Saturday, 7 November 2009

2007: The Actors

I'm a bit late...but not quite. So it's time for the final acting category...and the results. The Oscar lineup was not exactly bad...but I was no big fan of some [two as a matter of fact]. But it could have been worse.

                

TIER THREE
Mathieu Amalric in The Diving Bell & the Butterfly
I suppose one break out French star was enough for one year. And in retrospect I suppose it was too passive a role for those voters. Still, it was a promising turn from him.

               

Gordon Pinsent in Away From Her
As magnificent as Julie Christie was I couldn’t account for the complete ignoring that he got from everyone. Is it because he's not a big name, and the only old people who get nominated are the ones who've been getting nominated since they were young and popular?

            
Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum
The guy has charisma. It’s undeniable. He essentially carries the film on his shoulders and makes light work of it. Maybe not Oscar worthy, but still good.

       
Tobey MaGuire in Spiderman 3
I know that the Second part of this series is lauded, but really I preferred MaGuire in this one. The premise was a bit ridiculous at times, but above all I really found his performance impressive. Could you remind me why people hate him?
            
Joaquin Phoenix in Reservation Road
It’s no Johnny Cash, but given the faulty script he performs admirably. Now it’s just a questioning of him leaving his music behind to concentrate on the acting he was go good at.
          
TIER TWO
Benicio Del Toro in Things We Lost in the Fire
Virtually ignored by the precursors and undeservedly so. It's not his fault the film was badly promoted.
          
Ryan Gosling in Lars & the Real Girl
It’s better than his Half Nelson performance, but this was a packed year for the actors and he just couldn't make it. That SAG nod was interesting, though.

      
Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War
Though I’m no fan of his, I like when he does light comedic fare and it’s what he excels at here. It’s an atypical role for this Hollywood’s golden boy and he handles it well.
       
Emile Hirsch in Into the Wild
It should have been the performance where he made his mark on Hollywood…but alas no. strangely enough, McAvoy too was aiming for that. Neither was successful. It’s a fine performance and he obviously has talent. We’ll see how it goes.
      
Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages
Really, I believe he was more impressive than Linney; not by much – but still. It’s the dramatic comedy he excels at playing pathetic characters. It’s very well played, with two good performances in this category it’s a wonder they gave him the nod in supporting.
          

THE NOMINEES
 
Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood
We’ve come to except no less from him, and as I said before this performance is one of epic proportions. He’s just outstanding and that’s essentially all that can be said.
           
Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Did he peak too early? Will everything he does be measured against Jack Sparrow? This is not Jack Sparrow, but his nomination [I felt] was deserved. 'Epiphany' is obviously a moment of great acting, but it is the scene before that grabs me – 'Pretty Women'. An unforgotten song and scene, but the delivery of the duet [and 'My Friends'] is haunting in an ethereal way.
          
Philip Seymour Hoffman in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead
It’s easy to ignore his performance. We’ve seen him play brash, sensitive, guilty and innocent. The role is obviously a showy one, but that doesn’t diminish his goodness. When he breaks down to Finney towards the end it’s a chilling moment. It’s a great performance from him, as per normal.
        
James McAvoy in Atonement
Whereas Keira dominates the estate portion of the film his low-key romantic hero is unfairly ignored. However as the second half begins he becomes the strongest narrative force and especially in that ‘meeting’ with Briony his line readings are impeccable. It’s an outstanding achievement that would have not have been out of place in the Golden Age of cinema.
             
Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James
It’s a perfect example of inspired casting. Like with Casey Afleck it would seem that Brad was born to play this role. He has the physicality and the charisma and he does become Jesse James. Despite the lack of love from the American Awards there’s a reason he was a winner at the Venice Film Festival.
            

So, what are your thoughts? Have at it.

1 comment:

joe burns said...

Glad to see you nominated Depp.