Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Academy Award - Best Actor In A Leading Role

The performances this year have been of such a high quality this year, and personally I can say it has been an honor to be able to watch all of these performances. They span many different situations, times and genres, but they all have one thing in common, they were all outstanding.

English: Actor Bradley Cooper addresses the cr...
English: Actor Bradley Cooper addresses the crew aboard aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), under way in the Gulf of Oman, July 13, 2009, during a United Service Organizations (USO) tour. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Bradley Cooper - Silver Linings Playbook

When an actor forges a reputation based on comedy performances it is always a risk when the move to something more serious comes along. Bradley Cooper possibly made it easier on himself by shortening the time spent in comedic roles, but his performance in Silver Linings Playbook proves there is much more to him than we may have originally thought. Yes, its a slightly comedic role, but the tenderness, honestly and emotional nature of the character brings out the best I have seen from Cooper. He bounces off his co-star with an ease not usually seen in modern movies, and to be able to shine in a movie where your co-star is Robert De Niro is even more to his credit. This is a thoroughly deserved nomination, and I would bet it won't be his last.

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis, protagonista de la película ...Playing historical figures is always a difficult ask, not only is your performance measured on its technical merit but also on the comparisons with the actual person you are portraying, Daniel Day-Lewis takes Abraham Lincoln and brings him to life in such an accessible was that you don't need to know the history to appreciate this amazing performance. It is no surprise that this performance is his third nomination, having already won 2  Academy Awards in this category. His performance is spellbinding, you forget at times that this is a movie, you are really swept away by the character, the performance and the way he puts across the gravitas we all associate with President Lincoln. I admit, I was not really a fan of his past Oscar winning performances, but I was genuinely captivated by what will surely be seen as a masterclass in deep character acting, he may not be as active as the other nominees in this category, but he know how to pick his roles.

Hugh Jackman - Les Miserables

English: Actor Hugh Jackman at the 83rd Academ...
English: Actor Hugh Jackman at the 83rd Academy Awards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For those who didn't see Hugh Jackman host The Oscars in 2011, his casting may have seemed a little odd, but it is no surprise to those who know his pre X-Men career. The Emmy award winning Jackman delivers a performance that has already won him The Golden Globe, it is a show stealing performance among a stellar cast. His singing is as expected spot on, soaring where lesser actors would have stumbled, a performance brimming with talent, confidence and an emotional quality not found in most musicals. It is an amazingly polished performance, adding something to an already great movie and ensemble cast. Any other year this would have have been a shoe in to grab this award, but this is no ordinary year, the nomination is deserved and holds his own in an extremely strong field of nominees.

Joaquin Phoenix - The Master

Photo of Joaquin Phoenix at the Toronto Film F...
Photo of Joaquin Phoenix at the Toronto Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This one really has me stumped, an actor who has shown incredible potential, delivering great performances, this being his second nomination for Best Actor. His performance in The Master is well done, portraying an unstable character, while keeping it accessible and believable is certainly a talent, and he really needed to pull off a great performance to keep up with his excellent co-stars. Phoenix can bring a lot to a movie, he has proved it in the past and will hopefully continue, he is however unpredictable and inconsistent  His disparaging comments regarding The Academy Awards may not have harmed the view that his performance is worthy of this nomination, but it won't be forgotten by the members of the Academy, so he may have cost himself a shot here.

Denzel Washington -Flight
D. Washington, Berlinale 2000
D. Washington, Berlinale 2000 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As much as I love Denzel Washington, and he has made some amazing movies, I must admit that his nomination is a surprise and for me comes at the cost of some more worthy performances (Leonardo Dicaprio and Ewan McGregor). There are positives, he delivers a solid performance, carrying off drunk in a believable manor, but its far from his best, and by no means in the same league as the others nominated here, which is a shame considering the high quality of the other four nominees.

And The Winner Is.......

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

The performance is seamless, emotional, and to the best of my knowledge historically accurate. He is the perfect choice for President Lincoln, and provides us with a perfect example of great character acting.

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