Entertainment & Arts

Oscars 2017: Best actor nominees

Find out about the best actor nominees for the 89th Academy Awards, which will take place on 26 February 2017.

Image copyright Studiocanal


Age: 41

Nominated for: Manchester by the Sea

The character: Lee Chandler, an odd job man near Boston, who has a painful past and who suddenly finds himself with extra responsibilities.

Oscar record: A best supporting actor nomination for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2008.

The critics said: "Barricaded inside the shell that's become of him, Lee peers at the world through guarded eyes, only just summoning the basic drive to get up every morning, shuffle out, and carry on his tasks. He's played by Casey Affleck, in a clenched and riveting performance which fulfils all the promise he's ever shown, and then some." [Daily Telegraph]

Image copyright Lionsgate


Age: 33

Nominated for: Hacksaw Ridge

The character: Desmond Doss, a World War Two medic who became the first conscientious objector to win the prestigious US Medal of Honor.

Oscar record: None.

The critics said: "He's found a great fit for his talents in Hacksaw Ridge, which asks him to be a sweet Virginia boy courting a sweet nurse... and then a shell-shocked but determined man of valour in a lunar hellscape. Gosh, do we root for this kid." [Vanity Fair]

Image copyright Lionsgate


Age: 36

Nominated for: La La Land

The character: Sebastian Wilder, a jazz pianist chasing his dreams in Hollywood.

Oscar record: Best actor nomination for Half Nelson in 2007.

The critics said: "Mr Gosling's performance is understated, with a tinge of touching earnestness, but it's also witty and commandingly smart. What's more, he does Seb's fluent piano playing without benefit of doubles on screen or on the sound track, an achievement I found astonishing." [The Wall Street Journal]

Image copyright Entertainment One


Age: 58

Nominated for: Captain Fantastic

The character: Ben Cash, a hippy father who has raised his children in a remote home, far from the pressures of modern life.

Oscar record: One previous nomination for best actor, for Eastern Promises (2008).

The critics said: "The movie really belongs to Mortensen, who allows Ben to be exasperating, arrogant and impatient but also warm, loving and caring. He's a tough but adoring father, a grieving widower and an angry defender of his wife's final wishes, and Mortensen plays all these notes and more with subtlety and grace." [The Wrap]

Image copyright Paramount Pictures


Age: 62

Nominated for: Fences

The character: Troy Maxson, a Pittsburgh sanitation worker and former professional baseball player.

Oscar record: Two Oscar wins - best supporting actor for Glory (1990) and best actor for Training Day (2002). He also has a best supporting actor nomination for Cry Freedom (1988) and three best actor nominations for Malcolm X (1993), The Hurricane (2000) and Flight (2012).

The critics said: "While Denzel Washington's direction might leave a little to be desired, his acting has never been more relentless and fierce." [Cinema Blend]

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