Egerton’s performance does not look any less dazzling from a distance. It was enough to garner him a nomination for best actor in a comedy or musical at the Globes. In a surprise, Egerton was also nominated for the top male acting prize at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be handed out on Jan. 19. “It’s enormously validating to be recognized by your acting peers,” he said, adding that two of his “idols,” Tom Hanks and Joaquin Phoenix, sent him out-of-the-blue praise via email when “Rocketman” came out.
But most awards prognosticators predict that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will overlook Egerton. In an unusually bountiful year for men, handicappers at Gold Derby, an entertainment honors site, see best actor Oscar nominations going to Adam Driver (“Marriage Story,” released in theaters on Nov. 6), Phoenix (“Joker,” Oct. 4), Leonardo DiCaprio (“Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” July 26) and Antonio Banderas (“Pain and Glory,” Oct. 4).
That leaves stars like Eddie Murphy (“Dolomite Is My Name,” Oct. 4), Adam Sandler (“Uncut Gems,” Dec. 13), Robert De Niro (“The Irishman,” Nov. 1) and Christian Bale (“Ford v Ferrari,” Nov. 15) vying for the fifth slot alongside the critically respected but lesser-known Jonathan Pryce (“The Two Popes,” Nov. 27).
And, of course, Egerton — for what is now the most distant performance of the batch. The Oscars will be held on Feb. 9.
Egerton is also up against one of the most aggravating aspects of the Oscar-nominating system. Warped narratives form around candidates, often courtesy of whispering competitors, that have nothing to do with the quality of the work. The narrative that has trailed Egerton involves the superficial similarity of his performance with that of the reigning Oscar winner for best actor, Rami Malek, honored for his portrayal of another gay British rocker, Freddie Mercury, in the biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”