Exclusive: Badass Christoph Waltz leaps up to lead Oscar race in ‘Django Unchained’

Christoph Waltz‘s performance is so amazing in ‘Django Unchained’ that it towers over the whole movie,” an insider tells Gold Derby about his role as a German ex-dentist-turned-bounty-hunter in Quentin Tarantino‘s upcoming spaghetti western. “We’re moving him up to the lead Oscar race” where he’ll compete against costar Jamie Foxx, who portrays the title character, a freed slave who teams up with Waltz to rescue his enslaved wife (Kerry Washington).

Previously, Oscar pundits presumed that Waltz would compete in the supporting race opposite costar Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrays a sinister plantation owner. DiCaprio is overdue to bag his first Oscar. Waltz won the supporting slot for “Inglourious Basterds” and Jamie Foxx took the lead actor trophy for “Ray.” If Waltz triumphs in lead after prevailing first in supporting, he’ll follow the Oscar path of past Oscar double champs Kevin Spacey (“The Usual Suspects,” “American Beauty”) and Denzel Washington (“Glory,” “Training Day”).

Waltz enters an already crowded lead category where Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln”), Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”) and Denzel Washington (“Flight”) are considered locks for nominations, according to the latest racetrack odds and predictions generated by experts polled by Gold Derby. That leaves only two slots open for such other formidable contenders as Anthony Hopkins (“Hitchcock”), John Hawkes (“The Sessions”), Hugh Jackman (“Les Miserables”) and Bradley Cooper (“Silver Linings Playbook”) – and now Waltz. Three of those top contenders are in Weinstein Co. releases: Waltz, Phoenix and Cooper. While that creates a competitive problem at the Oscars, the trio will be separated at the Golden Globes where Cooper will move over to the comedy/musical race and face a formidable challenge from Jackman.


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6 thoughts on “Exclusive: Badass Christoph Waltz leaps up to lead Oscar race in ‘Django Unchained’

  1. What´s your analysis of this, Mr O´Neill? Are they putting Waltz in best actor because he´s better than Foxx, and they don´t want him and DiCaprio in the same category? Or is this a common phenomenon, actors being put i lead because they are too good for supporting??

  2. oh come on the bad guys always steal tarantino movies mr blonde… stuntman mike… hans landa and now Dicaprio as a vile racist power broker 🙂 i smell oscar 4 leo

  3. I think this hurts Christoph Waltz’s chances at an Oscar nomination for Django Unchained. The Best Lead Actor race is extremely competitive this year, and as Tom noted, very crowded. Most of the competitors in the supporting race are previous winners (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robert DeNiro, Russell Crowe, Tommy Lee Jones, Alan Arkin), none of whom are really getting enough substantial buzz to be locks at this point. If Christoph Waltz has a commanding performance in Django, stick with what worked the last time he won the Oscar! I think that trying to sneak into the Best Lead Actor category will be very difficult.

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