Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best Actor 2006: My Ballot

There were six performances by lead actors this year that I would be thrilled to see on Oscar's shortlist. Obviously two of the six aren't coming anywhere near it: One for completely understandable reasons (Oscar just don't do weird sci-fi films) and one for reasons I have yet to fathom. Both play doctors in their films. I guess this isn't the Emmys because neither of them got any awards traction.

But this is my nominee list, not Oscars, not yours. Make your own in the comments.


Adam Luis said...

A very interesting list!

I would have chose:

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
Hugh Jackman, The Fountain
Denzel Washington, Inside Man
Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland
Patrick Wilson, Little Children

DL said...

Great category! I was definitely not expecting McAvoy to place over DiCaprio. Of all the movies I've seen this year (a list which unfortunately doesn't include The Last King of Scotland), I would choose:

-Daniel Craig
-Leonardo DiCaprio
-Ryan Gosling
-Joseph Gordon Levitt "Brick"
-Jeremie Renier "L'Enfant"

I hope Gosling gets the Gold FB.

Paxton Hernandez said...

Good ballot, Nathe! Kind of disappointing to see DiCaprio out since he convinced a lot of people (me included) how brilliant of an actor he is, in The Departed.

My ballot would look like this (in alpha order:

*Michel Coté for C.R.A.Z.Y.
*Daniel Craig for Casino Royale
*Leonardo DiCaprio for The Departed
*Jay Hernandez for Hostel
*Patrick Wilson for Hard Candy

Anonymous said...

Awesome McAvoy shout out. He's in three films in 2007, including "Atonement," so it should be a good year for him.

J.D. said...

Cool list. Great choices. Here's mine:

Matt Damon, The Departed AND The Good Shepherd
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
Hugh Jackman, The Fountain
Clive Owen, Children of Men
Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness

Jeff Anderson, Clerks II
Aaron Eckhart, Thank You For Smoking
Will Ferrel, Stranger Than Fiction
Hugh Grant, American Dreamz
Robin Williams, Man of the Year

RUNNERS-UP: Daniel Craig - Casino Royale; Patrick Wilson - Hard Candy; Brian O'Halloran - Clerks II

I split them up. All together it's probably:


qta said...

I am so happy with this list!
Mine is
Hugh Jackman, The Fountain
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Departed
James McAvoy, The Last King Of Scotland
Daniel Craig, Casino Royale
Ryan Gosling, Half Nelson

Anonymous said...

Yea... mine would be:

DiCaprio (for The Departed)
Ferrell (Stranger than Fiction)
Wilson (for Little Children)

I, unfortunately, missed out on Half Nelson and The Fountain. yay imminent dvds.

Javier Aldabalde said...

Daniel Craig? Brilliant.

Patrick Wilson not even a runner-up? He did lovely work.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Aaron Eckardt down the list there. He practically made that film.

I would have added to those very worthy choices:
- Hugh Jackman - THE PRESTIGE (so many different faces of the same man - and the 'double' acting was brilliant)
- Christian Bale - THE PRESTIGE (some very subtle and not-so-subtle differentiation at the root of this brilliant 'dual' performance)
- Daniel Auteil - CACHE (one of your last year's, I know)
- Barry Pepper and Tommy Lee Jones both for THREE BURIALS (last year, I know)

Runner-up: (as I prepare to be stoned alive)
- Colin Farrell for both MIAMI VICE and THE NEW WORLD... he makes both characters work with minimal info.

Anonymous said...

I can't f*cking believe you snubbed Leo... AGAIN!

However, Craig and Whitaker made it so I'll survive but seriousley, no Leo... having giving such a gripping, intense performance... the best in a killer ensemble? Wow!

That aside, these are some stellar choices. Jackman deserved so much more acclaim for that performance!

Can't wait for the ladies...

don't snub kate
don't snub kate
don't snub kate
don't snub kate
don't snub kate

(the madame boverary scene, the viseral panic breakdown after spying on Patrick and Jen... just about evey damn scene she's in warrant's her a 3rd FB nomination.

Anonymous said...


Daniel Craig - CASINO ROYALE
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE DEPARTED
Hugh Jackman - THE FOUNTAIN
Patrick Wilson - LITTLE CHILDREN

Yaseen Ali said...

The inclusion of James McAvoy? Big finger to category fraud - I love it! The nod for Daniel Craig is also inspired, and most welcome. Although I wish you were able to see Toby Jones's Capote in Infamous, Nathaniel. I have an inkling that Jones and even Bullock would place in the finalist rankings in their respective categories.

Crossing my fingers for Jackman taking the gold here.

Anonymous said...

ryan, Winslet already has four FB nods (wins for Holy Smoke and Iris, medalist for Eternal Sunshine; nomination for Sense and Sensibility. That said, I wouldn't mind a Winslet snub at all - it's a tight category with a lot of worthy candidates.

Yaseen Ali said...

Oh, and I agree with Ryan that Winslet totally deserves to be on the Lead Actress shortlist this year. I know you might leave her off like you did with Pfeiffer and What Lies Beneath (perhaps fear of playing favourites or over-awarding), but she's incredible in the flick (I say this as a total non-fan of Little Children too.)

I'm also hoping that Naomi Watts appears for The Painted Veil.

Anonymous said...

Great lineup, Nathaniel. Mine is almost identical; I just have Leo (for The Departed) instead of Daniel Craig, but Craig's really close.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked and delighted. And I hope Gosling and Whitaker will be getting honors :D
By the way I'm curious if you're going to put Jennifer Hudson in lead or supporting?

russtifer said...

Big up on having McAvoy there, he's among my top five as well! Though...that's yet to be announced. ;)

Arun said...

Haven't seen 'Last King...' yet but its nice to see McAvoy place (in lead, as well). Very surprised at the Leo snub especially since you've always been something of a fan (or am I imagining this? Would you have nominated his work in R + J?)

Also Bruno, Michel Coté in lead for C.R.A.Z.Y.? I loved his work but I felt it was, without a doubt, supporting. Didn't you feel it was the son's story?

Glenn Dunks said...

I haven't had the chance to see Last King of Scotland, The Fountain or Half Nelson (the first two are out in February, not sure about Nelson).

Are you saying you won't actually care if O'Toole takes the Best Actor Oscar? Hmm.

ATM my top 5 would be Gabriel Byrne, Sasha Baron Cohen, Leo DiCaprio, Heath Ledger and Clive Owen.

Yet again, actors just don't really get me as excited.

adam k. said...

Glenn, such a limited pool and you still wouldn't nominate Daniel Craig??? He was amazing.

I'm loving Nathaniel's list. I'm fairly certain my top 4 would be Jackman, Gosling, Whitaker, and McAvoy (in that order). The 5th spot is tight between Craig, Owen, DiCaprio (the brooding actioners), Cohen (unique among the choices) and even Smith, who I liked a lot. Haven't seen O'Toole yet. But I'm starting to agree with Nat that Craig is the real standout in that list. Really tough call between him and DiCaprio, though.

And yeah, Nat, can you really demand so strongly that Leo be nominated for Departed when you didn't actually nominate him yourself? Though I definitely understand the decision to honor the vastly underappreciated Jackman, McAvoy and Craig over him.

Sid said...

Terrific list Nat. Switch McAvoy with DiCaprio and you have my ballot.


to adam ---the way i see oscar nominations is this: as long as the performance is excellent, i'm OK with it. There are usually more than 5 people that are deserving of nominations. I actually do love Leonardo DiCaprio, i don't need Oscar to have the exact same five to be happy with their list. Just as long as all five are great and they don't snub *the* best like they often do.

to glenn-- no, i won't care if O'Toole wins. I mean that's just crazy that he hasn't won.

to everyone -- i'm thrilled that other people love McAvoy. I've been mystified that he didn't get any attention.

Glenn Dunks said...

Adam, Daniel Craig is actually my #6, but I have Gabriel Byrne and Heath Ledger in my mix, which most people do not. Alas, Craig misses out.

Paxton Hernandez said...


About Michel Coté in C.R.A.Z.Y., I agree is the son's story. However, as you may remember, the son is portrayed by 3 different actors. I'm a sucker for screen time, therefore if Michel Coté spends more time on screen I'll go with lead for him.

And the Genie Awards put him in lead, to which I'm pretty much agree.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you went with McAvoy!! He's my runner-up (to Whitaker). Surprised to not see Patrick Wilson at least in the semi-finalists, but great list overall. My personal choices:

01. FOREST WHITAKER in The Last King of Scotland
02. JAMES McAVOY in The Last King of Scotland
03. PATRICK WILSON in Little Children
04. HUGH JACKMAN in The Fountain
05. EDWARD NORTON in The Painted Veil

Anonymous said...

This is the weakest year for Best Actor that I can remember. I haven't seen Last King of Scotland or Venus, but my personal faves (DiCaprio, Cohen, Owen, Damon) wouldn't have even sniffed the top 5 in any of the last 5 years.

Anonymous said...


My list:
Leonardo DiCaprio
James McAvoy (THANK YOU!)
Will Smith
Forest Whittaker
Patrick Wilson


Anonymous said...

My own list looks like this:


with Craig, Damon, Eckhart, Gordon-Levitt, and Owen alternately taking the last spot... Sophie's choice.

Arun said...


That's a very good point. It didn't even occour to me that Cote was indeed onscreen longer than Grondin. Which I suppose is a testament to the three actors who played Zach.

Taking that into account, my ballot would look like this:

1. Ryan Gosling
2. Leonardo DiCapro, Th Departed
3. Clive Owen, Children of Men
4. Ray Winstone, The Proposition
5. Michel Côté, C.R.A.Z.Y.

Honourable mentions to Matt Damon in The Good Shepherd and Peter O'Toole in Venus.

However, I'm yet to see 'Last King of Scotland' and 'The Fountain', which I suspect will have an effect on the lineup.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine anyone who has seen Gosling in Half Nelson would not have him on their shortlist.

Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, Clive Owen and Patrick Wilson. What a yummy group!

J.D. said...

So, from all these lists, there is one thing in common:

Ryan Gosling is excellent.


Damn the February 13th DVD release date!

Anonymous said...

Your list rocks, as always, Nathaniel.

My favorite performance of the year in this category is Melvil Poupaud for Time to Leave.

adam k. said...

Nat, I was just noticing the oddity of your proclaiming he "sure as hell better be nominated" when you in fact did not nominate him yourself. I mean, if he was 6th for you, can you really blame the academy if he ends up 6th for them, too? Unless of course you mean he better be nommed for this as opposed to Blood Diamond. Cause that makes sense.

I'm also a bit mystified as to how Hugh Jackman can be missing from half these lists. Even if you didn't care for The Fountain (which I could understand), you have to admit that Hugh is pretty freakin' amazing. It totally blows the lid off the idea (shared by many) that despite his killer pipes, massive charisma, dance skills, accent skills, and charm, he's not really a "deep" actor and can only do action and fluff. Bitchplease. This was one of the deepest, most soulful performances I've ever seen by anyone. That he can show this level of heart and vulnerability in the same film where he's also an action hero/conquistador and metaphysical deity/Zen figure is just... well, I was floored.

It makes you forget the whole time that he is not even American.


adam --i don't see why this is complicated to say he should be nominated. They are NEVER going to nominated McAvoy or Jackman and since they aren't there's more than enough room for Leo in their list and it's a really strong performance --and yeah, the blood diamond thing i was going to qualify it ;)

adam k. said...

It's not that complicated, I guess I am just reaching for conversation topics.

It's just the principle of not voting for someone and then complaining when they aren't nominated strikes me as a tad hypocritical. I mean, if you actually had an oscar ballot and voted for other people over Leo, could you complain that the academy had bad taste if others also voted for other people over Leo? Even if their choices were different from yours? I dunno, it's like voting for Nader and then bitching about Bush beating Gore (although of course that situation is approximately 40,000 times more regrettable). But you don't have an oscar ballot, so it's all moot. I totally understand what you mean, I'm just making a point about the realities of voting.

Of course, thinking he's inferior in Blood Diamond is another issue altogether... though if you cared enough, you'd throw a vote to his Departed perf to make your voice known. IF you were an oscar voter.

ANYWAY. It's really not that big a deal. People thinking Hugh Jackman not award worthy in The Fountain (for example) is a MUCH bigger deal than this ; )

adam k. said...

And just FYI, I know I sound needlessly bitchy, but I think I just latch onto my few opportunities to take issue with things you say, since I'm in total agreement with you the other 99% of the time ; )

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'd vote for those same 5 actors over Leo, too.

I just find it hypocritical to bitch about someone not being nominated if you didn't do your fair share in getting him the votes.

J.D. said...

I think Hugh Jackman was excellent in The Fountain. Without a doubt, the best performance of his career. Even if it was weak, it still could've been. LOL. But he is certainly award-worthy, it's just that it seems like a performance that critical organizations would honour. It's obvious we all love it.

Anonymous said...

I see no love for either of the leads in THE PRESTIGE? I thought both actors really nicely shaded the dual aspects of their respective characters in that. Guess I'm alone!

Glenn Dunks said...

And that's why awards always end up so as-planned. People's personal faves that have no chance get knocked off for people that do have a shot.

Anonymous said...

I hated Half Nelson, but loved his performance- is that possible?


that's possible yes. on my first viewing i thought he was miles above the film but the second viewing i saw a lot more of what the film itself was doing, too.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a list this year but if I had one, Daniel Craig would be in it. They should not leave him out. He was amazing as James Bond. One of the best performances ever.

Anonymous said...

rms said...

Daniel Craig - CASINO ROYALE
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE DEPARTED
Ryan Gosling - HALF NELSON
Patrick Wilson - LITTLE CHILDREN