Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Actors

Tuesday, February 23rd marked the official date the ballots were due back to the Academy.  So all is done; pencils we just wait for the magic makers (dread bringers) of PriceWaterhouseCoopers to count.  Unfortunately, recounts have never occurred in Academy history.

Javier Bardem, Biutiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
James Franco, 127 Hours
Colin Firth, The King's Speech

One of the fiercest races this year!  What with the surging momentum of Bardem, juggernaut box office of Bridges' True Grit, hip cool jack of all trades in Franco, and I can't continue.  The race ended last year when Colin Firth nabbed his first Oscar nomination for A Single Man, changed the facet of his Mr. Darcy-plagued career and it was announced his next project was a royalty period flick.  Done, signed, sealed, and statute delivered by Sandra Bullock this coming Sunday.

Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

Here there's a race of Bening and Portman, a classic veteran vs. ingenue race, although calling Portman an ingenue would be fairly false-- she's been acting forever, and her pretty, petite self is almost playing against type in Black Swan.  Portman has won the most critical prizes of the year, as well as the Golden Globes, SAG Award, BAFTA, Critic's Choice vs. Bening's Golden Globe prize and NY Film Critics Circle award.  It's Portman's Oscar to lose I believe, and the case for Bening is more online boredom than anything else, and what if scenarios.  However she's a strong second with her Hollywood royalty, and she's gotten better at playing the game-- plopping herself on Jeff Bridges' lap during the Oscar luncheon and name calling her husband- the Golden Globe winner for 1962 Most Promising Newcomer-- Oscar nomination number four is clearly hers.

Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

A race is brewing between Bale and Rush.  It was moving along swimmingly as Bale won nearly every critics prize, the Golden Globe, Critic's Choice, SAG Award...but then Rush won the BAFTA, cruising along with The King's Speech's royal flush.  What happens now?  Well, the performance itself should lead to Bale all the way, and it would be churlish to bet against him, since he's The Fighter's best hope for a statute, a film that scored 7 nominations, the performance nicely mixes Bale's hardcore physical intensity with a role that's flashy but fundamentally more moving than his previous work.  Plus, Bale has played nice during the awards season; probably helpful that he's been filming throughout.  Though Rush is a close second, and a clearly beloved actor (damn he's already a triple crowner: he's won an Oscar, Emmy and Tony) in the top out for a King's Speech sweep, he could float in.

Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Here's where it gets tough.  The chart shows Leo in the lead-- she's won the Critic's Choice Award, Golden Globe, SAG Award and the most critics prizes, but she's come off a bit loony, and those self-produced FYC ads may have hurt, maybe not.  Carter's won the BAFTA and is in the frontrunner-- supporting actress and best picture have matched often in the past (think: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago and Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind for recent examples), plus she might have a sense of overdue status.  Then there's Steinfeld whose in the most popular film in the group and there might be sense to reward True Grit with a major award.  Adams gives a strong, against type performance (which has worked, she's a movie star on her third nomination), while Weaver is a critical favorite who might prevail, assuming enough voters has watched her small Aussie crime drama.  My point, there's a case for everyone, and this category is the most ripe for surprise.  A betting dude should probably check Leo, since logical awards momentum points her way, but crazy things have happened here before: MARISA TOMEI for My Cousin Vinny.  Carter's win would point a King Speech flush...

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...