Friday, February 25, 2011

Countdown to the Oscars: Best Actor

the nominees for best actor are:

javier bardem
, biutiful
jeff bridges, true grit
jesse eisenberg, the social network
colin firth, the king's speech
james franco, 127 hours

a little old.... a little new in this category. we have jeff bridges scoring his sixth nomination and, of course, he won for the first time in last year's crazy heart. bardem has scored his third nomination and firth scored his second. of course, barden already won for 2007's brilliant no country for old men. firth's first nomination came just last year when he lost to fellow nominee, jeff bridges.

meanwhile..... jesse eisenberg and james franco both score their first nods.

let's go ahead and count out the two, first time nominees. i think franco is very good in a small film very few people could stomach the idea of watching. it's a nomination to reward his talent... and for not nominating him previously for milk.

eisenberg could win if there's a big push for the social network. but it appears the king's speech has taken the wind out of facebook's sails. (more on that in another post.)

i also don't see jeff bridges winning a second oscar the year after just winning his first. only nine actors in the 83 year history of the academy awards have won two best actor oscars... and only two in consecutive years (spencer tracy and tom hanks).

javier bardem also has an uphill battle if he hopes to win for biutiful. not only has he already won an oscar recently.... but the last and only time the best actor statue went to a foreign language film performance was 1997. roberto benigni upset the entire oscar telecast (and, more!) when he won for that piece of shit film, life is beautiful. i'm still trying to figure that one out and occasionally wake up with lingering night terrors recalling the moment.

(incidentally, the only other foreign language film performance to win an oscar is sophia loren, best actress - two women. some consider robert deniro's supporting actor win for the godfather, part 2 a foreign language performance win. which it is... except for one line he exclusively speaks italian. but the film is not considered a foreign language film.)

but i digress.......

if i was comfortable calling any category a lock, it would be best actor. sooooo.... i'm saying it's a lock. and it appears to be a lock like most acting categories. even though i've said the other categories could very possibly see an upset. however... this appears to be the most solid lock and the one i'd put the most money on.

colin firth..... long overlooked for a long career of great performances, has scored his second oscar nod this year. a year after he probably should have won for a single man but.... well, who could say "no" to finally awarding jeff bridges his oscar? crazy heart wasn't great.... but it was time. (see it like al pacino finally winning for the pretty awful film, scent of a woman.)

but colin firth has been on a roll winning awards for the king's speech. not only has he won every british award, he's also picked up critics awards from chicago, florida, kansas city, L.A., san francisco, D.C. and the golden globes. he also snagged the much coveted screen actors guild.

and most importantly: he deserves to win for this performance this year. firth's king is cold and prickly... but he's also endearing and afraid... he is all of us. and we want him to succeed and that is the driving force and the power behind this film. without the audience wanting firth to say that next word without hesitation is the key to the entire film. and firth makes us all want that.

it's an amazing performance. both emotionally and technically. beyond his stuttering. his perfect timing in line delivery. pay attention to his lazy r's. the soft pallet of a man with a speech impediment. it's masterful.

firth should and will win. so.......

will win: colin firth, the king's speech
should win: colin firth, the king's speech


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