The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

Best Actor

February 12, 2016


Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

Could Win: Matt Damon

Should Win: Michael Fassbender

Five men. Ten combined Oscar nominations between them. Two Oscar winners among them. The field for the 2016 Oscars Best Actor in a Leading Role nominations is rich and filled with many deserving candidates, as well as a familiar face. As one of the most illustrious awards given in the movie industry, five brilliant actors are looking to add another accomplishment to their distinguished careers on February 28.

The list includes Bryan Cranston, playing Dalton Trumbo, a famous screenwriter in 1950’s Hollywood, Matt Damon, nominated for his role in “The Martian” as Mark Watney, an astronaut left to die on Mars and Michael Fassbender, playing Steve Jobs, an immortalized figure in computing history. Another headlining name and Oscars veteran Eddie Redmayne plays both Einar Wegener and his female side, Lili Elbe, in the British biographical drama, “The Danish Girl”,  that follows his journey in transitioning from a man to a women. Leonardo DiCaprio, the favoured winner, plays Hugh Glass, a hunter, left for dead by his fellow hunters after being attacked by a grizzly bear.

Although both Cranston and Redmayne have had acclaimed acting careers, with Redmayne winning an Oscar for “The Theory of Everything” in 2015, their performances cannot compare to those of the other three candidates. Their performances were not as highly-anticipated, and the performances of Damon and DiCaprio simply garnered more media attention, thus giving them an edge in publicity.

Leonardo DiCaprio, probably the most vaunted of the candidates, searches for his first, and very elusive, Oscar award. With his performance in “The Revenant,” DiCaprio stunningly portrays an anger-fueled man searching for vengeance over those who left him to die. The struggle between morality and personal conflict is illustrated incredibly, keeping the audience at the edge of their seat throughout the action-packed drama.

Another headlining name, Matt Damon, is nominated for his role in “The Martian” as Mark Watney, an astronaut left to die on a barren Martian landscape after he was assumed dead in an emergency evacuation. Watney’s fight for survival becomes the storyline of this intense thriller, but his witty humor and sharp innovation ease the sting of the disastrous situation.

The nominees are all deserving of the win, and  Michael Fassbender’s performance in “Steve Jobs” is no exception. The movie doesn’t necessarily focus on the business  aspect of Jobs’ life, but instead, his relationship with his daughter, Lisa. Angled towards the emotional side of Jobs’ life, Fassbender’s performance brought to light an unseen side of Jobs.

All five candidates are phenomenal actors who have worked hard day in and day out to produce their works, which have been recognized in their excellence through the Oscar nominations. Nevertheless, Leonardo DiCaprio is the star of the bunch, making it certain that he will take home the Best Actor award – finally.

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