Wednesday, July 17, 2013

"The Fifth Estate" and the Year of the Cumberbatch Continues

The first glimpse of The Fifth Estate from director Bill Condon, which should at the very least, surely, be a worthier sample of his talents than his following film (something to do with the epic conclusion of a teen-lit vampire phenom, or something.)  The film follows the story of Julian Assange, notorious founder of WikiLeaks, already the source of the years documentary We Steal Secrets by Alex Gibney.  More importantly, it's the starriest role this year for Benedict Cumberbatch, whose stellar and ubiquitous 2013 should make a startling case for best of year plaudits.

He started out his 2013 claim for uber-ubiquity as Khan (wait, is that generally known, yet?) in May's blockbuster-y Star Trek Into Darkness.  It's surprising that his nearly unanimously acclaimed role as the iconic villain hasn't really mustered any awards pleas from fans and critics, suggesting a diminishing returns effect from the fanboy collective against the film.  Cumberbatch was, nonetheless, compelling, his deep cadence providing a perfect mixture of fright and elegance.

Cumberbatch follows with a supporting role in Steve McQueen's drama 12 Years a Slave, which recently elicited salivary effects from the cineasts after the first trailer arrived a few days ago.   The film is an awards hopeful for Fox Searchlight-- wondering if Cumberbatch's role is enticing enough to merit consideration-- might be difficult considering the vast, and masterful ensemble of the film.

Come Christmas, Cumberbatch will be voicing the role of Smaug in the latest Hobbit chapter, but also be playing the part of "Little" Charles Aiken in August: Osage County, the very Christmas-y film adaptation of Tracy Letts Pulitzer and Tony Award winning play about a dysfunctional family.  Meryl Streep leads as the matriarch.  Another awards hopeful, another sprawling cast.

Which of the millions of Cumberbatch roles this year are you most looking forward to?

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