2009: Best Actor

5 03 2010

I’m wrapping up the in-depth analysis of this year’s Academy Awards with the Best Actor category. In a perfect world, I would have done the screenplays, director, and picture categories as well. But life happens, and things don’t always work out as planned.

Nevertheless, please enjoy this deeper look at the performances that got these actors here.

Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

IN MY OWN WORDS: “The little things that help to turn Bridges into this character aren’t very obvious, yet I never felt like I was watching Jeff Bridges.”

He’s here because … he is an industry veteran with a lot of respect, and his four winless trips to the Oscars simply aren’t enough to honor such a great actor.

George Clooney in “Up in the Air”

IN MY OWN WORDS: “George Clooney remains the best in the business at playing visibly collected while emotionally perturbed beneath the surface.”

He’s here because … he’s an Academy favorite who is as good as he’s ever been in a beautifully nuanced performance.

Colin Firth in “A Single Man”

IN MY OWN WORDS: “Firth keeps the grief bubbling under the surface for most of the movie, and he makes George’s journey even more heart-rending with his subdued misery.”

He’s here because … he is immensely likable, and he finally gives a performance that can turn good feelings into awards attention.

Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”

IN MY OWN WORDS: “Morgan Freeman is remarkable as Mandela, and it is a performance that reminds us why he has such a revered status among actors.”

He’s here because … it’s Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela – a legend playing a legend.

Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

IN MY OWN WORDS: “Renner gives an absolute tour de force performance as James; he strips James down until he is emotionally raw.”

He’s here because … he’s finally found his breakout role at 39 in the little movie that could; who can resist that?

Marshall’s “Oscars”

I’ve seen all five of the nominees in this category, and I think they did a great job selecting here.  The only change I would make is replacing Morgan Freeman for Peter Sarsgaard in “An Education.”  Freeman did a great job in “Invictus,” but I felt like it was just him going through the motions.  He didn’t wow me.

Sarsgaard, on the other hand, dazzled me.  He was campaigned for Best Supporting Actor, but category fraud doesn’t happen at my awards.  He brings such grace and debonair to his character, the wooer of teenage Jenny, that I didn’t doubt why she fell for his charms.

So, the lineup at my awards would be …

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Peter Sarsgaard, “An Education”

Predictions

Should win: George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Could win: Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”
Will win: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”

Bridges has it in the bag, no question about it.  If his wide array of trophies for this performance wasn’t enough, the massive standing ovations he has received collecting them leave no doubt in my mind.


Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: