Eddie Redmayne vs. Benedict Cumberbatch: The 2015 Oscar Race Has Never Been More Evenly Matched
2014 has proven to be quite the year for two very particular British actors. Both Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch have been nominated for a Golden Globe in the Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama category. (Redmayne for his work as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and Cumberbatch for his turn as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game.) Both center around geniuses. Both are being portrayed by highly talented (not to mention extremely handsome) actors. I mean, talk about a Sophie's Choice! And while the 2015 Oscar nominations have yet to be announced, I have a feeling we're going to see those exact same two names appear side-by-side when it does. But who has the greater chance of winning? I've developed a theory…
In years past, somewhat of a distinct pattern has emerged among nominees, where an actor's Oscar win directly correlates with having a big year in their personal lives as well. For example, Anne Hathaway got married in Sept. 2012, just a few months prior to her very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in Les Misérables. Then there's Natalie Portman, who announced her engagement and pregnancy in Dec. 2010 just before nabbing her own Oscar for Best Actress in 2011 for her riveting performance in Black Swan.
See what I mean? It's almost as if a "big year" personally equals a "big year" professionally. So with that in mind, let's pit these two attractive Brits up against each other and see if we can predict just who has the best chance of winning that 2015 Oscar: Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch?
I mean, this one kinda goes without saying, right? Because this truly has been The Year of Benedict Cumberbatch. Whether he's dumping buckets of water on himself for a good cause or walking like Beyonce or performing a host of different celebrity impressions, there is nothing about this man that we don't want to hear about. Even referring to penguins as "pengwings" wasn't enough to temper our obsession. In fact, this only made it stronger. So I'm sorry, Redmayne. You're great and all, but when it comes to Cumberbitches (or is it Cumbercollective now?), there is no greater force. We are Sherlocked forevermore.
Winner: Benedict Cumberbatch
As many of you probably already know, Eddie Redmayne is now a married man, which bodes well with the pattern of Academy Award winners I mentioned above. So in keeping with that line of thinking, he's certainly on the right track to Oscar-dom . However, it's important to note that while Benedict Cumberbatch may not be married, he did recently get engaged, which spawned well over a million broken hearts (yours truly included). So I'd say a big, life-changing announcement like that is more than enough to send him along the same Oscar-bound trajectory as Redmayne, wouldn't you say?
One thing that could work to Redmayne's benefit is the fact that audiences may be more familiar with Stephan Hawking than Alan Turing (thanks Big Bang Theory!), and thereby find that particular performance all the more moving. I'll admit, I'd never heard of Turing until I saw Cumberbatch at the helm and immediately started researching. And since fans generally tend to connect more to a character they've heard of before, Hawkings iconic persona could become a distinct advantage.
Winner: Eddie Redmayne
Level of Demand
Here's where the big distinction, at least for me, lies. While Redmayne has been pretty MIA for the past two years, Cumberbatch has thrived on both the big and small screen. From his role as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness to his portrayal of Smaug in The Hobbit franchise, it's almost impossible to go to the theater without at least hearing the actor's name. Then there's the fact that Sherlock finally returned after a much too long hiatus earlier this year, firmly solidifying his sleuthy following. And that's not evening mentioning his upcoming projects as Shere Khan in Jungle Book: Origins and, of course, his highly anticipated superhero debut as Doctor Strange .
In other words, the world is cuckoo for Cumberbatch, which could give him just the upper-hand he needs to edge out Redmayne for good.
Winner: Benedict Cumberbatch
So there you have it, folks. Cumberbatch is the prime candidate for an Oscar win in my book and I could not be more thrilled. #TeamCumberbatch4eves
Images: Giphy (2); Getty; Working Title Films