Best Actor 2015

Best Actor 2015

Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
No votes
Total votes: 25

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby FilmFan720 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:39 am

The crummiest line-up of the year, hands down.

Eddie Redmayne seems lost all through The Danish Girl. Leonardo DiCaprio, as usual, tries much too hard all through The Revenant and it shows. Bryan Cranston can be a very good actor, but he can't get past the blandness of Trumbo. Michael Fassbender is fine as Steve Jobs, but doesn't really bring anything interesting to the role. Matt Damon is my easy vote, mostly for being the most lively performance of the bunch and for carrying a film that shoouldn't work as well as it does.

My top 5:
1. Ben Mendelssohn, Mississippi Grind
2. Andrew Garfield, 99 Homes
3. Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
4. Jacob Tremblay, Room
5. Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby mojoe92 » Wed Jun 29, 2016 1:41 am

Bryan Cranston is the best of the bunch and easily gets my vote

Redmayne is just awful and just as bad if not worse than his terrible work in Theory of Everything

DiCaprio is probably the worst of the line up- grunting and screaming does not equal Oscar worthy work

Fassbender is boring, MacBeth would have been a more worthy nomination

Matt Damon never gave me Oscar worthy watching his film- it gave me Matt Damon

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby Cinephile12 » Wed Apr 13, 2016 5:20 am

Most recent Best Actor lineups have been dreadful. This is no exception.

Cranston is a ham. Always has been. His mediocrity is proven even more in "Trumbo", a terrible film with a terrible lead performance.

Unsurprisingly, Eddie Redmayne is not better. Talk about skin-deep understanding of a character! Redmayne is so superficial, so "stagey" and so ridiculous. An awful nomination and far inferior to his (admittedly mediocre) work in "The Theory of Everything". He should have been nominated for a Razzie, along with Jupiter Ascending.

DiCaprio is merely serviceable in "The Revenant", which is another pompous pseudo-arthouse Iñárritu pile of shit. He shows his character's agony and pain quite well, but this isn't a noteworthy acting achievement. He should have won for either "The Departed" or "The Wolf of Wall Street".

Damon is perfectly fine in an undemanding role; his wit and charisma shine. In a stronger year, he'd be a filler nominee at best.

Fassbender is the only one who does deserve a nomination (although he's not win-worthy!) for his neurotic and layered creation of Steve Jobs. Sure, he doesn't look like Jobs, but this is a substantial and complex performance, and the only choice in this horrid lineup.

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:52 am

I'm abstaining from this one.

This is one of the worst line-ups ever, though to be far the Academy had little to choose from.

Michael Fassbender is easily the best but he is undermined by an awfully constructed film. It probably didn't help my judgement of the film that I had only weeks earlier seen Alex Gibney's recent documentary on Steve Jobs, but than again Gibney's documentary also helped me appreciate what a good job Fassbender had done.

Various others names have been mentioned in this thread and with the exception of Tom Courtney, I don't care much for any the others. My favourite performances of 2015 in this category were from films that were not eligible and ones that the Academy would never consider anyway.

The two best performances I have seen from 2015 are from Fabrice Luchini (Courted - fully deserved his Venice Best Actor Award) & Vincent Lindon (The Measure of a Man -fully deserved his Cannes Best Actor Award). The awful Bryan Cranston should be made to watch those two films over and over again to see great acting doesn't have to be so large, loud and broad.
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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby ksrymy » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:25 am

Eddie Redmayne, once again, turns in one of the most godawful performances of the year in one of the year's most atrocious films. His work in The Danish Girl is stupendously bad. It's even more mannered than his post-ALS Hawking work the year before. Oscar needs to stop honoring this guy. He may have been good on Broadway in Red, but I haven't seen him in that so I cannot comment.

Leonardo DiCaprio's entire campaign was, "Do you know all the stuff I did for this movie? I was soooooooo hard, guys," and everyone knows it. I'm happy to see him win not because he's deserving but because the internet and general public can finally shut up about him not having won. I respect Leo for being the kind of guy who can get the public to see more artsy films, but, man, if those people aren't super annoying about it afterwards... As for his performance, it wasn't really anything special at all - just very physical.

Trumbo isn't very good, but it does have Bryan Cranston going for it which is alright. He's one of our best, and I'm glad to see him going after that EGOT. I just wish his nomination had been for a better film. His work is perfectly serviceable and harmless.

I'm not surprised to see board-favorite Michael Fassbender leading for an Aaron Sorkin film here. I thought Fassbender was very good as the title character in Steve Jobs even if the film is the biggest Sorkin-bation fest I've ever seen. His scenes opposite his daughter are an interesting combination of weary, loving, and cold. Credit to Fassbender for getting this dynamic right. And though Fassbender's America accent is pretty shaky, he does a good job overall. He lets us inside this distant icon in some incredible ways.

But my choice here, pretty easily, I'd say, is Matt Damon. I absolutely loved The Martian. I love its being grounded in realism, I love the mix of humor and drama. I was mostly glad, though, to see Ridley Scott back in form. But, as my wife and I agreed leaving the theater, only someone like Matt Damon could pull that role off. He's got the right kind of box-office draw, he's handsome, and he's got charisma for days. And nobody wants to be stuck sol after sol with a drippy, dull as dishwater lead. Damon's lowkey yet charmingly cocky Mark Watney is incredible. It's his best-ever work. The "Mark Watney, Space Pirate" lines are too good. An easy choice.

My Best Actor shouldabeens would look a little something like:

01. Michael Caine, Youth
02. Jacob Tremblay, Room
03. Matt Damon, The Martian
04. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
05. Steve Carell, The Big Short

Michael Caine floored me in Youth. I figured he'd decided to check out of serious film for good after he signed onto Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy and films like Now You See Me, but chalk it up to Paolo Sorrentino to get the most touching, grueling performance of the year out of an 83-year old veteran. Caine's big scene, explaining the Simple Songs - #3 in particular, was gut-wrenching. Absolutely amazing work.

Jacob Tremblay, though obvious slated in support for Oscar consideration under the Tatum Rule, was the big revelation of the year for many film fans; I don't think he was mine (that would probably be Alex Garland's direction), but Tremblay's performance really took me aback. I expected to like Brie Larson because I've been crushing on her for years and have liked her since her sitcom work in the late 2000s, but Tremblay steals the show. Credit to him and Lenny Abrahamson for this performance. I am known to be a hater of child performances (especially from those goddamn Bobby Driscoll types), but I know a great one when I see it. This is one of those.

And Steve Carell was probably my favorite part of The Big Short that wasn't Margot Robbie in a bathtub (or Christian Bale, maybe). Carell's character's frustrations are perfectly conveyed through this gifted comedian who hits all the right notes to keep the tone of the film even and flowing. As you've heard a million times this last awards season, making a comedy out of our nation's financial crisis is a daunting task, but give credit to Carell and longtime partner-in-crime Adam McKay to nail the tones and themes that needed to be laid down. The scene where Carell is asking questions he's specifically told not to killed me. Excellent, excellent work.

Other good also-rans this year would have been Michael B. Jordan's electric performance as the title character in Creed. I've been saying for a few years now that he's one to look out for, and I'm glad this is proving to be true. Jordan is a class act with many successful years ahead of him. And those looks and that charisma are going to lead him to bigger, better places. Tom Courtenay, who outshines his co-star in 45 Years, is solid. His frustrations with his wife are universal and you can tell how exhausted he is by film's end.

I'm unfortunately missing Paul Dano in Love & Mercy, Geza Rohrig in Son of Saul, and Jason Segel in The End of the Tour, but I plan on getting around to those soon. And that isn't even mentioning other films I've yet to discover. But, with that aside, this is a fairly weak year with less than ten worthy nominees (from what I've seen).
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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:00 pm

Can we possibly stagger these things more -- not have a 1950s screenplay thread running concurrently with these updates on last year's race? Both require a bit of effort, plus there's the election thread, and people keep dying (in this horrible mortality year) -- with so much to comment on, I feel like I'm falling so far behind my impulse is to blow things off entirely. One active thread at a time, please?

For the second year in a row, I've found the Academy's slate for best actor almost entirely disappointing. In both years, my ultimate winner choice made an appearance, but I'm not sure I'd have nominated any of the others; meanwhile, worthy choices sit unmentioned.

Well, unmentioned except by BJ, since he highlighted four actors I'd have preferred to most of this year's slate -- Rohrig, Courtenay, Tremblay and Segel. I'd also consider some of the borderline supporting entries: Paul Dano and Michael Keaton.

It's a toss-up which nominee I consider worst, Cranston or Redmayne. Both headlined undistinguished biopics, and both gave very surface-y takes on their characters. Cranston, for me, seems in danger of sliding into permanent hambone territory (I should confess, I never loved him, even on Breaking Bad, but in Trumbo he really just struts for the camera). And, much as I thought Redmayne wildly overrated in Theory of Everything, in Danish Girl I think he gives close to an actively bad performance.

Like BJ, I'm fine with the idea of Leonardo DiCaprio as an Oscar winner -- for Wolf of Wall Street, or What's Eating Gilbert Grape? I simply can't see giving him a prize when he didn't even have a character to play. His "acting" in The Revenant amounted to grunting and running for 2 1/2 hours; he had almost as little dialogue as Holly Hunter in The Piano, with none of the compensatory non-verbal communication. I don't see this win wearing well in history.

I have to say I like the fact that the year's threadbare line-up made it possible for Matt Damon to get a nomination that probably wouldn't have come in most competitions. Damon's role obviously doesn't run deep, but he maybe more than any of the other nominees added VALUE to his film -- his personality, his humor, his ingenuity elevated the script above potboiler and made it a genuinely pleasurable experience. It's not a performance for the ages, but it's some of the best movie star work I've seen in a very long time.

But Michael Fassbender is best in this field by such a margin it brings to mind Secretariat's run at the Belmont -- no competitor is close enough to even be seen in the rear-view. He handles Sorkin's demanding dialogue effortlessly, and lets us appreciate -- if not like -- a notoriously difficult man, in his many facets. A truly sensational performance, as good a best actor option as the Academy has had this decade, and an easy choice for me.

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby mlrg » Thu Apr 07, 2016 5:35 pm

Voted for Dicaprio

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Apr 07, 2016 3:08 pm

My nominees would have included Géza Röhrig, Jacob Tremblay, and Tom Courtenay, all from movies that received other nominations, so it's not like voters would have had to look that far afield to find stronger options. I also think Jason Segel gives the kind of performance in The End of the Tour that makes you completely re-evaluate what you thought of the actor's abilities up to that point.

It's possible my lack of enthusiasm for Eddie Redmayne has more to do with the kinds of movies he's in rather than his abilities...but then, I think his miscalculated work is still the biggest liability in The Danish Girl, so maybe not.

I've liked Bryan Cranston a lot elsewhere, but Trumbo was an example of hammy biopic thesping in service of material pitched at the cheesiest level possible.

I don't object to the idea of an Oscar for DiCaprio -- he's done some impressive work over the years, and always seems to want to headline exciting projects -- but there was barely a character to play in The Revenant.

Matt Damon is funny in unexpected ways throughout The Martian, and gets pretty far on sheer charisma. Not a great acting performance, but appealing as a blockbuster star turn.

But I think Michael Fassbender wipes the floor with the competition, showing the neurotic and suffocating aspects of Steve Jobs's personality with big dramatic flair, while at the same time finding great empathy in his struggle to communicate with other humans as well as he does the machines he invents. An easy winner for me.

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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby CalWilliam » Thu Apr 07, 2016 11:04 am

How will DiCaprio's Oscar be remembered in the future? I think there are worse winners in this category, but I'm sure that his victory - he won't win a second so easily- sort of echoes Russell Crowe's, even if he HAD a character as Maximus, because we don't know anything about Hugh Glass in The Revenant. The performance is just his eyes and his physical effort, and it's perfectly fine. It's a shame that he finally won an Oscar for this instead of The Departed, Revolutionary Road, J. Edgar or even Django Unchained. Anyway, I don't have anything against it beyond what it stands for. I think he wouldn't have won without Twitter. Maybe.

Cranston acts too much, yes, and Redmayne is worse than the performance he won the Oscar for, which doesn't say much of him. My runner-up is Damon, a thoroughly deserved citation, even if one shouldn't take it too seriously, but it's the perfect paradigm of charisma and making look a difficult performance quite easy. The winner, though, should have been Michael Fassbender, who is stellar in Steve Jobs. Who cares if he doesn't resemble him? The film could have been titled Franz Liszt and the result would have been the same: stellar. This is an actor who should have already won two Oscars.
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Re: Best Actor 2015

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:38 am

I don't have a problem with Leonardo DiCaprio's win for The Revenant per se, although it was clearly the result of his relentless campaigning. He is, however, not my choice..

Bryan Cranston's hambone portrayal of Trumbo should not have gotten anywhere near a nomination.

Eddie Redmayne's performance is a bit wane and pales in comparison to Alicia's Vikander's more passionate performance in this largely fictitious interpretation of The Danish Girl.

Steve Jobs is more a showcase for Aaron Sorkin's dialogue heavy screenplay than anything truly interesting or enlightening about the title character and Michael Fassbender's strong performance, though worthy of a nomination falls short of a deserved win because of it.

Matt Damon gives one of his most ingratiating performances in The Martian, and out of these rather ho-hum nominees, he's the clear choice for me.

Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, Ian McKellen in Mr. Holmes and Jacob Tremlay in The Room should have gotten the nominations that went to Cranston and Redmayne.

Others worth considering were Géza Rohrig in Son of Saul, Tom Courtenay in 45 Years and Will Smith in Concussion.
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Best Actor 2015

Postby CalWilliam » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:12 am

Who is your choice for this year's best leading actor?
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