How far ahead is Joaquin Phoenix in Oscars race after ‘Joker’ windfalls at BAFTAs and Golden Globes?

It’s been a great week for Joaquin Phoenix (“Joker”) leading up to the Oscar nominations on Monday, January 13. But does he have Best Actor already locked up? Not quite, but he’s getting there.

From the very beginning “Joker” seemed like a strong awards contender for Phoenix’s physically and emotionally demanding performance as the title DC Comics villain, but since the film as a whole is so divisive we didn’t necessarily think it would do as well as it has overall. But in addition to Phoenix’s win at the Golden Globes, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association also nominated it for Best Film Drama and Best Director (Todd Phillips), and Hildur Guðnadóttir won for her score.. And it’s the leading film at the BAFTAs with 11 nominations.

The stronger the film looks as an awards contender overall, the stronger Phoenix looks for his centerpiece performance. Indeed he’s predicted to win the Oscar by 24 of the 32 Expert journalists we’ve surveyed as of this writing. But that still leaves eight Experts who think otherwise.

Five of those pundits are betting on Adam Driver (“Marriage Story”): Eric Deggans (NPR), Matthew Jacobs (Huffington Post), Susan King (Gold Derby), Kevin Polowy (Yahoo) and Anne Thompson (IndieWire). Driver has been keeping up with Phoenix nomination for nomination (Critics’ Choice, SAG Awards and BAFTAs in addition to the Golden Globes), but time will tell if he’ll actually start winning at these events.

The other three Experts are going out on a limb for Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory”): Tim Gray (Variety), Claudia Puig (KPCC) and Glenn Whipp (LA Times). Banderas earned Globe and Critics’ Choice nominations, but he missed out at the BAFTAs and SAG Awards, so the veteran Spanish actor will have to keep his fingers crossed on Monday morning.

Do you think there’s still room to upset Phoenix’s diabolical performance, or is the billion-dollar box office hit now too big to fail despite all the mixed opinions about it?

Be sure to make your Oscar nominee predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on January 13. And join in the fun debate over the 2020 Academy Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our film forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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