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.
[Update: 7 scores of 100. 89 overall average.]
For those of you keeping score at home (you know who you are) Moneyball has so far collected 4 perfect scores of 100 on Metacritic, and only one naysayer (Slate) giving it anything less than a 70.
That’s 20 green lights and dim one yellow note of caution. With a current average of 86, this puts Moneyball one point below Deathly Hallows (at 87) as the best reviewed American film of the year thus far. Tree of Life and Meek’s Cutoff tying for 3rd with 85.
Still a little over a dozen critics yet to weigh in before the number settles at its final level, but Scott Rudin and Bennett Miller must be feeling pretty good right about now.
Stu Van Airsdale has put up his Oscar Index and I was surprised to find he put Michael Fassbender for Shame first when many aren’t even predicting him to be nominated. He also has Meryl Streep in first place, followed by Glenn Close and Viola Davis (doesn’t he read Awards Daily?).
For supporting actress he has Octavia Spencer for The Help. But he’s also put Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids in the running. That’s a good call.
He’s got Christopher Plummer in the lead for Supporting Actor followed by Albert Brooks.
But I’m still stuck back on Michael Fassbender in the frontrunner’s spot. That be some crazy shit right there, not that I’m complaining – I love outside-the-box thinking.
My frontrunners would be (only by what’s been, not by what’s coming)
Best Picture: Moneyball vs. The Descendants
Best Actor: Brad Pitt vs. George Clooney vs. Jean Dujardin vs. Leonardo Dicaprio vs. Michael Fassbender vs. Gary Oldman (tight ass race)
Best Actress: Viola Davis, followed by Streep vs. Close. Have a funny feeling about Rooney Mara
Best Supporting Actor: Plummer vs. Brooks
Best Supporting Actress: Spencer vs. Redgrave
But it’s early yet. Movieline’s Oscar Index is here.
Something tells me the Meryl Streep fans — and they be many — will head on over and wrap their arms around Stu. Me, I don’t quite have faith that this will finally be the role to pull Meryl Streep through to her third Oscar win. It’s certainly possible but it’s going to have be better than her best work, or close to. She turns in so many great performances it’s hard to single out just one.
I’ve been trying to write all morning about the second episode of FX’s Fargo which aired last night, but it’s like pulling teeth. I went into the first episode with a deep skepticism based on my unconditional love of Joel and Ethan Coen’s film. After a shaky start, I thought the whole thing went pretty well and, on balance, showed enough promise to look forward to future episodes. At the very least, the developments in the episode seemed to suggest showrunner Noah Hawley ...
Good news for people who don’t subscribe to HBO, but bad news for Netflix. Beginning May 21, Amazon Prime will start streaming a pant load of HBO shows, movies and specials. Every episode of The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, Rome and Six Feet Under, Eastbound & Down, Enlightened, Flight of the Concords and Oz; selected seasons of current shows Boardwalk Empire, Treme and True Blood; HBO minis Angels in America, Band of Brothers, John Adams, The Pacific and Parade’s End; many HBO...
Right? I mean, right? That was the year to beat all others. We try to go there and talk about the individual films probably spending the most amount of time on Brokeback but 2005 overall turned out to be a great year for film with History of Violence, The Constant Gardener, Walk the Line all just missing Best Picture, though they might have gotten in if there were more than five. Have a listen! ...
Million Dollar Baby takes down Sideways and The Aviator. Probably the only film that really resonates from this year was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which just gets better with each viewing, as does Sideways. Okay, fine, so do the Aviator and Million Dollar Baby. Ultimately it was not the best year for film but not bad overall. Have a listen....