Christian Bale

This year’s Best Actor Oscar race is turning into one of the closest and most intriguing contests of recent years. Instead of there being one dominant performance against which all others are measured — as is the case, for instance, most years that Daniel Day Lewis features among the nominations — there have been three actors consistently in contention: Bradley Cooper for A Star is Born, Remi Malek for Bohemian Rhapsody and Christian Bale for Vice.

Now, for the first time, Bale has pulled into the lead. British bookmaker Ladbrokes now has him as the evens favourite, in front of Malek at 11/8.

Oscar Momentum

Momentum is perhaps the biggest predictor of Oscar success, and the two actors with the most momentum right now are Christian Bale and Rami Malek, who both won Golden Globes in January for their performances. Since then Bale beat out Malek to win the best actor award at the Critics’ Choice Awards, further increasing his Oscar chances.

The British actor has been nominated for an Academy Award on four occasions, winning the best supporting actor award in 2011 for his portrayal of Dicky Eklund in The Fighter.

The Road Ahead

The next big milestone on the road to glory will be the Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 27th, after which the picture could change considerably; particularly if, as widely predicted, Malek picks up the best actor prize.

Then it’s on to the BAFTAs in February. The BAFTAs have proved particularly adept at choosing the eventual Oscar winner. In the last eight years only one BAFTA best actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor, has not gone on to Academy Award success.

Meanwhile Bradley Cooper has witnessed a steady decline in his chances. Once favourite at 8/13, the Hangover star is now available at 8/1.