Why Adam Driver should win the Best Actor Oscar

Given his awards season success so far, Joaquin Phoenix is obviously going to win the Best Actor Oscar tonight, and that is a real shame because I wanted Adam Driver to win.

Don’t get me wrong, Phoenix’s performance as Joker was very, very good and he is a worthy winner, but I feel like Driver deserved it more. His portrayal of a man going through divorce in Marriage Story was devastating, raw and so moving. Aided by a top-notch script by Noah Baumbach (which I naively thought would be winning Best Screenplay this season), Driver was heartbreaking and funny and his portrayal felt so natural and realistic. It was such a vulnerable, human performance and his chemistry with Scarlett Johansson was terrific. That argument scene!

I saw both Joker and Marriage Story at the Venice Film Festival and I predicted both Phoenix and Driver would be nominated and I’m glad I was right, but I never expected the Walk the Line to sweep the board like he has. The fact that Driver hasn’t won anything besides the Gotham Awards and various critics’ circle awards makes me sad. I would be overjoyed if there was a surprise and Driver took home the Oscar tonight. That would be glorious.

It’s very unlikely anyone else in the category could take home the gold, even though Antonio Banderas was also brilliant in Pain and Glory. To be honest, I haven’t seen Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes, but I can say Leonardo DiCaprio was hilarious in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood but not good enough to deserve an Oscar.

My Oscar thoughts –

  • I want Florence Pugh to win supporting actress for Little Women but it’s not going to happen. I loved Laura Dern in Marriage Story but I didn’t think she would be doing so well this season. The award is hers.
  • I wish Baumbach would win Original Screenplay (but he won’t)
  • And I hope Parasite wins more than the Best International Film prize.

Stay tuned for the full list of nominees and my predictions.


  1. I disagree—and think this should be at least Joaquin’s 3rd Oscar, after his performances in Gladiator and The Master (Walk the Line and Her were pretty deserving too). My thing about Joaquin is that, including in Joker, he always picks some of the most difficult roles possible and yet always masters them beyond perfection. But you make great points and I respect your opinion! Cheers to two film lovers having their own thoughts about 2 incredible actors & 2 incredible performances!

    Liked by 1 person

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