Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oscar Predictions Revised: Actor and Supporting Actor

Don't believe anybody who starts shouting about "locks" just yet. It's only September. Both male acting categories look highly competitive. The easiest gets on paper are probably the two men from King's Speech just on account of momentum (Colin Firth) and general awards magnetism (Geoffrey Rush) combined with prime Bait. But most of the competition isn't that clear yet. Toronto will clear some things up but festival reaction can be tricky to read. It's different air that they breathe at festivals. Plus, the first three or four reviews for any given film will not always turn out to be consensus opinion. It takes more than one person's opinion to win traction.

And then you never really know which films will have staying power once the groups who try to sway Oscar voters start announcing their "best".


Here are some big question marks in ACTOR and SUPPORTING ACTOR I see coming:
  • If The Social Network doesn't skew too young and cerebral for Oscar, will they recognize any of the actors and if so, which?
  • If the war drama The Way Back gets a regular release (or even just a qualifier), which actors will get traction. So far reviews are kind to all of them. And what will happen, distribution wise, with Ed Harris's other awards option, What's Wrong With Virginia?
  • The Coen Bros films don't often win acting nods... but when they do they actually win 50% of the time: 2 winners: Javier Bardem, Frances McDormand; 2 losing nominees: Willam H Macy, Michael Lerner. So what will happen with True Grit?
  • Are some of the small films winning acting kudos only going to place at the Indie Spirits?
  • Do we think Mark Ruffalo or Sam Rockwell are finally going to get a nomination... or will both have to wait again?

30 comments:

Hal said...

Does Clooney have a shot?

cal roth said...

Sam Rockwell has the edge over Ruffalo, and the movie doesn't even have to be good. He was in former BP nominees, everybody knows he's excellent and he got Moon last year. Plus: showy role (at least it's what we can see in the trailer). Ruffalo is always too subtle for them. He won't win unless he gets a good biopic with lots of make up to show AMPAS he can act. Like, they can't recognize subtle acting when they see it?

Hardy said...

Bale overdue for a nomination?

Oh come on . . .

Hardy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

Apart from Rush and maybe Ruffalo I think Supporting Actor is unusually hard to predict this year.

MovieNut14 said...

I think Rockwell, Ruffalo and Bale will FINALLY get some recognition this year. They're good actors; they just need proof. And by proof, I mean Oscar nominations.

Julian Stark said...

I'm wondering if any of the newbies (Bale, Rockwell, Ruffalo) can win. Right now my metaphoric money is on Bale, but I could see any of those three winning.

Volvagia said...

Hey, Rockwell was the one of only two great things in The Green Mile (the other? Art Direction) while Michael Clarke Duncan was just a bad co-lead. RAZZIE, anyone?

1999 Supporting Actor:

Gary Cole, Office Space
Stephen Root, Office Space
Sam Rockwell, The Green Mile
Tom Cruise, Magnolia * (winner)
Meat Loaf, Fight Club

1999 Lead Actor Oscar:

Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
Ed Norton, Fight Club
Brad Pitt, Fight Club
Jim Broadbent, Topsy-Turvy * winner
Ron Livingston, Office Space
(Sorry Matt Broderick, but nothing beats the delivery of "And why? So Bill Lumbergh's stock will go up...a quarter...of a point." And where's Russell Crowe in all this? He gets points for dedication, but it's all toward a movie that has NO payoff for the dedication.)

Lead Actor Razzie:

Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
Tobey Maguire, The Cider House Rules
Al Pacino, The Insider

(There's probably many that are worse, but those three were listless and stillborn in those specific movies.)

Volvagia said...

Hey, Rockwell was the one of only two great things in The Green Mile (the other? Art Direction) while Michael Clarke Duncan was just a bad co-lead. RAZZIE, anyone?

1999 Supporting Actor:

Gary Cole, Office Space
Stephen Root, Office Space
Sam Rockwell, The Green Mile
Tom Cruise, Magnolia * (winner)
Meat Loaf, Fight Club

1999 Lead Actor Oscar:

Kevin Spacey, American Beauty
Ed Norton, Fight Club
Brad Pitt, Fight Club
Jim Broadbent, Topsy-Turvy * winner
Ron Livingston, Office Space
(Sorry Matt Broderick, but nothing beats the delivery of "And why? So Bill Lumbergh's stock will go up...a quarter...of a point." And where's Russell Crowe in all this? He gets points for dedication, but it's all toward a movie that has NO payoff for the dedication.)

Lead Actor Razzie:

Michael Clarke Duncan, The Green Mile
Tobey Maguire, The Cider House Rules
Al Pacino, The Insider

(There's probably many that are worse, but those three were listless and stillborn in those specific movies.)

RC said...

I agree - nothing seems "Locked" yet - but I would agree the closest to lock seems like Firth.

Way too many wild cards in the lead race. A lot of potential, but some of them seem highly likely to fall flat.

/3rtfu11 said...

Right now my metaphoric money is on Bale, but I could see any of those three winning.

Sandra Bullock has taught us likeability is everything. Bale lacks this and visible talent.

NATHANIEL R said...

/3rtfull and hardy,
usually when people tell me Bale isn't good or talented i assume that they've only seen him phone in his variations on Batman voice.

there is a lot more to acting careers than just the blockbusters. Bale has done interesting work in the past and will again, god willing.

also "likeability is everything" is not quite correct it's more like "likeability is a lot" ;) because they do sometimes nominate and even hand Oscars to the "difficult" actors but you usually need a penis for them to break that rule. and a breakthrough part.

see also: mickey rourke, sean penn, daniel day-lewis and bill murray in recent years none of whome are exactly "schmoozy and smiley" in the way a Sandra Bullock is.

Dempsey Sanders said...

I hope Bale does in a way, I think Ruffalo won't get it, Sam Rockwell has a good chance.
Very hard to predict

MRRIPLEY said...

They like the ladies cuddly n warm,i say hathaway wins this year with moore winning but in supporting.

can i say it is nice to see hbc away from burton world,she really needed it!!!!

Nate B. said...

Surprised to see BIll Murray so low - just saw Get Low today and I think it's a perfect vehicle for him to receive AT LEAST a nomination.

Michael B. said...

No Jesse Eisenberg in the top 10?

Really?

adri said...

You're right that's it's impossible to tell in September. From what I read about The Way Back, if it does get released, there's a lot of men in the cast that are excellent in it, and could shake up the category (and hopefully win Best Director at last).

For male Leads, at this point, I'd got for Firth, Franco, and Gosling, with two out of Duvall, Giamatti, and Michael Douglas for A Solitary Man.

For male supporting, your lineup is great. I'd go for Ruffalo, Rush, Farrell, Hoffman, and then either of Bale or Rockwell or maybe a surprise, Chris Cooper, Barry Pepper, Vincent Cassel.

Both Actress categories seem to me to be completely up in the air, with only maybe Portman and Bonham Carter staying the course. And if we add in all the supporting actresses in the For Colored Girls ensemble, well, shakeup.

Philip said...

I definitely think James Franco has a great chance.
I thought Mark Ruffalo was possible, but now I don't really think he has a chance...maybe though, maybe.
I def. think Sam Rockwell will be nominated.

/3rtfu11 said...

Nathaniel,

Bale is too rehearsed; which turns all that he does into “I can read your thoughts” “I can see you acting” click, click, click.

Chucky Chan said...

I still think people are really sleeping on Michael Douglas in Solitary Man. Even though he has come out and said he doesn't want the sympathy vote, the Academy may think otherwise because he's had a career year plus all the shit he's gone through. Besides Bardem, Gosling and Firth, it's the best critically reviewed leading male peformance so far this year. Whether he likes it or not sympathy can go a long way. Plus he's on magazine covers, his Wall Street sequel will be coming out soon ( which he's the best in show in that ) and his celebrity may be at it's most highest at the right time. I wouldn't count him out for all those reasons combined.

Erik said...

Can a brother get a supporting shout-out for John Hawkes as Teardrop in "Winter's Bone"?

Wade said...

Eisenberg is getting good buzz for TSN

SoSueMe said...

My sentimental Best Actor picks thus far:

Michael Douglas
Javier Bardem
Ryan Gosling
Colin Firth
James Franco
alt. Paul Giamatti

Anonymous said...

My predictions for Best Actor:

The possible winner of this category -Maybe I'm crazy but I don't heard any other buzz in another category-:

1. Colin Firth - The King's Speech: Real charactr + british Royalty + (Indirectly) WWII + period film + Perfect age for Male winners
2. James Franco - 127 Hours: Real Character + Empathic character + Excellent year + Milk snub + The film has a huge admirers and defenders.

Possible another Hoffman-Ledger exque fight?

Likely:

3. Javier Bardem - Biutiful: Maybe the film received lukewarm reviews, but AMPAS like Iñarritu (at least right now) with 3/3. But Bardem is excellent, he's now a Hollywood star and acclaimed actor
4. mark Wahlberg - The fighter: Real Character + Boxer + bankable star

for the last spot I think we have four possibilities:

1. Robert Duvall - get Low: Veteran + Good reviews for his performances - The film itself is average - Small effect
2. Michael Douglas - Solitary Man: Part of a Hollywood "royalty" + Sympathy vote after his history of cancer battle + His best character in years + Wall street 2 - Overestimation? - Early release of the film - Misogynist backgrund
3. Jake Gyllenhaal - Love and Other drugs: Comedy fave? + Young star - Hathaway's show? - Deception by "Prince of persia"
4. Ryan Gosling - Blue Valentine: Nat, you're right. I think Gosling has more advantage for his type of character -Williams is excellent but her role is not exactly "likeable"- My vote goes to him (at least right now)

For Best Supporting Actor:

1. Christian Bale - The Fighter: Real character + Clearly overdue (Empire of Sun, American Psycho, Rescue Dawn, The prestige, The Machinist...) + Physical transformation + Franchise hit + Male partnership (Not in a romantic sense) with Wahlberg.
2. Andrew Garfield - The social Network: First reviews said he's the best + Plus: Never Let Me Go" + Future star with Spiderman + Real character + Possible one of the big films by the Oscars
3. Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech: As Colin Firth reasons
4. Sam Rockwell - Conviction: The best of the show according many reviews + Maybe only possibility + Another long overdue actor + Physical transformation - The film is average - Maybe is a hit or miss at box office
5. Mark Ruffalo - the Kids are all Right: Another overdue actor + In the film looks sexier than ever + Indie heart film - His role isn't exactly showy enough - He's been ignored before in favor of his female costars (Laura Linney) - The weakest contender of the lineup

Possibilities:
1. Ed Harris / Colin Farrell - The Way Back
2. Oliver Platt - Love and Other Drugs
3. Bill Murray - get Low
4. Justin Timberlake - The Social Network: J-Hud and Mo'Nique opened the door...
5. Vincent Cassel - Black Swan
6. Josh Brolin - true Grit

And my FYC: Zohar Strauss - Lebanon: Well the film is really good and the actors are top notch (Oshri Cohen, Michael Moshonov, Yoav Donat, Raymond Amssalem) but he's excellent in this film and devastating in "Eyes Wide Open". Two excellent performances in one year...

Regan said...

Bill Murray doesn't have anyone to worry about with internal vote-splitting. He should be top five just like Robert Duvall is. Still not convinced of that supporting actor lineup. Ed Harris seems shaky, they won't be so inclined to reward Geoffrey Rush again, Mark Ruffalo nodded would be awesome but I'm not holding my breath, and god help us all if the phrase "Academy Award nominee Justin Timberlake" comes into being. All of that to say that I think that Bill Murray is being seriously underestimated.

Aaron said...

I really hope you're wrong about the Paul Giamatti nomination. He's by far one of my least favorite actors. I find him incredibly annoying and affected in all of his performances.

For the predictions, I'm thinking Firth/Franco/Gosling/Bardem/Duvall (with Bardem and Duvall being the most vulnerable...Idk know if Get Low has any real actual buzz and/or fanbase...and I don't really care how much respect you have as an actor, if no one knows about your film, you're not going to get nominated...

...I'm most curious to see how DiCaprio will play out in the awards season with two great commercial and critical successes under his belt...

...I really have no idea about the supporting actor category, although if The Way Back is in fact released this year, I'm predicting that Ed Harris will be the film's acting nomination...

...rounding out the category, I have Bale/Ruffalo/Garfield (for The Social Network) and Rush...I think Rockwell misses because I feel like Conviction will bomb.

NATHANIEL R said...

aaron -- i'm not a huge Giamatti fan either but we're definitely in the minority.

Anonymous said...

Seems like someone should be talking about Christopher Plummer in "Beginners". Gorgeous reviews from Toronto. Beloved actor waiting to get his due. Different sort of role for him with humor and pathos. What more could they want? (And Ewan sure is having a lovely unsung year of controlled, audience surrogate performances, isn't he?)

sheila kind said...

Best Actor -- I think it'll be Bardem, Gosling (the indie vote easily), Franco, Firth (the likely winner), and some other son of a gun (there's a few to choose from -- Douglas would be the sympathy vote, although he does give a wonderful perf in Solitary Man). I think Rush will take home supporting, but he'll get a run for his money from Bale (who I really don't like much) and probably Rockwell (who I really do like). I think DiCaprio (who I loved in Shutter Island and whose perf in Inception has grown on me after a second viewing) will have to settle for a shitload of money in his bank account instead of oscar recognition this year.

Kris said...

Michael Caine for Harry Brown