The Oscars are just a week away and I could not be more excited. I am going to be blogging about them this week and offering my humble opinions on the top categories. The Best Supporting Actor category includes the following nominees this year:
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
It seems to be universally agreed upon that Sylvester Stallone is a shoo-in for this award. I saw Creed the other night and I honestly don’t know why Stallone was even nominated other than it seems people think he should be awarded for his lifetime of mostly bad, poorly acted, mostly violent and oftentimes stupid movies. I was simply not impressed, I am sorry to say.
The other performances are all fantastic for different reasons.
Christian Bale plays Stanford neurosurgeon, turned hedge-fund manager, Michael Burry, one of the first people to recognize the looming crash and invest in the subprime mortgages. This role calls for Bale to do the vast majority of his acting alone in a room, and he is terrific. He brings so much energy and intelligence to the role. Burry himself claims he has Aspergers and Bale plays it well, he kept me riveted.
Tom Hardy plays John Fitzgerald, who, along with Leonard DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass, are among a band of fur-trappers and hunters who are basically stripping the land of wildlife for profit in 1820’s Missouri. After Glass is attacked by a bear and hanging on to life as a shredded human, Fitzgerald volunteers to stay behind, along with Glass’ half-Pawnee son as the rest of the band go get help. Fitzgerald does some very bad things in order to survive, and I believed in each of his brutal decisions. Hardy brought a vicious, fierce energy to Fitzgerald, and while he often mumbled too much, I loved his performance.
As part of the “Spotlight” investigative team of the Boston Globe, Mark Ruffalo portrays Michael Rezendes, a lapsed Boston Catholic whose marriage is on the rocks. The Globe’s new editor is not from Boston, and he tasks the team with looking into a story about the shady manner the Boston Archdiocese handled abuse cases. Buffalo’s portrait starts out as a dogged reporter, and he ascends into near hysteria as he begins understanding the magnitude of the corruption in the church – his church. While emotional, Ruffalo’s performance always remains real.
Rudolf Abel, portrayed by Mark Rylance, was a spy caught by American authorities and sent to trial. Today’s American Everyman – Tom Hanks – portrays James Donovan, the insurance attorney assigned to his case by his firm chairman. Donovan is expected to put up a farce of a defense so the spy is convicted without denying him a trial. Donovan decides to actually defend the man, and in the course of their attorney/client relationship, Abel proves himself to be a quiet, wise man who understands both what Donovan is doing for him, and what will await him if he is returned to Russia. Rylance’s performance is very understated but the heft of his position is never in question.
Who would I pick? First of all, I would have included Idris Elba’s explosive and magnetic performance in Beasts of No Nation, and I would’ve somehow wedged in Jacob Tremblay’s unaffected and sublime performance in Room. Neither of these films would’ve been possible without these actors in my opinion.
But, given the current crop of nominees, I would give the award to……. Tom Hardy. He’s also in one of my surprise favorite movies of the year – Mad Max: Fury Road, but while he plays the title character, Charlize Theron and the women carry the film.
Now – who would you select? Did you see the films? Let me know what you thought!
Nest up: Oscars: Best Supporting Actress.
A few links from around the web I hope you enjoy:
Enjoy being old and invisible.
Oscar fashion 2015.
Best Movie Scenes of All Time.
“The Wire,” Idris Elba captivates every moment he’s on the screen.
Tips for washing your food.
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