February 19, 2009

trivial pursuit continued......and the act of sincerity

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

* Josh Brolin in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Robert Downey Jr. in “Tropic Thunder” (DreamWorks)
* Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Heath Ledger in “The Dark Knight” (Warner Bros.)
* Michael Shannon in “Revolutionary Road” (DreamWorks)

Why Heath Ledger? (its pretty obvious but will explain my point of view nonetheless) Because firstly, he lived the Joker role so much so, all his roles, it seems, that the cumulative effect possibly ultimately destroyed him, leading to his way too early death. Which brings us to secondly: clearly, he has done amazing,profound work in the past and would have continued to do so in the future. This is his last chance. And thats why he is going to win. Tragic enough its posthumously.

Josh Brolin? Haven´t seen the film, love this guy´s work. He´ll go on to do more.
Robert Downey Jr? Performance as usual was great. And a win would spark more controversy - or rather, renewed, regurgitated discussions we´ve all heard before. Seems most don´t get the neat spear-sharp hypocrisy arrow aimed at Hollywood thats enmeshed within this particular role.
Philip Seymour Hoffman? Ok. Mr. basically-I-can-win-any-award-with-anything-I-do guy/actor incarnate, it`d be almost creepy if he weren´t so damned good. I´d even go as far as to say he is the Mr. Streep. PSH will be adding more O´s to his collection soon.
Michael Shannon? I loved the film. But if anyone wins besides Ledger, it won´t be Shannon. Not enough hype generated to get him the nod. Good actor though.

Performance by an actress in a leading role

* Anne Hathaway in “Rachel Getting Married” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Angelina Jolie in “Changeling” (Universal)
* Melissa Leo in “Frozen River” (Sony Pictures Classics)
* Meryl Streep in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Kate Winslet in “The Reader” (The Weinstein Company)

Ok. Meryl Streep is divine. In anything and everything she does. Aside from the fact, that she remains this down2earth regular non-annoying actor person (and I love her for that) her consistency at the highest level of acting artistry - you know, making it look easy, her tersely cogent portrayal of Sister Aloysius Beauvier is a masterpiece of "uniform terror".

Kate Winslet? After reading two completely idiotic, in part rabidly racist articles* regarding the film and Ms. Winslet's performance and participation in general, I would embrace her win almost as much as a Streep win. (A separate opinion on this topic regarding "The Reader" forthcoming in a later blog)
Anne Hathaway? Um, no. She is sweet and all, but well, her time will come.
Ms. Jolie? I think I´ll have a ample supply of chocolate cookies at hand, ready for a concentrated blast of endorphins, in case, defying all reasons of reason, she does win. To quelch the certain upchuck gag-inducing reaction I´ll be sure to have. Her work is epigonic ie she is a second-rate imitator. Not impressed. With any of her work. Besides, her continued Mother Teresa shannanigens rescind all further considerations of being taken seriously as an actress true to her profession.
Melissa Leo? Um, have to admit - no opinion as I´ve never heard of her nor the film. Note to myself: do check out. So apologies to Ms. Leo.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

* Amy Adams in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Penélope Cruz in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (The Weinstein Company)
* Viola Davis in “Doubt” (Miramax)
* Taraji P. Henson in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount&Warner)
* Marisa Tomei in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

Marisa Tomei starred in a movie back in 1994 titled "Only You". Its a soulmate-search themed movie. Admittedly, am partial to those. Especially, if the result has such sincere, sweet fluency. The chemistry between her and Robert Downey Jr., as the object of her ceaseless quest to find only him, is incredibly charming and potent. Fanned her then. Love her still. Tomei´s low-key generous realistic portrayals between then and now unfailingly steady. I haven´t seen "The Wrestler" yet but all afore-mentioned reasons are enough for me. Therefore, in my opinion, time for a reward.

Amy Adams? No, she was annoyingly dull on Jay Leno. Reason enough to strike her off the list.
Penelope Cruz? Yeah, she played a hot-blooded, volatile temperatmental slightly off-kilter Spanish woman. Um, ok. Well done, but as she is Spanish, and one kind of associates that with the general Spanish characteristics. Yeah, I know - its a slight blankety generalization of an entire country. But its true. So, wouldn´t expect anything less of a decent actress. Good job. But not oscar-worthy this time around.
Viola Davis? (I really hope this isn`t the Sid Ganiss** token chronic Hollywood political correctness ad hoc reaction nod) Although a small role in terms of screen time, Ms. Davis performance was humble and dignified. Hope this leads to meatier roles in the future.
Taraji P. Henson? The whole movie was a bit of a zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, so I must have missed her.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

* Richard Jenkins in “The Visitor” (Overture Films)
* Frank Langella in “Frost/Nixon” (Universal)
* Sean Penn in “Milk” (Focus Features)
* Brad Pitt in “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” (Paramount and Warner Bros.)
* Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler” (Fox Searchlight)

I am going to have to go with Frank Langella, simply for the symbolic gesture, hoping, someday, Bush will similarly be portrayed and shredded.....stripped..... of the looney tune cover-goof act, unveiling the war criminal he is. Have seen only the trailer. Langella is a greatly respected entity in the business. And the oscar goes to.....justice. That´d be nice.

Richard Jenkins? A "no comment" as I haven´t seen "The Visitor". He certainly belongs to the consistently nuanced and chronically overlooked actors around. Nice to see thats been amended with this nomination. Remember the fitness guy owner in "Burn After Reading"? Yep, this is the guy.
Sean Penn? Would be my second choice - again - for mostly political reasons. Don´t think too many people knew about this guy Harvey Milk, first openly gay mayor of San Francisco and what he did for the gay rights movement. And Sean Penn has the consistency gene - consistently good in anything he does.
Brad Pitt? An adamant no. Not because I think he is bad or anything. But the whole Benjamin Button thing is so inflated with Fincher´s self-indulgent conceit, makes me want to gag.....again. No, has nothing to do with the fact that he has a liasion with Ms. Jolie. Promise.
Mickey Rourke? yeah, he´ll probably get it. Which is fine. The same tale of one life, but different names. He overcame alot of odds in his life - so a win would be well-deserved.

to be continued.........

* http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/oscars/4624573/Kate-Winslets-Oscar-chances-hit-by-The-Reader-Nazi-accusation.html

** Sid Ganis is the current president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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