a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

This year the Oscar Best Actor category is screaming with the sounds of too many viable Best Actor candidates colliding with & virtually  killing each other to get into the race. There are only five slots. And seven talked-about performances.

Everyone puts Daniel Day Lewis’s Abraham Lincoln at the top. But I don’t. And cold, technical performance that bored me to tears and left me wanting something that Day-Lewis doesn’t have in abundance – warmth. He’s not a warm cuddly Lincoln. He’s, well, a British Lincoln.

Why couldn’t they have gotten an American actor to play Lincoln? That’s basically what’s wrong with it. PLUS it’s like eating Brussel Sprouts for two and a half hours. It’s good for you, THEY SAY. But oh the taste!

But people are still ranking him #1. But he’s got two Oscars already. A stumbling block you can’t erase. But he will likely get nominated despite the Brussels Sprout Factor.

Most likely to unseat him is the still unseen Hugh Jackman in”Les Miserables.” He’s also the only one of these guys in a musical. Which is either a huge plus, or a huge minus.I’m sure the always terrific Jackson delivers as he always has in the past. He’s never had a part like this before. He’s hosted the Oscars, successfully, and if he’s as good as I’m hearing, he’s in like flint.

Denzel Washington has gotten rave reviews for his alcoholic pilot in”Flight” and  is doing very well at the box office. He’s an almost knee-jerk reaction. If he’s THIS good, they just nominate him. But he’s got two Oscars already, too, like Day-Lewis, this is probably an obstacle he can’t overcome. Or hide.And “Flight” is being named “a popcorn movie.”

I don’t think Bradley Cooper in the just opening Rom Com “Silver Linings Playbook” is gonna make the cut. It’s a comedy and he’s totally overshadowed by his co-star Jennifer Lawrence who looks like she’s going to not only get nominated but win.

Cooper, playing a manic-depressive SCREAMS his way through two-thirds of the movie, TRYING to make you believe he’s manic. It’s inaccurate and I found THAT depressing. Bi-polar disorder is not something to be laughed about and certainly not something to be treated lightly. With the competition so tight, I don’t think he makes this cut.

Someone in a lightweight film, with serious undertones is Sir Anthony Hopkins, playing a beloved Hollywood Legend Sir Alfred Hitchcock, in the droll biopic “Hitchcock.” The Academy nominates him constantly and his total physical transformation into the corpulent legendary Master of Suspense hits all the right notes and is poignant and winning, too. He’s got one Oscar for “Silence of the Lambs” which was inspired by the serial killer Ed Gein, who is also a character in Hitchcock. His Hitchcock is haunted by the right ghosts. I say he gets in. AND he’s SIR Anthony Hopkins after all. And the Academy always feels it needs that touch of class. I liked his Hitch so much, I’ve seen it twice! Unlike “Lincoln” which I hope I never see again as long as I live.

Life’s too short for another “Lincoln.”

And then we have crybaby Joaquim Phoenix, who like Bradley Cooper, is in a Weinstein Co. production. His comments that Oscars are “total utter bullshit” may have eliminated him for this very competitive race. “The Master” was a polarizing movie that hasn’t done well anywhere. He, like Cooper, could get left out. He doesn’t have an Oscar, and probably at this rate never will. He’s apologizing all over the place now, but the damage his done. Will the ever-snobby, but sometimes forgiving, Actor’s Branch nominate him anyway? It such a tight year, it’s not looking solid for him. And Hitchcock himself NEVER won an Oscar for Best Director. Now being acknowledged as the greatest film maker of all time, the Academy may want to sort of correct his over-sight.

Then there’s the out-of-nowhere news that recent Supporting Actor winner of a couple of years back German Actor Christophe Waltz is going lead for the also still-unseen “Django Unchained.” A slightly desperate Weinstein ploy, methinks, because they sense that neither Bradley Cooper nor Joaquim Phoenix, will get in.

THEY know, the Weinstein Co. they KNOW how the tea leafs are reading and they are not spelling out TWC, as they have in the past two years for their magnificent winners in Best Picture and Best Actor, “The King’s Speech” and Colin Firth and “The Artist” and Jean DuJardin.

Putting Waltz in lead says something about his co-star Jamie Foxx, ANOTHER previous Oscar Winner for “Ray”. Guess they aren’t even considering he’s got the right stuff this year for a nod. And if he’s going up against Denzel….

Finally, the only other serious Best Actor contender is the simply stupendous Jon Hawkes, as the heart-breaking polio victim, in an iron lung no less. The Degree of Difficulty in “The Sessions” is off the charts, and I think that is going to rate with the Actor’s Branch.

So how I see it now – It’s Hugh Jackman, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Daniel Day-Lewis, Denzel Washington and Jon Hawkes.

With all of the Weinstein boys canceling each other out.

Sounds unbelievable, but it COULD happen.

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