Saturday, January 12, 2013

Awards-Nazi Awards nominations: Actor

Guess I'd better get started on these. I was going to leave them for after the Oscars, but it sorta just dawned on me how much time we have to kill until then. I still have a handful of films to see, so I'll start out with some of the categories that I've already pretty much set in stone, such as today's category: Best Actor.

Gotta say, this was by far the toughest one for me to narrow down this year. There are at least ten or eleven absolutely terrific performances that would be welcome here, and the quality of this year's leading men is well represented by the Oscar lineup as well. But tough decisions have to be made, so the five that I chose are:

BRADLEY COOPER in Silver Linings Playbook:
What's remarkable is the uncanny ease with which Cooper shifts from dramatic pathos to wry comedy and everything in between as his character struggles to gain command of his mood swings. He creates a hero worth rooting for in spite of his abrasive personality.

JOHN HAWKES in The Sessions:
Hawkes is brilliant in evoking the understated tragedy of a great mind trapped inside his own body. He brings an endearing wit but naive vulnerability to O'Brien, fully inhabiting the nervous fear and rapturous ecstasy that his sexual exploration brings him.

The raging yang to Hoffman's sober yin, Phoenix crafts a glowering, seething man-animal with which to perform the film's masculine ballet. His elemental, PTS-suffering vet is a fully committed and galvanized characterization.

Trintignant is the emotional core of Amour; moving and painfully authentic. He demonstrates great refinement in his ability to tap into deep feelings of love and loss through quiet gestures and minimalist expression.

Washington offers up arguably the finest work of his career, evoking a tragic yet compelling figure whose arrogance and denial makes him as pitiable as he is detestable. His accomplishment is in persuading us to root for such a selfish yet tragically human character.

Just missed: Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln, Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master, Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, Logan Lerman in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Liam Neeson in The Grey


  1. Good choices. Kind of surprised about no Daniel Day, but to each his own.

    1. His exclusion is just a testament to how tight this category is.

  2. What, no Saruj Sharma? Acting off of a CGI tiger isn't the easiest thing to do, you know.

    1. Indeed, but I tend to value degree of success over degree of difficulty.

  3. I can't really argue with any of these. This category is truly stacked. I suppose I'd say Joaquin is my favorite this year, but I was also quite taken with Jamie Foxx. There was a lot of subtlety to his character's growth, but he nailed it perfectly.