Oscars 2023: predictions for the best actors

Austin Butler and Bill Nighy are hoping to land their first Oscar nods against Oscar winners Brad Pitt, Colin Firth and Daniel Kaluuya.

We continue to update these predictions throughout awards season, so keep checking IndieWire for all of our 2023 Oscar picks. Nomination voting takes place January 12-17, 2023, with official Oscar nominations announced. on January 24, 2023. Final voting will take place March 2-7, 2023. And finally, the 94th Oscars TV show will premiere Sunday, March 12 and stream live on ABC at 8:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM PT.

The state of the race

Familiar faces lead the Beat Actor fray. Oscar winners include Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) as a rural horse trainer facing off against an alien threat in his “Get Out” director Jordan Peele’s “Nope” (Universal); Colin Firth engages with Olivia Colman in Sam Mendes’ cinephile romance “Empire of Light” (Searchlight Pictures), Christian Bale joins the world of director David O. Russell in the crazy comedy “Amsterdam” (20th Century Studios), and also finds his favorite collaborator Scott Cooper as a detective who meets young Edgar Allan Poe (Harry Melling) in “The Pale Blue Eye” (Netflix). And Brad Pitt teams up with his “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” co-star Margot Robbie in Damien Chazelle’s look at Old Hollywood, “Babylon” (Paramount).

Up for early wins, ‘Les Miserables’ nominee Hugh Jackman stars as a beleaguered parent in Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his play ‘The Son’ (Sony Pictures Classics); and Adam Driver, who follows his nomination in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story” with their latest film together, “White Noise” (Netflix), in which Driver plays Don DeLillo’s cocky teacher.



Several actors whose films have screened at Sundance and Cannes are hoping to land their first Oscar nominations. In Sundance’s debut album “Living” (SPC), British comedian Bill Nighy plays a life-changing character from Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru” in the face of death; Austin Butler won accolades as the king of rock n roll in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” at Cannes (Warner Bros.); and Park Hae-il plays a homicide detective in love with a murder suspect in Cannes director award-winning Park Chan-wook’s “Decision to Leave” (Mubi).

Meanwhile, never-nominated comedy star Adam Sandler (though he did come close with ‘Uncut Gems’) scored high praise in the sports comedy-drama ‘Hustle,’ which Netflix is ​​promoting for the awards, though he skipped the festival circuit.

Many films will complicate the season outside of the fall festivals. These include AG Inarritu’s likely Mexican Oscar entry “Bardo (or False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)” (Netflix) starring Daniel Giménez Cacho as an artist returning to his country of origin. ‘origin; “Parasite” star Song Kang-ho, who plays an adoption agent in Hirokazu Koreeda’s “Broker” (Neon), which premiered at Cannes and will next head to TIFF; Brendan Fraser as an overweight man trying to connect with his daughter in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” (A24); Colin Farrell reunited with ‘In Bruges’ star Brendan Gleeson in Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ (Searchlight); with “Chevalier” (Searchlight Pictures), “Cyrano” star Kelvin Harrison Jr. takes on composer Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the illegitimate son of an African slave and a French plantation owner; and Jack O’Connell is the gardener who has sex with Emma Corrin in the latest iteration of DH Lawrence’s “Lady Chatterley’s Lover” (Netflix).


Candidates are listed in alphabetical order below. No actor will be considered a favorite until I see the movie.

Austin Butler (“Elvis”)
Park Hae-il (“Decision to Leave”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“No”)
Bill Nighy (“alive”)
Adam Sandler (“Hustle”)

Christian Bale (“Amsterdam”, “The Pale Blue Eye”)
Daniel Giménez Cacho (“Bardo (or false chronicle of a handful of truths)”
Adam Driver (“White Noise”)
Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Colin Firth (“Empire of Light”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Brendan Gleeson (“The Banshees of Inisherin”)
Kelvin Harrison Jr. (“Knight”)
Hugh Jackman (“The Son”)
Brad Pitt (“Babylon”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Good Nurse”)
Song Kang-ho (“broker”)

Long shots
Timothée Chalamet (“Bones and All”)
Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”)
Harris Dickinson (“Triangle of Sadness”)
Jalil Hall (“Up To”)
Paul Mescal (“After Sun”)
Jack O’Connell (“Lady Chatterley’s Lover”)
Robert Pattinson (“The Batman”)
Cooper Raiff (“Cha Cha Real Smooth”)
Banks Repeta (“Hour of Armageddon”)
Sam Worthington (“Avatar: The Way of the Water”)

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