Bradley Cooper appears to be getting very strong competition from Christian Bale in Vice. Don't think Cooper is the frontrunner any longer.
As I've written elsewhere, I've seen Vice. Or at the very least, a couple of cuts before the final cut.
At the time, I wrote something like "Christian Bale is probably getting nominated, I guess" which in retrospect is a serious understatement. This is more than Makeup Assist acting. He is very good in the film and the first sight of him as Dick Cheney is just truly astonishing. You feel like you are watching Dick Cheney. No joke. That being said, there film doesn't allow him a range of emotion. Have you seen Dick Cheney in real life? That's basically all he's allowed to do in the film. Unless something has been changed, everyone else gets emotional scenes in the film. He just sort of Cheney's through scene to scene. But his transformation IS truly astonishing. Could that be enough? It's possible.
My hunch though is for the past few years, the Best Actor race started with one person far ahead (DiCaprio, Affleck, and Oldman) and things just sort of stayed that way. Sure, Denzel Washington might have closed the gap on Casey Affleck with Fences but who knows? All I know is history looks like it repeats itself with Bradley Cooper.
"If you are marching with white nationalists, you are by definition not a very nice person. If Malala Yousafzai had taken part in that rally, you'd have to say 'Okay, I guess Malala sucks now.'" ~ John Oliver