Leonardo DiCaprio Got Two Steps Closer to an Oscar This Week
In our weekly Leo Oscar Watch, we look at how the Golden Globe and SAG nominations affected his chances.
With the Golden Globe and SAG nominations out, Leonardo DiCaprio picked up two key nods on his path to Oscar glory this week. But there were definitely some shake-ups in the rankings as Matt Damon was snubbed for a SAG, historically the best indicator of who will be nominated for the Academy Awards.
Here are the current rankings along with a more detailed breakdown below.
The SAG Nominations
The Screen Actors Guild Awards are not only the best predictor for the Oscars, they're also, in their way, more prestigious for actors among their peers. That's because only other actors are able to vote for the winners. So to see Leonardo DiCaprio pick up a SAG nod is a clear indicator that he's on the right path. It doesn't mean he'll win, but if he'd been snubbed for the SAG it would have practically killed his Oscar bid. Here are the SAG nominations in the Best Actor category:
• Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
• Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs
• Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
• Johnny Depp for Black Mass
• Bryan Cranston for Trumbo
The big surprise here was that Bryan Cranston was nominated and Matt Damon wasn't. Because of the shake-up, we have to assume Damon is no longer much of a threat, while Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne have emerged as neck-and-neck contenders right behind Leo.
The Golden Globe Nominations
The Golden Globes are kind of hard to pin down as Oscar predictors. Leo got his requisite nod here, which is good, but because the nominations are broken down into drama and comedy categories, there's a larger field and less to read into.
Determined by an entirely different and somewhat isolated voting body, the Golden Globes are also not usually super aligned with the Oscars the way the Guild awards are. (Besides the Screen Actors Guild, the Directors Guild and Producers Guild also have a lot of crossover with the Oscar voting body.) With all that in mind, here are the nominations:
Best Actor in a Drama
• Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
• Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
• Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
• Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
• Will Smith, Concussion
Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy
• Christian Bale, The Big Short
• Steve Carell, The Big Short
• Matt Damon, The Martian
• Al Pacino, Danny Collins
• Mark Ruffalo, Infinitely Polar Bear
Let's put aside the hotly debated "category fraud" that finds dramas like The Martian, Infinitely Polar Bear, and The Big Short competing in the comedy category. What does it all mean?
The nominations definitely solidify Bryan Cranston as a Best Actor contender. They also mean Matt Damon and Will Smith are still in the running despite their SAG snubs.
So How's It Look for Leo?
Very good! This was a good week for DiCaprio, and based on these nominations, we can predict with some certainty that he'll be nominated for an Oscar. He's widely considered the frontrunner, but there are a couple of legitimate threats.
With Matt Damon's SAG snub, Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne emerge as Leo's most credible threats. Fassbender did an incredible job bringing Steve Jobs to life and making him relatable and understandable, but the movie was an unmitigated box office disaster, which could hurt his chances. Steve Jobs wouldn't have such a negative aura around it if it had been given a small arthouse theater run, like The Danish Girl is getting. Eddie Redmayne's starring role as Lili Elbe, the first trans woman to undergo sex reassignment surgery, is winning praise with none of the box office stigma because the movie was designed for a limited release.
Also keep in mind Eddie Redmayne won the Best Actor Oscar last year, and the Academy might decide he's a repeat winner. With all that in mind, it looks like Eddie's creeping up on Leo, and he might be the actor best positioned to steal a win.