Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscars! Final Predictions [The Actors]

Actor in a Leading Role

George Clooney - Michael Clayton
Daniel Day-Lewis - There Will Be Blood
Johnny Depp - Sweeney Todd
Tommy Lee Jones - In The Valley Of Elah
Viggo Mortensen - Eastern Promises

Should Win: I admire all of these performances, but the only two I wrestle with in my mind are Day Lewis' sinister turn as a guy engulfed by the greed and competition of the era, Darwinian to the extreme, and Tommy Lee Jones' perfectly-pitched performance as a grieving father, in which he's effectively asked to become an amateur sleuth and constantly rises far, far above this. My favourite is probably Daniel Day-Lewis.

Will Win: Daniel Day-Lewis. In 2002 he led the critics, precursors etc. and lost out to Adrien Brody. A good decision if you ask me. But this year there is no pianist, and there is no pretender. It's so rewarding to witness someone like Daniel Day-Lewis talk about his work because you can really truly feel his passion. It's easy to think of Actors as they are in gossip magazines: distant, diplomatic, unaware, but this is a man who belongs at the centre of everything. A true oscar winner, if you will. And a two-time Oscar winner after tonight. No doubt about that.

Actor in a Supporting Role

Casey Affleck - The Assassination of Jesse James
Javier Bardem - No Country For Old Men
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Charlie Wilson's War
Hal Holbrook - Into The Wild
Tom Wilkinson - Michael Clayton

Should Win: I haven't seen Hal Holbrook, and I must say I'm a bit disappointed with this category. The one nominee I emotionally registered with is most definitely a 'Leading' actor, and the other three I've seen I like but don't love. Nevertheless, Javier Bardem's jaunt through No Country is a harrowing experience, and it's testament to how well the film is constructed that he never feels like a cartoon. Presence is his weapon, and it's a potent one.

Will Win: Javier Bardem. Duh. People haven't been able to look past this performance. It's in a hugely popular film, and belongs to a charismatic, beautiful man. Who can argue against that?

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