Leonardo DiCaprio teamed with Clint Eastwood for J. Edgar and produced one of the actor’s finest performances. Will it equal an Oscar nod? Movie Fanatic thinks so, but with this year’s crop of stellar acting performances, who will make the list of Best Actor nominees?
In this week’s edition of Oscar Watch, we take a closer look at the Best Actor race and solicit our readers' opinions too as to who you believe should make the final five come nomination day.
The Best Actor Contenders:
Leonardo DiCaprio for J. Edgar: It’s a stellar turn for DiCaprio in J. Edgar that the Academy especially enjoys -- he plays a historical figure over a lifetime, no easy task for any actor. Plus, Eastwood’s actors usually score a nod, and even win (see Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby.)
Ryan Gosling for The Ides of March: Although Movie Fanatic believes he deserves a nod for Drive, most voters will probably drift to vote for Ryan Gosling for his work on The Ides of March. It’s a character that is rich, very verbal (unlike his Driver character in Drive) and goes through the type of internal personal transformation that wins Oscars. Plus, the Academy could award him the nomination for Ides for his entire body of work this year that also included the superb Crazy, Stupid, Love.
George Clooney for The Descendants: Simply awesome. That is the only way to describe Clooney’s work in The Descendants. Will he be nominated? There is no question. The mystery is, will he win when he already has an Oscar and DiCaprio does not? Consider Clooney a lock.
Gary Oldman for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Another actor who deserves an Academy Award, but who has never won is Gary Oldman. With his turn in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, that could change. We also think that Oldman is a lock for a nomination, but that will probably be it for the versatile actor at this year’s Academy Awards.
Jean Dujardin for The Artist: Jean Dujardin gives a performance for the ages in a film that may be the best of the year. In The Artist, Dujardin is a silent film star whose story is tragic, heartbreaking and all transfixing. The actor’s character is the biggest star in the world of silent movies just as “talkies” begin to take over Hollywood. Most silent movie actors never worked again and Dujardin’s character is no different. In the hands of the French actor, George Valentin is one of the strongest characterizations of the year… all without saying a word as The Artist itself is a silent movie.
Brad Pitt for Moneyball: Brad Pitt’s turn as Billy Beane in Moneyball is one of the actor’s best performances of his career. But, will it earn him an Oscar nomination? We’re honestly not sure. Any other year and the world’s biggest movie star gets his nomination. But with Oldman, Clooney, Dujardin and DiCaprio as locks already, in our opinion, that fifth spot could go to Pitt… or it could go to Gosling.
What do you think? What performance did you most enjoy this year by a leading man? And come back next week when Movie Fanatic looks at the Best Actress race.