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Best Actor 
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Post Best Actor
The acting categories have always been interesting to me because in theory, the five nominees don't necessary need to correspond with any of the Best Picture nominees. They could all be Mickey Rourke types, so long as they were strong. However, it's often the performances that contribute to a film being nominated for Best Picture (Doubt being the most noteworthy antithesis). So let's take a gander at the possible nominees, in order of what I feel is the plausibility.

MORGAN FREEMAN - INVICTUS
~Unless Freeman REALLY downplays Nelson Mandela, a nomination is most likely in his future. I'd consider him a frontrunner to win, but who knows?

GEORGE CLOONEY - UP IN THE AIR
~He's been getting praise that's more or less interpreted as "career best". I think he's one of two locks at this point.

COLIN FIRTH - A SINGLE MAN
~I suppose the film's still too small to make any kind of reasonable judgment, but Firth's been getting some REALLY high praise from various outlets. If you were to judge the content of said praise, you could probably call him the winner. It'll be interesting to see what marketing'll do.

JEREMY RENNER - THE HURT LOCKER
~If The Hurt Locker ends up being remember when it comes time for voting, you can bet Jeremy Renner's a frontrunner for a nomination. I don't think he'll win, but he's good enough for a slot.

MATT DAMON - THE INFORMANT!
~He gained weight and plays one of the biggest on-screen liars of all time. While people are talking about him less and his performance is more comedic in nature, don't rule him out. He's definitely got a Globe nomination in his pocket, but an Oscar nomination isn't such a long shot.

DANIEL DAY-LEWIS - NINE
~Well, if he can sing, then why not?

HAL HOLBROOK - THAT EVENING SUN
~When's this man going to win?! That Evening Sun is too small of a movie to get him a win, but he may end up with a nomination. Maybe.

VIGGO MORTENSON - THE ROAD
~People have been calling his performance Oscarworthy, so he's definitely a contender. I can see him in the top five, too. It's hard to say, though.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG - A SERIOUS MAN
~This one kind of surprised people, but he is very good and - theoretically - if you're very good, you can get nominated for an Oscar.

SAM ROCKWELL - MOON
~This guy's got a grassroots campaign behind him. Expect this nomination to become more and more likely as the voting draws nearer.

SHARLTO COPLEY - DISTRICT 9
~Personally, I think he gives one of the best performances of the year as a man motivated by selfishness over what's right. He's never really out-acted by his make-up and visual effects. Will the Academy consider him? It's possible, for sure.

MICHAEL SHEEN - THE DAMNED UNITED
~This is probably the best performance I've seen all year, but Americans don't care about football and won't see this movie. He's going to need a big campaign to get him noticed.

Given the above, here are who I think will be nominated at this point in time:

Morgan Freeman - Invictus
George Clooney - Up in the Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Daniel Day-Lewis - Nine
Sam Rockwell - Moon

My reasoning for Sam Rockwell is that if Richard Jenkins ended up being nominated for The Visitor with a late season push from marketing, then perhaps we can see a nomination for Sam Rockwell. However, that spot could easily go to Viggo or Renner. I don't consider Firth to be on Rockwell's level simply because I think A Single Man is going to be bigger than your average art house flick.


Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:15 pm
Post Re: Best Actor
Nice work Peter. Real nice. I'll look out for some of these, since I had not heard of a few.

Pedro wrote:
My reasoning for Sam Rockwell is that if Richard Jenkins ended up being nominated for The Visitor with a late season push from marketing, then perhaps we can see a nomination for Sam Rockwell. However, that spot could easily go to Viggo or Renner. I don't consider Firth to be on Rockwell's level simply because I think A Single Man is going to be bigger than your average art house flick.


I still haven't seen it, but I'd be happy if he is nominated. That said, he has to be a longshot. This is a science fiction movie after all. Apart from a few obvious exceptions it seems that the Academy doesn't particularly care for genre movies.


Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:30 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
As already mentioned in a previous thread, I will be pulling hard for Shartlo Copley to win this award, although I realize just a nomination will be nice at this point, I feel District 9, while very well received on its opening weekend, has been nearly forgotten, which is a shame, because I still feel it's the best movie I've seen so far this year. But....I'm sure November and December will have some great films as well.

If Hal Holbrook was ever going to win anything, it would've been for my personal favorite all-time film, Into the Wild. He got nominated for his tear-jerking performance, but he couldn't out do Javier Bardem.

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Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
I think Morgan Freeman did actually win an oscar for his performance in Million Dollar Baby, yes?

They should name a lifetime achievement award after him, he has been denied SO many times.


Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:12 pm
Post Re: Best Actor
MrGuinness wrote:
I think Morgan Freeman did actually win an oscar for his performance in Million Dollar Baby, yes?

They should name a lifetime achievement award after him, he has been denied SO many times.


Sure did.


Tue Nov 03, 2009 10:57 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
Has enough people even seen A Serious Man for it to get any nominations?

I loved District 9 but I'm not sure Copley is deserving of a nomination, at least IMO.

Morgan Freeman is pretty much a lock.

Jeremy Renner is FANTASTIC in The Hurt Locker. I would love to see him nominated.

I haven't seen Moon, but I've ALWAYS been a HUGE fan of Rockwell's. He should have nominated for his amazing performance in Snow Angels.

George Clooney and Morgan Freeman are both locks for sure. Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor, and Nine will likely be a major contender so he's a very likely nominee.

I wouldn't mind seeing Ed Asner get nominated for his work in Up. I mean, voice acting has never gotten nominated but it would be awesome if he was the first. His work in Up was THAT good! It won't happen, but I'd love to see it.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 12:09 am
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Post Re: Best Actor
ilovemovies wrote:
Has enough people even seen A Serious Man for it to get any nominations?

I loved District 9 but I'm not sure Copley is deserving of a nomination, at least IMO.

Morgan Freeman is pretty much a lock.

Jeremy Renner is FANTASTIC in The Hurt Locker. I would love to see him nominated.

I haven't seen Moon, but I've ALWAYS been a HUGE fan of Rockwell's. He should have nominated for his amazing performance in Snow Angels.

George Clooney and Morgan Freeman are both locks for sure. Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor, and Nine will likely be a major contender so he's a very likely nominee.

I wouldn't mind seeing Ed Asner get nominated for his work in Up. I mean, voice acting has never gotten nominated but it would be awesome if he was the first. His work in Up was THAT good! It won't happen, but I'd love to see it.


I shall address all parts of your post haha.

1. Enough people have seen A Serious Man, but the problem (at least in this case) is that Stuhlbarg is not a well known actor at all. People will probably be impressed enough with his performance, but to remember his time when it comes to the voting ballot? Maybe not, and that's why he's kind of a longshot.

2. How come you don't think Copley isn't deserving of a nomination? I'm not devaluing your opinion, I'm just curious because I thought he was very good and he's definitely getting Awards talk.

3. Yep, Morgan's a lock. He'll be a bigger lock as soon as people see Invictus, I'm sure.

4. Most definitely. I feel that more people were impressed by the film than the acting, but maybe I'm wrong.

5. I was impressed with his performance in Snow Angels. I'm not sure it was Oscarworthy, but it was definitely good. Perhaps my prediction that he'll be nominated is more out of personal championing than rational strategy. I love Rockwell.

6. Ugh, I wish Nine would come out sooner so we could consider Day-Lewis a lock or not.

7. I've always said that voice acting has the potential to be Oscarworthy. I thought Gandolfini was very good as Carol in Where the Wild Things Are, for example. Asner's definitely on the same level. It won't happen, but I think the idea that voice acting nominations are possible should be brought up more.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:11 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
I thought Copley was good, but I just don't think it was a great performance. A solid but not exceptional performance IMO.


Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:40 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
I'll be throwing plausibility out the window in favor of some of the (most already mentioned) dark horse nominees. And I'll be limiting it to those performances I've seen.

SHARLTO COPLEY's performance in the District 9 is my favorite lead performance so far this year. I didn't much like the film despite my genuine appreciation for what they were trying to do but loved Copley's turn in the role -- from middling to desperate to angry back to desperate to sad... he was brilliant. That a film like District 9, which could have had any kind of lead performance and still played reasonably well, had a great performance is kind of amazing. Way beyond the call of duty, especially for what audiences would have accepted.

SAM ROCKWELL in Moon. It's nearly an acting school wrapped up in a thoughtful science fiction film. I don't think he'll get the nomination but wouldn't it be great if he did? He carried an entire movie. Alone!

JOAQUIN PHOENIX in Two Lovers, which may be out of the running (I don't know for a fact if the film was first released in 2009). In any case, he was great as a confused, unhappy man locked in to the threat of permanent youth. I was depressed by how much of myself I saw in his character.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT from (500) Days of Summer. Impossible as it may sound, I think the guy has a chance as he's done nothing but outstanding work in his fairly short career. He made the movie and, in this poster's mind, set the bar for all other performances in this kind of comedy. Plus: indie comedy. You never know when the Academy will pick from that pile. Could this be the year? Unlikely. But, again, it'd be a different nomination that reward a performance in the kind of film that never gets any Academy respect. And I didn't even love the movie.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG is getting the nomination. For A Serious Man, as it were. This is the only lock I can offer.

TOM HARDY in Bronson, another movie that sinks or swims entirely on the shoulders of one performance. And its a great one.

Other performances that I've liked so far this year that don't stand a chance at winning any official awards: Seth Rogen (Observe and Report), Adrien Brody (The Brothers Bloom), Ed Asner (Up), John Krasinski (Away We Go), Larry David (Whatever Works), some others that haven't popped into mind.


Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:50 am
Post Re: Best Actor
LATE BREAKING NEWS!

JEFF BRIDGES - CRAZY HEART
~Someone at In Contention saw the film and all of a sudden he's a frontrunner. His role is an alcoholic country singer looking for a comeback. If it sounds like a Mickey Rourke Wrestler role, that's because it kind of is. So of course he's a frontrunner. It was just a matter of whether or not the studio behind it was going to release it this year. Now it's a matter of seeing how big it's going to be.


Tue Nov 10, 2009 2:32 pm
Post Re: Best Actor
Pedro wrote:
LATE BREAKING NEWS!

JEFF BRIDGES - CRAZY HEART
~Someone at In Contention saw the film and all of a sudden he's a frontrunner. His role is an alcoholic country singer looking for a comeback. If it sounds like a Mickey Rourke Wrestler role, that's because it kind of is. So of course he's a frontrunner. It was just a matter of whether or not the studio behind it was going to release it this year. Now it's a matter of seeing how big it's going to be.

Everyone keeps bringing up Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

Not many roles are actually like that one - it's a comparison that should be used more sparingly. The thing that made the Mickey Rourke role/nomination so big was the fact that his real life mirrored the role somewhat--they were both comeback stories. Jeff Bridges is doing pretty well right now--he's not making a comeback, even if his character is.
I understand that there may be a comparison just between the characters, but bringing it up in an oscar discussion makes me think of the oscar nomination potential and that directly links to the dual nature of Rourke in The Wrestler not just the pure performance.


Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:19 pm
Post Re: Best Actor
Trevor wrote:
Pedro wrote:
LATE BREAKING NEWS!

JEFF BRIDGES - CRAZY HEART
~Someone at In Contention saw the film and all of a sudden he's a frontrunner. His role is an alcoholic country singer looking for a comeback. If it sounds like a Mickey Rourke Wrestler role, that's because it kind of is. So of course he's a frontrunner. It was just a matter of whether or not the studio behind it was going to release it this year. Now it's a matter of seeing how big it's going to be.

Everyone keeps bringing up Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

Not many roles are actually like that one - it's a comparison that should be used more sparingly. The thing that made the Mickey Rourke role/nomination so big was the fact that his real life mirrored the role somewhat--they were both comeback stories. Jeff Bridges is doing pretty well right now--he's not making a comeback, even if his character is.
I understand that there may be a comparison just between the characters, but bringing it up in an oscar discussion makes me think of the oscar nomination potential and that directly links to the dual nature of Rourke in The Wrestler not just the pure performance.


I disagree, though only to an extent. Other than Iron Man, Jeff Bridges has been somewhat out of the spotlight since The Contender (and to perhaps a larger degree, The Big Lebowski), which is okay. It's his career, and he was never as low as Mickey Rourke was. Still, this is biggest Oscar caliber role in a while.

Ultimately, though, you're right, in that it's a disservice to both Mickey Rourke and Jeff Bridges to compare the two roles. However, that disservice might get him nominated. Alas.


Tue Nov 10, 2009 4:34 pm
Post Re: Best Actor
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Viggo Mortenson - The Road
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Nicholas Cage - Bad Lt. : Port of Call: New Orleans

Last is a sleeper. :)


Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:55 am
Post Re: Best Actor
It'll be interesting to see if The Hurt Locker gets any love this late in the year.


Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:52 am
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Post Re: Best Actor
irerancincpkc wrote:
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Viggo Mortenson - The Road
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Nicholas Cage - Bad Lt. : Port of Call: New Orleans

Last is a sleeper. :)


Nick Cage and the film has gotten good to great reviews, a nomination for him is not out of the question.


Wed Dec 02, 2009 7:03 pm
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Post Re: Best Actor
corpen11 wrote:
irerancincpkc wrote:
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Viggo Mortenson - The Road
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Nicholas Cage - Bad Lt. : Port of Call: New Orleans

Last is a sleeper. :)


Nick Cage and the film has gotten good to great reviews, a nomination for him is not out of the question.


Not out of the question, but I don't think it'll happen. Does anyone know if Bad Lieutenant is considered a comedy or a drama for the purposes of the Globes? I would think drama, but maybe I'm wrong.


Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:14 am
Post Re: Best Actor
Pedro wrote:
Not out of the question, but I don't think it'll happen. Does anyone know if Bad Lieutenant is considered a comedy or a drama for the purposes of the Globes? I would think drama, but maybe I'm wrong.


The Globes?? They'll put it wherever the hell they want it. If he gets nominated it may be in the comedy section, but that's only because the good folks of the Hollywood foreign press (who?) might mistake it for a musical.


Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:50 am
Post Re: Best Actor
If there's any justice left in this crazy, mixed up world, Michale Jai White will get an oscar nomination next year


Fri Dec 04, 2009 6:39 am
Post Re: Best Actor
Christoph Waltz. Christoph Waltz. And Christoph Waltz.


Fri Dec 04, 2009 8:25 am
Post Re: Best Actor
Kyle wrote:
If there's any justice left in this crazy, mixed up world, Michale Jai White will get an oscar nomination next year


For what? Black Dynamite? I have it on my list of things to see, but I never thought it was award worthy material.


Fri Dec 04, 2009 12:33 pm
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