Entries in Best Actor (127)
In this new episode of The Film Experience, Katey returns to chat with Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel. We mostly focus on Ava DuVernay's wonderful Selma and The National Society of Film Critics but the conversation wanders to various Oscar races. As it does, don't you know by now?
You can listen at the bottom of the post or download tomorrow from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments!
The NSFC has announced its "Best" and we have another treat for glum Marion Cotillard. She may have been fired from her job in Two Days One Night but the world's critics would love her to be gainfully employed for years to come.
The NSFC is composed of "many of the country’s most distinguished movie critics" and were once the third holy in the critical trinity (with NYFCC and LAFCA) before the days when every single city in the nation was naming their best a development which has significantly dulled the power of critics awards altogether... or at least confused what it is about critics awards that anyone pays attention to anymore.
The most interesting thing is that though this critics society has "National" in its name, the members were just not that into American films this year. They've crossed the Atlantic for their major prizes handing Jean-Luc Godard's 3D experiment Goodbye to Language the year's best film (in a narrow one point victory over Boyhood), Marion Cotillard wins Best Actress (by a huge margin for her Belgian feature with the Dardenne brothers as well as The Immigrant). The other mild statement this weekend is two prizes for the British Mike Leigh film Mr Turner with wins in Best Actor and Cinematography.
This last burst of recognition for Timothy Spall (interviewed right here) in a very tight Best Actor race and for Marion Cotillard who remains a longshot for Best Actress since the precursors roundly favored the exact same five women (Julianne, Reese, Felicity, Jennifer, Rosamund) keeps things exciting. At least a little bit. If AMPAS is still asking for recommendations at all, mind you. Still, we know of at least one über famous Academy member who is rooting for Marion.
Nobody's saying it--yet-- but Marion Cotillard deserves Oscar nod for TWO DAYS, ONE NITE https://t.co/S3Bo2OpBAB— Jane Seymour Fonda (@Janefonda) December 31, 2014
Otherwise the NSFC prizes were the standard winners you've seen everywhere else: Linklater, Simmons, Arquette, Citizenfour, and Budapest for Screenplay. All this agreement has been bizarre for such a rich film year but what can you do? (If you're interest in voting data, I've included it after the jump... and you can also visit their official site here.)
Abstew continues his weekly look at acting contenders as their films open...
Oscar Isaac as "Abel Morales" in A Most Violent Year
Born: Óscar Isaac Hernández was born in Guatamala, but the internet can't agree on the actual date. It's either January 5th, 1980 or March 9, 1979
The Role: The setting is New York City, the year is 1981 - on record as a time of one of the highest crime rates in the city's history. The third feature film from Oscar nominated writer and director J.C. Chandor (Margin Call, All Is Lost) stars Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales, the head of a lucrative heating oil company that has found itself the target of theft and violence. His trucks are being hijacked, the oil being siphoned, the series of events inhibiting his plans to expand his company with a profitable purchase of a new building with a prime location. His method of handling the problem also puts him at odds with his wife Anna (Best Supporting Actress contender Jessica Chastain), who is the daughter of a Brooklyn mobster and has her own ideas of how things should be taken care of...
Trivia, Critical response and Oscar chances after the jump...
Oscar Isaac was not an overnight success. He made sporadic appearances in movies from the mid 90s onward and the roles and films grew, slowly but surely. Moviegoers have discovered him piece by brilliant piece each time. There wasn't even one particular year that made him a star though Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) is to date "the signature role". In contrast, his new character Abel Morales' rise to power isn't half as slow and steady. It's all compressed into one dramatic make-or-break year in J.C. Chandor's moody gripping 1981-set drama A Most Violent Year.
I spoke to Oscar about burrowing inside this guarded businessman, working with his schoolmate Jessica Chastain, what casting directors think of him, and his obsession with the mutant supervillain he'll be playing in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Our conversation is after the jump...