Oscarologists sort out a crowded race for Best Actor nominations

Best Actor is one of this year’s most crowded Oscar races, so much so that just getting nominated may prove as difficult as winning, with upwards of a dozen viable candidates in the running. As reported earlier, three-time nominee Leonardo DiCaprio is the favorite to win for his work in “J. Edgar,” which has yet to screen for audiences or the press. He’s currently given field-leading 13/8 odds to win.

But Gold Derby’s Inside Track measures more than just who will win. It also calculates the likelihood of being nominated, based on how many of our Oscarologists place him in their top-five lists of most probable contenders. By that measure, DiCaprio is still out front. All of Gold Derby’s Editors, and the vast majority of Experts and Users expect DiCaprio to make the Best Actor shortlist, giving him overwhelming 1/10 odds of receiving his fourth Academy Award nomination.

Three other major stars currently populate the top five on the Inside Track: George Clooney for “The Descendants” (2/13), Brad Pitt for “Moneyball” (8/11), and Gary Oldman for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” (4/5). Also in the hunt, though, is a relative unknown: French actor Jean Dujardin, who earned raves for “The Artist” when it premiered earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, where he won the Best Actor prize. He’s given 8/13 odds of being nominated in Oscar’s equivalent race.

But several other actors are knocking on the door. Ryan Gosling has a pair of performances in the running. He has distant 33/1 odds of being nominated for “Drive,” but Oscarologists give him strong 12/5 odds of making the lineup for “The Ides of March.” Michael Fassbender also has a pair of films in contention. He gets 12/1 odds for the historical drama “A Dangerous Method,” in which he plays psychologist Carl Jung. But he gets better odds (7/2) for his performance as a sex addict in “Shame.”

Woody Harrelson, a previous Best Actor nominee for “The People vs. Larry Flynt” (1996) and a Best Supporting Actor nominee for “The Messenger” (2009), could contend again as a renegade cop in “Rampart,” which was recently acquired for distribution by Millennium Entertainment, but he’ll have to overcome steep 10/1 odds.

MAKE YOUR OSCAR PREDICTIONS: Will Ryan Gosling be nominated for Best Actor?

Log your predictions in all top Oscar races. Compete against experts!

Other actors farther back in the race are Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “50/50” (16/1), Paul Giamatti in “Win Win” (16/1), Ralph Fiennes in “Coriolanus” (25/1), Johnny Depp in “The Rum Diary” (25/1), and Michael Shannon in “Take Shelter” (25/1), but the race is far from over. Expect momentum to shift as the season progresses and additional films are released to the public. You too can affect the race just by making predictions. Is the Inside Track on the right track? Or have we got it all wrong?

For the complete list of contenders, CLICK HERE. The current rankings are as follows:


1.) Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar” – 1/10
2.) George Clooney, “The Descendants” – 2/13
3.) Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” – 8/13
4.) Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” – 8/11
5.) Gary Oldman, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” – 4/5
6.) Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March” – 12/5
7.) Michael Fassbender, “Shame” – 7/2
8.) Brad Pitt, “The Tree of Life” – 4/1
9.) Woody Harrelson, “Rampart” – 10/1
10.) Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method” – 12/1

Don’t miss updates on the Oscar races – Get free Gold Derby News Updates

More News from GoldDerby