Thursday, February 5, 2015

Awards-Nazi Award Nominations: Best Actor

It seems that every year there are more brilliant leading male performances than five spots can possibly do justice to. Hey, Academy, forget Best Picture... THIS is the category you should expand!

I had no easy task settling on five for Best Actor. Ask me again tomorrow and there could be five new names entirely!

STEVE CARELL in Foxcatcher
Talk all you want about how unrecognizable Carell is, but his embodiment of the unstable John Du Pont would be just as scary without the physical transformation. He delivers his lines with a coarse whisper and a hollow gaze that belie a host of psychological complexes clashing in his liver-spotted head.

RALPH FIENNES in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Fiennes reminds us that the fine art of comedy is also very much in his wheelhouse, rifling off a dense litany of verbose witticisms with the infallible timing of a tightly wound Rolex. He is a priggish delight, and proves greatly successful at channelling the tone of Anderson's wistful yet occasionally prickly humour.

JAKE GYLLENHAAL in Nightcrawler
Lou Bloom's dedication to those entrepreneurial platitudes of his is often played for chuckles as much as it intends to put us on edge. It's a difficult tone for Gyllenhaal to navigate, but he manages to pull it off, and memorably at that. His nightcrawler really worms his way under your skin, and stays there.

We can't know the extent to which Keaton's own history informs his performance, but he's tapped into something truly special here. Ever the versatile performer, he plays Riggan as a grounded human being and as an artist driven mad with equal conviction, building to an epiphany that's as terrifying as it is bleakly comical.

As effective as Oyelowo is at channeling the hair-raising timber and cadence of King's mighty speaking voice, he's even more impressive when grappling silently with the human cost of his crusade. His most affecting moments are not of booming oration, but when he expresses his doubt and shame with the slightest of facial gestures.

Just missed:
BEN AFFLECK in Gone Girl
EDDIE REDMAYNE in The Theory of Everything
ANDY SERKIS in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
CHANNING TATUM in Foxcatcher

1 comment:

  1. Best Actor:

    Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
    Jake Gyllenhaal - Nightcrawler
    Oscar Isaac - A Most Violent Year
    Michael Keaton - Birdman
    Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything