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Entries in Best Actor (173)

Friday
Jan222016

Michael Caine Just Like All of Us: Assumes Leo Will Win Oscar

Dancin' Dan here with your latest Best Actor Oscar news.

In an interview with with Britain's Radio 4, the venerable two-time Oscar winner dared to step in the #OscarsSoWhite quagmire (let's just not go there, shall we?), asking people to be patient "Of course it will come. It took me years to get an Oscar."

More importantly, he reminded everyone about the best part of not being nominated: You don't have to attend the ceremony.

24 hours on an aeroplane and I've got to sit there clapping Leonardo DiCaprio. I love Leonardo, he played my son in a movie, but I'm too old to travel that far and sit in an audience and clap someone else.

And even more importantly, he said aloud what everyone else knows but have mostly refrained from saying out loud: Leonardo DiCaprio is winning the Best Actor Oscar this year. Not that he's voting for Leo, or that this feels like Leo's year, but that he IS winning.

And certainly it seems like Leo's to lose. Who could pose a serious threat to the raw bison liver-eater?

 

Thursday
Jan212016

Oscar in Panic Mode. This Rarely Ends Well...

Readers I'm getting nervous. I love the Oscars. Ever since I saw the shiny gold man on a TV guide cover as a little boy and was all "what is that?" I've been hooked. So their history means a lot to me.

It's actually because of that history that it's fun as well as uplifting to chart their progress over the years in dealing with diversity -- and there has been a lot of progress no matter what the current cultural rage would imply. It's been a thrill to see the "first this" and "first that" over the years. 

But this year things are getting ugly. The Academy often makes terrible mistakes when they're criticized (note all the 'we can't make up our minds' volatility with the rules following The Dark Knight year) and now they'll be meeting on possible rules changes including returning to 10 Picture nominees. President Cheryl Boone Isaacs promises "big changes". Some people are even floating acting fields as big as 10 nominees. This is probably the worst idea I've ever heard in relation to the Oscars. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jan132016

Jacob Tremblay is frighteningly good at being a celebrity already. But will he be Oscar nominated?

Recently Scott Feinberg added Jacob Tremblay to his actual predictions for Best Actor nominations. Yes, Best Actor. While Tremblay is obviously the leading man of Room (he co-leads the first half and essentially takes over in the second) he's been campaigned as supporting because he is a kid and that's how kids are campaigned invariably -- remember when they tried to pretend that Keisha Castle Hughes (Whale Rider) was supporting even though her movie had no other leads. LOL. Not so good times.

Tremblay in Best Actor would be a surprise but it maybe isn't a bad call given the seemingly passion-free zone that is the presumed leaders in that particular race. Though I think we'll only see that "promotion" happening if Room is strong enough to nab a Best Picture nomination (I think it is --see the updated Best Picture chart). On the other hand the actors branch, like most organizations, is subject to the whims of the patriachy and as such little boys have a much harder time nabbing Oscar nominations than little girls probably because no one feels comfortable, subconciously that is, making grown accomplished men step aside for children (but accomplished grown women? "Get out of the way for that little cutie, you old hag!"). The most recent valid comparison point in terms of acclaim and size of role might be Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999) who co-led that picture with Bruce Willis and was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. In that case though the co-lead was of the same gender and Oscar is generally pretty forgiving of category fraud in those cases. At least since 1991's Thelma & Louise, the last film to be nominated for two leading players of the same gender.)

If Jacob Tremblay were to be nominated in Best Actor (and we hope he is) he'd be the second youngest of all time. His exact age is the subject of question; Wikipedia says he was born in October 5th, 2006, which would make him 9 years old right now but IMDb has no birthdate and recent reporting at Entertainment Weekly refers to him as an 11 year old boy. But regardless of where he is between 9 and 11, if he is nominated tomorrow he will not become the youngest Oscar nominee in either male acting category. The record in Best Actor will continue to be held by Jackie Cooper who was nominated for Skippy (1931) when he had just barely turned 9 and he enjoyed a very lengthy showbiz career thereafter (he passed away in 2011). The record in Supporting Actor will continue to be held by Justin Henry from Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) who was nominated at 8 years of age. Unlike Cooper, though, he did not become a showbiz fixture. 

Anyway remember that time in December that Oscar Isaac was talking about his face on Yoplait "go-gurt" and people went crazy for it? So that popped up again on Jimmy Kimmel with Jacob Tremblay as a guest and the child star handled the crowd with future leading man charm offensive... this is all very Dakota Fanning territory if you ask me. Definitely a kid but a kid with hyper-developed confidence who has eery instincts for sitting at the grown up table like he already belongs there and plans to stay.

Well, I do have a delicious face."

Let's hope Tremblay has great grounding at home and people on his professional team who care more about him than his earning potential. The child star path can be treacherous. Historically speaking child stars take one of these four roads after their first burst of fame 

  1. Become a Cautionary Tale: petty crime, drug arrests, self-destructive (too many names to mention)
  2. Enter the 'Where Are They Now' Lexicon Hall of Fame: a disappearing act either because showbiz wasn't for them or showbiz didn't want them after all... or some combo of the two.
  3. Become Showbiz Troupers: many child stars stay in the business when they grow up with wildly varying degrees of success but their initial child star fame remains a crucial part of why they're famous (Anna Paquin, Drew Barrymore, Roddy McDowall, Christina Ricci, Jackie Cooper, etc...)
  4. Ascend: Here's the rarest of outcomes. The actor or actress becomes so popular as an adult movie star once they're grown up that their childhood ascendance becomes an anecdotal part of their history but not anyone's chief focus (Jodie Foster, Christian Bale, Natalie Wood, Liz Taylor)

So best wishes to Tremblay and his team if they choose to pursue the long game of outcomes #3 or #4 or if they take a healthy #2 out if he doesn't stay interested in a few years time. 

OSCAR PREDICTIONS: ACTOR & SUPPORTING ACTOR (Supporting Actor is particularly difficult this year. It's possible to imagine virtually any combination of the top ten as long as Mark Rylance and Sylvester Stallone are accounted for)
NATHANIEL'S BALLOT: My votes in these two categories coming up shortly

Sunday
Jan102016

The Two Leonardo DiCaprios (and Weekend Box Office)

Leonardo DiCaprio is, as an actor, inarguably most attracted to roles where he is mentally or physically suffering often while mourning a dead wife (His infamous "Dead Wives' Club," already quite extensive, got another member this weekend with the spectral presence of his Native American love, never named, in The Revenant). But Leo DiCaprio, the celebrity and movie star, is more tied in the real world to the wildly wealthy playboys that occasionally dot the dramatic resume (Celebrity, The Great Gatsby, Wolf of Wall Street). This is not just because he commands an astronomical fee for acting and has been known to enjoy the fruits of his labor, but because his films in turn attract even deeper pools of money. In other words: he's worth what they pay him. Enter The Revenant, a brutal, arduous, and arguably very quiet drama with brief but intense flashes of excitement, making a mint in its first weekend. It's something virtually no other star could pull off. DiCaprio is just about the only movie star that can convince moviegoers en masse to show up for straight dramas these days -- superheroic powers, franchise branding, or stylized action not required.

More...

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Friday
Jan082016

Who Will Be This Year's Surprising Snub at the Oscars?

Coco here, ready to talk about the current Oscar race and the surprising snubs that wait around the corner.

Last week, I wrote about performances that might get nominated despite not having a lot of precursor support. This week, I'm writing about the opposite. If you're an actor and you're nominated for the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and the BAFTAs, then you're widely assumed to be a lock for an Oscar nomination. This is true for the most part, but there are plenty of instances in which seemingly beloved performances that do great with precursors are nowhere to be found on Oscar morning. This has been especially true in recent years. We've seen at least one such performance be left off Oscar's list in each of the last four years.  

Here's a quick rundown... 

2014 - Jake Gyllenhaal's performance in Nightcrawler popped up at all the right places. What's more, the movie seemed to gain momentum consistently, scoring nominations from practically every awards-giving body throughout January. As you probably know, Jake didn't get the nomination. Maybe Oscar didn't like Nightcrawler as much as we were expecting. After all, the movie only got one nomination for Original Screenplay.  

2013 - This year was a bloodbath as far as snubs are concerned. The most surprising omission was Tom Hanks, who gave one of the best performances of his career in Captain Phillips. The movie scored six nominations including Best Picture, but Oscar couldn't make room for its lead star. Also ignored despite support from SAG, BAFTA, and the Globes were Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks and Daniel Brühl in Rush. Although neither of those films were as beloved as Phillips (Saving Mr. Banks only got one nomination for Original Score, Rush wasn't nominated at all). 

2012 and 2011 stats, as well as 2015 speculation after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan032016

National Society of Film Critics: Love for Spotlight, Carol, Creed....

The last important critics awards have been announced and in the week of Oscar nomination voting too. Though they went with many of the names that have previously mentioned at other stops, they made one particularly welcome new call in Michael B Jordan as Best Actor? But are Oscar voters still looking for suggestions? When you've got a field as potentially anemic as this year's Best Actor race where no one seems all that enthused about the very famous probabilities, dig a little deeper. It can only help! The NSFC, formed in 1966 and the third most important US critics group outside of NYFCC and LAFCA (yes some members overlap since "National" includes multiple cities) spread the wealth. Only Spotlight and Carol took more than one prize. 

The winners and runners up are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec142015

Awards Update: "Mad Max" for OFCS / "Youth" for EFA 

Michael Caine finally takes a prize for YOUTH. But is it too little too late for Oscar to notice?ICYMI in Awardage
"Previously on The Precursors..."  Gotham, Spirit, OFCS, NBR, NYFCC, LAFCA, BSFC, SAG Noms, SAG Ensemble, Golden Globes, Nominee Reactions, BFCA Noms

The Online Film Critics Society jumped on Furiousa's rig to go on George Miller's wild apocalyptic ride.  Mad Max Fury Road took 4 prizes, the clear winner of their annual honors. Carol won both acting awards for women because that's the world we live in... I could see this happening at Oscar too if they also embrace Rooney Mara's fraudulent "supporting" campaign (sigh). I love both of those performances so I want to be happy about it but... you know... it ain't right. Unless they actually tie for Best Actress. But that's only happened once, so...

Kudos to OFCS for breaking the critical sweep for Amy in documentary -- it seemed strange given the hundreds of documentaries released each year that only one film would win things. They went with The Look of Silence.

More on online critics and the European Film winners after the jump...

Click to read more ...