By John H. Foote

Though the field for Best Actor nominees was very sparse this year, those who found their way into the Oscar race were exceptional performances all. Right now it seems to be a three man race with Austin Butler in Elvis, Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin and Brendan Fraser in The Whale neck and neck for the golden man. Though the voting is never announced, it could come down to a single vote this year.

In 1974 we also had a three-man race with Al Pacino in The Godfather Part II, Jack Nicholson in Chinatown and Dustin Hoffman in Lenny. The front runner right up to Oscar night was Pacino, for his career best work in greatest sequel ever made. On Oscar night jaws dropped when TV legend Art Carney won the Oscar for Harry and Tonto (1974), stunning Hollywood. Carney was well known as the multiple Emmy winning sidekick on The Honeymooners, but did not have much of a film reputation. Suddenly, with the opening of an envelope, he was an Oscar winning actor. Both Nicholson and Pacino were back the following year, and had been there the previous year. In 1975 Nicholson won his first Oscar for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Pacino had to wait until 1992 to win his Oscar for Scent of a Woman and then we have the burning question did he deserve it?

I believe the year’s best performance by an actor was Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin and I think he will win. If not, look for Butler for his superb work as the King of Rock and Roll in Elvis, and maybe, a huge maybe to Fraser. The Academy does love a comeback.

One thing is assured: no one knows anything until the winner is read.

Leave a comment