Oscars Predictions: Best Actor – Chadwick Boseman’s Winning Streak Continues

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Clayton Davis
·8 min read
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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars from Film Awards Editor Clayton Davis. Following Academy Awards history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar predictions are updated regularly with the current year's contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. Eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and will be displayed next to revision date.

To see all the latest predictions, of all the categories, in one place, visit THE COLLECTIVE

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UPDATED: Apr. 8, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: Boseman’s posthumous win was a first in any leading category at the SAG awards, putting him one step closer towards Oscar. In addition to winning Critics Choice and the Golden Globe, next week’s BAFTAs could further solidify his frontrunner status, even if Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) has the home field advantage across the pond. If Boseman does win the BAFTA, you have to go back to 2002, when Russell Crowe (“A Beautiful Mind”) lost the Oscar to Denzel Washington (“Training Day”), for a nominee to lose after taking home so many precursors. Coincidentally, that was also the year that Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball”) became the first and (still only) Black woman to win the lead actress category.

SNUBS: Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”), Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”), Mads Mikkelsen (“Another Round”), Jesse Plemons (“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”), Kingsley Ben-Adir (“One Night in Miami”), Ben Affleck (“The Way Back”), John David Washington (“Malcolm & Marie”), Leslie Odom Jr (“Hamilton”), George Clooney (“The Midnight Sky”), Armando Espitia (“I Carry You With Me”), Pete Davidson (“The King of Staten Island”)

Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” (Netflix)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar


  1. Chadwick Boseman
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)

    "What I care about bad luck? You talking simple. I ain’t had nothing but bad luck all my life. Couldn’t get no worse. What the hell I care about some bad luck? Hell, I eat it every day for breakfast. You dumber than I thought you was, talking about bad luck." - Chadwick Boseman (Levee)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Levee

    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman

  2. Anthony Hopkins
    "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)

    "No, Mummy. I... I want my mummy. I want my mummy. I want... I want to get out of here. Have someone come and fetch me." - Anthony Hopkins (Anthony)

    OSCAR HISTORY: 5 nominations, 1 win (1991's "The Silence of the Lambs" in best actor)
    ROLE: Anthony

    DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
    SYNOPSIS: A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

  3. Riz Ahmed
    "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)

    "That’s fine Joe. My situations fine. My girlfriends got a rich daddy who can totally front me so I’ll just go ask him. Thought I might skip that humiliating fucking road, but hey at this point, the hell with pride right? No, fuck it. Sorry to ask but. Seriously. This is nothing. You can’t imagine how fucking nothing this is. I’m good man." - Riz Ahmed (Ruben)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ruben

    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

  4. Steven Yeun
    "Minari" (A24)

    "I will fix everything. Understand? All of this, this backwards place, is something I’m doing for us. If this farm fails, take the kids and leave me for good. I deserve it." - Steven Yeun (Jacob)

    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Jacob

    DIRECTOR: Lee Isaac Chung
    SYNOPSIS: A Korean family moves to Arkansas to start a farm in the 1980s.
    STARRING: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan S. Kim, Yuh-jung Youn, Will Patton

  5. Gary Oldman
    "Mank" (Netflix)

    "Now, along comes Nemesis. That's Greek for any guy in a black hat. Nemesis runs for governor and he's a shoo-in to win. Why? Because
    he's exactly what our Don used to be. An idealist. You get it? Not only that, Nemesis is the same guy who once predicted our Quixote would one day preside over a Socialist revolution. Our Quixote looks into the mirror of his youth and decides to break this glass, a maddening reminder of who he once was. Assisted by his faithful Sancho, and armed with all the black magic at his command he does just this. Destroying in the process not one man, but two...Well, what'd'ya think, Louis? Hmm? You think it'll play?" - Gary Oldman (Mank)

    OSCAR HISTORY: 2 nominations, 1 win (2017's "Darkest Hour")
    ROLE: Herman J. Mankiewicz

    DIRECTOR: David Fincher
    SYNOPSIS: 1930s Hollywood is re-evaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane for Orson Welles.
    STARRING: Tom Burke, Lily Collins, Joseph Cross, Charles Dance, Monika Gossman, Ferdinand Kingsley, Jamie McShane, Tuppence Middleton, Toby Leonard Moore, Gary Oldman, Tom Pelphrey, Amanda Seyfried, Sam Troughton

† = no release date scheduled / could be delayed / may not be eligible
†† = could be campaigned in the lead or supporting categories / original or adapted screenplay categories


The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The biggest Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each. Daniel Day-Lewis has the most wins in this category with three, while Marlon Brando, Gary Cooper, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Fredric March, Jack Nicholson, Sean Penn and Spencer Tracy all have two each. Tracy and Sir Laurence Olivier have the most nominations in this category, with nine. Henry Fonda is currently the oldest winner at 76 for “On Golden Pond,” while Richard Farnsworth is the oldest nominee at 79 for “The Straight Story.” Adrien Brody is the youngest winner ever for “The Pianist” at 29, while Jackie Cooper is the youngest nominee ever for “Skippy” at 9.

Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)

2021 Golden Globes Predictions (Film)

2021 SAG Awards Predictions (Film)

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners are selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). 17 branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The Oscars are scheduled for Sunday, April 25, 2021.

About the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes Awards, hosted by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is held annually with 93 members since 1944. The group recognizes excellence in film and television across drama and comedy or musical categories. Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” holds the record for the most awards won by a single film with seven. Milos Forman’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” are next in line with six each. Robert Altman’s “Nashville” has the record for most nominations received by a film with 11 while Colin Higgins’ “Foul Play,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather Part III” and Mike Nichols’ “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” share the record for receiving the most nominations and not winning a single award at seven.

  • The Golden Globes are scheduled for Feb. 28, 2021.

About the SAG Awards

The Screen Actors Guild Awards, hosted by SAG-AFTRA, is an annual award show that has become one of the most important and key indicators for the Oscars. Four films have won the most SAG awards with three: 1999’s “American Beauty,” 2002’s “Chicago,” 2011’s “The Help” and 2017’s “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Three movies have been nominated for the most SAG awards with five: 1998’s “Shakespeare in Love,” “Chicago” and 2008’s “Doubt.”

  • The SAG Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 4, 2021

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