3. Denzel Washington (Fences)
Washington is a six-time Academy Award nominee, with a win for Supporting (1989's Glory) and Leading (2001's Training Day). His Fences nomination puts him in a league with Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner, and Laurence Olivier, all actors who directed themselves into this category. He earned it; like Viola Davis, Washington spits fire as Troy, an ex-baseball player who opines on neighborhood politics and his son's future in the family. If you only saw The Magnificent Seven this year, please, for the love of God, see Washington in Fences.
4. Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
Mortensen is a tough-guy favorite after owning in movies like Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Audiences saw his softer side in Captain Fantastic, playing a father who raises his kids in the woods to escape the poison of modern times. Seventy-five percent of this nomination is his earnest confusion over why this scenario would be a problem for anyone. Twenty-five percent is his beard.