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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Best Actor (147)


FYC: Jon Hamm for Best Lead Actor in a Drama

Team Experience share their personal Emmy dream picks daily at Noon. Here's Deborah on everyone's favorite ad man...

Emmy voters, you assholes, now is your chance to make it right! 

You have nominated Jon Hamm seven times for his work on Mad Men. Seven times. It’s like you’ve got the hiccups and then, when the actual award-giving comes around, you’re all holding your breath. Stop it!

Okay, so, irritation out of the way, let’s talk about the work this extraordinary actor has done on this show. 

First of all, Mad Men is not an ensemble show. There’s an amazing cast doing supporting work, yes. Kiernan Shipka, January Jones, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks, John Slattery, and especially Elisabeth Moss all deserve acknowledgement. Nonetheless, its Hamm’s Don Draper who carries the show, and the nuance of his performance is what delivers the show to greatness, matching the lofty ambitions of its writing with flawless execution. 

There are moments when the writers of Mad Men have simply stripped out the dialogue, and allowed Hamm’s face to do all the heavy lifting—to go from serene to angry to defeated in a few seconds. To break down and then build back up. There are times when no words are spoken, because words are for lesser actors. (That's especially true in the series' finale which should be fresh in your memory.)

Now, listen, Emmys. You’ve denied Hamm the award when he delivered the Season 3's The Gypsy and the Hobo, the complete breakdown of his façade, as Betty Draper confronted her husband with the evidence that he was another man. You’ve denied it to him when he delivered The Suitcase, the season 4 episode widely considered Mad Men’s finest hour, a two-hander in which Don falls apart, bit-by-bit, as he and Peggy Olson (Moss) tear apart their complex relationship in one long, grueling, drunken night. 

But how about now? How about an award for the series finale, Person to Person, when he learns that Betty has cancer, and silently, eloquently, lets her know he loves her? How about an award for Field Trip, as Don waits to hear about getting his job back, starting with absolute confidence, believing he is already hired, and bit-by-bit, hour by hour, becomes more nervous and more humble, all without any dialogue directly addressing the fact. Or just, you know, give it to him for kissing Peggy on top of her head as they dance in Season The Strategy.

There are many great actors on television today. I’m not saying other people aren’t worthy. I’m saying no one can do what Jon Hamm does. No one is more complex, more plastic, more impressive. Maybe someone out there is equally good, but no one is better, and seven years is too damn long to wait.


Yes No Maybe So: Johnny Depp and Yet Another Hairpiece in 'Black Mass'

Margaret here... Johnny Depp is struggling -- as much as anyone who commands a ten-figure salary and goes home to a private island can be said to be struggling. His last real hit was the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie in 2011, and it's been even longer since critics have had much nice to say about one of his performances. He's looking for a comeback, and it looks like he may have one in Scott Cooper's Whitey Bulger biopic Black Mass, due later this year.

Warner Brothers recently debuted footage of Black Mass at CinemaCon, and the buzz was very positive. The first official trailer was released not long after, which means we can now weigh in on whether the people who are starting to throw the O-word around are on to something, or just experiencing the power of low expectations.

trailer and YNMS breakdown after the jump 

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Best Actor. April Foolish Predictions

It's that time of year. But judging on your semi-quiet response maybe you weren't quite ready for it yet? Anyway. Light a fire. Whoohoo. It's time to pull out the crystal balls and make stupidly early Oscar predictions.

There are so very many questions to ask about the forthcoming Best Actor race. These are just 8 of them:

• Can Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) be the first back-to-back acting winner in 21 years?
• Will Tom Hiddleston (I Saw the Light) & Don Cheadle (Miles Ahead) do their musician legend biopics proud?
• Will Michael Fassbender prove Michael Fassbender's undoing (5 leading roles this year)?
• Same question for Jake Gyllenhaal (3 leading roles this year)?
• Perennial Write-In Question from Leo "when will it finally be my turn?" 
• Can money-grubbers Will Smith (Concussion) & Johnny Depp (Black Mass) find artistic redemption and thus Oscar favor?
• Can Bryan Cranston (Trumbo) triple-crown by February next year? He's already got the Tony & the Emmy 
• Will any of the old guard (Warren Beatty, Tom Courtenay, Sir Ian McKellen) rise up?
• Will Beasts of No Nation sort out its theater vs online situation so that Idris Elba has a shot?



Yes No Maybe So: Southpaw

If this post were a sportsmovie, it would be like the first hint of a redemption arc to come after a downward spiral. Yes, I'm (gasp) over 48 hours late saying "yes" to Jake Gyllenhaal.

It's always "yes" so what's the rush?

The occasion is the first trailer to Southpaw, Jakey's new boxing movie from director of dark violent machismo programmers Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus has Fallen, The Equalizer). In other words, we'd have no interest at all if it didn't star actors we obsess over. But we're already jumping into the Yes No Maybe So breakdown so let's just get the eternal "yes" that is Jake Gyllenhaal and our Gyllenhaalism out of the way first.

The only thing that could make slo mo and fetishisizing body shots of Jake Gyllenhaal's physique better is if his tattoos were more relatable, like...

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Q&A Part 1: No Actresses! Whatever Will We Talk About?

To try something a little different I asked y'all to ask me questions that were not actress related this week. Hold me, I'm scared.

But sometimes you gotta push out of the comfort zone. Some people disobeyed -- sorry, not answering those! Some people gave me ideas for much longer posts. Others took it quite literally just reversing the genders of a question they'd normally ask. But a lot of interesting questions were on offer this week so we'll split this baby into two this week, feeling generous. Part two tomorrow.

Here's the 8 questions we're answering today including but not limited to favorite (male) stars, awesome film sets, horror flicks, and costume dramas...

DAN: What film set, taking in mind color schemes, evocative moods, and lighting, would you most like to inhabit. Ignore modern conveniences like air conditioning and pleasant smells. 

NATHANIEL: This question is so open-ended so we'll start with the movie that popped into mind IMMEDIATELY whilst reading it and surprised me becasue it wouldn't leave: Vertigo.

There are so many great rooms you could imagine spending hours in. Midge's apartment is like bohemian artist / spinster heaven. And what a view. And who wouldn't make a multi-course dinner reservation at that red red  red restaurant that Scottie spots Madeleine in?


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Q&A: Hitchcock Presents Reader Questions

Oops. The 'Ask Nathaniel / Q&A' column is a Monday experience. And here it is on Tuesday. I blame... what really matters is the blame  somebody to blame. well if that's the thing you enjoy placing the blame, if that's your aim,  give me the blame.

HI EVERYBODY! Are you glad that the themed banner is back up top? I'm going with photography this week so here is a picture of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for laughs before we get to eight reader questions after the jump starring Alfred Hitchcock, Daniel Day-Lewis, Drew Barrymore and The Golden Girls.

Why? I don't know. So, it's your fault then!

Click to read more ...


Eddie is a Danish Girl

Straight from the Oscar stage to the hair and makeup room...

In case you've forgotten The Danish Girl, which had a difficult development period going through different stars and directors (it went through, I kid you not, FIVE Oscar winning actresses before and three directors) is coming out late this year though we had originally been told 2016. That's presumably to give Eddie Redmayne a chance at back-to-back Oscars (I know it's so gross to mention this already. It can't be helped!). The biopic is from Tom Hooper (The King's Speech and Les Miserables) and is the story of transgender Einar Wegener and her transition and surgery to become Lili Elbe "The Danish Girl" with the encouragement of her then wife Gerda. Alicia Vikander, the wonderful Swedish actress from Anna Karenina and A Royal Affair, is playing Gerda so watch for her in Best Supporting Actress. NooooOOOoooooooooo Oscar talk. It can't be helped.

So let's see it's another biopic about a complicated marriage where the wife has to stand by her man who becomes not what she expected him to be after she falls in love with him? Way to mix it up, Eddie Redmayne! I kid I kid. I hope it's good and I hope Eddie is more sensitive and better at handling the difficult press that comes with this sort of thing (especially now that we have real trans actors playing trans roles on TV) than Jared Leto was. The film is really piling on the gorgeousness because Eddie & Alicia's co-stars are Amber Heard, Ben Whishaw and Matthias Schoenaerts. Costumes are by the superb Paco Delgado who was Oscar nominated for Les Miz and also did genius work on Blancanieves and fun subversive stuff for Pedro Almodóvar a couple of times.