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2015 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire October 27, 2014 at 11:57AM

Steve Carell ("Foxcatcher") and Ralph Fiennes ("The Grand Budapest Hotel") lead our early take on the best actor category.

Indiewire will provide updates of our predictions for the 87th Academy Award nominations through January 2015, when the nominations are announced.

The best actor race sure is packed: There's arguable lead Michael Keaton, who is earning intense raves for his performance in "Birdman." There's Ralph Fiennes, whose work in "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is pretty universally beloved. There's Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, both from "Foxcatcher," which has been a big critical favorite since Cannes.  There's Timothy Spall for "Mr. Turner," who won best actor at Cannes (beating out those two men, notably). There's Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne, both looking for first nominations for "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything," respectively (and both looking likely).  There's last year's winner Matthew McConaughey, who is getting a lot of love for his turn in "Interstellar." And -- though they're probably more of an Indie Spirit deal -- there's Miles Teller's lauded role in "Whiplash," and Ellar Coltrane's 12 year effort in Richard Linklater's "Boyhood."

Can they all hang in there? That all depends on a slew of much anticipated work from the likes of David Oyelowo ("Selma"), Oscar Isaac ("A Most Violent Year") and Jack O'Connell ("Unbroken"), among others. But this is definitely looking like the most heated of the 2014 acting races (as Best Actor tends to be).

Check out our predictions in other categories here.

It Will Take a Lot To Bring Them Down (But There's a Lot Coming):
1. Michael Keaton, "Birdman"
2. Benedict Cumberbatch, "The Imitation Game"
3. Eddie Redmayne, "Theory of Everything"
4. Steve Carell, "Foxcatcher"

More Strong Bets From What We've Seen (But Is It Too Crowded?):
5. Timothy Spall, "Mr. Turner"
6. Matthew McConaughey, "Interstellar"
7. Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
8. Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"

But Hey, What About All These Guys We Haven't Seen Yet?:
9. Oscar Isaac, "A Most Violent Year"
10. David Oyelowo, "Selma"
11. Jack O'Connell, "Unbroken"

Dark Horses Given The Competition (But They Could Surprise):
12. Bill Murray, "St. Vincent"
13. Miles Teller, "Whiplash"
14. Ben Affleck, "Gone Girl"
15. Joaquin Phoenix, "Inherent Vice"
16. Bill Hader, "The Skeleton Twins"
17. Channing Tatum, "Foxcatcher"
18. Ellar Coltrane, "Boyhood"
19. Brad Pitt, "Fury"
20. Chadwick Boseman, "Get On Up"

READ MORE: Review: Why 'Birdman' Is the First Modern Showbiz Satire

This article is related to: Oscars 2015 , Awards, Awards Season

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