Welcome back to Pick of the Week, where Variety takes a look at all the major awards and tells you who we think has the edge to win right now.
I'm Marc Malkin.
And I'm Jenelle Riley.
This week we are diving into the very crowded best actor Oscar race.
This is one with so many variables.
I'm not sure yet who will win, but there is one person who I feel comfortable calling a lock for a nomination, and only one.
And that is Adam Driver from "Marriage Story."
What I love about Nicole, she is a mother who plays.
I mean, he's doing everything right.
He has a hit movie where the performance is heralded.
He is working the circuits as much as he can.
I mean, he's simply one of the best actors we have working today and I think nobody would argue that.
I think he's a lock, but I also think Joaquin Phoenix is a lock.
I think everyone you talk to about "Joker," even if they don't like the movie, they always then say...
But, Joaquin's amazing in it. Joaquin's amazing.
His transformation, his transformation.
So, I think the two locks right now are Adam and Joaquin.
And there are huge actors giving amazing performances that I'm not sure they'll make the cut.
It's a crazy field.
Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, both giving like, performances of their career.
I don't how their working the circuit, and that affects it.
I think the love for De Niro, the love for Leo, again I don't think they're on lock to win.
But then you have people like Antonio Banderas, who won the best actor at Cannes for "Pain and Glory," like a career-best performance
It's such a gorgeous performance.
It's so beautiful.
You know, to your point, he is campaigning, he has been everywhere.
Taron Egerton, working his butt off in a performance that when "Rocket Man" came out, everyone you know made the joke, if Rami Malek can win for "Bohemian Rhapsody," well then, Taron Egerton should win the "Pulitzer Prize".
Right, but then the problem was that it was so early, this was back in May when it premiered in Cannes, so it really has to have some legs here.
And, does the Rami Malek thing hurt him?
I think it might.
Because, people are like, okay, you know what, we gave it to Rami Malek for "Bohemian Rhapsody," but Taron does do his own thing.
And, the movie is much, much better.
- Yes. - Yes.
But also, we have Johnathan Pryce coming out in "The Two Popes."
Tough to ignore.
Really tough to ignore because I think people are really excited about "Two Popes" because they didn't expect it.
You know, I was there in Telluride when they had the first screening and people walked out like...
Wait a minute, that's not the movie I was expecting at all.
I think a lot of people go into it thinking they're going to see two men talking about religion and get really heavy, and really dark, and its funny, and its just... - Charming.
Two actors just chewing up the screen.
And then we have the actor that I think I've been in love with since I saw this movie before Toronto, Eddie Murphy in "Dolemite is My Name."
I think he's being underestimated by some, because he's probably gonna win the Golden Globe for comedy.
Everyone is seeing the movie because it's on Netflix.
He is just such a great actor in this movie.
He's hosting Saturday Night Live at the end of December.
Which is a big thing.
Yeah, and then on top of that you have people like Robert Pattinson in "The Lighthouse."
Which, you know, has everyone everywhere I know, going "The Lighthouse" is one of my favorite movies.
Such a great performance.
Him, Willem Dafoe supporting.
I mean it's just incredible.
Adam Sandler in "Uncut Gems," I feel the same way about.
Which is another one of my favorite movies of the year.
And I think, Adam Sandler, I think, you know, he's someone again who has to get over that hump of that he's not just the funny comedian and he's not just a...
How do we put that to rest?
Hasn't he given enough amazing performances?
That's what you would think.
You would think, but let me tell you, if it was up to me he would be nominated.
I also think Christian Bale has a shot for "Ford versus Ferrari."
Both he and Matt Damon are really good. I think its going to be a big crowd pleaser.
Yeah, I mean listen, I think "Ford versus Ferrari" is a great movie, I just don't see Christian or Matt getting in there.
Not saying that they don't have a chance, but I just... I think when you look at these other performances, it's, you know, and Christian and Matt are going against each other.
- Yup. - They're both campaigning for lead.
We have two movies we haven't seen yet.
We have Paul Walter Hauser in "Richard Jewell" which I am very high on.
Just, you know, based on the trailer honestly.
And I usually don't do that.
But then again, who knows?
And George MacKay, in "1917" which has yet to be seen.
These could totally shake up the race.
Also, just a couple people I want to throw out there:
I got threads in my hands!
His movie "Motherless Brooklyn," not done well at the box office but has been playing great for SAG audiences.
It's a very showy role.
I don't think it has traction.
I think it could get into SAG, and then we could see.
- Okay. -Yeah.
Also still to come, Daniel Kaluuya, "Queen and Slim."
I really love Noah Jupe in "Honey Boy."
- I know that's not happening, but... - Noah Jupe is so wonderful in "Honey Boy".
You know, in "Honey Boy" he's going up for lead and Shia's going up for supporting.
As they should.
A lot of people really like Marc Ruffalo in "Dark Waters."
I think the problem there, are we really getting excited about this movie?
There's been some buzz, but again, it comes back to its such a crowded field.
It is insane.
Insane. I think that right now my pick of the week, because I think he's the only person who I'm sure is getting nominated, is Adam Driver.
I'm keeping an eye on Eddie Murphy though.
I'm thinking, right now, I think it's Joaquin Phoenix.
I think people are just so impressed by this performance.
There's a part where people really wanted to love "The Joker".
Then it came out, and there was all this hate for it, but there was never backlash for Joaquin.
It was always about his performance.
So, I think right now he has the edge.
One small thing.
When you bring me out, can you introduce me as Joker?