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Best Actor Talk

For the second in our series of talks, Thelma Adams, USA Today’s Susan Wloszczyna talk about Best Actor.

Since our talk, I’ve seen Moneyball.  Best Actor is boiling down to a few strong performances out a large group of actors this year.  Brad Pitt is going to be a force to be reckoned with I have a feeling: sometimes these things just happen and it’s nothing to do with anything but a kind of organic eruption of buzz and good will. This happened for Sandra Bullock and The Blind Side and, depending on box office and final review tallys from New York and LA, could happen with Mr. Pitt.  Again, I have to kind of eat crow because Scott Feinberg (now with the Hollywood Reporter) and Jeff Wells both said so and I fought them on it.  At any rate, the more people say about it now the less of a chance it has to happen.  So, one tries not to overhype.  Nonetheless, here is sampling of our talk.

Tom Hardy? Gerard Butler? Head on over to Thelmadams.com to read up.

0 Comments on this Post

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio (J.Edgar)
    George Clooney (The Descendants)
    Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
    Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
    Michael Fassbender (Shame)

    My sixth is Pitt and the only reason I even dare to suggest he won’t get in despite the stunning reviews and probably strong Box Office, is the simple fact that he could be the frontrunner in the supporting category for The Tree of Life. And though I have no idea who will be snubbed in the end, I REALLY hope Fassbender’s extraordinary year will be recognized by the Academy when all is said and done.
    I think DiCaprio will soon become unstoppable UNLESS the film of one of the contenders’ becomes THE one to beat in the best picture category…The Artist ? The Descendants ? Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ? Anyway, I wrote a lenghty comment about this in the J.Edgar trailer-discussion, here it is :

    “This trailer just proved what we’ve all known already : J.Edgar is a carefully calculated project that’s sole purpose is to get Leonardo DiCaprio “his effin Oscar”. To succeed, he needed

    – a strong director, one that can deliver the crucial bp-bd nominations
    – a remarkably baity lead role preferably based on an iconic historical figure
    – a strong script written by someone who has some experience in the genre (Milk’s Dustin Lance Black)
    – a strong cast that will give the film even more prestige BUT not flashy enough characters to outshine him
    – flashy production values that will get the film into several technical categories (art direction, make-up etc.)

    Sure, it looks like a carefully calculated ‘Oscar-movie’…but to be fair, whether we like it or not, that’s what the Academy usually goes for. So even though I’m not crazy about this trailer, I think NOBODY will stop DiCaprio this year : Clooney has already won, Pitt has a much better shot at the supporting category, Dujardin’s reward will be probably the nomination, and unfortunately even if Fassbender gave THE best performance, he will be lucky to get nominated with all those NC17-stuff the Academy usually loathes. Gary Oldman might become his biggest rival, but at the end of the day, DiCaprio will be a popular MOVIE STAR with 4(!) nominations under his belt, meanwhile Gary Oldman – who is fantastic by the way – will be still a first-time nominee character actor.

    UNLESS the film of one of the contenders’ becomes THE best picture frontrunner (The Descendants, The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; probably not Moneyball or Shame, former might be too conventional, latter might be too extreme), it will be DiCaprio’s to lose this year…

    P.S. Armie Hammer seems to have at least one ‘Oscar-scene’, so I guess we should start considering him seriously in the supporting actor category, Eastwood’s supporting men have been often succesful when it came to the Oscars (Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Gene Hackman). I don’t think he could win instead of Brad Pitt, but a nomination seems likely now and considering how young he is, that would be a reward itself.”

  2. Leonardo DiCaprio (J.Edgar)
    George Clooney (The Descendants)
    Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
    Gary Oldman (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy)
    Michael Fassbender (Shame)

    My sixth is Pitt and the only reason I even dare to suggest he won’t get in despite the stunning reviews and probably strong Box Office, is the simple fact that he could be the frontrunner in the supporting category for The Tree of Life. And though I have no idea who will be snubbed in the end, I REALLY hope Fassbender’s extraordinary year will be recognized by the Academy when all is said and done.
    I think DiCaprio will soon become unstoppable UNLESS the film of one of the contenders’ becomes THE one to beat in the best picture category…The Artist ? The Descendants ? Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ? Anyway, I wrote a lenghty comment about this in the J.Edgar trailer-discussion, here it is :

    “This trailer just proved what we’ve all known already : J.Edgar is a carefully calculated project that’s sole purpose is to get Leonardo DiCaprio “his effin Oscar”. To succeed, he needed

    – a strong director, one that can deliver the crucial bp-bd nominations
    – a remarkably baity lead role preferably based on an iconic historical figure
    – a strong script written by someone who has some experience in the genre (Milk’s Dustin Lance Black)
    – a strong cast that will give the film even more prestige BUT not flashy enough characters to outshine him
    – flashy production values that will get the film into several technical categories (art direction, make-up etc.)

    Sure, it looks like a carefully calculated ‘Oscar-movie’…but to be fair, whether we like it or not, that’s what the Academy usually goes for. So even though I’m not crazy about this trailer, I think NOBODY will stop DiCaprio this year : Clooney has already won, Pitt has a much better shot at the supporting category, Dujardin’s reward will be probably the nomination, and unfortunately even if Fassbender gave THE best performance, he will be lucky to get nominated with all those NC17-stuff the Academy usually loathes. Gary Oldman might become his biggest rival, but at the end of the day, DiCaprio will be a popular MOVIE STAR with 4(!) nominations under his belt, meanwhile Gary Oldman – who is fantastic by the way – will be still a first-time nominee character actor.

    UNLESS the film of one of the contenders’ becomes THE best picture frontrunner (The Descendants, The Artist, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; probably not Moneyball or Shame, former might be too conventional, latter might be too extreme), it will be DiCaprio’s to lose this year…

    P.S. Armie Hammer seems to have at least one ‘Oscar-scene’, so I guess we should start considering him seriously in the supporting actor category, Eastwood’s supporting men have been often succesful when it came to the Oscars (Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, Gene Hackman). I don’t think he could win instead of Brad Pitt, but a nomination seems likely now and considering how young he is, that would be a reward itself.”

  3. Does “well-Jung” (as said by Thelma) in regards to Michael Fassbender mean what I think it means? Or is my mind just dirty?

  4. Does “well-Jung” (as said by Thelma) in regards to Michael Fassbender mean what I think it means? Or is my mind just dirty?

  5. I, for one, hope Pitt gets recognized for either “tree of life” or “moneyball” (if he’s as good in it as people say, i haven’t seen it) or both. He’s been a good actor for 20 years, but he’s really kicked it up a notch the last 5 years with Babel, Jesse James (best performance i think), Burn After Reading, Ben Button, Basterds, Tree of Life, and Moneyball and he deserves to get recognized for it. This is a great looking guy that has never settled for being a movie star or a sex icon. He works with the coens, malick, fincher, (tried like hell to work with aronofsky and get the fountain off the ground), etc and it seems like he is possessed to do artistic and lasting movies and is not, seemingly, in the slightest, box office driven.

  6. I, for one, hope Pitt gets recognized for either “tree of life” or “moneyball” (if he’s as good in it as people say, i haven’t seen it) or both. He’s been a good actor for 20 years, but he’s really kicked it up a notch the last 5 years with Babel, Jesse James (best performance i think), Burn After Reading, Ben Button, Basterds, Tree of Life, and Moneyball and he deserves to get recognized for it. This is a great looking guy that has never settled for being a movie star or a sex icon. He works with the coens, malick, fincher, (tried like hell to work with aronofsky and get the fountain off the ground), etc and it seems like he is possessed to do artistic and lasting movies and is not, seemingly, in the slightest, box office driven.

  7. Very stimulating discussion from you three irrestible Oscar ladies. VERY interesting. And Susan very much the most so. Thelma was a guess on my show at TIFF which you can see on my channel at You Tube, and she VERY much loved “A Dangerous Method” and I did not, and I think she was absolutely SHOCKED! Shocked! At my negative reaction to it. I was bored stiff. Watching paint dry, etc. even in turn of the century Vienna.

    Michael Fassbender has, as they say, arrived. But he was dull, dull, dull on Jung. Not having seen Shame yet(Can’t wait! Was shut out by packed critics screening at TIFF) as I think Thelma was, too. And yes, as Thelma so drolly puts it Michael is well-Jung.

    But some people, like Jeff Wells, as one big for instance, was put off by the constant in-your-face full frontal Fassbender. Me, I can’t wait! But I think Jeff’s reaction is going to be the one the academy males have to Shame, too.

    And the interesting point that was made that Fox Searchlight has TWO Best Actor contenders in Clooney & Fassbender. Are they hedging their bets? Will one not make it?

    And Susan was very sharp in including Gerard Butler and also Dominic Cooper. Cooper plays a TRIPLE role in “Devil’s Double” and its’ distributor, Lionsgate(?) is going to do an all out DVD onslaught on the Academy and we know how effective that can be when THEY do it.

    And Thelma’s just WRONG about ruling out Gerard Butler. With these two surprising SHOCKING(even) serious performances of his in “Machine Gun Preacher” AND “Corilanus” which you KNOW Harvey is going to make sure EVERYone in the Academy sees, and they’ll see, in both films a brand new Gerard Butler, who they haven’t seen before.

    And I thought Thelma’s and Susan’s takes on Leo were very telling. I’d been thinking exactly the same thing. And I also agree that Ryan G. is sort of failing in this bunch…Too young for the room this year.

    Haven’t seen Pitt or Clooney yet but they do seem the purported front runners. And Pitt’s never won an Oscar. This could be his year.

  8. Very stimulating discussion from you three irrestible Oscar ladies. VERY interesting. And Susan very much the most so. Thelma was a guess on my show at TIFF which you can see on my channel at You Tube, and she VERY much loved “A Dangerous Method” and I did not, and I think she was absolutely SHOCKED! Shocked! At my negative reaction to it. I was bored stiff. Watching paint dry, etc. even in turn of the century Vienna.

    Michael Fassbender has, as they say, arrived. But he was dull, dull, dull on Jung. Not having seen Shame yet(Can’t wait! Was shut out by packed critics screening at TIFF) as I think Thelma was, too. And yes, as Thelma so drolly puts it Michael is well-Jung.

    But some people, like Jeff Wells, as one big for instance, was put off by the constant in-your-face full frontal Fassbender. Me, I can’t wait! But I think Jeff’s reaction is going to be the one the academy males have to Shame, too.

    And the interesting point that was made that Fox Searchlight has TWO Best Actor contenders in Clooney & Fassbender. Are they hedging their bets? Will one not make it?

    And Susan was very sharp in including Gerard Butler and also Dominic Cooper. Cooper plays a TRIPLE role in “Devil’s Double” and its’ distributor, Lionsgate(?) is going to do an all out DVD onslaught on the Academy and we know how effective that can be when THEY do it.

    And Thelma’s just WRONG about ruling out Gerard Butler. With these two surprising SHOCKING(even) serious performances of his in “Machine Gun Preacher” AND “Corilanus” which you KNOW Harvey is going to make sure EVERYone in the Academy sees, and they’ll see, in both films a brand new Gerard Butler, who they haven’t seen before.

    And I thought Thelma’s and Susan’s takes on Leo were very telling. I’d been thinking exactly the same thing. And I also agree that Ryan G. is sort of failing in this bunch…Too young for the room this year.

    Haven’t seen Pitt or Clooney yet but they do seem the purported front runners. And Pitt’s never won an Oscar. This could be his year.

  9. christiannnw

    I’m fairly certain that considering she hasn’t seen ‘Shame’ and the context doesn’t suggest what you do, she meant Fassbender is YOUNG for the big one…and under “the big one” I mean the Best Actor Oscar :)

  10. christiannnw

    I’m fairly certain that considering she hasn’t seen ‘Shame’ and the context doesn’t suggest what you do, she meant Fassbender is YOUNG for the big one…and under “the big one” I mean the Best Actor Oscar :)

  11. Sasha, I notice that you don’t have Brad Pitt on the Contender Tracker for supporting actor in Tree of Life. Are you sceptical about his chances just? I know this isn’t directly related to this post, but I wonder if this means you think the buzz for his performance in Moneyball will outweigh that for Tree?

    I’m only mentioning this because I do think that he’s likely to receive much more attention for Moneyball, and that his performance in The Tree of Life is perhaps likely to be largely ignored.

  12. Sasha, I notice that you don’t have Brad Pitt on the Contender Tracker for supporting actor in Tree of Life. Are you sceptical about his chances just? I know this isn’t directly related to this post, but I wonder if this means you think the buzz for his performance in Moneyball will outweigh that for Tree?

    I’m only mentioning this because I do think that he’s likely to receive much more attention for Moneyball, and that his performance in The Tree of Life is perhaps likely to be largely ignored.

  13. Phantom, did you SEE the J Edgar trailer? DiCaprio looked ludicrous, with that phony accent and hideous old-age make-up — like a high school drama student trying to play grown-up. The whole thing looks overblown and campy.
    I think we’ll have to wait for his Gatsby.

  14. Phantom, did you SEE the J Edgar trailer? DiCaprio looked ludicrous, with that phony accent and hideous old-age make-up — like a high school drama student trying to play grown-up. The whole thing looks overblown and campy.
    I think we’ll have to wait for his Gatsby.

  15. mickey, people said similar things about Bullock, when the The Blind Side trailer came out. The truth is the Academy has a “type”, a type they usually go for whether it’s good or it is SUPPOSED to be good but really isn’t. We haven’t seen J. Edgar yet, but my guess is the performance will be the Academy’s “type” whether it’s good or it is just SUPPOSED to be good but really isn’t…

  16. mickey, people said similar things about Bullock, when the The Blind Side trailer came out. The truth is the Academy has a “type”, a type they usually go for whether it’s good or it is SUPPOSED to be good but really isn’t. We haven’t seen J. Edgar yet, but my guess is the performance will be the Academy’s “type” whether it’s good or it is just SUPPOSED to be good but really isn’t…

  17. Scott (the other one)

    Haven’t seen Moneyball, nothing against Pitt, but I really don’t see a baseball movie winning pic or actor. Pitt was great in The Tree of Life, though!

    Sasha — you suggest that Leo might have a better chance to be nominated ifJ. Edgar had been directed by Scorsese rather than Eastwood. That made me curious about the stats. On a quick, unaudited count, Eastwood has directed more Oscar-winning actors — five to Scorsese’s four.

    Eastwood: Hackman/Unforgiven, Penn & Robbins/Mystic River, Swank & Freeman/Million $ Baby.
    Scorsese: De Niro/Raging Bull, Newman/Color of Money, Pesci/Goodfellas, Blanchett/Aviator.

    But Scorsese definitely wins if nominations are included (17 -9 I think).

    Scorsese — Taxi Driver 2, Raging Bull 2, Color of Money 2, Goodfellas 2, Cape Fear 2, Age of Innocence 1, Casino 1, Gangs of NY 1, Aviator 3, Departed 1.

    Eastwood — Unforgiven 2, Madison County 1, Mystic River 2, Million $ Baby 2, Invictus 2

  18. Scott (the other one)

    Haven’t seen Moneyball, nothing against Pitt, but I really don’t see a baseball movie winning pic or actor. Pitt was great in The Tree of Life, though!

    Sasha — you suggest that Leo might have a better chance to be nominated ifJ. Edgar had been directed by Scorsese rather than Eastwood. That made me curious about the stats. On a quick, unaudited count, Eastwood has directed more Oscar-winning actors — five to Scorsese’s four.

    Eastwood: Hackman/Unforgiven, Penn & Robbins/Mystic River, Swank & Freeman/Million $ Baby.
    Scorsese: De Niro/Raging Bull, Newman/Color of Money, Pesci/Goodfellas, Blanchett/Aviator.

    But Scorsese definitely wins if nominations are included (17 -9 I think).

    Scorsese — Taxi Driver 2, Raging Bull 2, Color of Money 2, Goodfellas 2, Cape Fear 2, Age of Innocence 1, Casino 1, Gangs of NY 1, Aviator 3, Departed 1.

    Eastwood — Unforgiven 2, Madison County 1, Mystic River 2, Million $ Baby 2, Invictus 2

  19. as of right now Oldman, Fassbender and The Artist are locked

  20. as of right now Oldman, Fassbender and The Artist are locked

  21. @ Scott (the other one): Martin Scorsese also directed “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, which won Ellen Burstyn a lead actress oscar.

    With that, Clint Eastwood and Scorsese would be tied as far as directing actors to oscar wins goes.

  22. @ Scott (the other one): Martin Scorsese also directed “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”, which won Ellen Burstyn a lead actress oscar.

    With that, Clint Eastwood and Scorsese would be tied as far as directing actors to oscar wins goes.

  23. Scott (the other one)

    Christian — wow, how could i forget my single favourite Scorsese movie?????!!!!!!! (The warmest, most human movie he ever made, IMO.) Thx.

    And when you add the nom for Dianne Ladd, the nom count become 19-9 for Scorsese,

  24. Scott (the other one)

    Christian — wow, how could i forget my single favourite Scorsese movie?????!!!!!!! (The warmest, most human movie he ever made, IMO.) Thx.

    And when you add the nom for Dianne Ladd, the nom count become 19-9 for Scorsese,

  25. austin111

    As for Leo’s perf in J. Edgar, I’m still intrigued by the supposed folks Scott Feinberg mentioned in his piece about oscar coming down to Pitt v. DiCaprio. The ones whom he said had no particular investment in J. Edgar but who said DiCaprio’s performance would be very hard to beat. I refuse to accept the negative commentary on this board directed at a fucking trailer, which I didn’t find anywhere near as offensive or ludicrous as some wish to believe. I think it is wishful thinking on their part due to anyone being in competition with their faves. That plus a huge build-up that had no where to go but down.

  26. austin111

    As for Leo’s perf in J. Edgar, I’m still intrigued by the supposed folks Scott Feinberg mentioned in his piece about oscar coming down to Pitt v. DiCaprio. The ones whom he said had no particular investment in J. Edgar but who said DiCaprio’s performance would be very hard to beat. I refuse to accept the negative commentary on this board directed at a fucking trailer, which I didn’t find anywhere near as offensive or ludicrous as some wish to believe. I think it is wishful thinking on their part due to anyone being in competition with their faves. That plus a huge build-up that had no where to go but down.

  27. There’s always a surprise contender and i feel like it be joseph gordon levitt, his campaign seems to be heating up as well as the support. I don’t know about fassbender, from what i read the film and the performance seem to be too out there for the academy.

  28. There’s always a surprise contender and i feel like it be joseph gordon levitt, his campaign seems to be heating up as well as the support. I don’t know about fassbender, from what i read the film and the performance seem to be too out there for the academy.

  29. I really hope Tom Hardy isn’t forgotten so I’m glad he’s been brought up in this article.

    I think he did a great job in Warrior. I saw it once in Boston opening weekend and then again with my mom this Monday. Both times I was sadly in a room with less than a dozen people. This isn’t fair. I don’t know why people aren’t drawn to it. Maybe it’s fight movie fatigue. The Fighter is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Or maybe it hit at a bad time. I understand that the weekend of it’s release was a big college football weekend (sports fans should have been it’s base) and also it was back to school time. So maybe people were preoccupied with other things? I dunno. But I do know that on twitter 99.9% of people who saw it loved it. Which is why I think the strategy should be to get the buzz it should have already around Christmastime, assuming the DVD will be out my then. If not, they’ll blow whatever chance the movie, and Tom Hardy specifically, have left. (Redbox, FTW!)

    I’m going to go into the majorest spoilers about Warrior so if you haven’t seen it, go away now.
    .
    .
    .
    Okay you know how the word on the movie before you see it is that you don’t want to root for one of them? This is false. I was rooting 100% for Tommy. When I left the theater with my mom I asked her if she liked it. She said, “Yeah but… I feel like beating someone up.” I asked why. And she said, “Tommy should have won.” Now apart from missing the boat on an ending people may have wanted, I think people really like Tom Hardy. I think we already knew that after Inception. He was a co-star to Leonardo DiCaprio and people came away asking “Who was the English guy?” He’s very magnetic. I think probably reading the script for Warrior you might have been torn between Conlon brothers, but in the movie I think the deciding factor is Hardy’s likability. They should be using that.

    I’ve already complained about the fact that when this film came out he was nowhere to be found on any talk shows. Maybe it’s a strategy. Maybe they’re waiting until December for him to promote both this and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But if that’s the case they better get him on right in the middle of nominating time, and I mean before the Globes do their nominations. He should win something there. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t. I don’t know if with the new rules they’ll be able to schmooze with the HFPA the way they always have but if they still can, he’d better. I don’t want him to miss out because people don’t know who he is yet. I think he’s following the Benicio Del Toro “Oh that guy… I love that guy!” trajectory. It took Benicio too long to get recognized, imo. I don’t want it to happen again.

    (btw, my mom is 76.)

  30. I really hope Tom Hardy isn’t forgotten so I’m glad he’s been brought up in this article.

    I think he did a great job in Warrior. I saw it once in Boston opening weekend and then again with my mom this Monday. Both times I was sadly in a room with less than a dozen people. This isn’t fair. I don’t know why people aren’t drawn to it. Maybe it’s fight movie fatigue. The Fighter is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Or maybe it hit at a bad time. I understand that the weekend of it’s release was a big college football weekend (sports fans should have been it’s base) and also it was back to school time. So maybe people were preoccupied with other things? I dunno. But I do know that on twitter 99.9% of people who saw it loved it. Which is why I think the strategy should be to get the buzz it should have already around Christmastime, assuming the DVD will be out my then. If not, they’ll blow whatever chance the movie, and Tom Hardy specifically, have left. (Redbox, FTW!)

    I’m going to go into the majorest spoilers about Warrior so if you haven’t seen it, go away now.
    .
    .
    .
    Okay you know how the word on the movie before you see it is that you don’t want to root for one of them? This is false. I was rooting 100% for Tommy. When I left the theater with my mom I asked her if she liked it. She said, “Yeah but… I feel like beating someone up.” I asked why. And she said, “Tommy should have won.” Now apart from missing the boat on an ending people may have wanted, I think people really like Tom Hardy. I think we already knew that after Inception. He was a co-star to Leonardo DiCaprio and people came away asking “Who was the English guy?” He’s very magnetic. I think probably reading the script for Warrior you might have been torn between Conlon brothers, but in the movie I think the deciding factor is Hardy’s likability. They should be using that.

    I’ve already complained about the fact that when this film came out he was nowhere to be found on any talk shows. Maybe it’s a strategy. Maybe they’re waiting until December for him to promote both this and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. But if that’s the case they better get him on right in the middle of nominating time, and I mean before the Globes do their nominations. He should win something there. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t. I don’t know if with the new rules they’ll be able to schmooze with the HFPA the way they always have but if they still can, he’d better. I don’t want him to miss out because people don’t know who he is yet. I think he’s following the Benicio Del Toro “Oh that guy… I love that guy!” trajectory. It took Benicio too long to get recognized, imo. I don’t want it to happen again.

    (btw, my mom is 76.)

  31. Tom Hardy said that THe Wettest County may be released in December.

    His character in it is all behavior, all emotion, very little dialogue. Like Gosling’s in Drive, except he doesn’t stand still as much and actually shows reactions on his face.

    If the movie comes out, I think Hardy will be a lock for a nomination because he is so good in the film.

  32. Tom Hardy said that THe Wettest County may be released in December.

    His character in it is all behavior, all emotion, very little dialogue. Like Gosling’s in Drive, except he doesn’t stand still as much and actually shows reactions on his face.

    If the movie comes out, I think Hardy will be a lock for a nomination because he is so good in the film.

  33. @Vitality Hmm… I don’t trust the lack of release date. I hope so. :D

  34. @Vitality Hmm… I don’t trust the lack of release date. I hope so. :D

  35. austin111

    It should be an interesting “critics” awards year. Maybe the awards won’t be so top heavy in favor of any one actor for a change. MAYBE. I can see Pitt, Dujardin and maybe (or exclusively) Fassbender taking a lot of these things. I can see Fassbender doing the Independent Spirit Best Actor, however. I doubt anyone else will make much of a dent with the critics, though. These just seem most likely, although maybe Clooney can do it. Don’t see Oldman. Don’t see Dicaprio, although his performance has not been seen yet ( a trailer does not a performance make, however). Or anyone else really.

  36. austin111

    It should be an interesting “critics” awards year. Maybe the awards won’t be so top heavy in favor of any one actor for a change. MAYBE. I can see Pitt, Dujardin and maybe (or exclusively) Fassbender taking a lot of these things. I can see Fassbender doing the Independent Spirit Best Actor, however. I doubt anyone else will make much of a dent with the critics, though. These just seem most likely, although maybe Clooney can do it. Don’t see Oldman. Don’t see Dicaprio, although his performance has not been seen yet ( a trailer does not a performance make, however). Or anyone else really.

  37. Brad Pitt is always a part of extraordinarily interesting projects and most of the time (not always) he is the least interesting part of them.

  38. Brad Pitt is always a part of extraordinarily interesting projects and most of the time (not always) he is the least interesting part of them.

  39. @GoOnNow- I might agree with you in the early parts of Pitt’s career, but lately he has shown such maturity and range with his projects. I think he has shaped up to become one of the best actors working today, not playing it safe and doing interesting projects that challenge his abilities and force him to reveal new layers. I commend him on that.

  40. @GoOnNow- I might agree with you in the early parts of Pitt’s career, but lately he has shown such maturity and range with his projects. I think he has shaped up to become one of the best actors working today, not playing it safe and doing interesting projects that challenge his abilities and force him to reveal new layers. I commend him on that.

  41. And my guess is that if Jeff Wells and all the other so called males who saw Shame or will see Shame and were or will be put off by Fassbender’s full frontal were sitting there watching Sofia Vergara prancing around in the same manner they would have been sucking their fingers.

  42. And my guess is that if Jeff Wells and all the other so called males who saw Shame or will see Shame and were or will be put off by Fassbender’s full frontal were sitting there watching Sofia Vergara prancing around in the same manner they would have been sucking their fingers.

  43. Jackie Chan- 1911 Revolution.

  44. Jackie Chan- 1911 Revolution.

  45. Simon Warrasch

    @ Phanton

    I totally agree with you! I also see those 5 Actors at the nominees list! Who are:

    Leonardo Di Caprio – J. Edgar
    Jean Dujardin – The Arist
    Michael Fassbender – Shame
    Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    George Clooney – The Descendandts

    But that’s just the prediction from Phanton, me and a few others!

    But i think we all are talking about that Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney or Gary Oldman will win but i think that there is another brilliant actor who will win in the end this little golden guy and his name is: Mr. Brad Pitt!
    Because, Brad Pitt is definitely one of the most brilliant actors working today! His phenomenal, remarkable and brilliant work in the past include 7, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, Snatch, Babel, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Burn after Reading, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Inglourious Basterds.

    And with a great Supporting Performance this year in The Tree of Life and a touching role in one of the feel good movies of the year (and oscar love that) he is my favourite!

    But if i can pick my personal favourite 5 Leading Male Performances, i would pick:

    – MILAN PESCHEL – HALT AUF FREIER STRECKE
    – MICHAEL FASSBENDER – SHAME
    – CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – BARRYMORE
    – RYAN GOSLING – DRIVE
    – JEAN DUJARDIN – THE ARTIST

  46. Simon Warrasch

    @ Phanton

    I totally agree with you! I also see those 5 Actors at the nominees list! Who are:

    Leonardo Di Caprio – J. Edgar
    Jean Dujardin – The Arist
    Michael Fassbender – Shame
    Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
    George Clooney – The Descendandts

    But that’s just the prediction from Phanton, me and a few others!

    But i think we all are talking about that Leonardo DiCaprio or George Clooney or Gary Oldman will win but i think that there is another brilliant actor who will win in the end this little golden guy and his name is: Mr. Brad Pitt!
    Because, Brad Pitt is definitely one of the most brilliant actors working today! His phenomenal, remarkable and brilliant work in the past include 7, 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, Snatch, Babel, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Burn after Reading, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Inglourious Basterds.

    And with a great Supporting Performance this year in The Tree of Life and a touching role in one of the feel good movies of the year (and oscar love that) he is my favourite!

    But if i can pick my personal favourite 5 Leading Male Performances, i would pick:

    – MILAN PESCHEL – HALT AUF FREIER STRECKE
    – MICHAEL FASSBENDER – SHAME
    – CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER – BARRYMORE
    – RYAN GOSLING – DRIVE
    – JEAN DUJARDIN – THE ARTIST

  47. himynameiscole

    i have a good feeling that if pitt is nominated for tree of life and moneyball in supporting and lead, he is going home with one of them. i don’t want to sound like i’m imitating previous posts, but pitt is one of the only “movie stars” in my mind that is constantly doing new things and churning out great performances in great films year after year.

  48. himynameiscole

    i have a good feeling that if pitt is nominated for tree of life and moneyball in supporting and lead, he is going home with one of them. i don’t want to sound like i’m imitating previous posts, but pitt is one of the only “movie stars” in my mind that is constantly doing new things and churning out great performances in great films year after year.

  49. @ himynameiscole, “great”? performances, I cannot read about that part and refrain from reacting, it just doesn’t feel right; he SUCKED in “Seven” and in “Inglorious Basterds” and “A River Runs Through It”, he was overpowered by each and every cast member in Ben Button, in “Babel” he did nothing.

    I enjoyed him in “Burn After Reading” and “Tree of Life”, have not seen “Moneyball”.

    Overall, Katharine Hepburn’s “click click click” comment can easily apply to the way Pitt acts in his movies; he’s a very slow actor. The thinking process burns holes in the screen. Same goes for some of Di Caprio’s performances. But hey, they’re hot, so let’s give them Oscars, right? Sandra Bullock is merely likeable and already has one.

  50. @ himynameiscole, “great”? performances, I cannot read about that part and refrain from reacting, it just doesn’t feel right; he SUCKED in “Seven” and in “Inglorious Basterds” and “A River Runs Through It”, he was overpowered by each and every cast member in Ben Button, in “Babel” he did nothing.

    I enjoyed him in “Burn After Reading” and “Tree of Life”, have not seen “Moneyball”.

    Overall, Katharine Hepburn’s “click click click” comment can easily apply to the way Pitt acts in his movies; he’s a very slow actor. The thinking process burns holes in the screen. Same goes for some of Di Caprio’s performances. But hey, they’re hot, so let’s give them Oscars, right? Sandra Bullock is merely likeable and already has one.

  51. Pitt doesn’t really stretch himself much as an actor. He is able to subtly hint at some kind of emotion beneath the surface, but for the most part, he plays every character the same way. And when he tries to do some character acting, it comes out wacky, all over the place, all form without substance.

    I highly doubt he will be nominated for Money Ball.

  52. Pitt doesn’t really stretch himself much as an actor. He is able to subtly hint at some kind of emotion beneath the surface, but for the most part, he plays every character the same way. And when he tries to do some character acting, it comes out wacky, all over the place, all form without substance.

    I highly doubt he will be nominated for Money Ball.

  53. himynameiscole

    go on,

    i’m not sure i would agree that he sucked in seven. he didn’t have the flashiest roll, but there is no way he ruined the film. i would also disagree that he sucked in inglourious basterds. i think he was one of the highlights in a film that is full of acting highlights. i haven’t seen a river runs through it and i think he did the best he could in babel with what he was given. i need to watch benjamin button again, but i thought he did a great job in that, and so did the academy.

    other parts that i could not possibly even imagine anyone in besides him would be the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford, burn after reading, snatch, 12 monkeys and fight club.

    also, i would say that comparing him to sandra bullock and that he is just “hot” right now is kind of insulting to him (i don’t think she’s the best actress), but to each their own!

    vitality, assassination of jesse james is especially amazing, and i don’t really think that you could say he showed just a subtle hint of emotion below the surface with nothing there. the same with tree of life. but, once again, to each their own! i think he will get a nom for moneyball, especially with what the reviews are saying.

  54. himynameiscole

    go on,

    i’m not sure i would agree that he sucked in seven. he didn’t have the flashiest roll, but there is no way he ruined the film. i would also disagree that he sucked in inglourious basterds. i think he was one of the highlights in a film that is full of acting highlights. i haven’t seen a river runs through it and i think he did the best he could in babel with what he was given. i need to watch benjamin button again, but i thought he did a great job in that, and so did the academy.

    other parts that i could not possibly even imagine anyone in besides him would be the assassination of jesse james by the coward robert ford, burn after reading, snatch, 12 monkeys and fight club.

    also, i would say that comparing him to sandra bullock and that he is just “hot” right now is kind of insulting to him (i don’t think she’s the best actress), but to each their own!

    vitality, assassination of jesse james is especially amazing, and i don’t really think that you could say he showed just a subtle hint of emotion below the surface with nothing there. the same with tree of life. but, once again, to each their own! i think he will get a nom for moneyball, especially with what the reviews are saying.

  55. I have read none of the above comments… yet! We just saw Moneyball, and even though I am not a huge Brad fan, I think it is one of his strongest performances…. and I hope he makes the top 5 BA noms.

  56. I have read none of the above comments… yet! We just saw Moneyball, and even though I am not a huge Brad fan, I think it is one of his strongest performances…. and I hope he makes the top 5 BA noms.

  57. I expected some male critics to have issues with Shame and Michael Fassbender, specifically. One look at him… and then themselves, case closed. They won’t back him. But in all seriousness, even without my biases for Fassbender, he along with Jean Dujardin are Best Actor locks, IMO. I want to see Oldman recognized, but I’m completely indifferent to Clooney. If the academy goes Sandra Bullock on Brad Pitt this year, I’ll spit. For once, I want to see a nice tough race w/o the same names in the game.

  58. I expected some male critics to have issues with Shame and Michael Fassbender, specifically. One look at him… and then themselves, case closed. They won’t back him. But in all seriousness, even without my biases for Fassbender, he along with Jean Dujardin are Best Actor locks, IMO. I want to see Oldman recognized, but I’m completely indifferent to Clooney. If the academy goes Sandra Bullock on Brad Pitt this year, I’ll spit. For once, I want to see a nice tough race w/o the same names in the game.

  59. By no way you can consider Moneyball in The Blind Side spot. For me, it’s very close to Jerry Maguire, and not The Blind Side.

  60. By no way you can consider Moneyball in The Blind Side spot. For me, it’s very close to Jerry Maguire, and not The Blind Side.

  61. @ Simone, unfortunately they probably will go Di Caprio or Pitt or Clooney and there will be a looooong talk about how overdue all three of them are, just wait and see, the obnoxiousness is only starting up. Comparing “The Blind Side” and “Moneyball” may not be a perfect example, but comparing Pitt and Clooney with the Bullock case IS.

    As far as the Metacritics are concerned, their ratings insult my intelligence. They gave “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ a 87/100 rating (were they trying to believe they were watching a “Lord of the Rings movie”?) while “Black Swan” and “Drive” got 79/100, if that’s not a perfect example of how Blind Side-ed they are, then I don’t know what is.

  62. @ Simone, unfortunately they probably will go Di Caprio or Pitt or Clooney and there will be a looooong talk about how overdue all three of them are, just wait and see, the obnoxiousness is only starting up. Comparing “The Blind Side” and “Moneyball” may not be a perfect example, but comparing Pitt and Clooney with the Bullock case IS.

    As far as the Metacritics are concerned, their ratings insult my intelligence. They gave “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2″ a 87/100 rating (were they trying to believe they were watching a “Lord of the Rings movie”?) while “Black Swan” and “Drive” got 79/100, if that’s not a perfect example of how Blind Side-ed they are, then I don’t know what is.

  63. Clooney isn’t overdue, he just won for Syriana a few years ago. I am prepared to see Di Caprio nominated if he lives up to the anticipated hype. But if these three together are nominated for ratings sake, it’ll irritate me. I just desperately want to see another surprise Adrien Brody moment. Can anyone blame me?

  64. Clooney isn’t overdue, he just won for Syriana a few years ago. I am prepared to see Di Caprio nominated if he lives up to the anticipated hype. But if these three together are nominated for ratings sake, it’ll irritate me. I just desperately want to see another surprise Adrien Brody moment. Can anyone blame me?

  65. can’t agree more with GoOnNow. Brad Pitt is just so so. No great performance so far.

  66. can’t agree more with GoOnNow. Brad Pitt is just so so. No great performance so far.

  67. @Simone, Adrian Brody moment was possible only because he was the only one without an Oscar in that year bench: Caine (2), Nicholson (3), Day Lewis (1) and Cage (1) were not due. And of course, Brody was magnificent in The Pianist. But this year, DiCaprio and Pitt are definitely due and A-stars with a very long career in a (probably) blockbuster movies. It’s a different case. For me, Pitt’s case is like Cruise’s in Jerry Maguire. Clooney, Pitt and DiCaprio are in, I guess. Then you have 2 more spots: Gosling vs Fassbender vs Oldman, that’s it. Plummer will be in in Supporting (Beginners). At this moment DuJardin is only a blackhorse in a heavy camp.

  68. @Simone, Adrian Brody moment was possible only because he was the only one without an Oscar in that year bench: Caine (2), Nicholson (3), Day Lewis (1) and Cage (1) were not due. And of course, Brody was magnificent in The Pianist. But this year, DiCaprio and Pitt are definitely due and A-stars with a very long career in a (probably) blockbuster movies. It’s a different case. For me, Pitt’s case is like Cruise’s in Jerry Maguire. Clooney, Pitt and DiCaprio are in, I guess. Then you have 2 more spots: Gosling vs Fassbender vs Oldman, that’s it. Plummer will be in in Supporting (Beginners). At this moment DuJardin is only a blackhorse in a heavy camp.

  69. PostScriptum: Brad PItt in Moneyball seems to me like a Robert Redford clone with that haircut and faces.

  70. PostScriptum: Brad PItt in Moneyball seems to me like a Robert Redford clone with that haircut and faces.

  71. I’m with Simone – Brody wasn’t a fluke. He deserved the win over his shinier competitors and it was one of the best oscar moments. ever. Haven’t seen Pitt (moneyball), yet, but he has turned in some good work (much broader than Redford, so I don’t buy the “clone” argument).

    When it comes to the crunch, however, I always tend to root for the newbies – and it looks like the tendecy will continue this year.

  72. I’m with Simone – Brody wasn’t a fluke. He deserved the win over his shinier competitors and it was one of the best oscar moments. ever. Haven’t seen Pitt (moneyball), yet, but he has turned in some good work (much broader than Redford, so I don’t buy the “clone” argument).

    When it comes to the crunch, however, I always tend to root for the newbies – and it looks like the tendecy will continue this year.

  73. The closest Best Actor race in recent years, and I don’t think anyone will disagree with that.

    No single actor will dominate the awards this time ’round, it will be evenly distributed. I can see the Golden Globes and the Oscar being awarded to three different actors.

    George Clooney is a sure-fire Oscar nominee, but he’s already won his Oscar, so that kind of rules him out (unless the Academy turns him into Sean Penn, and out of goodwill, rewards him with his second Oscar).

    The most logical contest will be Brad Pitt v/s Leo DiCaprio. Both are seasoned actors, connect well with the older as well as the younger Academy members, and both of them are previous nominees. Therefore, the Academy itself would be quite familiar with the stellar quality of their work.

    I can see Ryan Gosling being nominated for ‘The Ides of March’ (Clooney may have directed it, but it is said to be Gosling’s film through and through).

    Finally, I can see the Academy going for the ‘romance’ factor, and nominating Jean Dujardin for Best Actor (having black-and-white silent films these days is like having two full moons in a month!). After all, the Hollywood Golden Age.

    Four of my five nominees (Clooney, Pitt, DiCaprio, Gosling) are virtual locks, and I can actually see them getting nominated come Jan 24 2012.

    I could be wrong about Dujardin, though. Instead of him, other potential nominees could include Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michael Shannon.

    Why no Gary Oldman? I can see him getting nominated, at the most. It will be exactly like Frank Langella getting nominated for Frost/Nixon. No chance of winning, but a ‘lifetime achievement’ nomination. But considering Oldman’s past history with the Academy (which is non-existent), even a (‘lifetime achievement’) nomination will be a great honor. Oldman is considered to be too ‘conservative’, ‘forthright’, and ‘ballsy’ for Hollywood’s taste (remember what happened during the making of ‘Hannibal’ and ‘The Contender’?). He is the British version of Mickey Rourke, if you like. And Hollywood still considers Oldman as a character actor, who does a handful of lead roles. His role in TTSS is not ‘complex’ enough for the Academy’s taste. If he indeed gets nominated, it will be more of a ‘we-finally-nominated-him-so-shut-up’ nomination, and NOT because the Academy members actually WANTED to nominate him.

    So, there you go, my Oscar picks for Best Actor.

  74. The closest Best Actor race in recent years, and I don’t think anyone will disagree with that.

    No single actor will dominate the awards this time ’round, it will be evenly distributed. I can see the Golden Globes and the Oscar being awarded to three different actors.

    George Clooney is a sure-fire Oscar nominee, but he’s already won his Oscar, so that kind of rules him out (unless the Academy turns him into Sean Penn, and out of goodwill, rewards him with his second Oscar).

    The most logical contest will be Brad Pitt v/s Leo DiCaprio. Both are seasoned actors, connect well with the older as well as the younger Academy members, and both of them are previous nominees. Therefore, the Academy itself would be quite familiar with the stellar quality of their work.

    I can see Ryan Gosling being nominated for ‘The Ides of March’ (Clooney may have directed it, but it is said to be Gosling’s film through and through).

    Finally, I can see the Academy going for the ‘romance’ factor, and nominating Jean Dujardin for Best Actor (having black-and-white silent films these days is like having two full moons in a month!). After all, the Hollywood Golden Age.

    Four of my five nominees (Clooney, Pitt, DiCaprio, Gosling) are virtual locks, and I can actually see them getting nominated come Jan 24 2012.

    I could be wrong about Dujardin, though. Instead of him, other potential nominees could include Christoph Waltz, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michael Shannon.

    Why no Gary Oldman? I can see him getting nominated, at the most. It will be exactly like Frank Langella getting nominated for Frost/Nixon. No chance of winning, but a ‘lifetime achievement’ nomination. But considering Oldman’s past history with the Academy (which is non-existent), even a (‘lifetime achievement’) nomination will be a great honor. Oldman is considered to be too ‘conservative’, ‘forthright’, and ‘ballsy’ for Hollywood’s taste (remember what happened during the making of ‘Hannibal’ and ‘The Contender’?). He is the British version of Mickey Rourke, if you like. And Hollywood still considers Oldman as a character actor, who does a handful of lead roles. His role in TTSS is not ‘complex’ enough for the Academy’s taste. If he indeed gets nominated, it will be more of a ‘we-finally-nominated-him-so-shut-up’ nomination, and NOT because the Academy members actually WANTED to nominate him.

    So, there you go, my Oscar picks for Best Actor.

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