2016 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Predicted Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
If there is one lock this year it is Leonardo DiCaprio. “The Revenant” marks his sixth acting Oscar nomination and after losing every time and being looked over for countless other worthy performances, it appears 2016 will finally be his year. Twenty three years after his first Oscar nomination for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”, DiCaprio has given the Academy a performance they really can’t ignore this time around.

He took “suffering for your art” to a whole new level on the arduous filming of “The Revenant” and there’s nothing the Academy loves more than a grueling transformation. DiCaprio has been nominated and won the Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA and the Critics Choice Award – there’s no way he’ll be going home empty handed…again.

Why He’ll Win:
First of all the consensus among everyone in the pop culture universe and more than likely the Academy itself is that DiCaprio is long overdue for the honor. The once child star turned teen idol has overcome all of the odds to become a full-fledged film icon. Now 41, he’s proven he’s not going anywhere. An Oscar win is truly the cherry on top of a career most actors can only dream of.
The Other Contenders:
Coming in a hypothetical second place is reigning Best Actor Eddie Redmayne for his work in “The Danish Girl”. His performance and the movie possess all of the hallmarks of a winner: the movie’s a period piece/biopic. It’s directed by a previous Best Director winner and Redmayne undergoes an impressive physical transformation for the role. If his co-star Alicia Vikander wins for Supporting Actor, she has Redmayne to thank for the accolade.

Had it been any other year, Redmayne would’ve likely won his second Oscar. Besides the highly competitive turn by DiCaprio, Redmayne faced an uphill battle securing a repeat win. The last actor to win back-to-back Lead Actor Oscars was Tom Hanks in 1993 and 94 for “Philadelphia” and “Forrest Gump” respectively.

Michael Fassbender’s nomination for Best Actor comes as a bit of redemption for a movie that made a positive impression with critics but underperformed at the box office. That said; a Fassbender victory is a long shot. Duking it out for the least likely winner is Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”) and Matt Damon for the most hilarious comedy of the year, “The Martian”. 

Category Factoids:
Leonardo DiCaprio opted out of starring in “Steve Jobs” for “The Revenant”. Eddie Redmayne was in the midst of filming “The Danish Girl” last year, when he was campaigning for The Theory of Everything”. Out of the 5 nominated roles, 4 are based on real people. Translation: Matt Damon stars as the category’s only original character. Bryan Cranston is the only first time Oscar nominee.

The Toughest Loss:
If DiCaprio loses, the world might need a day to collect themselves. The Susan Lucci of the Oscars, DiCaprio will more than likely have to take a minute or more to absorb the inevitable standing ovation his victory will warrant. Hopefully, the show’s producers have built in an adequate amount of time for him to enjoy the adulation of his peers without having to sacrifice the runtime of his speech.

And the Oscar Went to:
Leonardo DiCaprio for "The Revenant"