- Emma Stone, La La Land
- Dev Patel, Lion
- Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
- Natalie Portman, Jackie
- Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Emma Stone, La La Land
Of course, Emma Stone made the cut for us! Although Ryan’s charm on-screen was a little difficult to resist, Stone took the cake for us by literally shining through the film owing every scene that challenged her as an actor. Now that’s what we call stealing the show…
Dev Patel, Lion
Prestigious award nominations and Dev Patel have almost always gone in sync ever since his debut in Slumdog Millionaire. So when he played and personified yet another Indian boy with struggles all too real and relatable, he was bound to win a few hearts (and perhaps an Oscar too).
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Mahershala playing ‘Juan’ was soul-saving for all those out there who’ve made mistakes but who are also desperately in need of second chances. Your misdeeds do not define you—that’s your takeaway from the movie, and when you have a commanding presence like Ali show it to you, it’s a little hard to miss.
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Nat’s always been one to watch out for, be it in Black Swan or Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium—you were always prepared to be amazed. But what Portman did in Jackie was raising an all-new benchmark. Very few actors have that kind of power to leave a lasting impression and Nat does that with ease.
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Casey’s sure come a long way since his American Pie days—he’s now portraying a man who’s had to put a rock to his heart to take on his deceased brother’s teenage son. Each expression and emotion conveys an incommunicable sadness, that Casey surprises by delivering to a hundred.
Image Credits: The Playlist, Esquireme, Collider, Indiewire, Hollywood Reporter, Comingsoon.net