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Entries in Best Actor (132)

Tuesday
Jan132015

The Golden Gyllenhaals. And Final Best Actor Predictions

In the cascade of perfect smiles, smh laughter at outre jokes, and general 'oh god the camera is on me now and I don't have a script' that is awards show reaction shows you may have missed the Jake Gyllenhaal and Maggie Gyllenhaal had pride of place at Sunday's Golden Globe ceremony, and received the very first reaction shot as Tina & Amy entered to host, their joke quote, "the 72nd and final Golden Globe Awards". The very first reaction shot. Even Oprah had to settle for second billing. 

It was a good night for the Gyllenhaals. They started the festivities with family nostalgia listening to "Graceland" in the limo (as they said on the red carpet), Maggie won for Best Actress in a Television Movie or Miniseries for The Honourable Woman, Jake was a very proud sibling and a nominee, and Jake's current Broadway co-star Ruth Wilson ("Constellations") was also a winner taking Best Actress in a Drama Series for The Affair.

Maggie's acceptance speech was a beauty

I love that she doesn't even disguise that she's "complicated" which Gone Girl reminds us is a code word for "bitch." Will any of this reminder of her screen power that the industry got in The Honourable Woman transfer back to the big screen in better parts?

Even Frances McDormand vaguely put up with Maggie's speech.. well, half of it anyway. She started fanning herself at one point which looked very dismissive oncamera until we read afterwards that the air conditioning was not working in the building, which explains all of the celebrities looking like they forgot to powder before taking the stage. 

But What About Jake?
He didn't win but with Nightcrawler picking up so much steam at various guilds, it seems reasonable to expect him to show up in the final five for Best Actor. I've decided to bet big and risky on Nightcrawler in my final Oscar predictions, so I'm saying he's in.

My Final Predictions
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, Theory of Everything 

Now, it is a tight race and anyone could fall out, really, with the exception of Redmayne & Keaton -- either of them missing would be a shocker. If someone does stumble my guess is that it's not Gyllenhaal since his film garnered so much surprising love late in the game, but either Oyelowo (if Selma underperforms) or *gasp* Cumberbatch... in kind of a Leo/Titanic moment. Bradley Cooper may be gaining steam with American Sniper but of the 9 performances left standing at this point (my predictions: plus Carell, Cooper, Fiennes, and Spall) Cooper's is literally the least showy. It's not too often where the least showy triumph, even if he is very good as the blindly patriotic kiling machine. But Just about the only attention-grabbing aspect of his turn is that he gained weight. He has approximately one scene you might call an 'Oscar clip'. Now, that might not stop AMPAS from nominating him if they're in a very Cooper place (Oscar, like the Emmys, does get into ruts where anything will do for certain performers) but are they? His two nominations were for super popular actors-branch obsessions with the whole cast receiving nominations. He'd have to pull this one off on his own.

Finally, my heart wants to predict Ralph Fiennes as the surprise that makes every bit of sense once it happens. But my head tells me that's entirely too much wishful thinking. The Oscars would never give me both Fiennes and Gyllenhaal. That would be too much abundance for this pundit whose taste in male actors is generally not sympatico with Oscar voters. 

Saturday
Jan102015

Meet the Contenders: David Oyelowo "Selma"

Abstew continues his weekly look at acting contenders as their films open...

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma
Best Actor

Born: David Oyetokunbo Oyelowo was born 1 April, 1976 in Oxford, England

The Role: Filmmakers have been having a dream of bring a film about civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. to the big screen for years now. And this particular story, not a traditional cradle to tomb biopic of the man, but focusing on the Voting Rights marches in Selma, Alabama in 1965, has been in development since 2007 when British screenwriter Paul Webb completed his script. Various directors had been attached at one point and it was almost made in 2010 by Lee Daniels, who dropped the project due to lack of funding and to make The Butler instead. It finally comes to us from writer/director Ava DuVernay, who could make history by becoming the first African-American female director nominated for a Best Director Oscar.

British actor David Oyelowo had been attached to play Dr. King when Daniels was on board to direct (the two had previously worked together on The Paperboy and again in The Butler). And it was Oyelowo who suggested DuVernay to the producers after they worked together on her 2012 film, Middle of Nowhere. Oyelowo has stated that when he read the script back in 2007, that God told him he would play the part. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan082015

Interview: Chadwick Boseman Gets On Up to a Big Movie Career

With the Get On Up DVD just out this week, let's take a look at the fast rise of Chadwick Boseman. He'd already headlined one surprise hit (42) when he delivered his first huge performance as Godfather of Soul James Brown. Critics casually and regularly mentioned "Oscar" in their reviews but the precursor awards didn't bite (the Golden Globes forcing that film into Drama when films of its kind usually compete in Musical surely didn't help). But individual honors aside, there's no arguing that Boseman is at the beginning of a big career.

When I sat down with him last year (though less long ago than that sounds) he was unusually cagey about future career plans. Chalked it up to caution, I did, at the time. But cut to a very short time after the interview: News broke that he'd spend at least a couple of years in a form fitting black lycra (?) costume as T'Challa, The Black Panther (2017). That surely accounts for some of the shifting in his seat and long pauses when I grilled him about his future plans and what kinds of roles he's looking to play post-Brown over coffee. He must've already known and been sworn to secrecy since these multi-year multi-film deals don't happen overnight.

Here are highlights from our conversation about both his James Brown work, his relationship with those flamboyant costumes and Alex Proyas' forthcoming Gods of Egypt (2016) which arrives before he dons the T'Challa costume. 

NATHANIEL R: Let’s start with something crazy. Could you do the splits before Get On Up? [more...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan062015

Jessica Biel Speaking For Us All... 

(a blog post title I thought i'd never write but... Gyllenhaalism. It runs deep)

The trailer to the long-delayed never-finished David O. Russell picture Nailed (2010) which is now called Accidental Love (2015) and debuts in February is after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan042015

Podcast: Selma & The NSFC Prizes

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? 

Recommended Supplemental Material: 
Timothy Spall Interview
Pride DVD packaging

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download tomorrow from iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments! 

SELMA Podcast

Saturday
Jan032015

National Society of Film Critics Swings French for 2014

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. 

 

 

Thanks, Jane! 

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.)

Click to read more ...