I will be honest, these predictions are more of a complete shot in the dark. There may be one, or two people who are safe for a nomination.
I think the best part of this category is that most of the contenders are genuine supporting characters in their film, or part of an ensemble, which puts no one in a true lead position.
This was the year only two men were nominated at the Globes, SAG, and BAFTA, but we knew someone else was going to win the Oscar. Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave and Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips (won BAFTA) were the two men who were nominated for all three awards prior to the Oscars. Jared Leto miss out at BAFTA, which snubbed Dallas Buyers' Club completely but he won the Globe and SAG.
Bradley Cooper appeared to be another obvious choice for his turn in another David O. Russell film, but he was snubbed at SAG. SAG went with posthumous nomination for James Gandolfini in Enough Said. American Hustle love was strong, so it was easy to predict Bradley Cooper would be along for the ride.
Gandolfini never appeared to be a serious contender, but Daniel Bruhl in Rush was nominated at the Globes, SAG, and BAFTA should have been a nominee based on statistics. I had him in my fifth spot. The big surprise was that Jonah Hill who had no other nominations for The Wolf of Wall Street earned his second Oscar nomination.
In a year like this there could be another actor who has not been nominated for anything who could sneak into a spot.
Last year was an easier year to predict, the Globes and SAG each nominated the same five men. Carell was nominated in supporting at BAFTA, and replaced Robert DuVall in The Judge.
I predicted a Carell Oscar nomination in Supporting thinking The Judge did not have the support, never underestimate the veteran factor, especially with someone like DuVall.
This year there are two men who have been nominated at the Globes, SAG, and BAFTA, they are Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies, and Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation. I think these two are safe bets, but would rank Rylance higher because Elba may Beasts lone nomination.
Christian Bale technically has nominations at all three too, but his Globe nomination was in the Lead Actor in a Comedy category, I think he is a safe bet, and would rank him third.
The next two spots are anyone's guess, so here is where it gets tougher.SAG and the Globes went for Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (SAG is all that matters here). This would logically make him a strong guess for a spot; he did score a nomination back in 2008 for Revolutionary Road. I am not sold on this one.
Paul Dano in Love and Mercy got a Globe nomination, which means the least. Sylvester Stallone has received only a Globe nomination, and he won, but he was a no show at SAG, and BAFTA. Stallone showing on Thursday is a possibility, much like Christoph Waltz, in Django Unchained, but Waltz got a BAFTA nomination and won that year. Since none of the Globe voters, vote in the Oscars that seems telling.
Jacob Trembley in Room got the remaining SAG spot, which has more weight, and is possible, Mark Ruffalo and Benicio Del Torro took up the fourth and fifth spots at BAFTA. Could Michael Keaton or Tom Hardy be this year's Jonah Hill? Bet you never thought you would hear that sentence.
Rylance, Elba, and Bale are the strong bets, appear to be the safest. I think Shannon is out, his nomination at SAG is helpful, but not enough. Jacob Trembley showing up at SAG was a pleasant surprise, and he is amazing in the film; he has a strong chance at a nomination.
I think the Oscars and BAFTA may line up exactly, which bodes well for Ruffalo but that has never happened in this category. Of the two other men nominated at BAFTA, I think Mark Ruffalo has the stronger chance, Spotlight will likely have support, and at least one acting nomination. Del Torro only has BAFTA, but the support for this film has consistently increased. Could Sicario be this year's Nightcrawler, a film we overestimate because of Guild support?
Yesterday I had del Torro, but I think he will be like Rene Russo snubbed. I think the fourth spot goes to Ruffalo; he is well liked, and the fifth spot will go to Stallone, but it has nothing to do with his Globe win.
1-Mark Rylance-Bridge of Spies
2-Idris Elba-Beasts of No Nation
3-Christian Bale-The Big Short