This category may not be all that interesting given that it could be pretty locked up. Likely winner Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) has been sweeping awards season, and he seems set to be joined by his nearest competitor, Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin) and his costar Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin). Though he missed out on a Golden Globe bid, Paul Dano (The Fabelmans) will likely join them, and if his costar Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans) got in too, that would mean a category with two sets of double nominees. It may not be smart to underestimate Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse) given that he got cited by the Globes, BAFTA, and SAG, but it doesn’t feel like the performance is one that Oscar voters will ultimately endorse. The Globe selection of Brad Pitt (Babylon) also feels unlikely, while the Critics Choice Association inclusion Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway) would be a great choice, but the film may be too under-the-radar. He’s missed with most major groups, but Ben Whishaw (Women Talking) did make the BAFTA longlist, as did Woody Harrelson (Triangle of Sadness), whose film is a question mark when it comes to Oscar love, and Tom Hanks (Elvis), whose film is expected to be warmly embraced. BAFTA did choose Albrecht Schuch (All Quiet on the Western Front) and Micheal Ward (Empire of Light), neither of whom are likely to make the cut with Oscar voters. One other possibility is past winner Mark Rylance (Bones and All), whose film may be off-putting to voters but who could impress with his distinctly disturbing performance.
Predictions: Dano, Gleeson, Keoghan, Quan, Whishaw