Best Actor 2007

1998 through 2007

Best Actor 2007

George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Tommy Lee Jones - In the Valley of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises
Total votes: 44

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby dws1982 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:57 pm

I thought Tommy Lee Jones was by far the best of this lineup. I never thought In the Valley of Elah was quite as bad as everyone else did, and Jones was just excellent. Don't really care much for any of the other performances nominated here.

My picks of 2007:
1- Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah and No Country For Old Men
2- Ulrich Muhe, The Lives of Others
3- Steve Carrel, Dan in Real Life
4- Casey Affleck, Gone Baby Gone and The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford
5- Sam Riley, Control

Hate to leave off Louis Garrel in Dans Paris, Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Savages (the one time I thought he was excellent), Chris Cooper in Breach, and Benicio Del Toro in Things We Lost in the Fire.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Damien » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:20 pm

First of all, to state the obvious, Daniel Day Lewis gives the most atrocious, godawful, ridiculous winning performance in Oscar history. And more than that, it’s one of the most hideous, ghastly, ludicrous performances in film history. Not a single second of it is compelling or makes sense, even within the context of the stupidity of Paul Thomas Anderson's "artistic" temperament. An obnoxious performance only a pinhead could like and admire. I get nauseous just thinking about it.

None of the other four nominees is bad, but only one was good enough to merit a nomination. Viggo Mortensen was convincing in Eastern Promises, a not-very-convincing and surpeisingly dull Cronenberg picture. But he was much more impressive in two other films book-ending it: A History of Violence and The Road.

George Clooney had great screen presence in Michael Clayton, but – unlike in Up In The Air – his character here remains a cypher and was never quite credible.

Johnny Depp carries himself pretty well in Sweeney Todd and probably gave Tim Burton exactly what the director wanted in Sweeney Todd – but that’s the problem. Burton drained all of the British Music Hall-style comedy out of the material, and, thus, both Depp and Helena Bonham Carter were too dour.

Head and shoulders over the competition is Tommy Lee Jones. In the Valley of Elah is pretty contrived, but it’s grounded by Jones’s performance. He brings great conviction and gives a performance of depth and palpable heartbreak. It’s grave, beautiful work.

My Own Top 5:
1. Casey Affleck in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (and Gone Baby Gone)
3. Gordon Pinsent in Away From Her
3. Ethan Hawke in Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead
4. Tommy Lee Jones in In The Valley of Elah
5. Chris Cooper in Breach
Last edited by Damien on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby mlrg » Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:04 am

Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Reza » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:09 am

My picks for 2007:

Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
Gordon Pinsent, Away From Her
Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real Girl
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
George Clooney, Michael Clayton

The 6th Spot: Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild
Last edited by Reza on Sat Oct 29, 2011 2:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Uri » Fri Oct 28, 2011 12:57 am

Another year when we had plenty of great lead performances by men whiles hardly any by women (I'm still struggling filling my list beyond Christie and Linney). This is what I wrote in real time, and I guess I'd still vote for Day Lewis, though it wouldn't have been that easy had I have to pick between him and Affleck.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis – A. All the superlatives are spot on.
2. Tommy Lee Jones – B. The film is all about what a shame the war in Iraq is not a good old decent one, the way the war in Vietnam was, and America is David to this abstract Goliath or something, but Jones is so good, he masterfully transcends it. A beautiful performance.
3. George Clooney – C. I like him a lot, he's a good actor, but like the film he's in, it's a lightweight turn. His charisma is what makes it appears to have some gravity, which is an achievement of kind.
4. Viggo Mortensen – D. He's cool and looks great dressed or nude, so what if he doesn't really get the essence and spirit of the character he's playing.
5. Johnny Depp – F. A meaningless performance. And even if for some reason, vocal abilities are not required here (a huge mistake, huge), they still should have gone for a Day-Lewis in this role.

On my alternative list I'll add to DL, Affleck and Jones Chris Cooper for the mostly ignored brilliant job he did in Breach and Pinset. But it was a good year – a list containing Affleck for Gone Baby Gone, Clooney, Hoffman, McAvoy and Pitt would have made for a very respectable list on any other year.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:28 pm

Another one too recent to rate more than a quick recap.

I'd have nominated both Jesse James guys in the lead category, as well as Philip Seymour Hoffman, who I think is fully Laura Linney's equal in The Savages.

There's nothing especially wrong with the slate we got -- most of the performances (and performers) are worthy. But the contest was pretty much over before it began.

I think BJ's recollection is precisely correct: many of us predicted Viggo Mortensen to score a nomination solely because he turned up on a bunch of precursor lists. I certainly didn't pencil him in for a nod the day I saw Eastern Promises (a movie that had a semi-interesting mystery premise but went splat before its climax). The only things he did to attract attention in the film were speak with an accent and, of course, fight to the death while naked. I presume (hope) the nomination was belated acknowledgement of his burgeoning career, esp. his deserving work in A History of Violence.

Speaking of mysteries that went splat...In the Valley of Elah may actually be the worst Paul Haggis Oscar contender of the decade. (I can hear Eric screaming) Tommy Lee Jones, as has been noted, gave a superlative performance in No Country for Old Men, and should have been cited in support for that (though Bardem would still have won on flamboyance points). Jones also gives his all to this ridiculous effort, and I'm glad for him that he got his first best actor acknowledgement for his valiant try. But bad movie cancels out decent work almost every time.

Michael Clayton is the third limp mystery/thriller to turn up in this category. It was one of those storylines that made you go "That's it? That's all it amounted to?" George Clooney is, as always, a solid star presence, but I don't think the film gives him anywhere particularly interesting to go. This is actually close to standard-issue Clooney...which is good, but not Oscar-deserving.

For me, BJ's verdict on Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd applies more to Helena Bonham Carter in the film -- she's perfectly cast as Mrs. Lovett, and acts splendidly, but, as Ned Beatty said long ago in Nashville, she cannot sing a lick. Maybe it was simply that Depp was standing alongside her, but I found his singing acceptable. at least by modern, post-Rex Harrison/Richard Burton standards. And Depp's acting was a good bit better than that -- in fact, I'm with Magilla in finding this the best of his three nominations.

But none of that amounts to much, since, for most of the world (outside of the group of adamant dislikers here) the race was a bunch of fillers vs. Daniel Day-Lewis' towering performance. I confess I was somewhat hesitant going into There Will Be Blood, remembering how so many had raved about the Gangs of New York performance for which I'd not cared. But this time, I felt, he got it exactly right. He seemed to be working from a different center of gravity than ever before, recreating that early-20th century archetype, the rapacious businessman -- not unlike the businessman of today, but at a more primitive/primal stage. Day-Lewis' Daniel Plainview is the center of a not-perfect but wonderfully ambitious, vivid American epic. For me he's the easy choice as the year's best actor.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:34 pm

The Original BJ that we've finished the two 2010 polls...will we be returning to a two-per-week pace? I've been finding the recent pace a little tough to keep up with...but that's just my two cents.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:34 pm

I see that my top three are also Sabin's top three, though not necessarily in that order. I can't fathom a Best Actor lineup without the mesmerizing Casey Affleck and the heartbreaking Gordon Pinsent, who I found nearly as strong as Julie Christie.

After that, I don't have many super strong favorites. At the time I listed Brad Pitt, for his best performance of the aughts in Jesse James, and James McAvoy, spot-on as Robbie Turner, and I'd probably support those choices today...but I can't say I thought either were what I'd call ROBBED.

I thought Tommy Lee Jones was absolutely wonderful in No Country for Old Men, so I was glad he was invited to the party that year, even if I thought it was for the wrong movie. But I think In the Valley of Elah is alarmingly bad, and though Jones was the best thing about it, the script's phoniness isn't doing him any favors. (This guy receives a package from his dead son...and ripping it open isn't the FIRST thing he does?!) I know Jones will pick up most of the votes from the anti-Day-Lewis crowd, but I could never choose him for such a lousy effort.

Had Sweeney Todd not been a musical, I might have endorsed Johnny Depp's nomination -- the demon barber is just about as perfect a role for Depp as one could ever find, and from an ACTING standpoint, I think he finds the right macabre tone for the character. But Depp just can't sing, and not only is he burdened with songs, but they're SONDHEIM songs. During every musical number, all I could think was, not even Autotune could fix this?

I don't recall many people discussing Viggo Mortensen as a Best Actor candidate immediately after the release of Eastern Promises. He made it onto everyone's Oscar prediction list because he'd made it onto every precursor list throughout the season. I was happy he was rewarded with the nomination he seemed building to for some time...but that's what it was, recognition for his cumulative work rather than an honor for this performance. Which isn't to demean him -- he's a solid actor, and he had a fun role that fit him well in Eastern Promises -- but it was nothing like a standout.

The character of Michael Clayton seems such a perfect reflection of George Clooney's charismatic, intelligent persona that it's hard to imagine any other actor in the role. I don't subscribe to the notion that Clooney is always just playing Clooney (certainly I don't think this is the case in Up in the Air), though with respect to Michael Clayton, I think it's more of a solid personality performance than a deep tour de force. I like the guy, and think he's better here than in the movie that DID get him a win, but his turn as Michael Clayton just isn't anything major enough for me to choose him.

Had Casey Affleck been nominated in the right category, I would have been faced with a very difficult decision between two great performances. But, as it stands, Day-Lewis gets my vote with great enthusiasm and without any hesitation. He is a life force in There Will Be Blood, completely dominating his film with mad, ferocious energy that gave me chills to watch. I imagine in fifty years, people will still be quoting the "I drink your milkshake" finale like we reference any number of much-loved movie scenes today. I know that some find this performance (and actor) over-the-top, but as I said when discussing his Bill the Butcher work, I find Day-Lewis that rare performer who can emote in an extravagantly BIG way while still seeming completely in control of his character and choices. Daniel Plainview is a towering creation, and Day-Lewis deserved that second trophy for his amazing creation. that we've finished the two 2010 polls...will we be returning to a two-per-week pace? I've been finding the recent pace a little tough to keep up with...but that's just my two cents.

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Sabin » Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:07 pm

The film is over the top. It wouldn't have worked with a naturalist actor in the center at all. He's roughly in the same mode as his performance in Gangs of New York, but while that film was all over the place, this film knows exactly what to do with him.
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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby MovieFan » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:09 am

Daniel Day-Lewis- There Will Be Blood. I can definately understand the criticisms of him being over the top, but he does have some truely powerful moments in the movie. Its between him and Casey Affleck for my Best Actor win

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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Sabin » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:54 am

So interesting that we’re here at in 2007. What a great year…

I still haven’t seen Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street but I’ve yet to hear anyone make a legitimate case for why Johnny Depp deserved to win an Oscar over anyone in this race, so I feel fine in proceeding onward. Michael Clayton is a fun movie that benefits from the slick sensibilities of Tony Gilroy whose Duplicity I enjoyed even more. It’s fun to watch George Clooney, but is this a great performance? No, but it’s hard to root against this guy. At least four years it was, I should say. I think Up in the Air has usurped Michael Clayton as the quintessential Middle-Aged Clooney Flick. I don’t really care for Eastern Promises. I’ll give Viggo credit for pulling this somewhat ridiculous role off, but it’s all very silly. It’s a shame he wasn’t up a couple years prior for A History of Violence.

It comes down to Tommy Lee Jones and Daniel Day-Lewis who are doing very different things in very different films. Paul Haggis’ In the Valley of Elah is not a good film at all, and that Jones failed to pick up nominations at the Golden Globes or the Screen Actor’s Guild is a credit to how hard this film bombed along with the other Iraq War films of 2007. Imagine Kevin Costner in this role, and you see really how shallow this film really is. Everyone around Jones remains the same and becomes horrible. With Tommy Lee Jones, the film becomes somewhat credible. He’s a great actor who had a great year with this and No Country for Old Men. I think he might give a better performance in No Country… but it also comes with the caveat that the (how shall we say it?) extended use of Jones in the end is a bit problematic.

But I haven’t voted for Daniel Day-Lewis yet and I think this is the place to do so. I’m very much a champion of There Will Be Blood. I think it’s an incredible piece of filmmaking, and I was given the pleasure to watch the film at a sneak preview in New York before going on Birthright, and Anderson and Day-Lewis were in attendance. I haven’t seen an audience nervously chuckle at a final scene like that in some time. Just as much credit should be administered to the editor Dylan Tichenor for holding on each frame so long that Daniel Plainview can be seen in the full bravado that Day-Lewis performs. It’s hammy, it’s over the top, and it’s perfectly in sync with what Paul Thomas Anderson intended. He got hozannahs (including from me at the time) for his Bill the Butcher, an enjoyable piece of ham that was certainly the strongest aspect of Gangs of New York (aside from the art direction), but he’s used to far more mature effect here and he gets my vote.

My Picks
1. Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
2. Gordon Pinsent, Away from Her
3. Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood
4. Josh Brolin, No Country for Old Men
5. Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah
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Re: Best Actor 2007

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:52 am

I think is a year when some of the best performances were given by up-and-coming young actors. This is the year Ryan Gosling should have been recognized for his one-of-akind performance in Lars and the Real Girl. James McAvoy should have been recognized for Atonement and Emile Hirsch should certainly have been recognized for Into the Wild.

Thta said, I still liked all of the actual nominees, but to make room for those three. I would have left Clooney, Depp and Jones off the roster.

George Clooney was, to me, playing George Clooney in Michael Clayton. That's not a bad thing, but why throw a nod to a recent winner when there were so many other, better choices?

Johnny Depp was hardly the most commanding Sweeney Todd we could have seen, but he did a decent enough job. This was by far the best of his three nominated performances.

Tommy Lee Jones gave one of his best performances in In the Valley of Elah, but a mere three-four years after I saw it the film itself runs together in my head with similar films and TV shows.

Viggo Mortensen deserved his long sought after first nomination for Eastern Promises, but for sheer intensity no actor this year, up-and-coming or seasoned, came close to Daniel Day-Lewis who mesmerizes throughout There Will Be Blood. He gets my vote.
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Best Actor 2007

Postby ksrymy » Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:33 am

This is a very weak lineup with only one truly amazing performance.

Jones and Mortensen are in forgettable films and do standard also-ran work here. Mortensen should have been nominated for A History of Violence two years earlier instead.

I really like Sweeney Todd and I'm sure most here do not. I think Depp would get more credit for his casting and acting had someone other than Tim Burton directed the film. He's no singer but Depp commands screen attention and mesmerizes us and drags us to his own personal hell where we are kept for quite some time until we get a beautiful catharsis. A fully-deserved nominee in my book.

I also really enjoy Michael Clayton, which I think is far better than No Country for Old Men, and I'm sure, again, most would disagree. But I think Clooney does better work in this film than most although it is definitely not up to his Up in the Air work. Clooney is able to hold his own against Wilkinson and Swinton but the two supporting players outshine him.

But how could you not vote for Day-Lewis? This is probably the single greatest male performance of the 2000s. No more to say. This performance is in a league of its own. I remember knowing he would win the Oscar come awards night (as did everyone else) but I was still as happy as ever to see him win and get his second Oscar. I vote Day-Lewis by a mile.

1. Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
2. Philip Seymour Hoffman - The Savages
3. Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
4. Nebojša Glogovac - Klopka
5. George Clooney - Michael Clayton
6. Ryan Gosling - Lars and the Real Girl
Last edited by ksrymy on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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