (3) Killers of the Flower Moon (4) What’s Eating Gilbert Grapes? (5) Catch Me If You Can (6) Titanic (7) The Departed (8) Django Unchained
DiCaprio was amazing as a useful idiot in Killers of the Flower Moon. David Ehrlich thinks it’s the best performance of his career, but has he forgotten The Wolf of Wall Street? This is the performance DiCaprio was born to perform.
However, DiCaprio’s work in Killers ranks among his top three films. In the film, Ernest DiCaprio and Lily Gladstone’s Molly have a very complicated relationship – between an Osage woman and a white man who kills her entire family. This is literally true.
And yet, as is human nature, Ernest still harbors a good-natured love for Molly. It’s almost impossible not to like him as his every move is controlled by his crazy and greedy uncle (played by Robert De Niro).
You don’t even realize the overall impact of Ernest and Molly’s failed union until the very end. It’s a complex thing, and DiCaprio does a great job in the role. He is neither a hero nor some one-dimensional villain, but rather an absent-minded, naive henchman whose actions are disgusting.
Of course, as already mentioned, DiCaprio already won an Oscar, but not for that film (The Revenant). He truly deserved to win for Killers, one of the best performances of his career.