Categories One-By-One: Actor

For the films of 2014
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Heksagon » Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:46 pm

After a lot of thinking, I decided to change my prediction and go with Redmayne over Keaton after all. But goddamnit, if Keaton now ends up winning, it will be the last time I'll ever catch myself thinking too much about some category and making last minute changes.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Sabin » Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:03 pm

I'm going to post something written by Ed Gonzalez that I read on his annual(ly fantastic) Oscar Predictions section at Slant.

Yes, Keaton's performance appeals to actors, the largest branch of AMPAS; in his weathered face, and in his character's turmoil on and off the stage, they recognize their own struggles with transformation and the fine line they often walk between reality and pretend. But, then, how does one explain why he lost both the SAG and BAFTA to Redmayne? It could be that the sincerity that Keaton displayed on the stage of the Golden Globes was so unmistakable as to call Birdman's often willful, and wily, lack of it into question. Throughout the film, Keaton and his co-stars are understood to be an unmistakably integral part of a meta puzzle that, as formal exercise, is incredibly virtuosic, even though too often it's easy to see them hitting their marks on a pathway toward a finale that lacks for emotional resonance.

In short, the audience is never really sure if Keaton's Riggan is actually baring his soul or conning them. Which is one way to understand the incredible appeal of Redmayne's performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything and why it towers above the dull film that contains it. The James Marsh film doesn't lack for actorly masterstrokes, the most glorious of which is a scene where Stephen admits to his wife that he hasn't ruled out God's existence, only to then torturously tell her, through his computer-based communication system, that he's fallen for another woman. And the range of feelings packed into this exchange, its astonishingly subtle display of humane empathy, is conveyed brilliantly by Redmayne almost entirely through eyes whose commitment to the truth the audience never doubts.


Does Keaton have a shot? Of course. But Michael Keaton's comeback, the grace of his speeches, the story of the thing, supplants the actual performance which is good but for me has always been distant. Sad clowns don't often win, let alone against what has to be the most "special" (handicapped) performance in the history of the Academy Awards.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Feb 20, 2015 11:46 am

Mister Tee wrote:J. Hoberman notes, in the NY Review of Books, that Chris Kyle is not the first American to rack up a lot of kills in a foreign war and then be immortalized on film – in fact, another famous director achieved the greatest commercial hit of HIS career on the subject, with an actor named Cooper playing the central role then, as well. And that Cooper, in 1941 did win the Oscar.


Yes, but Howard Hawks' Sergeant York, released a little over two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, was a rallying cry for a war almost everyone was behind after the attack. Gary Cooper, who had two other 1941 films in play, Capra's Meet John Doe and Hawks' Ball of Fire, with 1942's The Pride of the Yankees already in theatres, was the presumptive favorite, having already won the only extant precursor, the New York Film Critics Award.

The difference, is of course, that American Sniper is abut an unpopular war and while I think a lot of Academy members can separate the war from the warrior, not all can. Besides which, timing is an issue. Had the nominations been announced around this time as they were in years past, and the awards not given out until April, Cooper's momentum might have built more, especially now that his Broadway run in The Elephant Man is ending and he would be free to campaign more. Still, it's a possible win, but not so possible that it won't be seen as an upset, one that would probably get more ink than any other award this year.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Heksagon » Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:42 am

nightwingnova wrote:https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/brutally-honest-oscar-ballot-no-773848


Frankly, this guy just sounds like a moron. There are, however, a couple of statements which, I feel, might have wider sympathy with the Academy.

Hollywood Reporter wrote:I’ve met Stephen Hawking and this guy [The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne] got him just right — he was the most believable character in all of the movies this year and it’s an amazing performance.


I also may need to change my view on the Best Editing category because of this comment. I don’t personally sympathize with it, but a lot of people appear to think that way.

Hollywood Reporter wrote:➻ BEST FILM EDITING
No question it’s Boyhood. With Boyhood you couldn’t take footage from one period and shove it into the other to cover a mistake. I mean, what a hard movie. Each year worked. MY VOTE: Boyhood


You should recall, however, that this guy gives the exact same rationale for why he’s going to vote for Linklater in the Best Director category.

Hollywood Reporter wrote:What he [Boyhood’s Richard Linklater] did is amazing. Trust me, it’s not easy to make a film over a few months. Twelve years? That’s incredible and demanded a lot of vision and effort.


For me, it’s completely crazy to think that the film is a great achievement just because of the gimmick that it was filmed over twelve years. But if even professional filmmakers feel that way, all right then.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Feb 19, 2015 6:32 pm

Though clearly the best actor field was more densely populated than best actress, I find the actress slate, relative to what was available, far more high-quality. Apart from Keaton and maybe Cooper, I can’t get excited about this group – for me, Fiennes, Spall, Gyllenhaal and Phoenix are far more interesting than the ones who ended up nominated. Which underlines my long-held conviction: the greater choice you offer voters, the more they’ll disappoint you.

J. Hoberman notes, in the NY Review of Books, that Chris Kyle is not the first American to rack up a lot of kills in a foreign war and then be immortalized on film – in fact, another famous director achieved the greatest commercial hit of HIS career on the subject, with an actor named Cooper playing the central role then, as well. And that Cooper, in 1941 did win the Oscar.

People are always talking up the possibility of a Chariots of Fire-like, swoop into the middle of what seems a two-person race upset, and that’s what’s being called for with Cooper, here. The main things he has going for him are his three-consecutive-nods situation and the film’s enormous gross (more than the other four put together). But I don’t hear many calling his performance the year’s best, which would seem to be important in a “choose one” vote.

Apologies to Carell and Cumberbatch (the latter of whom must have “I thought I was a contender” nightmares), but it seems a mano-a-mano match between Redmayne and Keaton. I recognize the advantages Redmayne has – the glaringly obvious physical work, the “impression of a celebrity” factor that puts him in line with many 21st century winners, and, of course, the win at SAG (ten straight years SAG and Oscar have matched – though, as Mark Harris noted yesterday, the four years prior to that were an o-fer). But Keaton has his advantages, as well: vastly more critical recognition, even from the dopey groups you’d have expected to swoon for Redmayne (whose only win prior to his TV run was from the Online Film Critics Society); a role that had him playing, essentially, three different characters; and, of course, years of service to the industry, which would seem to have a good many people rooting him on. (In a way, these two top contenders bifurcate Matthew McConaughey’s profile from last season: one with the showy physical degradation role, the other the one-time star back from years of professional oblivion.)

What makes me think Keaton has a better shot than many believe centers on Birdman’s apparent central role in the best picture race. Yes, SAG proved voters can vote Birdman the top prize while passing on Keaton…but Birdman’s Guild dominance suggests it has a very high level of popularity, maybe enough to sweep, which could be enough to drag Keaton over the line. I’d note that, in many contested best actor races, the best picture choice has carried along its leading man, sometimes against prediction: Kingsley over the field in ’82, Hopkins over Nolte in ’91, Spacey over Washington in ’99, Crowe over Hanks in ’00, Dujardin over Clooney in ’11. Only two exceptions really jump out: Washington over Crowe in ’01 – which had much to do with Crowe’s having won the year prior (and Denzel having lost just two years before); and, the one on which Redmayne fans are depending, Daniel Day-Lewis over Morgan Freeman in ’89 (though that was a true three-way race, with Tom Cruise the third point on the triangle).

I’m certainly not dismissing Redmayne’s chances; there are those who genuinely admire his work (like dws), and others who are simply impressed by all that physicality. But I think completely waving off Keaton’s chances is foolhardy.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby CalWilliam » Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:38 pm

nightwingnova wrote:Insightful interview with Academy voter who doesn't vote for actors in movies he doesn't like. He didn't get Birdman. Amazing.

Seals it for me for Redmayne.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/ ... -no-773848


For heaven's sake. I bet Hollywood Reporter talks to the most random sort of troubled members of the Academy, because this is just insane. These kinds of voters are those who perpetrated things like Ron Howard winning for directing, because they didn't cry with Mulholland Drive.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby nightwingnova » Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:15 pm

Insightful interview with Academy voter who doesn't vote for actors in movies he doesn't like. He didn't get Birdman. Amazing.

Seals it for me for Redmayne.

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/ ... -no-773848

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Kellens101 » Thu Feb 19, 2015 8:23 am

I have a sinking feeling Redmayne will win this. I'm really rooting for Michael Keaton for the year's best Best Actor performance.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby nightwingnova » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:14 pm

Unfortunately, as much as I am rooting for Keaton, we saw what omnipresent personal campaigning can do, e.g., Roberto Benigni.

CalWilliam wrote:My instinct keeps saying me Eddie Redmayne over and over again. What an easy choice for an average Academy member. I will be very surprised and very pleased if he doesn't win.
I don't think Birdman MUST win along with Keaton, it'd make perfect sense Birdman being the winner with directing, screenplay and cinematography. In fact, comebacks didn't go well some other times (Bill Murray, Mickey Rourke), and I know that Redmayne is not Sean Penn, but he is playing the perfect Oscar-friendly role, period. I can imagine an Academy member thinking Keaton is not a career-worthy Oscar actor, no matter this role. Or some others could think that rewarding Redmayne would be like showing some kind of respect to actual Hawking's persona.

The possible Bradley Cooper upset disturbes me a lot. That must not happen, for Oscars' sake.

Steve Carell is a "thanks for coming" slot, and Cumberbatch, well, I am really sorry for him. I mean, for me he is the best here, and he is suffering the consequences of his movie's many flaws and Weinstein's shameful campaign.

Good luck for Keaton. This is as clear it will be Redmayne as Moore, Simmons and Arquette. Incredibly disappointing acting categories this year.

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby CalWilliam » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:41 pm

My instinct keeps saying me Eddie Redmayne over and over again. What an easy choice for an average Academy member. I will be very surprised and very pleased if he doesn't win.
I don't think Birdman MUST win along with Keaton, it'd make perfect sense Birdman being the winner with directing, screenplay and cinematography. In fact, comebacks didn't go well some other times (Bill Murray, Mickey Rourke), and I know that Redmayne is not Sean Penn, but he is playing the perfect Oscar-friendly role, period. I can imagine an Academy member thinking Keaton is not a career-worthy Oscar actor, no matter this role. Or some others could think that rewarding Redmayne would be like showing some kind of respect to actual Hawking's persona.

The possible Bradley Cooper upset disturbes me a lot. That must not happen, for Oscars' sake.

Steve Carell is a "thanks for coming" slot, and Cumberbatch, well, I am really sorry for him. I mean, for me he is the best here, and he is suffering the consequences of his movie's many flaws and Weinstein's shameful campaign.

Good luck for Keaton. This is as clear it will be Redmayne as Moore, Simmons and Arquette. Incredibly disappointing acting categories this year.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:45 pm

I really don't see anyone but Michael Keaton winning this one especially if Birdman is as popular as all the guild awards would seem to indicate. Eddie Redmayne's run seems to have been based on all the campaigning he did around the time of the Globes and SAG awards. With that in the background now, voters should be best to voting for the original presumed front-runner. A win for Bradley Cooper would be both a shock and a likely giveaway that box office phenomenon American Sniper will be the surprise Best Picture winner. I don't see that happening.

Neither Steve Carrell nor Bendict Cumberbatch are going to come from behind at the last minute to win anything.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Uri » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:46 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Greg wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Has there ever been an actor (not previously awarded) who is nominated three times in a row and then still does not get the Oscar on the third attempt?


From 1952 to 1955, Marlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor for A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, and Julius Caesar, before finally winning his first Oscar for On the Waterfront.

Thanks, Greg. I just found another: poor Thelma Ritter was nominated a whopping four times in a row from 1950-53 for Best Supporting Actress (All About Eve, The Mating Season, With a Song in My Heart, Pickup on South Street) without winning.


Gregory Peck was nominated in ’45, ’46 and ’47 without a win and Pacino was nominated unlucky four times (’72-’75). So (at least for some of us) there is hope Cooper will go home empty-handed.

Edit: Debora Kerr didn't win in '56-'58. Like Brando, Elizabeth Taylor lost in '57-'59 before winning in '60.

Edit #2: Poor Glen Close, loosing in '82-'84 (among many other occasions).

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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby flipp525 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:52 am

Greg wrote:
flipp525 wrote:Has there ever been an actor (not previously awarded) who is nominated three times in a row and then still does not get the Oscar on the third attempt?


From 1952 to 1955, Marlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor for A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, and Julius Caesar, before finally winning his first Oscar for On the Waterfront.

Thanks, Greg. I just found another: poor Thelma Ritter was nominated a whopping four times in a row from 1950-53 for Best Supporting Actress (All About Eve, The Mating Season, With a Song in My Heart, Pickup on South Street) without winning.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby Greg » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:45 am

flipp525 wrote:Has there ever been an actor (not previously awarded) who is nominated three times in a row and then still does not get the Oscar on the third attempt?


From 1952 to 1955, Marlon Brando was nominated for Best Actor for A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, and Julius Caesar, before finally winning his first Oscar for On TheWaterfront.
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Re: Categories One-By-One: Actor

Postby dws1982 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:10 am

I would vote 100% for Cooper, but I won't have a problem with Redmayne winning this. Watched the movie again the other night, and it's a very solid, committed piece of work, and a fully coherent performance as well--even as he goes through various stages of illness and is forced to do less and less, you still see traces of that same person. And that scene towards the end where he tells Jane that he's taking Elaine with him to America is, due to Redmayne and Jones, one of the best-acted scenes of the year, I think. Carrell would be a fine choice too. Didn't really care for Cumberbatch, and thought Keaton was fine but I don't quite understand all the hype, just like I didn't with Mickey Rourke's similar comeback a few years ago.


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