Historically the Best Actor Oscar has gone to men with a little grey in their hair while Best Actress is usually given to an ingenue. However, we could be seeing a shift in that bias on both sides. At the 2019 Oscars, Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) won Best Actor at age 37 over a past winner and three previous nominees. Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) did likewise in 2017. (Scroll down for the most up-to-date 2020 Oscars predictions for Best Actor.)
While Affleck won for a fictional role, Malek prevailed for portraying Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. Of the 10 most recent Best Actor champs at the Academy Awards, seven of them won for bring life to real-life fellows: Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech,” 2011); Daniel Day-Lewis (“Lincoln,” 2013); Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club,” 2014); Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything,” 2015); Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant,” 2016); and Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour,” 2018).
Malek was a first-time nominee while each of his four rivals in the 2019 Best Actor race had contended multiple times at the Oscars. Only one had won with Christian Bale having taken home the Best Supporting Actor award for “The Fighter.”
Who will win Best Actor at the 2020 Oscars? Below, we consider the contenders. This roster includes past Academy Awards champs, previous nominees and those looking for their first bids, be they film newcomers or long-time screen actors.
UPDATED: February 9, 2020
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker” (Warner Bros. – Oct. 4)
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story” (Netflix – November 6; streams December 6)
Antonio Banderas, “Pain & Glory” (Sony Pictures Classics – October 4)
Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (Sony – July 26)
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes” (Netflix – November 27; streams December 20)
Click on the linked categories below to read our previews of each of these races.