The "Best Actor" Oscar showdown this year: Casey Affleck vs Denzel Washington

Source: Gold Derby

Speak to any of the supposed Oscar "pundits" and you'll get the same response: "Everyone in the industry knows it's Affleck vs Washington" replied a pundit friend of mine by email recently, "It's not even like there's a third contender" he added. I would agree with that sentiment and it seems like most people do as well. Affleck's delicate, sombre, nuanced performance in "Manchester By The Sea" had me at hello ever since I saw the film at Sundance in January. To say the performance, and the film, stayed with me would be an understatement. "Manchester By The Sea" belongs on the, very, short list for Best film of 2016, right up there with "La La Land," "Paterson," "Made in America: OJ Simpson," "Moonlight" and, the ever so underrated, "Krisha."

"Fences," on the other hand, is an actor's showcase through and through. If the film's problem is that it never fully translates well from the stage to the screen that doesn't detract from the fact that the performances in the film are astounding. Viola Davis is all, but assured to win the Supporting Actress Oscar and Denzel Washington, in the director's chair as well, gives us one of the defining performances of his career as Troy, an African American father struggling to raise his family in the 1950s, but also not able to cope with own demons, still lurking, brewing, from a failed baseball career and the restrictions a black man has in 1950s America. You can tell Washington and Davis know their parts front and back, they live and breathe their characters and flesh them out just enough to let them roll on a cinematic level. 

Source: AwardsCircuit

Source: AwardsWatch

At the moment Affleck is the odds-on favorite to win, but, to be honest with you, Washington stands just as great of a chance to win. He's Hollywood royalty and well beloved throughout the industry + don't discount the little movement called #Oscarssowhite which caused much controversy last year and will likely result in this year being a record-breaking year for African-Americans getting nominated by the Academy.


1) Denzel Washington, "Fences"
2) Casey Affleck, "Manchester By the Sea"
3) Tom Hanks, "Sully"
4) Ryan Gosling "La La Land"
5) Michael Keaton, "The Founder"


Viggo Mortensen, "Captain Fantastic"
Joel Edgerton, "Loving"
Andrew Garfield, "Silence"
Andrew Garfield "Hacksaw Ridge"
Dev Patel, "Lion"
Miles Teller, "Bleed For This"
Warren Beatty "Rules Don't Apply"
Mark Wahlberg "Patriots Day"
Mattew McConaughey "Gold"