There’s a bubbling consensus among pundits that three actors seem secure for spots — Austin Butler (“Elvis”), Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisherin”) and Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”). And then there’s a softer fourth slot seemingly reserved for Bill Nighy for “Living.”
The fifth spot is up for grabs, with names like Hugh Jackman (“The Son”), Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”) and Jeremy Pope (“The Inspection”) being thrown around. It could be between two Hollywood megastars — Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks.
So far the likeliest occupant of that fifth slot is Tom Cruise (“Top Gun: Maverick”), according to 11 Experts. He has three previous Oscar nominations, but hasn’t made the cut in over 20 years. And while he was snubbed by the Golden Globes (not a surprise since he returned his Globes to protest the embattled awards group), he did make the Critics Choice Awards lineup. However, an acting nomination for an action blockbuster is rare.
Hanks is in a late-breaker, “A Man Called Otto” and is also a co-star of “Elvis,” which people may be more apprehensive about voting for him for since the performance itself is so divisive. Perhaps he can pull a “Tommy Lee Jones-In the Valley of Elah” and get recognized in lead rather than supporting (Jones was thought to be a contender for “No Country for Old Men”). After Hanks was the shocking miss for “Captain Phillips” (2013), maybe he can be the shocking nod for “Otto?”
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