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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I Hate The Oscars: Best Actor Nods

Oscar-winner (really!) Nic Cage as Oscar, via the superlative Nic Cage As Everyone

The Olympics are over! We need something else to watch on Sunday night instead of Al Michaels reminding us he was at Lake Placid in 1980! Why not the Oscars?

What else are you going to do? Watch The Cleveland Show? SHUT UP AND GET READY TO ENJOY THE ACADEMY AWARDS.

Here we go: mostly-familiar faces who were in motion pictures since last February!

Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart
WHY HE'S NOMINATED: Jeff Bridges lives in the skin of what you'd get if you crossed The Dude with Travis Tritt with grampa during the holidays.

CRITICAL RESPONSE: Pretty good. Critics agreed that even if it's not the most compelling story, Bridges makes it very watchable.

IHYFM RESPONSE: So-so. I saw it a few weeks ago and thought it was okay, although I'd agree Bridges is in top form.

WILL HE WIN?: He's been cleaning up everywhere else, so he's the favorite for Oscar night.


George Clooney, Up In The Air
WHY HE'S NOMINATED: George plays a 'management consultant' that you would have out-and-out despised were he played by anyone else.

CRITICAL RESPONSE: Very good. Every element of the film received high marks from critics, from the screenplay to the directing to the performances of the entire cast.

IHYFM RESPONSE: Very good as well. I thought it was a very intelligently told tale, par for the course from nominated-director Jason Reitman. I thought the core cast, all of whom are curiously nominated for acting awards, were top-notch. I think one of the highest compliments came from comedian and former Simpsons writer Dana Gould on a recent edition of Doug Benson's "I Love Movies" podcast, namely, Up In The Air never treats you like an idiot.

WILL HE WIN?: Unlikely. Bridges is the favorite, and there is more overall steam for The Hurt Locker, which gives an edge to Clooney's competitor Jeremy Renner.


Morgan Freeman, Invictus
WHY HE'S NOMINATED: Not only is he Morgan Freeman, he's playing Nelson Mandela. Even if he was terrible in the movie he would've been nominated.

CRITICAL RESPONSE: Good. Another movie that makes up for its dramatic elements with excellent performances.

IHYFM RESPONSE: Still haven't seen this flick. I realize this puts my ass at a severe risk of being kicked by Clint Eastwood.

WILL HE WIN?: That's a big maybe - don't be surprised if the Academy awards him this statue as a career-recognition award.


Colin Firth, A Single Man
WHY HE'S NOMINATED: The Academy has an unrequited crush left over from Bridget Jones's Diary.

CRITICAL RESPONSE: Pretty good. Firth's performance is said to be stunning.

IHYFM RESPONSE: I haven't seen it - I found the trailer about as compelling as pushing a grandfather clock down a flight of stairs.

WILL HE WIN?: Probably not - the release was too limited for Firth to gain a lot of buzz.


Jeremy Renner, The Hurt Locker
WHY HE'S NOMINATED: He was a great actor in a solid movie.

CRITICAL RESPONSE: Excellent. The Hurt Locker was almost unilaterally referred to as one of the best movies of the year, thanks in part to the work of the cast.

IHYFM RESPONSE: I thought this was among the best movies of 2009, and Renner's performance as an adrenaline junkie that doesn't know when or how to quit, was very compelling.

WILL HE WIN?: For the sake of The Hurt Locker's chances at Best Picture, I really hope so. Logic says this will be Bridges' night, though.


MISSING FROM THE LIST?

- Michael Stuhlbarg, the sucker-punched physicist in A Serious Man
- Ed Asner, the grumpy aviator in Up
- Peter Capaldi, the obscenity-spewing director of communications in the satire In The Loop
- Patton Oswalt, the Giants fanatic in Big Fan
- Matt Damon, the pudgy corn executive in The Informant!
- Sam Rockwell, the lonely astronaut in Moon

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