5 reasons why Eddie Redmayne (‘Theory of Everything’) will win Best Actor Oscar

In the seemingly endless Oscar debate pitting Eddie Redmayne vs. Michael Keaton as Best Actor, I got a good chuckle today reading Tariq Khan‘s (Fox News) love letter for Keaton. When will Khan and other Oscar “experts” escape the black hole they’ve fallen into and admit the true acting champion of 2014 will be 32-year-old Redmayne?

Sure, Keaton has a great personal story of redemption with “Birdman,” but no one even comes close to Redmayne’s flawless transformation as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” For my money, this is one of the most obvious Best Actor races in recent Oscars history. Don’t believe me? Then check out my five reasons below for why Redmayne will win. (Haters, please respond in the comments section at the bottom of this post.) .

ALSO READ: Tariq Khan’s 5 reasons why Michael Keaton
(‘Birdman’) will soar away with Best Actor Oscar

1. He plays a real-life person.
The list of recent Best Actor Oscar winners plays like a who’s who of real-life history: Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln (“Lincoln”), Colin Firth as King George (“The King’s Speech”), Sean Penn as Harvey Milk (“Milk”), Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview/Edward Doheny (“There Will Be Blood”), Forest Whitaker as Idi Amin (“The Last King of Scotland”), Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote (“Capote”), Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles (“Ray”), etc. The major difference between Redmayne and all of those examples? The character Redmayne portrays — physicist Stephen Hawking — actually provides his own Equalizer computerized voice to the role. Hey, does that mean if Redmayne wins the Oscar, Hawking will get one, too?

2. He transforms physically.
There’s nothing Oscar voters love more than when actors and actresses transform physically on screen for our enjoyment. Think Meryl Streep as British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (“Iron Lady”), Heath Ledger as the crazy Joker (“The Dark Knight”), Nicole Kidman as the nosy Virginia Woolf (“The Hour”), and yes, even Day-Lewis as a man with cerebral palsy (“My Left Foot”), a performance that Khan correctly compares to Redmayne’s. Whether or not you’re a fan of Redmayne, there’s no question he completely disappears within this role. Conversely, isn’t Keaton just playing Keaton?

3. The British vote.
Never underestimate the power of the British vote within the Academy. The LA Times estimates there are about 250 Oscar voters that hail from Great Britain, compared to roughly 57 Canadian and 45 Australian members. That powerful voting block could help ensure their UK brother Redmayne gets the #1 votes he needs to surpass Keaton on the Best Actor ballot. And with two English lads in the race this year — the other being Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Imitation Game“) — Keaton could even drop down to third place amongst British voters who’re looking to keep the trophy in the family.

4. He’ll win the Golden Globe.
Based on Gold Derby’s Experts, Editors and Users, Redmayne has the Golden Globe in the bag as Best Drama Actor. In the past 64 years, 49 Golden Globe winners for Best Actor went on to win Oscar. Yes, Gold Derby also predicts Keaton will win the Globe for Best Comedy Actor for the quirky “Birdman,” but 41 out of those 49 Globe victories were for dramatic performances. 

Eddie Redmayne (‘Theory of Everything’): Oscar buzz is ‘extraordinary privilege’ (Video)

5. Passionate support.
Forget facts, statistics, and Oscars history for a moment. When it comes down to it, who gives the performance that people are passionately rooting for to win? It’s Redmayne. In fact, almost every Oscar expert interviewed by Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil on our podcast channel admits that they’re predicting Keaton for the win even though they personally want Redmayne to claim the gold. (To subscribe to our podcast series, do a search for “Gold Derby” at iTunes store or check out Gold Derby’s channel at Libsyn.)

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5 thoughts on “5 reasons why Eddie Redmayne (‘Theory of Everything’) will win Best Actor Oscar

  1. The problem with Redmayne is that he want it so badly, that he is pushing pieces too hard. He needs rooting among voters, and that´s what is missing, He does not have an empathic background, a likeable story that is just not there and somebody on his team needs to fix it.

  2. I don’t know, Marcus, Keaton has been cleaning up with the local critics groups over the past few days. But I’m no hater. You make very good points and you could be right about all of this. And the critics and the Academy are two completely different groups with their own tastes. I still need to see both of these movies, then maybe I’ll have a better instinct. I’m so far behind in my movie viewing I just barely watched Gone Girl last night.

  3. Marcus, a couple of things: 1. Daniel Day Lewis playing Daniel Plainview in “There Will Be Blood” was fiction. He wasn’t a real person. As an Oscar watcher, you should know this, especially before you put out at fact in an argument. 2. The biggest flaw in your point about the British vote is that the votes could and will likely split between Benedict and Eddie, leaving Keaton with his chance to clean clock and take the Oscar in his career comeback achievement. 3. Just because “Gold Derby” odds says Eddie is winning Golden Globe doesn’t mean he will win, you guys have been notoriously wrong on numerous occasions. Until he wins it, you can’t use it as an argument as to why he will win the Oscar, he doesn’t have a win like that to even show he can come close to the Oscar, yet. Until proven otherwise, don’t assume or you’ll look like a fool. 4. I think I’ve heard more passion to reward Keaton than Eddie, there is way more respect for him than Eddie in the industry….don’t know where you get that idea. 5. I love Eddie and would love to see him win, but your arguments are so flawed and bias that it is almost laughable that you aren’t seeing the obvious.

  4. I remember the venerable Mr. O’Neil backing himself into a similar corner last season with DiCaprio over McConaughey. If Redmayne is THAT GOOD – he will still be regarded by voters as a Best Actor winner down the track – Keaton has THE STORY of the year and that kind of sentimentality will get him across the line with Oscar voters. And besides if ‘Boyhood’ wasn’t out this year, most likely ‘Birdman’ would walk away with a few more. As it stands, this will be their best way to reward a film they will most likely love come nomination time. SAG is the one to watch.

  5. “The biggest flaw in your point about the British vote is that the votes could and will likely split between Benedict and Eddie, leaving Keaton with his chance to clean clock and take the Oscar in his career comeback achievement.”
    Good point, Gers. Good point. There’s also that the fact that British voters actually tend to be biased against their homegrown stars and love rewarding Americans (see the BAFTAs).

    Redmayne may have a good chance at the GG, but that’s about it. If he does win, it will be negated immediately by Keaton’s also win in lead actor and likely SAG win. As for playing a real person being an advantage, how it that possible this year, when it’s likely 4/5 of the nominees will be playing real people, and unlike Redmayne’s, a couple of those are tragic martyrs to boot? Keaton will be the likely only American and also the only one playing a fictional character, which will add to him standing out.

    Redmayne has gotten zero awards in the runup to nominations and except for the Globe, he’s unlikely to get any the rest of the season. How can anyone argue supposed passionate support for someone who has yet to without win a single critics’ award?
    The real disadvantage though is that Redmayne is in a weak BP contender. Birdman, The Imitation Game and Selma are all stronger BP contenders who will have lead actors in the race. Redmayne’s youth, newness to Hollywood, lack of preliminary/critics’ awards, the Cumberbatch factor (similar role = vote splitting) and being in a weak BP contender will all sink his chances. Keaton has a very strong BP contender, the narrative of the season, the American advantage and the critical and likely SAG support for a great comeback role written specifically for him. Argue against him at your own peril.

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