Thursday, January 17, 2008

Best Actor 2007, Mine

Since I always complete my FB Nominations (in traditional categories) before the Oscar nominations are announced I'm running out of time. It's going to be a busy busy busy weekend at the film experience --final Oscar nom predictions are coming on Sunday, too.

Mainstream media normally goes crazy in adulation for the the leading men each year while my heart almost invariably beats for the actresses who get less attention for their craft than for "who" they wear on the red carpet. But man oh man (literally) did the men turn it up this year, performance wise. Eight leading turns completely deserved shortlisting in 2007 but there were only five spots to fill. It's an odd and imperfect thing about awardage. A "runner up" in one year, might have been a medalist in another with less competition. There will be finalists... and semi-finalists.

And yours? Which five men led you forcefully through this film year? Do share in the comments.


Glenn Dunks said...

So glad to see Affleck there. He's actually the only one I've seen - Lust Caution was released today and the rest we're are still waiting for.

My top five at the moment (very subject to change) would be:
Casey Affleck, Jesse James
Brendan Cowell, Noise
James McAvoy, Atonement
Ulrich Muhe, The Lives of Others
Sam Riley, Control

Anonymous said...

Sam Riley did his own singing? Whoa, I didn't realise that, it was so Ian Curtis-esque! Makes me even more sad that I don't have room for him in my top 5.

Also, didn't think Benicio del Toro would make it to your shortlist - will Halle even get a semi-finalist in the days to come?

My ballot:
George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Emile Hirsch - Into the Wild
Tony Leung - Lust, Caution
James McAvoy - Atonement

Haven't seen Lars and the Real Girl yet. No love for Ryan Gosling this year, Nath? Sweeney Todd yet to be seen either, although from what I've heard...

Wish I also had room for Riley, Del Toro and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead).

Michael Parsons said...

Have not seen alot yet (TWBB L/C TAOJJ), but would have to say

James McAvoy - Atonement
Gordon Pinsent - Away from Her
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
Sam Riley - Control
Ulrich Muhe - The Lives of Others

Pretty sure Daniel will appear though.

Anonymous said...

It's probably my favourite FB best actor nominee pool ever, although I haven't seen Benicio del Toro.
My list:
Daniel-Day Lewis
Viggo Mortensen
Casey Affleck
James McAvoy
Gordon Pinsent
in this order of preference.

I've just found out you didn't include Tang Wei in your Breakthgough awards and I think it means that we'll be seeing her nominated for best actress, won't we? ;)
My best actress list:
Julie Christie
Laura Linney
Tang Wei
Amy Adams
Ellen Page

Glenn Dunks said...

Amir, not only did Riley do his own singing but the actors playing the rest of Joy Division played all their own instruments. All the performance sequences were done live by the cast.

Dame James said...

I'm also loving the Affleck mention, although I thought he was a supporting actor because the movie's obviously all about Pitt's Jesse James ;)

My ballot as of right now (still haven't seen quite a few, like DD-L in There Will Be Blood):
-Casey Affleck, TAoJJbtCRF
-Don Cheadle, Talk to Me
-Russell Crowe, 3:10 to Yuma
-James McAvoy, Atonement
-Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

Sid said...

My list at the moment:

Casey Affleck, Jesse James
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Brad Pitt, Jesse James

That last slot (Pitt) is still up for grabs though, should I see something else. I haven't seen Things We Lost in the Fire and Lars and the Real Girl, for instance.

Robert said...

so much greatness this year.

Casey Affleck - Jesse James, and thank you Nathan for recognizing that this is a lead performance. the precursor awards deserve to be considered just that... nothing more than Oscar predictors

Daniel Day Lewis - what can you say that hasn't already been said? DRAINAGE!!!!

Ryan Gosling - he puts everything he's got into Lars. Had me weeping like a baby.

James McAvoy - owned his movie every moment he was onscreen. After all, the severity of Briony's crime doesn't work unless he makes you feel it.

Gordon Pinsent - he steals the movie from Julie Christie

Anonymous said...

My Picks for…



Cinesnatch said...

Who is paying the imdb to pimp out Charlie Wilson's War?

Dave said...

So happy to see both Affleck and Leung there- the latter an underrated turn, although I still concede that the film is Tang Wei's. Hope we'll be seeing her too.

With my usual disclaimer (lots to see!), here are my current five:

Casey Affleck, TAOJJBTCRF
Josh Brolin, No Country for Old Men
Jakob Cedergren, Dark Horse
Tony Leung, Lust, Caution
Michael Shannon, Bug

Anonymous said...

My top five performances of the year all happen to be lead roles and men. hmmm....

Daniel Day-Lewis
Casey Affleck
James McAvoy
Johnny Depp
Viggo Mortensen

Anonymous said...

My Ballot:
1. Daniel Day Lewis- There Will be Blood
2. George Clooney- Michael Clayton
3. Johnny Depp- Sweeney Todd
4. Viggo Mortensen- Eastern Promises
5. Josh Brolin- No Country

NicksFlickPicks said...

What a great list! I won't have the same one, but I love your list, and the Affleck, Del Toro, and Leung mentions are totally refreshing, especially in combo: so many different acting styles, but you obviously have a thing for on-screen intensity. (Or else, these actors do.)

Anonymous said...

LOVE this list Nath...It's awesome...and I predicted 4/5 for you...missing Del Toro! Personally I have Affleck and Day-Lewis in my top five along with Crowe (for 3:10 to Yuma), McAvoy and Pinsent...but such a rich year for leading men it's hard to knock off anyone.

J.D. said...

My 5 at the moment are:

Chris Cooper, Breach
Ioan Gruffudd, Amazing Grace
James McAvoy, Atonement
Ulrich Muehe, The Lives of Others
Gordon Pinsent, Away from Her

Mortensen didn't really impress me that much, which confuses me

Anonymous said...

Yeah Mortensen didn't impress me that much either. That accent for a start! I think he's getting recognition this year (and he's a lock now for an Oscar nom too) because it seems about the right time in his career, plus he got his dick out in the film. The nudity clause has jumped categories!

So Day-Lewis, Clooney and Mortensen are locks for Oscar. With Hirsch, Gosling, Depp and McAvoy fighting for the last 2 spots??...

adam k. said...

I'm a bit surprised to see no Depp even in the semi-finalists. You must really have not liked his singing. I actually thought his singing was quite good overall (though transparently amateurish at times, it was VERY expressive and lacking the pretense and overearnestness I find most Sweeneys to have).

Also VERY surprised Gordon Pinsent is nowhere to be seen. I thought he was as good as Christie (and more the lead), and since I Christie is clearly headed to AT LEAST a medal of some sort, this is very disappointing.

And did Sam Riley REALLY do his own singing? That's shocking to me. I remember thinking the whole time, "gosh, he's so good, but his voice is clearly higher than the dubbed singing voice" (kind of like Penelope's in Volver) and that kept taking me out of it. Is that really his voice? I'm shocked beyond shocked (and quite impressed).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for bringing Del Toro into the light. He is one of our finest actors, and I agree with him being on this list.

I would have put Philip Seymour Hoffman's quietly beautiful complexity in The Savages a bit higher on the list. He really bowled me over in that one. So subtle...he ripped my heart out.

I'm still a bit mystified that Linney has been overlooked for her Savage sibling as well.

Ah well, nobody ever asks me.


well if you have to have more 13 to 15 would be something like


but like i said: very competitive year. MUCH stronger than recent years for both lead actor and lead actress

Anonymous said...

Tough category this year. Right now I've got:

- Daniel Day-Lewis
- Emile Hirsch
- James McAvoy
- Viggo Mortensen
- Brad Pitt

Who knows about the favorite? At any given moment, Affleck, Brolin, Hansard, or Leung could be found here. Strong, strong year for the category.

John T said...

My shortlist would include:

James McAvoy
Brad Pitt (I'm going to admit to not being as big of a fan of Affleck's showy turn as Pitt's almost phantom one)
Daniel Day-Lewis
Emile Hirsch
Johnny Depp

With Josh Brolin simmering at No. 6.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for Daniel Day Lewis I would put Christian Bale in the #1 slot for Rescue Dawn. The film doesn't make my top 10 but Bale was magnificent.

Anonymous said...

Daniel Day-Lewis- There Will Be Blood
Viggo Mortenson- Eastern Promises
Tommy Lee Jones- In the Valley of Elah
Mathieu Almaric- Diving Bell and the Butterfly
Samuel L. Jackson- Resurrecting the Champ

Anonymous said...

"If I had a ballot" Post:

Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James
Colin Farrell, Cassandra's Dream
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd

Colin Farrell is obviously an unusual choice and actually should be paid attention to. Other thing is I see simply nothing more than ordinary in Clooney in Michael Clayton and McAvoy in Atonement. How these two get such a ridiculous buzz is beyond me. Both were barely adequate for my liking, dunno.

Aaron C. Thomas said...

Your list is great. The men unmentioned in the comments above who I would add are Tommy Lee Jones for No Country and Rolf Lassgård for After the Wedding. That scene where he breaks down and says "I don't want to die" left me devastated.

Sam said...

I just want to say that I think Casey Affleck is the hottest little guy ever.

adam k. said...

Ethan Hawke for Before the Devil...? He annoyed in that, more than anything. And I thought PSH was marginally better.

Best Actress this year is NOT as competitive as last year or 2004, not even close. I don't think it's even particularly strong. But 2004 and 2006 were seismic.

Anonymous said...

No way Adam! Best Actress is really strong this year! Last year, beyond the strong nominees and a couple others, it was barren. 2004 was very strong too, as was 2001/2. But this year is up there with the best I think...

Anonymous said...

Ooh, I'm so glad you included Tony Leung in your Best Actor list. Both he and Tang Wei were excellent in Lust, Caution.

My top 5:
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Tony Leung, Lust, Caution
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
James McAvoy, Atonement
Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Honorable mentions: Frank Langella, Starting Out in the Evening; Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild; Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah

Anonymous said...

A ridiculously strong year, and I haven't even seen "There Will Be Blood", "Into the Wild", or "No Country" yet (I know, I know, shame on me!). Anyway, my Top 5 right now is looking something like this:

1. James McAvoy, Atonement
2. Christian Bale, Rescue Dawn
3. George Clooney, Michael Clayton
4. Chris Cooper, Breach
5. Don Cheadle, Talk to Me

with Glen Hansard and Richard Gere (for The Hoax) being runner-ups

Matt Noller said...

Nice ballot, Nathaniel. Mine, in alphabetical order:

Casey Affleck, Assassination of Jesse James
Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Gordon Pinsent, Asay From Her

Although it's really a three-way tie for fifth with Gosling, Michael Cera in Superbad, and Michael Shannon in Bug.

Anonymous said...

GEORGE CLOONEY in Michael Clayton
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS in There Will Be Blood
TOMMY LEE JONES in In The Valley of Elah
VIGGO MORTENSEN in Eastern Promises
GORDON PINSET in Away From Her

...with Daniel Day-Lewis winning it (of course).

Anonymous said...

That is a bloody superb list, Nathaniel.

Kurtis O said...

-Daniel Day-Lewis, "There Will Be Blood"
-Emile Hirsch, "Into the Wild"
-Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead"
-Viggo Mortensen, "Eastern Promises"
-Gordon Pinsent, "Away From Her"

*And a BIG shout-out to Mr. Clooney. His focused perf. as MC was by far my favorite work of his to date.

Glenn Dunks said...

Adam, I think Ian Curtis was like that too. He had a very unique way of singing.

On the Benicio Del Toro thing, I felt the exact same about Jude Law for Breaking and Entering the year before. Career best work and nobody seemed to notice.

Sam Brooks said...

My five read quite similar to yours, Mr. Nathaniel.

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Gordon Pinsent - Away From Her
Michael Shannon - Bug
Tony Leung - Lust, Caution

With Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee Jones and Benicio Del Toro just missing out on a spot.

Anonymous said...

James McAvoy, Casey Affleck, Sam Riley, Viggo Mortensen, and Cillian Murphy (The Wind that Shakes the Barley + Sunshine).