Prognosticators: Eddie Redmayne could pull off a major Best Actor upset

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All of the Oscar votes have been cast. The voting season is over. And aren’t you glad that there was a last-minute rush by Eddie Redmayne? I think that was such a smart decision by Eddie: don’t go the Benedict Cumberbatch route and make a huge push at the eleventh hour. Eddie is walking into the Oscars on Sunday in a position of such strength. We can’t call him an underdog because he’s already won a Golden Globe, SAG Award and BAFTA for The Theory of Everything. But we can’t call him a sure thing either. He still might lose to Michael Keaton. Which means that Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor are the three categories where anything could happen.

A lot of sites are running their Oscar predictions for Sunday and inevitably, I end up reading them. One of my favorites yesterday was this piece on Vanity Fair, and the discussion of Eddie’s chances between film critics/analysts Katey Rich, Richard Lawson and Mike Hogan. Here’s the part about Eddie-versus-Keaton.

Richard Lawson: Who do you guys think has the edge in the still up-for-grabs best actor race? It’s down to Eddie Redmayne and Michael Keaton, obviously, and Redmayne has had a good run at the lead-up awards shows, but I’m still thinking that the Academy might just be too fond of Keaton’s comeback narrative not to vote for him. I’ve heard whispers about how he’s not the most beloved guy in the industry, let’s say, but maybe that doesn’t matter when the story of his win would be so good?

Mike Hogan: Richard, you’re right to identify the race between Keaton and Redmayne as the only acting one with any mystery left in it at all. I hear Keaton has been working from the Bruce Dern playbook, retail-politicking with the older men who make up the bulk of the Academy’s membership. That, combined with Keaton’s “age advantage” over Redmayne, could help him over the finish line. Keaton is 63, Redmayne is 33, and best actor—unlike best actress—tends to go to seasoned veterans.

Then again, the average age of the last 10 best-actor winners is actually only 44—and Redmayne is half the distance from that mark than Keaton is. Moreover, a rule of thumb for Oscar handicappers is that the Academy rewards actors who transform themselves, and Redmayne certainly does that. Keaton, meanwhile, is playing a version of himself in Birdman—and a somewhat unlikeable version at that. It helps that Redmayne is a master schmoozer, and that Stephen Hawking has embraced The Theory of Everything, showing up at the BAFTA’s for a photo op with his young leading man. With all that in mind, I wouldn’t be shocked if Keaton won, but I would be a tad surprised.

[From Vanity Fair]

I think this is a good summary for why it seems like Eddie and Michael are in a dead heat. A few months ago, I would have said that Michael Keaton was going to walk away with everything, but Eddie’s posh politeness has really rocked Keaton’s campaign. It also makes sense that Keaton is not the most beloved figure in Hollywood – that works a long way towards explaining how Redmayne got a foothold in the first place. Think of it this way – Eddie could be this year’s Jennifer Lawrence. The younger, charming ingénue just grateful to be invited.

It also helps that Eddie quietly married his girlfriend of several years and she’s a non-famewhore who didn’t get knocked up at the drop of a hat. And their wedding didn’t seem like an Oscar stunt (coughyouknowwhoImtalkingaboutcough). One thing is for sure: the one with the fake baby, Cletus accent and beige booty shorts won’t win. RIGHT?!

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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62 Responses to “Prognosticators: Eddie Redmayne could pull off a major Best Actor upset”

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  1. mimif says:

    Great. No I’m sitting here rooting for B.Coop because you had to drop the trifecta of EVERYTHING.

    *my face behind Eddie in the top pic when FAKE BABY loses to Wet n Wild Lips

  2. Greata says:

    I hope Eddie wins. I would not mind if Keaton won, but everytime I see him I remember what a jerk he was years ago. I think he still is.(Sorry Keaton lovers)

  3. Pri says:

    Am I the only one who didn’t like Theory of Everything??

    • Sos101 says:

      I wasn’t crazy about the movie. It was well done, just not what I expected. Plot line aside, Redmayne gave a fantastic performance.
      I finally saw Birdman, and I really liked ith movie and Keaton in it. while it would be nice for Keaton to win, I think Redmayne gave an amazing performance.

    • M says:

      It’s the worst of the nominees.

    • Wilma says:

      No, I didn’t like TOE, but found Redmayne’s performance amazing. He really put a lot of craftmanship into it when you look at the way he moved his muscles to give a realistic performance of someone with the type of ALS Stephen Hawking has.

      • Anna S. says:

        It’s even more amazing to think that they didn’t film any of it sequentially, so he didn’t get to ease into the different phases of the film. He would have to do scenes from pre-, during and post-paralysis (due to ALS) all in one day. Pretty incredible. Also, Stephen Hawking said he liked it and that he was impressed with Redmayne’s portrayal of his early years, since there is no footage of that anywhere.

    • Megan says:

      I did not see TOE, but I thought Birdman was a total snore. I spent the whole movie wondering why Naomi Watts doesn’t get a new agent.

    • Sarah says:

      No. I didn’t care for it either. Obvious Oscar bait. I do think the performances were amazing and designed to get Oscar noms – which they did. But the movie didn’t engage me. I know I looked at my watch at least twice. I loved Birman – entertaining from beginning to end. I also loved The Imitation Game and to me, I think Cumberbatch gave the best performance of the nominees, though he won’t win. Sadly, the one getting lost in all this is Steve Carrell who was nothing short of brilliant in his role. BCoop was BCoop. Good, not great, but probably nomination worthy.

    • Julia says:

      I was very disappointed with the movie. It completely didn’t touch me at all. That’s why I am so surprised that Eddie is getting so many awards. Something was lacking both in the movie and his performance. I bet a lot of actors can play handicap in a movie, especially when you can have numerous takes. I am not rooting for Eddie at all and if he wins an Oscar this year it will just be one more proof to me that Oscars is fake.

  4. AG-UK says:

    Oh I hope not. I haven’t seen the film and just had zero interest. I heard he was great but… I want Keaton to win. I think he could though and I don’t really care so much this year. It’s on at 130a here so will read all about over my coffee.

  5. A Different Kate says:

    I think Redmayne’s Oscar campaign has been as try-hard as anyone in recent memory. Overly earnest and too much “aww shucks, just happy to be here.” Reminds me of Hathaway. Sorry, but I’m hoping Keaton wins. I also think Cooper was damn good in American Sniper, deserves his nomination and, frankly, it wouldn’t be ridiculous if he won (unlike, say, Sandra Bullock’s win for The Blind Side).

    • mia girl says:

      I totally agree. I like Eddie, but he has been doing
      a Double-Reverse-Hathaway-with-an-Earnest-Half-Tuck
      all over awards season.

    • Lindy79 says:

      He’s shilling like the rent is due but I dont think he’s been as bad as AnnE “it came true” Hathaway. I doubt if they spelled his name wrong he’d correct anyone in his speech for a start.

    • Hautie says:

      ….I also think Cooper was damn good in American Sniper, deserves his nomination and, frankly, it wouldn’t be ridiculous if he won”…..
      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

      I didn’t think Cooper had a chance either… until that movie made so much money. Then suddenly got a lot of attention. And with Clint Eastwood being part of that old white man majority, of the Academy. I would not count Cooper out either.

      I would not be shocked if Keaton or Redmayne walk off with it.

      Yet if Cooper walked off with it… that would be the upset. Actually a very good one. Since he really has not done any epic asskissing this season. Plus never under estimate Clint Eastwood and his pull in LA.

      But with how things are now. I am still leaning towards Keaton.

  6. Luca76 says:

    Its funny that here he’s being called low key. Every Award site is basically calling him out for his over the top campaigning. Maybe those other sites really love Keaton and here since there is so much Batch obsession going on here the narrative is that Redmayne is the low key one? I think Redmayne just isn’t a heartthrob (God only knows why Batch is one) and no one really cares about his personal life and his interviews enough to compare.

    • OhDear says:

      +1. I think Cumberbatch was a bit over the top in his campaign, too, but his heartthrob status made people more interested his campaign instead of Redmayne’s. Combined with the goings-on in his personal life, he got overexposed.

  7. minx says:

    I’m not sure how it could be called an upset because he has already won many awards.

  8. FingerBinger says:

    Michael Keaton and Eddie Redmayne have been splitting the awards this entire season ,how would it be an upset if Eddie won? Wouldn’t a Cumberbatch or Cooper win be the upset?

    • Lilacflowers says:

      A Steve Carrell win would be an upset. Both BCs have been acting like it is their due

    • boredblond says:

      Exactly finger..winning sag is important because actors in academy vote for the acting categories–all sag members..and in Oscar history, they clearly reward any portrayal of physical or mental illnesses. That’s why eddie and Julianne M are favored. The role is as important as the performance.

  9. kri says:

    I’m still pullling for Keaton. ER and the Batch are great actors, but my Cumber was crushed by overexposure and I just think Keaton really did something special. Team K!!

  10. PunkyMomma says:

    Still think it’s Keaton’s to lose. But I thought Eddie’s was the better performance. But it’s an imperfect academy in an imperfect world, otherwise Tilda Swinton and Hiddles would have been nominated for Only Lovers Left Alive.

    • Artemis says:

      After seeing TOE, I feel Eddie should win the Oscar. I don’t care for nostalgia or awarding an actor just because he’s ‘old’ or made a comeback. I know the Oscars aren’t about merit really but Eddie’s work on TOE was too amazing not to get a win.

  11. Melanie says:

    So, I guess these film critics don’t believe that Bradley Cooper has a shot? I still think anything can happen in the Best Actor and Best Picture categories. For all we know Cooper could walk away with Best Actor and another Oscar for Best Picture for ‘American Sniper’.

  12. Kate says:

    I didn’t really care for Keaton in Birdman. I don’t understand the hype. Redmayne’s performance in TTOE left me weepy. Then, again, my mother passed away from ALS, so I felt like his performance was spot on and emotional.

  13. lila fowler says:

    It’s not really much of an upset if he won the SAG, BAFTA and Golden Globe already. I think Keaton or Cooper would be the “upset” win.

  14. Insomniac says:

    I don’t see how Redmayne winning could remotely be considered an upset. He’s won every precursor award. The real shocker would be if Cooper somehow pulled it off.

    I hope Keaton wins, but I’m glad there’s one acting Oscar where the result doesn’t seem to have been settled last year.

  15. scout says:

    Eddie is a great actor, very humble, appreciative of every award he has won so far which he absolutely deserves, has a beautiful down to earth wife, good to colleagues, he should win. IMO.

    But Michael Keaton might win a sympathy vote may be because it’s his last chance this year, although of course he will act in many future projects. Covering my head now, stilettos might fly at me from Keaton fans like that shoe at Bush Jr. in Iraq.

  16. M says:

    David Oyelowo is better than all of them together.

    • A Different Kate says:

      I tend to agree with this. His omission was pretty ridiculous. If I had a vote (and Oyelowo was nominated), I’d be between Cooper and Oyelowo. Those were the two best performances I saw this year, hands down.

    • Nikki says:

      Oyelowo, Gyllenhaal, and Fiennes were my three favorites all year and not one of them a got nominated.

    • Wilma says:

      There were a lot of great performances this year. Cumberbatch might be the one I would leave out.

  17. Talie says:

    Cooper would be the upset. Redmayne has kind of won every major precursor.

  18. Rachel says:

    Redmayne winning would be the furthest thing from an upset.

    Also every awards site has called him out for being by far the most thirsty for Oscar, so I don’t get the negative comparison to Cumberbatch.

  19. Anny says:

    I hope Benny wins just to watch the internet explode. But to be fair Oscar movies have been such a disappointment lately that I just managed to watch American Sniper and that was just awful. So performance-wise I don’t have any horse in this race.

  20. Cecada says:

    Oh my God, Birdman is a great movie! I love so much about it. And I think Cumberbatch and Redmayne are two acting greats for sure. But I don’t care: I hope Cooper takes it home. He doesn’t get credit for being as talented as he is, and he was truly stretching himself in this role….

  21. Catelina says:

    He may well win yeah, but calling it an ‘upset’ is a huge stretch

  22. InvaderTak says:

    Finally, someone else noticing the lips! And yeah, he has shilled his arse off, same as BC and Keaton, just in a different way. It won’t be an upset if he wins, just a surprise that he beat the veteran. He’s thirsty too but going about it in a better way. I have mad respect for him actually showing up to the Jupiter Ascending promos and LOOKING HAPPY ABOUT IT even though he reportedly kinda sucked.

    • jen2 says:

      I think the actor category was much tighter this year. Keaton was pretty low key and might have been taking it for granted until Redmayne started making his move, now Keaton is out and about. Redmayne has been very charming, and cute, a bit like Bullock, who shilled like crazy when she was nominated, but no one complained. Personally, she drove me nuts. She was everywhere the year she won as was McCaunehy (sp) last year. But someone always goes overboard most years. Just sometimes they get called out like Hathaway and Cumberbatch.

      But like above, I think it should have been Oyelowo, but that is neither here nor there now.

    • NavelLinty says:

      It didn’t kinda suck, it sucked so hard that Eddie’s lips were nearly torn off. That’s why they’re all loose and rubbery.

  23. Sass back says:

    If Redmayne does not win, it will be won by Keaton sorely for the nostalgia factor and then everyone will basically know that the Oscars are a farce-granted everyone should know already. But Birdman is a role that many could taken on and the only thing that gives Keaton the edge is his persona; the joke works better if you know that Keaton played Batman. The amount of work that went into the Hawking role is astonishing. It should be an enormous upset if Redmayne *doesn’t* win. It’s cut and dry at this point.

  24. CK says:

    I’m hoping for Redmayne. As to Keaton being overdue, no, Just no. Being an older actor and getting your first oscar nomination, does not make you overdue and I think that is resonating with people, especially the actors. Julianne Moore, Arquette and Simmons are overdue given their award worthy resumes and awards profile, Keaton doesn’t really have that. I can’t for the life of me think of a time when he was on the cusp of even a nomination for a role. You don’t get to play the “overdue” card by showing up one time. As for Redmayne being thirsty, everyone is thirsty for an Oscar. Hell, even Joaquin Phoenix acts thirsty when he get nominated. And I really wouldn’t take that much stock in the critic’s sites to be honest. The thirsty narrative only started to pop up once he started winning and crushing peoples Keaton dreams. If I had to award the “thirstiest” title on anyone, it would be (forgive me) Patricia Arquette, who went on that Andy Cohen talk show.

    • maryberry says:

      I loved Eddie Redmayne in TOE. He gave such an incredible performance. I still get chills when I think about it. He needs to win! The movie was so good. The last scenes were heartbreaking.

  25. Dirty Martini says:

    Still pulling for Bradley Cooper. That is all.

  26. Camil says:

    I found The Theory of Everything a little boring at some point. Yeah, Redmayne’s performance is good but I really enjoyed Felicity Jones’s portrayal.

  27. moon says:

    I have a feeling MK will win, just because the academy loves insider movies and Birdman really resonated with them. And the age factor is a big card. But based on acting, I think Eddie really deserves to win. I’m not a fan of people doing the Oscar-biopic-transformation trick, but he pulled it off and more. His acting in that movie was first class.

    Pity Jake wasn’t nominated. His acting was 10000x better than BCoop’s in AS. But, I guess realpolitik won the day…