Thursday, February 23, 2012

Oscar predix: The actors

And now for the nominees with a Y chromosome...


Kenneth Branah, My Week with Marilyn

Why he might win: He's delightful in the film, and he was allowed to show a light, comedic side we too seldom see.

Why he might not: The role may seem slight. He isn't Christopher Plummer.

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Why he might win: He pitched a terriffic change-up, playing a crucial role in the film and proving he has range beyond "lovable raunchy guy."

Why he might not: Some people may still struggle with the image change. And he isn't Christopher Plummer.

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Why he might win: He gave a typically solid performance in a film with a lot of emotional heft. Strangely, he hasn't won yet.

Why he might not: This is really the kind of role he could do in his sleep. And he isn't Christopher Plummer.

 Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Why he might win: He IS Christopher Plummer. He's won just about every kudo under the sun so far, and the nice thing is, he truly deserves it. This isn't just a career valedictory; he's wonderful in the film.

Why he might not: Because the cosmos has split in half. You can pretty well bet the ranch on this one.

Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

Why he might win: He gave a showy performance, and for some reason, he's never nanaged to win this award. If anyone has even the slimmist chance of taking it from Plummer, it's him.

But ...

Why he might not: He isn't Christopher Plummer. While his movie managed to pull a surprise Best Picture nom, it has also sparked a lot of grumbling.

Will/should win: Plummer


Demi├ín Bichir, A Better Life

Why he might win: His supporters pushed for a nomination for a movie that flew under a lot of people's radar. Sometimes those types of performances win (see Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose.)

Why he might not: Not enough people saw the film.

George Clooney, The Descendants

Why he might win: He's had another good year, he's extremely well liked, and he got to display an edge we very rarely see from him (i.e. he cries).

Why he night not: He won only a few years ago, for Syriana.

Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Why he might win: He's charmed all of Hollywood, and other viewers of The Artist, with his delightful guilelessness. Has won most of the precursors.

Why he might not: Voters might perfer Clooney's broader range of emotions.

Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Why he might win: About time! After years of putting in strong performances, he's never managed a nod till now. He really should have been nominated for playing Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK.

Why he might not: It's an emotionally pinched performance, where he finds one note and holds it very well.

Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Why he might win: He turned in one of his best performances in years as Billy Beane, and with The Tree of Life also under his belt, he has appeared in two Best Picture nominees. Only his Tree costar, Jessica Chastain, can also claim that.

Why he might not: The role's not quite as flashy as some of the competition.

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