1. Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)
Being a highly respected though under-rewarded actor playing a famous historical figure under heavy makeup is a well-worn path to Oscar glory, and Darkest Hour's semi-surprise Best Picture nomination sealed the deal for Oldman.
2. Timothée Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)
The Academy is typically very resistant to young men in leading roles (the youngest Best Actor winner ever was Adrien Brody in 2003 who was just shy of 30), but Chalamet's performance is impossible to deny. There's even a chance he pulls an Adrien Brody and upsets more established veterans, though that scenario seems unlikely this year.
3. Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread)
Sixth nomination (3 wins).
Anytime Day-Lewis makes a film, he's in contention - even more so if it's his self-proclaimed "final performance." Phantom Thread even continued his streak of starring in Best Picture nominees, though he won't extend his record number of wins in this category to four.
4. Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)
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, earning him one of the film's four nominations.
5. Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)
Eighth nomination (2 wins).
Likely last season's runner-up (for Fences), Washington netted his eighth nomination through a mix of reputation, weak competition, and a strong performance (even if the film itself is decidedly less so).