winners in the eighties: robert de niro in raging bull; henry fonda in on golden pond; ben kingsley in gandhi; robert duvall in tender mercies; f. murray abraham in amadeus (that's not the dude who played amadeus, by the way, but the dude who killed him); william hurt in kiss of the spider woman; paul newman in the color of money; michael douglas in wall street; dustin hoffman in rain man; and daniel day-lewis in my left foot. i've seen three of those.
lead actor roles i favored from that decade: val kilmer in real genius and mel gibson in lethal weapon.
the nineties: daniel day-lewis in my left foot; jeremy irons in reversal of fortune; anthony hopkins in the silence of the lambs; al pacino in scent of a woman; tom hanks in philadelphia and forrest gump; nicolas cage in leaving las vegas; geoffrey rush in shine; jack nicholson in as good as it gets; and roberto benigni in life is beautiful. i've seen six of those.
lead actor roles i favored from that decade: johnny depp in edward scissorhands, donnie brasco and fear and loathing in las vegas; christian slater in pump up the volume; rik mayall in drop dead fred; tim robbins in the shawshank redemption (morgan freeman was nominated; robbins should've been); nicolas cage in guarding tess; mackenzie astin in iron will; kevin bacon in murder in the first; robin williams in what dreams may come; and edward norton in fight club.
the two thousands. kevin spacey in american beauty; russell crowe in gladiator; denzel washington in training day; adrien brody in the pianist; sean penn in mystic river; jamie foxx in ray; phillip seymour hoffman in capote; forest whitaker in the last king of scotland; daniel day-lewis in there will be blood; and sean penn in milk.
lead actor roles i favored from that decade: elijah wood in the lord of the rings; robert redford in spy game; jim caviezel in the count of monte cristo; ryan gosling in the notebook; jim carey in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind; joaquin phoenix in walk the line; russell crowe in cinderella man; nathan fillion in serenity; and kevin kline in life as a house.
this decade: jeff bridges in crazy heart; colin firth in the king's speech; jean dujardin in the artist; daniel day-lewis in lincoln; eddie redmayne in the theory of everything; and leonardo dicaprio in the revenant.
lead actor roles i favored from this decade: robert downey jr. in sherlock holmes: a game of shadows; steve carell in crazy, stupid, love; tom hardy in lawless; mark wahlberg in lone survivor; bill murray in st. vincent; ryan reynolds in deadpool; ryan gosling and russell crowe in the nice guys (it's hard for me to pick between'm, and i feel like they both carried equal weight in that one); chris pine in the finest hours; manish dayal in the hundred foot journey; bradley cooper in burnt; joel edgerton in loving.
which brings us to the nominees:
|casey affleck in manchester by the sea|
|andrew garfield in hacksaw ridge|
|ryan gosling in la la land|
|viggo mortensen in captain fantastic|
|denzel washington in fences|
the best instances in which the academy got it right: dustin hoffman in rain man; phillip seymour hoffman in capote; and eddie redmayne in the theory of everything.