IndieWire‘s Anne Thompson has posted a 2023 Best Actor prediction piece…basically a checklist of the performances that Thompson believes might end up as noteworthy contenders.

Here’s the HE take on Thompson’s list — those in boldface have at least a chance of breaking through while those not in boldface almost certainly haven’t a prayer.

HE sez there are only seven likely Best Actor contenders right now, and even these seem iffy: Elvis‘s Austin Butler (but no win), Bardo‘s Daniel Giménez Cacho, The Whale‘s Brendan Fraser, Empire of Light‘s Colin Firth, The Son‘s Hugh Jackman, Armageddon Time‘s Banks Repeda and White Noise‘s Adam Driver.

Thompson Frontrunners:

Austin Butler (Elvis)…maybe or probably…can’t decide which.
Park Hae-il (Decision to Leave)…not a chance.
Daniel Kaluuya (Nope)..a totally insane speculation…no way in hell.
Bill Nighy (Living)…an affecting performance, agreed, but not happening.
Adam Sandler (Hustle)…no clue.

Thompson Contenders:

Christian Bale (Amsterdam, The Pale Blue Eye)…not happening.
Daniel Giménez Cacho (Bardo, or A False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths)…promising.
Adam Driver (White Noise)…maybe.
Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin)…maybe but unlikely.
Colin Firth (Empire of Light)…maybe.
Brendan Fraser (The Whale)…how do you ignore this performance?…the girth factor alone demands attention.
Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin)
Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Chevalier)….no clue.
Hugh Jackman (The Son)….likely.
Brad Pitt (Babylon)…Pitt’s “Jack Conrad”, a tragic figure based partly on John Gilbert but resembling Clark Gable, is a supporting character. They might be able to sell his performance as a lead, but he’s definitely not one in any kind of classic sense.
Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse)…no idea.
Song Kang-ho (Broker)…not a chance.

Thompson Long Shots

Timothée Chalamet (Bones and All)
Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick)
Harris Dickinson (Triangle of Sadness)
Jalil Hall (Till)
Paul Mescal (Aftersun)
Jack O’Connell (Lady Chatterley’s Lover)
Robert Pattinson (The Batman)
Cooper Raiff (Cha Cha Real Smooth)
Banks Repeta (Armageddon Time)
Sam Worthington (Avatar: The Way of Water)