Ryan Gosling could ride ‘La La Land’ sweep to Oscar win

Of late, the question of who will win Best Actor only ever brings about two answers: Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) and Denzel Washington (“Fences”). That’s understandable, given Affleck’s dominance of the critics awards and Washington’s recent win at SAG, which has a stellar track record at predicting the eventual Oscar champ. However, Washington was snubbed by the BAFTAs, which went to Affleck thus giving him another chance to audition for Oscar voters with an acceptance speech.

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The two actors shine in sombre roles and are neck and neck according to our Oscar experts. With the backing of 13 experts, Washington is the frontrunner on our Best Actor odds chart, with 1/1 while Affleck, with 12 votes, is a close second at 6/5. Four of our experts — Tim Gray (Variety), Pete Hammond (Deadline), Tom O’Neil (Gold Derby) and Anne Thompson (Indiewire) — dish the race in the video below.

Unlike any of them, I am predicting a win for “La La Land” leading man Ryan Gosling. I believe he is poised to be this year’s Jean Dujurdin (another  music man starring in a beloved Best Picture winner, “The Artist”). Likewise, Gosling stands out from his competition in a much lighter, more comedic role. He may well be swept along by the “La La Land” juggernaut.

UPDATED: Oscar Experts predict winners in all 24 categories

I am mindful of the outcome of a similar Best Actor contest 14 years ago when Adrien Brody (“The Pianist”) won right under the noses of Jack Nicholson (“About Schmidt”) and Daniel Day-Lewis (“Gangs of New York”), who had been battling it out the entire season.

Brody won for playing real-life Holocaust survivor Wladyslaw Szpilman in Roman Polanski’s heartfelt film. While his win may be taken for granted now at the time, Brody had not claimed a single major precursor. Day-Lewis had won the Screen Actors Guild award and BAFTA, while Nicholson tooh home the Golden Globe for Best Drama Actor. The two even tied at the Critics Choice Awards. With Day-Lewis and Nicholson neck and neck, voters couldn’t decide who to go for and split the votes allowing Brody to sneak up the middle.

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Gosling is the Brody of this year’s race. He sits in third with 22/1 odds, way ahead of Andrew Garfield (“Hacksaw Ridge”) and Viggo Mortensen (“Captain Fantastic”) who are at 40/1 and 66/1 respectively. Gosling is the star of the Best Picture frontrunner, “La La Land,” which is forecast to win at least nine Oscars.

Back in 2003, “The Pianist” came oh so close to winning Best Picture over “Chicago.” Polanski’s film had won the BAFTA Best Picture award and competed at every other major kudos, but couldn’t quite overtake Rob Marshall’s musical romp, which won a total of six Oscars. “The Pianist” did claim two other Oscars: Best Director for Polanski and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Video produced by David Janove

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Be sure to make your Oscar predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our Oscar odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before winners are announced on February 26 at 5:00 pm PT/8:00 pm ET. And join in the fierce debate over the Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.

10 thoughts on “Ryan Gosling could ride ‘La La Land’ sweep to Oscar win

  1. Let me amend my post above state the following, Gosling is not winning for La La Land.

    He is not Jean Dujardin, Dujardin won the BAFTA, Globe and SAG. The person reaping this type of support is Stone.

    He is not Adrien Brody, that film hand ground swell, and was during a longer Oscar season. The other four men in the category were all previous winners. Brody also won critics prizes.

    This race is between Washington and Affleck.

  2. La La is not completely sweeping the guilds (dominating but not sweeping ie Lion winning ASC) and didn’t sweep BAFTA makes it less likely for a record sweep on Oscar night. So that hurts Gosling’s chances.

    I think Andrew Garfield has more potential to be this year’s Adrien Brody if the votes for Casey & Denzel split. Hacksaw Ridge is also set during WWII like The Pianist. It’s a comeback for Mel (like Polanski). There’s a lot of love for Hacksaw in the Academy: as many nominations as Manchester and more than Fences.

    Ultimately, I think the key difference between this year and the year Adrien surprised is that Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day Lewis both had already won. Leaving the door open to a surprise winner. So, I think Casey could win (given that Denzel already has 2 Oscars). The only thing holding him back is the recent negative press surrounding his behavior while filming I’m Still Here.

  3. I think Ryan Gosling has pretty good chances of winning the best actor oscar, and he would deserve it. The chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling is behind La La Land’s success.

    1. what chemistry? that’s what was missing in this So So movie. This movie had the best unmatched chemistry since Sommersby with Richard Gere and Jodie Foster.

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