Oscars 2021 poll: Who should win Best Actor?

Phoebe Dampare Osei
·3 min read
Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Steven Yeun are up for Best Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards (Amazon/Netflix/Lionsgate/Altitude)
Riz Ahmed, Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins, Gary Oldman and Steven Yeun are up for Best Actor at the 2021 Academy Awards (Amazon/Netflix/Lionsgate/Altitude)

On Sunday 25 April, the biggest ceremony of the film awards season will take place: the 2021 Academy Awards.

Best Actor is a closely-run race this year, with the late Chadwick Boseman the current favourite to win for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.. 

But we want to know who you think will win…

Read more: How to watch the Oscar nominees

Cast your vote below.

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

As with so many festival favourites, this <a href=
Riz Ahmed as Ruben Stone in Sound of Metal (Vertigo Releasing)

In this film, heavy-metal drummer Ruben Stone (Riz Ahmed) begins to lose his hearing. 

This is Ahmed’s first ever Oscar nomination. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe, a SAG Award, and the film won the Editing BAFTA.

Film critic Mark Kermode has given it five stars in The Guardian, writing that he gave a “career-best performance”.

Oscar predictors the Gold Derby has Ahmed at 4/1 to win. Sound of Metal is available on Amazon Prime.

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Chadwick Boseman in a still from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. (Netflix)
Chadwick Boseman (centre) in a still from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)

The late Chadwick Boseman has already won a string of posthumous honours at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the Golden Globes, the NAACP Image Awards, and Critics’ Choice Awards for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, with his wife Taylor Simone Ledward accepting them on his behalf.

He was also nominated for the BAFTAs, and the Gold Derby puts him up at top choice with his odds at 31/10 to win what would be his first ever Best Actor Oscar for his role as the trumpeter Levee in the film.

Peter Debruge writes in Variety: “How fortunate that Boseman’s legacy should include this film, an homage to Black art that’s tough enough to confront the costs of making it.”

The film, about blues singer Ma Rainey and a recording session in 1920s Chicago, is available to watch on Netflix. 

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Anthony Hopkins plays a mischievous and highly independent man with dementia in Florian Zeller's acclaimed directorial debut (Lionsgate)
Anthony Hopkins plays a mischievous and highly independent man with dementia in Florian Zeller's acclaimed directorial debut. (Lionsgate)

In this drama about Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), an ageing man with advancing memory loss, and Olivia Colman plays his daughter, Anne, as they try to come to terms with his condition.

In this category Hopkins won a BAFTA, was nominated for a Golden Globe, and a SAG Award.

Benjamin Lee writes of the “breathtaking...but also incredibly harrowing” performance he gave, giving it four out of five stars in The Guardian.

His odds on Gold Derby are currently at 19/5 to win.

The Father is scheduled for UK release on 11 June, 2021.

Gary Oldman, Mank

Gary Oldman in Mank (Netflix)
Gary Oldman in Mank (Netflix)

In this 1930s Hollywood biographical drama, Mank tells the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) and director Orson Welles (Tom Burke) as they worked on the Citizen Kane script.

Oldman was nominated for a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, and a Critics’ Choice Award.

Ian Freer has given it five stars in Empire, writing that: “Mank delivers the “magic of the movies” in its own unique way.”

His chances stand at 9/2 on Gold Derby, and Mank is available now on Netflix.

Steven Yeun, Minari

Alan S. Kim, Steven Yeun in Minari (Altitude)
Steven Yeun in Minari (Altitude)

Minari tells the story of a Korean family starting a farm in 1980s Arkansas in search of a new life after moving from California. It has also been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. Yeun plays Jacob Yi, the father.

Yeun was nominated for a SAG Award and a Critics' Choice Award, and has 9/2 odds to take home the Oscar on Sunday, according to Gold Derby.

Terri White has given it five stars in an Empire review, referring to its “boldness and confidence” and “natural ebb and flow.”

Minari is available now on PVOD. 

Watch a trailer for Minari