Sunday, February 12, 2012

Best Great Best Actor Debate

The chart above shows the 2011 Best Actor stands by the awards they won.  Highlighted in red are Oscar nominated, yellow are the sad unfortunate men left outside the Kodak Theater this year.  The green distinguishes the more prolific prizes (they are just way too many critical bodies, industry fawning trophies in any given year.)  They're were a few others who won single prizes throughout the season...Gary Oldman won San Francisco for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Paul Giamatti won Indiana for Win Win, Joseph Gordon Levitt won Utah for 50/50, and Ryan Gosling won a Satellite Award for Drive, however these are the only five to have won a handful of prizes, or prolific ones.

It's interesting at the start of the season, the big question was the highly competitive field Best Actress had, what with Viola Davis, Meryl Streep and Glenn Close all in the question, but that one's been fairly tightened for a while...sure there's still a bit of horse race between Davis and Streep, but I strongly feel that the heat is on Davis to take the trophy.  Meanwhile, it appeared (and really only appeared) that George Clooney was coasting his way to a second Oscar for his performance in The Descendants, but in reality he won as many prizes as Oscar-snub Michael Fassbender, and only a few more than rivals Brad Pitt (at an awkward advantage\detriment as some of critics wins were shared for Moneyball and The Tree of Life), Michael Shannon (outside the Oscar race for his amazing work in Take Shelter) and last minute-possible frontrunner Jean Dujardin, who is smoldering with just as much charm as Clooney for his work in The Artist.

Dujardin's late in the game victories at both SAG and BAFTA make him a serious threat, and awaken something this Oscar race hasn't really seen much of: a breather of excitement.  However, looking at the stats, everyone was a bit vulnerable...all of the five "frontrunners" won at least one major prize...meaning an industry type trophy (Golden Globe, SAG, BAFTA) or a top tier critics prize (NBR, NSFC, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago.)  I like this; I like this a lot.

And a great surprise for Jean Dujardin's substantial performance for The Artist would be delicious icing on the top of a somewhat bland Oscar cake.

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