Saturday, 25 April 2020

Next Year: Musical Project: Best Leading Actress 1968

The Nominees:
Barbra Streisand - Funny Girl

Joanne Woodward - Rachel, Rachel
Katherine Hepburn - The Lion in Winter
Patricia Neal - The Subject Was Roses
Vanessa Redgrave - Isadora

What are your nominees? What is your ranking? What is your prediction for my ranking? Write in comments! 

Friday, 24 April 2020

Best Supporting Actor 2016

5. Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea
Hedges is great in a subtle portrayal of grief and sorrow. Rightfully was this performance his breakthrough to more great roles in Hollywood. As Patrick, he is able to even bring the right amount of humour into the film and has got a great chemistry with Casey Affleck. In some brief moments you can see his inexperience, but those moments are forgivable, as they are really very brief.

4. Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Bridges is great especially in the escalated moments of the film, but makes a nice presence throughout the entire film. The film itself is quite forgettable and Bridges doesn't help it, but it probably isn't very much his fault. Bridges uses an accent that is a bit distracting, but you get used to it quite easily. Long story short, it is a respectable performance in a decent film (though I'd prefer Foster to be nominated) and one certainly belonging into the year's top ten.

3. Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
This is a very fine winner that actually stood the test of time as one of the better ones and I can't complain too much about it. In a short time, Ali is able to leave a long lasting impression in a role that is not very showy (and it's not villainious, either). Very subtle performance, but works perfectly for the film.

2. Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals
Shannon is an that usually has a great on-screen charisma, though sometimes it is not used for the best. Furtunately, Nocturnal Animals uses it very well. He handles the character full of twists and layers with ease. The cherry on top of it is a masterfull scene in a cabin at the end of the film. It's only the script's holes (some of whom he can't save) that prevent him from being my win.

1. Dev Patel - Lion
Very consistent nominees throughout, in terms of quality. For now, I'm going with Patel. He makes a lasting impression, has got a great on-screen charisma and in fact elevates his film (rather than being overshadowed by it). Great chemistry with his co-stars and being able to lead his part of film gets him this win.

My Nominees:
1. Yosuke Kubozuka - Silence
2. Ben Foster - Hell or High Water
3. John Goodman - 10 Cloverfield Lane
4. Trevante Rhodes - Moonlight
5. Dev Patel - Lion

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Dev Patel - Lion

Lion is actually a very fine film that has fot some great acting and very nice direction.
hough Patel plays the leading role of Saroo, I don‘t have a problem with his placement in the supporting category, as he doesn‘t appear until the half of the film. Before that, his character is played by Sunny Pawar, because in its first half the film focuses on Saroo‘s childhood. Even though Pate is able to continue in what Pawar had done with the character and does a great job by convincing us that he plays the same character, it‘s not as mindblowing, as with the Moonlight actors‘. The reason for that might be mostly because the age gap between Pawar and Patel is bigger, than between Hibbert, Sanders and Rhodes, so I can‘t actually blame Patel for that.
The strongest aspect of his performance is the on-screen charisma. Patel wonderfully portrays the passion and eagerness to find his way home. The story itself is not too juicy and his actions wouldn‘t be so interesting, had not it been for Patel‘s charm and presence.
also has chemistry with Kidman, Mara and the actor playing his brother. That is the relationship that defines this performance – the bullheadness he acts with makes a very strong impression.
Patel not only shines in the juicy scenes (like the argument with Mara
in the street), but also in the subtle ones. For example when he‘s searching for the place he was raised in, or the one at the end (SPOILER ALERT), when he finally meets his mother. This particular scene is overlonged, but you don‘t feel bored thanks to Patel‘s performance. (END OF SPOILER) Patel never allows the film to overshadow him (unlike Slumdog Millionaire) and this film definitely could have ended the same way.
The chances of winning an Oscar: The Bafta win might have boosted him put. He was fighting for the second place with Bridges.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Mahershala Ali - Moonlight

Moonlight is a great film that won an Oscar for best picture under very unfortunate circumstances, but it‘s a shame that the incident overshadows the quality of the film.
Mahershala Ali‘s performance in Moonlight is a very brief one, yet you will remember him after watching the film. It‘s an imporant role for the plot and the development of the leading character. And one thing that is very appreciatable is that this actually is a supporting role, in times when the Academy tends to make category frauds. It‘s an understated performance, but works wonderfully for the film.
Ali has got a great screen presence
. It is very much visible in the scene, in which he first meets Little. He is somehow able to create an atmosphere around his characer, that we immediately start to sympathize with him, despite the character not being an angel.
Another great acting moment is his argument with Little‘s mother. He doesn‘t speak a lot throughout the scene, but you see all in his eyes.
Ali certainly is a worthy winner (we‘ve had much worse ones in recent years), though I probably would prefer other supporting male performances from the film and I‘d very much appreciate their nomination (Trevante Rhodes, Ashton Sanders).

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea

Manchester by the Sea is a very solid Oscar-baity film, that works mostly because of strong performances involved. Lucas Hedges plays a young cousin of Casey Affleck‘s character, who lost his father.
Hedges very believabl
y portrays the grief after such loss. He doesn‘t overact it anyhow and at the right moment he keeps revealing small parts of the grief. Actually, the best thing about this performance is the fact how ordinary his character is. It is just a normal boy, who has got his own problems at school, or with girls. The scenes, in which he is trying to deal with the problems with girls in fact bring some needed humour to the film.
Very important thing about the performance is the chemistry between him and a leading actor Casey Affleck. These two have great chemistry and I suppose it might have been difficult to have a good chemistry with Affleck.
Even though this performance is great at his own, there are a few moments that mirror the inexperience in Hedges portrayal and sometimes you feel a slight uncertainty from his presence.
On the other hand I must say this performance has grown on me after a rewatch.
His best scene would be his emotional outburst in the middle of the night because of the freezer.
The chances of winning an Oscar: I guess he was the fourth slightly in front of Shannon, but both are of those ‘happy-to-be-nominated‘ cases.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water is a great, yet quite forgettable film about a relationship between two brothers – robbers and a sheriff, who does everything to catch them. Bridges plays the sheriff. Because of the story envolving around these three character, one might argue that the role is in fact leading. It‘s actually on the line between leading and supporting and I personally don‘t mind putting him into supporting cateogory, as the film mostly centers around Chris Pine‘s character.
Bridges, as usual, has got a great screen presence throughout the film. His characterization of an old sarcastic sassy sheriff is great and very enjoyable to watch. Bridges uses accent in the role and a strange hummy way of speaking. I was distracted by it at first, yet after a short time I got used to it and I was able to fully appreciate the performance.
Bridges is very fine and enjoyable throughout the film, but the real showcase for him comes later in the film (SPOILER ALERT) when his partner is killed by Ben Foster's character. The urge to revenge for such act is wonderfully portrayed by Bridges. We completely understand him and sympathize with him. On the other hand he is able to bring some amount of shabbiness to the role. We sympathize with him, though we see a desperate man, though we realize that his actions are motivated by the revenge, despair and amok. (END OF SPOILER)
The best scene of his performance is the most subtle one at the very end of the film, when he talks to Chris Pine's character and it is their first confrontation. They talk after all of the things had already happened. Bridges (but Pine as well) brings a lot of tension to the scene.
The chances of winning an Oscar: Though the performance itself doesn‘t belong to the most memeorable ones, Bridges is a respectable persona, so I think he was the second, or the third, fighting for the second spot with Patel.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Best Supporting Actor 2016: Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals is a very divisive film, but I really loved it – the atmosphere, directing and editing of it are all perfect and they create one very enjoyable film experience. Though the line with Amy Adams is less interesting, the subplot involving Aaron Taylor-Johnson is very entertaining. Michael Shannon is a part of this subplot, luckily.
Unlike his performance in 99 Homes, he uses his on-screen charisma that this time actually works. The fact that he wasn‘t nominated for that is considered a snub and I think the mementum after the snub helped him to gain this nomination, so it was for the best. This is a better role and a better performance given by Shannon.
From the first moment we see Bobby Andes, he gets our attention and we can‘t take our eyes of him. It‘s the way he stands, or speaks, even the way he smokes his cigarette – so much charismatic Shannon is. Andes seems like a flegmatic cop, but once he comes to confronte a suspect, he won‘t give him anything for granted. Shannon portrays this ambousness with ease and even though we don‘t understand it at first, as the film goes on we are able to discover more and more layers underneath this character. So the character is full of twists and surprises, which could be an acting mess. Not in Shannon‘s hands.
A great example of this is a scene in a restaurant, where Bobby confesses to Gyllenhaal‘s character Tony that his health is not very good and that he might die soon – the paradox of the fact is that he really wants to punish the murderers.
One might wonder, why would he want to do it, without having any evidance about them doing it, except from Tony‘s word (that‘s especially the case of Aaron Taylor-Johnson‘s character). Shannon solves this problem rather greatly. In his portrayal of the cop he creates something twisted about him and so we assume that he would be able to do it just for the pure joy of trying to suffocate somebody. It‘s his entire on-screen persona that created this and by that he was able to cover up for the holes in the script.
The best scene of Shannon‘s performance would be one of his latter scenes in the cabin, in which he really violently questions the suspects – he is a delight to watch. In fact he brings to the role some enjoyable effect that reminded me of Christoph Waltz‘s Oscar-winning performance in Inglourious Basterds.
The chances of winning an Oscar: Happy to be nominated.

Monday, 4 September 2017

Next Year: Best Supporting Actor 2016

The Nominees:
Dev Patel - Lion
Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges - Manchester by the Sea
Mahershala Ali - Moonlight
Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

What are your picks? What is your prediction for my ranking? What are your nominees? Write in comments! 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Best Leading Actress 2016

5. Ruth Negga - Loving
Negga is perfectly fine to watch, she has got some nice on-screen charisma, yet her performance is so understated, I forgot it a few days after watching the film. She gives a believable portrayal of a desparate woman, yet there's nothing more to it...

4. Isabelle Huppert - Elle
This is a very brave performance considering her age, but Huppert nails it. In most of the years she would be a frontrunner. But this was such a strong year that even such a first-class performance is ranked the fourth. Another subtle performance, yet this time it fits the tone of the film perfectly. She handled the ambivalency of her character flawlessly and I just have to agree with her nomination...

3. Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins
I know it's not a popular opinion, but I just loved Streep's portrayal here. She managed to be funny, without actually humiliating the actual Florence, as she was able to find the vulnerable tones of Jenkins' soul. It is a very sensitive performance and the one that is extremely difficult to execute.

2. Emma Stone - La La Land
I definitely understand her winning. She carries the film on her shoulders and she is the heart and soul of it. Charming, pretty, charismatic, talented. She makes everything she does in the film seem so effortless, you can easily take this performance for granted. She is even able to overcome the occasional pathos of the film.

1. Natalie Portman - Jackie
One of the best portrayals of a real life person ever. Portman disappeared into Jackie Kennedy in front of our very eyes and to top it of, she brings depth and humanity into her performance. This performance earned her the second win on my blog in a very strong year, with only Negga had been replaced, it would have been the best lineup of all times.

My Nominees:
1. Natalie Portman - Jackie
2. Emma Stone - La La Land
3. Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins
4. Isabelle Huppert - Elle
5. Jessica Chastain - Miss Sloane

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Best Leading Actress 2016: Natalie Portman - Jackie

Jackie is a wonderful biopic that really flawlessly shows the depth and inner feelings of the wife of one of the most powerful men in the world back then. Before the film, I wasn‘t familiar with Jackie Kennedy, so right after watching this film I found some footage of an actual Jackie. It was fascinating to realize how excellent Portman was at capturing Jackie‘s gestures, body language or the way she speaks.
I‘ve heard many people‘s opinions, who tend to say it‘s a very cold portrayal, without Portman getting into the character. That is something I absolutely disagree with. It‘s all in her eyes – the moment she tells the reporter how it all happened is a showcase of bravura acting. She‘s great in subtle moments, as well as in the emotionally outbursted scenes.
The portrayal belongs to the likes of Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line, Charlize Theron in Monster, or Michael Douglas in Behind the Candelabra – all excellent portrayals of a real life people – in any other year she would be a clear frontrunner, with almost no competition.
Portman is also great at creating the chemistry with her colleagues. What I really appreciate about this performance is her chemistry with children. She was able to create a believable relationship with children – it‘s obvious that Jackie does all but to help them and make it as easy for them, as possible.
The chances of winning an Oscar: I guess she was right behing Stone, fighting for the spot with Huppert.