Friday, 2 December 2011

Incoherent Oscar: Best Actor

Wherein I give in to the incoherence, and ramble on about the potential Oscar ballot....
So, the awards’ season officially officially began when we got a string of Critic Awards’ and other precursors this week. We’re now getting a suggestion of how the awards’ folk are thinking in terms of some key categories. You can get much more comprehensive conversation on the NYFCC, Spirits’, NBR elsewhere. For now, though, I’m quite interested in what these few precursors are spelling for the Best Actor race.
Last year, all of a sudden, the Best Actor category turned into something rather interesting. Yes, Colin Firth swept through it all – but there was a strong batch of contenders, and the eventual ballot from the AMPAS. Now, I’m set to see some of the main players this weekend, but the race this season does seem set to be an interesting one even though it wouldn’t be awards’ season if some of them seem like lazy choices.

George Clooney in The Descendants; Leonardo DiCaprio in J. Edgar; Jean Dujardin in The Artist; Brad Pitt in Moneyball; Michael Shannon in Take Shelter
THEN AGAIN, MAYBE: Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Michael Fassbender in Shame; Woody Harrelson in Rampart; Ryan Gosling in Drive

MORE POSSIBILITIES: Jeremy Irvine in War Horse; Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March
I had predicted that The Descendants would win the Best Picture Oscar when I foolhardily (?) made some random projections in July. I’m not quite certain that’s an accurate prediction at this point in time, but the film is still holding on, so I suppose it’s not a completely ridiculous summation. Thus, I suppose that Clooney really is a threat to win that Best Actor prize. Still, Oscars’ actor races so often seem to be about cumulative prizes so it’d be weird for them to reward George who they fêted so recently (imprudently, I might add). So, I’m thinking that Brad is the one to be looking at. I’d be stoked if he wins because I love Brad on principal (and he should be Oscared by now). And, logically DiCaprio could be a spoiler. But, J. Edgar has been bleakly received, and I’m sceptical about if he’ll even end up nominated. Dujardin would be a more likely upset, and I suppose that he’s at least in for a nominations.
Shannon, is my wildcard pick and I need to see Take Shelter ASAP. It’s a hunch, yes, especially since I have not seen the movie (even, though, that really has little bearing on predictions). Still, I feel as if voters will latch on to this performance. I shall wait and see if they prove me wrong. I’m doubtful about Oldman and Fassbender’s chances, and Gosling seems like a wild wildcard pick.
Coming Soon: Screenplays / Previously: Costume Design, Makeup, Art-Direction
Is it going to be an easy stroll to the podium for Brad? Which nominees are you expecting for the Leading Men?


Univarn said...

Even though I haven't seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, I'm really championing Gary Oldman for some Oscar love. The guy has gotten nothing but the cold shoulder throughout his career. He's way overdue for a nomination, at the least. But as we all know that will depend heavily on the studios ability to market him as a viable contender.

While I like Brad Pitt - and my opinion of him has been improving steadily - I don't think Moneyball was a strong enough role to earn him a golden statue. Then again, that hasn't stopped them before.

Ryan T. said...

I don't really have a horse here except for perhaps Ryan Gosling in DRIVE. He should've been nominated last year for BLUE VALENTINE and even though this year the competition seems even MORE stacked, I would hate him miss the shortlist YET AGAIN.

Like Univarn, I'm also quietly hoping Gary Oldman can breakthrough for AT LEAST a nomination. In terms of who might win, I actually think it's between Jean Dujardin and Brad Pitt with Oldman as spoiler IF he can get nominated.

Rich said...

As much as I would LOVE to see Shannon get in, he's a longshot. See TAKE SHELTER anyway, though; it's an amazing movie.

I too am part of Team Oldman. I think his chances look better than DiCaprio's, actually, now that J. EDGAR slipped.

Rich said...

It's Jeremy Irvine, not James BTW.

Nick Prigge said...

The vibe seems to be trending toward the "Brad Pitt Is Due" variety. Not that I'm saying he should win, but it seems like that's where this race might be headed.

TomS said...

Interesting post, and comments! Those of us who champion for favorites, in spite of not having seen the films, are sort of guilty of the same things we lament the Academy for doing: playing favorites while worthy competitors are shut out....Wouldn't it be nice if we could stand by our favorite performances, and predict on that basis? Maybe a strong psychic wave would hit the Academy voters and get them to see things our way!

From what I have seen already, Shannon, Pitt, and Clooney are all very worthy candidates. DiCaprio should not be in the running for J. Edgar....he should compete in a stronger film in a performnance better suited to his talents, that would give him a chance to actually win. It will happen eventually. I love Gosling, and would cite his Ides of March performance, not Drive. And a personal fave that may be left out: Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 50/50.

Aziza said...

Don't forget Michael Fassbender in Shame- I think he is the dark horse here and the critics love him and his performance! I am on Team Fassbender, but if not, Pitt or Oldman will be great! Am I the only one sick of George Clooney?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

univarn you're accurate on goldman. it's a shame that someone with his talent hasn't managed to get better roles. kris tapley (of in contention) was talking about the spielberg issue he had when the contender premiered and it does put a whole lot of things into perspective.

ryan oh, damn, i completely agree. i mean, i don't think i'll like the ides of march and he's not in my top 5 for drive (errr, spoiler alert?) but i feel a bit bad that he'll be passed over again. it's the same i feel about leo a bit because he was snubbed in 08, shutter island was completely snubbed and maybe my predictions are wrong, and he'll be snubbed again. but, alas, the oscars are cutthroat.

rich i'm seeing take shelter on sunday and i'm SO EXCITED. (thanks for the correction.)

nick i'm seeing moneyball this weekend and really i don't think i'll love it (don't ask me how i know, i have not watched the trailers - cause i loathe them - and i haven't read any reviews) but i'll see...

tom j. edgar that bad? so leo doesn't rise above the movie? sigh, i don't want to see it, but then i want to see it just to make sure. damn you clint.

aziza i am WITH you on clooney. i've been sick of him since i can remember, his appeal always evades me.