Duvall is one of the most enduring stars with Oscar, but hasn't been nominated in sixteen years despite extremely strong reviews four years ago for Get Low (which I'm told is good but I didn't see because it missed the OVP-is this something I should be renting?). I suspect that a father/son drama with Oscar nominee Robert Downey, Jr. would get him some attention. Adding to the old white man cache would be Tom Wilkinson in Selma, where he'll do that greatest of Oscar tricks (play a famous real-life figure, in this case former President Lyndon Johnson), and I suspect he will probably be back (doesn't it feel weird that he is a recent two-time nominee that no one ever seems to talk about?). Finally, J.K. Simmons could fill the frequent slot of character-actor-we-are-finally-acknowledging, as his performance in Whiplash seems to be both co-lead and scene-stealing, and I suspect Oscar will want to give him a citation in the same way they have other major famous faces (but not necessarily famous names). Other older white dudes that could be in the conversation (though aren't as prevalent as these three) include Albert Brooks in A Most Violent Year (though if he couldn't score for Drive...), John Goodman in The Gambler (what is the deal with this movie?-for a film in December starring Mark Wahlberg and Jessica Lange it sure is under-performing, buzz-wise), and Tim Roth as Gov. George Wallace in Selma (though this category doesn't double-up as often in a film as Supporting Actress does).
My Predictions: I am guessing Simmons, Norton, Lerman, Duvall, and Wilkinson are at the top of the list at this point. Norton seems the most likely to be nominated, Lerman seems the least just because of his age. I'm intrigued by a couple of options on this list, though, and could see a few names popping up later in the year, particularly Goodman and the Foxcatcher lads.
Is There a Winner?: Like I said, Lerman is way too young to win here, I doubt that Wilkinson wins for playing a president so soon after Daniel Day-Lewis did, and I don't think that Norton will take it for what looks like a sidekick role. Simmons or Duvall, on the other hand, have the vibe of a winner. Simmons has been working in Hollywood for eons and is well-respected; plus, this is a role where he's set to dominate in a BIG way (have you seen the trailer?). Duvall, on the other hand, has entered the last phase of his career (may it hopefully be extremely long), and has only won one Oscar while many of his peers (de Niro, Hoffman, and Nicholson) all have more than one. I think that there may be a push to let him join that list (and hopefully get Al Pacino back into some good movies, damn it, to seal the quintet).
And there we have finished up the actors-we'll do the final September predictions (Best Picture!) this weekend, but before we close out our too-early guesses, what are your thoughts on this race? Do you think I have the five guys pegged, or should I have picked another name? Who am I missing on this list that may strike? And most importantly, which of these performances are you most looking forward to? Share in the comments!