The Oscar lead actor race has it all this awards season: Beloved screen veterans making long-awaited comebacks. Star-is-born moments. Adam Freakin’ Sandler. The only thing this category doesn’t have? As many contenders as leading actress (stay tuned for our breakdown of that category on Friday).
Regardless of which of the 14 leading men (and 15 performances—way to double dip, Colin Farrell!) on this list make the cut when the Oscar nominations are announced on January 24, 2023, it figures to be quite a race. Just like with this year’s supporting actor group, it’s likely that newbie nominees will be reaching the finish line; only one actor on this best actor list has a little gold man on his mantle, and just one other has been nominated. Read on to find out who, along with which screen legends, both in-the-making and a long-time-coming, might join the Academy’s ranks for the first time.