Oldman

1. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

        One previous nomination.

        Being a highly respected though under-rewarded actor who gets to play a famous historical figure under heavy makeup is certainly a well-worn path to Oscar glory, though Darkest Hour never became the Best Picture player many thought it would be - which may impact Oldman's chances.

Chalamet

2. Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

        No previous nominations.

        The Academy is typically very resistant to young men in leading roles (the youngest Best Actor winner ever was just shy of 30), but Chalamet's performance is impossible to deny and he is at least assured a nomination here. Overtaking Oldman for the win will be another matter though...

Kaluuya

3. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

        No previous nominations.

        In a more competitive year, a breakout performance from a genre film would likely be left on the outside looking in. Thankfully for Kaluuya though, this category remained relatively weak and Get Out remained especially strong, meaning he should expect to place here.

DayLewis

4. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)

        Five previous nominations (3 wins).

        Anytime Day-Lewis makes a film, he's in contention - even more so if it's his self-proclaimed "final performance." It remains to be seen how well Phantom Thread connected with the Academy overall, but certainly the actors' branch will extend a sixth invite to 3-time champ DD-L.

Franco

5. James Franco (The Disaster Artist)

        One previous nomination.

        While there are many factors working against Franco (comedy film, broad caricature, recent allegations of misconduct), none seem likely enough to displace him from the final five.


6. Tom Hanks (The Post)
7. Jake Gyllenhaal (Stronger)
8. Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)