Best Actor Overview

The five nominees for Best Actor in this year’s crop of Academy Awards are Denzel Washington, Daniel Day Lewis, Joaquin Phoenix, Hugh Jackman, and John Hawkes. In the eyes of many, Daniel Day Lewis will lead the pack, thanks to his superb depiction of our nation’s 16th President in the Steven Spielberg box office smash hit, “Lincoln”. Day-Lewis’ painstaking, methodical, representation of the doomed President was acclaimed by fans, critics, and industry insiders alike, as nothing short of superb and masterful. Daniel Day Lewis has a proven record of box office success, so his latest turn as Lincoln should stand him in good stead as a potential victor.

Hugh Jackman turned heads as Wolverine in one of Hollywood’s most lucrative and longest running franchises, “The X-Men”. In his latest incarnation as the lead actor in “Les Miserables”, his audience discovered a whole new side of his sensitive and dramatic onscreen persona. While the character of Jean Valjean is one of literature and Broadway’s most beloved (and consequently overdone) tropes, Hugh Jackman managed to parlay audience goodwill into instant box office gold. While he will most likely never go down as one of Hollywood’s “golden throats”, the chance to sample a good portion of his singing voice no doubt keep audiences riveted to their theater seats.

Denzel Washington has been nominated as Best Actor for his leading role in “Flight”, The veteran star of such classics as “American Gangster” and “Training Day” is sure to have a competitive shot at the ultimate prize this year. Meanwhile, Joaquin Phoenix (“Gladiator”, “Signs”) and John Hawkes also received outstanding critical reviews for their roles in “The Master” and “The Sessions”. While Daniel Day Lewis may seem to have the Best Actor Oscar under wraps, thanks to his well considered participation in a Steven Spielberg venture, his competitors remain assured of their chances in what may prove to be a hotly contested ceremony come February 24.