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Daniel Day-Lewis: Best Actor Front-Runner

Daniel Day-Lewis Best Actor LincolnDaniel Day-Lewis: Best Actor favorite

[See previous post: “Michael Haneke Amour: Best Foreign Language Film Favorite.”] Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg's well-received and quite popular (in North America) historical drama Lincoln, is clearly the Best Actor front-runner this movie awards season. Whether or not Day-Lewis will become the first performer to win three Best Actor Academy Awards remains to be seen, but he's clearly the North American critics' darling. I should add that Daniel Day-Lewis' two previous Oscar wins were for Jim Sheridan's My Left Foot (1989) and Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood (2007). (Image: Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln.) [See intro to Movie Awards Season 2013 articles: “Jennifer Lawrence and Daniel Day-Lewis: Movie Awards Season 2013 Front-Runners.”]

Day-Lewis' chief competitors so far are Bradley Cooper for David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook and an actor starring in another Paul Thomas Anderson movie: Joaquin Phoenix, who plays a troubled World War II veteran in Anderson's The Master. To date, the only other Best Actor winner this awards season in North America is Denis Lavant for Leos Carax widely acclaimed French effort Holy Motors.

By the way, Joaquin Phoenix and fellow The Master player Philip Seymour Hoffman received a joint Best Actor Award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival. Elsewhere this awards season, Hoffman has been listed in the Best Supporting Actor category.

Jean-Louis Trintigant and other Best Actor absentees

In North America, the most glaring Best Actor omission of all is that of Amour's Jean-Louis Trintignant. At least Trintignant has already taken home the European Film Award for Best Actor, and in a couple of months he'll likely be taking home the French Academy's Best Actor César Award as well.

Anyhow, here are other notable actors missing from this awards season's Best Actor shortlists: Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock; Ben Affleck, Argo; Christian Bale, The Dark Knight Rises; Martin Freeman, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; Shuraj Sharma, Life of Pi; Daniel Craig, Skyfall; Jake Gyllenhaal, End of Watch; Robert Pattinson, Cosmopolis; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Looper; and Tommy Lee Jones, Hope Springs.

Also: Garrett Hedlund, On the Road; Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve; Daniel Auteuil, The Well-Diggers' Daughter; Logan Lerman, The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Channing Tatum, Magic Mike; Mark Wahlberg, Ted; Tom Cruise, Jack Reacher; Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained; Seth Rogen, The Guilt Trip; and Brad Pitt, Killing Them Softly.

A few more: 2012 César winner Omar Sy and François Cluzet, The Intouchables; Nanni Moretti and Michel Piccoli, We Have a Pope; Shia LaBeouf, Lawless; Tom Hanks, Cloud Atlas; Frank Langella, Robot & Frank; and Matthias Schoenaerts for either Bullhead or Rust and Bone.

Note: The Golden Globes list a total of ten Best Actor nominees in two categories: Best Actor in a Drama and Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. The Critics' Choice Awards have mostly six nominees per category, including Best Actor. (Tellingly, the Critics' Choice Awards' “more esoteric” Best Foreign Language Film category has only four nominees.)

Best Actor 2012 / 2013

  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln: 16 wins (Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Detroit, Florida, Indiana [tied with Bradley Cooper], Kansas City, Las Vegas, New York, New York Online, Oklahoma, Phoenix, St. Louis, San Diego, Southeastern, Washington). 3 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG Awards).
  • Joaquin Phoenix, The Master: 5 wins (Austin, Dublin, San Francisco, Utah, Venice [with Philip Seymour Hoffman]). 2 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes).
  • Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook: 3 wins (Indiana [tied with Daniel Day-Lewis], National Board of Review, Satellite). 4 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, Spirit Awards, SAG Awards).
  • John Hawkes, The Sessions: 1 win (Nevada). 4 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Spirit Awards).
  • Denis Lavant, Holy Motors: 1 win (Toronto).
  • Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables: 3 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG Awards).
  • Denzel Washington, Flight: 3 nominations (Critics Choice, Golden Globes, SAG Awards).
  • Jack Black, Bernie: 2 nominations (Golden Globes, Spirit Awards).
  • Richard Gere, Arbitrage: 1 nomination (Golden Globes).
  • Thure Lindhardt, Keep the Lights On: 1 nomination (Spirit Awards).
  • Matthew McConaughey, Killer Joe: 1 nomination (Spirit Awards).
  • Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in Yemen: 1 nomination (Golden Globes).
  • Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson: 1 nomination (Golden Globes).
  • Wendell Pierce, Four: 1 nomination (Spirit Awards).

[“Front-Runner for Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis” continues on the next page. See link below.]

Daniel Day-Lewis Lincoln image: Touchstone Pictures / Walt Disney Studios.

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Continue Reading: Jennifer Lawrence vs. Jessica Chastain: Best Actress Top Contenders

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3 Comments to Daniel Day-Lewis: Best Actor Front-Runner

  1. Andre


    The same thing happened to Gordon Pinsent back in 2007. Julie Christie received all the praise for “Away for Her” in the United States; Pinsent, the lesser-known “name,” was ignored even though he was equally outstanding. At least in Canada he received some recognition.

  2. didi

    Sorry, it's Eric Packer! Can't stand names spelled wrong.

  3. didi

    Thank you for mentioning Robert Pattinson in Cosmopolis. He won't be nominated for any award,. He's too young and as a women's idol he has to earn some credibility just like Pitt and Depp and Di Caprio had to do before him. But nobody can deny that he nailed the difficult part of Eric Padker to perfection and a lot of male moviegoers shaked their head in disbelief that this guy can 'really act' LOL
    I'm pleasantly surprised too to read that you also mentioned Matthias Schoenaerts, the upcoming Belgian actor. It bothered me a bit that Marion Cotillard got all the praise in Rust and Bone. Already in Cannes people were talking about an oscar nomination, while IMHO Matthias' performance was as good as hers' to say the least. I know his previous movies, he can play every part he wants and what many might not know: his native language is dutch, but he speaks french and english fluently which broadens his horizons a lot.