Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Oscar Update: Shake Up in the Best Actor Race

There have been a couple of new stories regarding the Best Actor race that are worth mentioning. The first is Robert De Niro's performance in the upcoming Everybody's Fine. The movie was screened for some critics last night, and while this film was supposed to be De Niro's return to Oscar contention, it looks a little less promising based on the early word.

The early word isn't necessarily saying De Niro gives a bad performance, but rather that the film's story just isn't up to par. Gregory Ellwood over at Hitfix said that, "The movie is a mess in so many ways that neither the legendary actor or the stars who play his children -- Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore and Kate Beckinsale -- can save it". With this good of a cast, that is really saying something about how poor the script is.

Andrew Barker of Variety is a bit more positive about the film saying, "Though a bit too artful to merit the pejorative "tearjerker" label, the film is rigorously streamlined to deliver a good emotional uppercut by the end, and purely on the strength of its craft, it connects". Barker also goes on to give De Niro some praise saying, "Thus, responsibility for providing the film's complexity falls to De Niro...and he mostly delivers". Even though Barker's comments are positive, at this point I feel that the Best Actor race is too crowded to recognize a performance from this type of light, off-beat film. 

The next, and perhaps more surprising piece of news is the ecstatic buzz surrounding Jeff Bridges' performance in Crazy Heart. The most vocal person so far has been Kris Tapley of In Contention. If Fox Searchlight does in fact released Crazy Heart in December, "the Best Actor race could take an entirely different shape," Tapley says.

Bridges may or may not end up in this year's race, but either way, it looks like this performance will be recognized at one point or another. Bridges fits the role perfectly, and given that he has multiple nominations but no Oscars, I am inclined to think the Academy would leap at the opportunity to reward this respected actor.


julianstark said...

I'm predicting Bridges to win Best Actor now. I think that Firth is too unknown in the States, and Freeman already has one (and for a phone-in performance, but that's besides the point)

Danny King said...

@ julianstark: If the film gets released, he's certainly one of the front-runners. I agree with you on Firth as well. He's likely to get nominated, but a win isn't likely.

Anonymous said...

I hope DeNiro gets back into serious acting with a possible nomination. His post-2000 work has been disappointing.

Danny King said...

@ Anon: There is no doubt his recent work has been disappointing to say the least. I'm really rooting for this performance.

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