Friday, January 30, 2009 an Actor!

Not really. But the following 20 men and women do fancy themselves actors of the highest craft. And rightly so. They are this year's acting Oscar nominees.

In the weeks up to the Academy Awards ceremony, I'll be focusing on a specific area of nominations: this week acting, next week writing, the next producing/directing. I'll examine each race very closely and come up with my best judgment about the nominees' chances and who really should and will win.

Best Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Breakdown: Jenkins' real honor is to be nominated. Unfortunately, the guy didn't win at the SAG Awards, which was his best chance to win. Among not only actors, but producers, directors, writers, artists, etc., he won't be able to muster enough support to win. Langella started the season strong, but Rourke and Pitt have bogged him down. Pitt's nomination is more for the movie than for him. That leaves the two most likely candidates- Penn and Rourke. Rourke has the older vote, as well as the comeback vote. Penn has the youth vote and the Prop 8 vote. Simply because of the times, I'm betting on a Penn win. Who should win? Langella embodied the paranoia and disturbia of Richard Nixon. He deserves the trophy most of all.

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway, Rachel Getting Married
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Breakdown: What was said about Jenkins above applies to Leo here. Jolie, like her significant other, won't win because the nod is more for her movie. Streep, Winslet, and Hathway could all walk away with the gold on Oscar night. I'd prefer Streep to win it, because her performance was the most dynamic. The growing faction that LOVES Winslet is hoping she'll win because she's never won. Personally, I don't follow that line of thinking, but her performance is good enough to upset. Finally, there's the incredible breakout that is Hathaway. Her performance was career-redefining, and she deserves the Oscar, but she's going up against the best actresses in America. It would take a miracle.

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey Jr., Tropic Thunder
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road

Breakdown: Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Ledger. Did I mention Ledger?

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei, The Wrestler

Breakdown: The tightest race of the show, just like last year. Also just like last year, it breaks down to four serious competitors: Adams, Cruz, Davis, and Henson. Though Tomei is great, she's so overshadowed by Mickey Rourke she can't see the sunshine for anything. Davis is more deserving for Doubt than Adams is, but Adams' nomination wasn't even expected, so don't be surprised if she pulls a Tilda Swinton and takes this category. Henson is great in her role, but if the Oscars are going to reward a black actress this year, Davis is the more likely of the two. Cruz's Maria Elena is a slow burn throughout Barcelona, and she's great, but it's a comedic performance. In the Academy's eyes, that makes it easier. Davis might suffer from vote splitting with Adams, but I still see her as ultimately likelier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

write something not about movies...

i dont mean that as an insult

i just want to hear some deep thoughts from kevin.

your movie reviews are impressive and since i spend most movies wondering if the guy talking was in the goofy commercial i saw, or "o h my god is that john stamo's... noits not, okay"

-sincerly big mac