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2015 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire October 20, 2014 at 1:45PM

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 already: There's 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 hit at both Cannes and Telluride.  There's Timothy Spall for "Mr. Turner," who won best actor at Cannes. There's Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne, both looking for first nominations for "The Imitation Game" and "The Theory of Everything," respectively.  And -- though it's probably more of an Indie Spirit deal -- there's 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") Christoph Waltz ("Big Eyes"), 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.

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. Ralph Fiennes, "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
7. Ben Affleck, "Gone Girl"
8. Bill Murray, "St. Vincent"

But Hey, What About All These Guys We Haven't Seen Yet?:
9. Jack O'Connell, "Unbroken"
10. David Oyelowo, "Selma"
11. Oscar Isaac, "A Most Violent Year"
12. Christoph Waltz, "Big Eyes"
13. Matthew McConaughey, "Interstellar"

Dark Horses Given The Competition:
14. Jake Gyllenhaal, "Nightcrawler"
15. Joaquin Phoenix, "Inherent Vice"
16. Brad Pitt, "Fury"
17. Channing Tatum, "Foxcatcher"
18. Ellar Coltrane, "Boyhood"
19. Bill Hader, "The Skeleton Twins"
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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