Best Actor: Bale, Cooper, Mortensen, Hawke and Malek

It's safe to say that the Best Actor category is probably the easiest acting category to predict when it comes to this year's Oscar nominations. Unless Willem Dafoe's outstanding performance as Vincent Van Gogh in "At Eternity's Gate" does any damage, then we are left with five sure-thing nominees (Bale, Cooper, Mortensen, Hawke and Malek). Who will win is another story. I believe any of the five can nab that Oscar. A case can be made for all of them. Christian Bale's transformation in "Vice" is stunning; Bradley Cooper can be toasted as the "it-boy" of the industry for writing-directing-producing and starring in a the high-grossing movie "A Star is Born"; Viggo Mortensen is the heart and soul of "Green Book," a crowd-pleasing film that is already being touted as a serious Best Picture contender; Ethan Hawke, well-loved by everyone, has never won an Oscar and his career-best work performance in "First Reformed" could very-well be too irresistible for the Academy to ignore; Finally, Rami Malek's passionate performance as Freddie Mercury in "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the kind of work that launches a career to the stratosphere.