Saturday, March 3, 2018

NIGHT 4: ACTING – 2018 Oscar Blog/Podcast
March 3, 2018

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
  • Christopher Plummer - All the Money in the World
  • Richard Jenkins - The Shape of Water
  • Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Willem Dafoe - The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Who I’d vote for: Christopher Plummer – Plummer was put it in unenviable position when Ridley Scott asked him to reshoot Kevin Spacey’s scenes in All the Money in the World. His performance is remarkable considering how little time he had to prepare but after all he is a seasoned veteran and a consummate professional. He is the only actor in this category who has previously won an Oscar; I think he should have a second.Embed from Getty Images
Who will win: Sam Rockwell – He has won all the pre-cursers going into Sunday and I don’t see anything changing. His portrayal of the racist cop ranged from humorous to infuriating. The story of redemption and Rockwell’s charm cut through the racism just enough for you to like the character or at least empathize with him. For a long time Rockwell has been a strong supporting actor with few leading roles; that is all about to change.Embed from Getty Images

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
  • Allison Janney - I, Tonya
  • Laurie Metcalf - Lady Bird
  • Lesley Manville - Phantom Thread
  • Mary J. Blige - Mudbound
  • Octavia Spencer - The Shape of Water
Who I’d vote for: Allison Janney – She should win just for dealing with that dang bird on her shoulder. Janney steals every scene she is in and you really hate not seeing more of her in the latter part of the film; and she’s in scenes with fellow Academy Award nominee Margot Robbie. The mother / daughter dysfunctional relationship is at the heart of the story and Janney’s the one that really makes it beat.
Who will win: Allison Janney – Octavia Spencer is the only previously nominated actress here but she won’t be winning it this year like she did for The Help. Janney is cleaning up on the award circuit for her role as Tonya Harding’s abusive mother. I believe the only other person who has a chance is Laurie Metcalf but it’s a slim chance. It’s a safe bet that Janney will have more hardware for her mantle.Embed from Getty Images

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
  • Daniel Day-Lewis - Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out
  • Denzel Washington - Roman J. Israel, Esq.
  • Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour
  • Timothée Chalamet - Call Me by Your Name
Who I’d vote for: Daniel Day-Lewis – There is no greater living actor than Daniel Day-Lewis. As far as I’m concerned, it is unfair for him to be compared to anyone else. He once again disappears into his character; this time Russell Woodcock, a workaholic genius clothing designer who struggles to find balance between the personal and professional. This disturbing love story reaches its peak in a bizarre dinner scene that drives the point of the film home without any dialogue. Day-Lewis conveyed it with no words necessary: a feat that very few actors could pull off. If this truly is the final performance of his career: what a way to go.Embed from Getty Images
Who will win: Gary Oldman – First time nominees Kaluuya and Chalamet are intriguing nominations. Kaluuya’s descent to the sunken place and Chalamet’s journey of self-discovery are hints of great things to come from the two young actors. Denzel and Day-Lewis have been there, done that at the Oscars both taking home multiple statuettes in the past. This year, it’s Oldman’s turn. Oldman is quite possibly the most versatile actor out there with incredible performances in Immortal Beloved, State of Grace, True Romance, Hannibal, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (his only other Oscar nomination). With the help of great hair and makeup styling, Oldman becomes Winston Churchill and gives a performance for the ages.Embed from Getty Images

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
  • Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Margot Robbie - I, Tonya
  • Meryl Streep - The Post
  • Sally Hawkins - The Shape of Water
  • Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird
Who I’d vote for: Sally Hawkins – Here’s the challenge: we want you to play a character that is mute, lonely and inevitably falls in love with a giant amphibious creature who loves jazz music. And oh yeah, we’re going to be filming a lot of this while soaking wet or actually under water. Guillermo del Toro had no other actress in mind; this role was specifically written for Sally Hawkins and she triumphs. Hawkins delivers a performance much like Day-Lewis’s: with a brilliant conveyance of emotion without the use of words. Ronan is a close second here but Hawkins is my top lead actress for the year.Embed from Getty Images
Who will win: Frances McDormand – There were so many tremendous lead actress performances this year that snubs were going to happen. I was surprised to not see Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World) or Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) listed among the nominees. Ultimately, it will be McDormand who represents all the amazing actresses when she wins her 2nd Oscar (Fargo) this Sunday. Her portrayal of an acerbic grieving mother who stops at nothing to find her daughter’s murderer (including kicking a teenage girl in the groin) is heartbreaking and funny. I’m always impressed when a film can straddle the line between comedy and drama effectively. McDormand was vital to that success.Embed from Getty Images

Check back tomorrow for the final installment - Part 5: The Top Awards!

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