Oscars Predictions: Best Actor – Mads Mikkelsen Follows the Path of Max Von Sydow in ‘Pelle the Conqueror’

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UPDATED: Mar. 4, 2021

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY: The HFPA solidified the frontrunner status for several films on the road to the Oscars. At the top, Chadwick Boseman won a posthumous Golden Globe in best actor (drama) for his performance as the trumpeter Levee in Netflix’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” He’s only the second posthumous winner in the category, following Peter Finch for 1976’s “Network,” who went on to win the Oscar as well. It looks as though Boseman will be following suit. Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”) looks to be the spoiler but Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”) has never won a SAG Award and can turn it around there. Delroy Lindo (“Da 5 Bloods”) is still on the bubble (don’t understand why) and Steven Yeun’s SAG nod help quite a bit.

Mads Mikkelsen makes his first entry for Thomas Vinterberg’s “Another Round” with a precedent that could lead to his surprise entry. He’s well known among actors, working in the MCU, and well-respected in the industry. The last time Denmark had a international feature winner on their hands was for 1988’s “Pelle the Conqueror,” which brought in a surprise nomination for the late Max von Sydow. Mikkelsen is just a few years younger than Sydow was at the time. Finally, in conversations with members and strategists, the film is being heavily watched, with his performance coming up many times in discussions. It could be one of those shockers (or not).

WATCH RECOMMENDATIONS BEFORE VOTING: Lakeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”), Jesse Plemons (“I’m Thinking of Ending Things”), Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”), Tom Holland (“Onward”), Andy Samberg (“Palm Springs”), Ben Affleck (“The Way Back”)

Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal” (Amazon Studios)
Awards Circuit Winners Chart (2020-2021)
2021 Awards Season Calendar

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Another Round (2020)
Mads Mikkelsen
Credit: Henrik Ohsten/Samuel Goldwyn Films
Courtesy of Henrik Ohsten/Samuel Goldwyn Films


  1. Chadwick Boseman
    "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" (Netflix)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Levee

    DIRECTOR: George C. Wolfe
    SYNOPSIS: Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey, her ambitious horn player and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable "Mother of the Blues". Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play..
    STARRING: Chadwick Boseman, Dusan Brown, Jonny Coyne, Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Taylour Paige, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Glynn Turman

  2. Anthony Hopkins
    "The Father" (Sony Pictures Classics)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: 5 nominations, 1 win (1991's "The Silence of the Lambs" in best actor)
    ROLE: Anthony

    DIRECTOR: Florian Zeller
    SYNOPSIS: A man refuses all assistance from his daughter as he ages. As he tries to make sense of his changing circumstances, he begins to doubt his loved ones, his own mind and even the fabric of his reality.
    STARRING: Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Anthony Hopkins, Imogen Poots, Rufus Sewell, Olivia Williams

  3. Riz Ahmed
    "Sound of Metal" (Amazon Studios)
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    OSCAR HISTORY: Never nominated
    ROLE: Ruben

    DIRECTOR: Darius Marder
    SYNOPSIS: A heavy-metal drummer's life is thrown into freefall when he begins to lose his hearing.
    STARRING: Riz Ahmed, Olivia Cooke, Paul Raci, Mathieu Almaric, Lauren Ridloff

  4. Steven Yeun
    "Minari" (A24)