Friday, 17 May 2013

Best Supporting Actor 1998: Geoffrey Rush - Shakespeare in Love

Shakespeare in Love is a very fine and likable romantic comedy with a wonderful cast. I fine with its best picture win, though I don't think it's the best film of the nominees. But it's so much likable and sweet film, that there's just no way to resist it.
The film is fulfilled with a very decent and fine performances. All of the performances actually work very well for the film and I couldn't name any that was wrong (yes, even Ben Affleck did what he was to do).
Geoffrey Rush plays the owner of the theatre Shakespeare write for. It's not any serious role, it's a comedic role and Rush handles is very well. Though this performance doesn't have the depth and it's more of a comedic creation, than a character acting. But it works well enough for the film.
He first appears at the absolute beginning of the film in which he's being tortured and he must promise to pay the debt he has. He lies that Shakespeare has already written a play. In the very next scene he persuades William to really write this play. This scene is really great, just as all of the common scenes he has with Joseph Fiennes. Both of the actors handles their parts quite well.
Then later in the film Rush rarely appears. Even when he appears it's mostly a very brief moment. Though there are a few scenes that are a bit longer, most of the time he gets to be in the corner. But his best scene though, I would say was the scene that is not very long. It's the scene in which he's drunk. He was not only funny, but he also was believable, which he wasn't in the rest of his performance. I could easily believe him being drunk.
But anyway, it's not so much of a serious character acting. It's a very well handled comedic role that works perfectly for the film. I can imagine this role to be very forgettable. In Rush's hands it's at least a very fine and likable performance. There's just no way, you won't like his character. Why? That's a mystery...
The chances of winning an Oscar: He was the last. It's a minor comedic role and he won an Oscar two years before...

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Best Supporting Actor 1998: Ed Harris - The Truman Show

The Truman Show is one of the best films of 90's. It's also one of the most original films I've ever seen. It's one of the few films, in which everything works brilliantly - the directing that is very claustrophobic, the screenplay and the performances that are great. Every single actor of The Truman Show gives a superb performance. Yes, even Jim Carrey, whose snub started the long journey of his snubs, but also belongs to one of the biggest mistakes of the Academy.
The Truman Show tells a story of a young man that is has been followed by cameras his entire life, because of the TV show. Ed Harris plays the director, the producers and the creator of this TV show.
His character is very calm and aloof. He does his job which is watching someone his whole life and he does it and acts as if there was nothing wring about that. He has taken somebody's life away and created it the way he wanted and he doesn't even have remorse. This stoic calmness is perfectly portrayed by Harris.
Everywhere he comes, the seriousness starts.
We could say that this behavior would be irrational in the real world. We also think it, till some moment in the film. It's the moment his character explains, why does he do this all. This is so much powerful moment. He says his reasons and Harris is so realistic and natural in this performance that we start to understand his behavior. He comes with so rational explanation, that for a moment we think that there is nothing wrong about what he did do Truman. This scene is very powerful and I would consider it his best scene.
From his character's presence we have a feeling that he doesn't absolutely care about Truman. But the truth is that he cares about him much more, than anyone. There is a scene, in which he comes to the TV screen, on which we can see Truman sleeping. Harris's character come to the screen and caresses Truman. In other actor's hand this would maybe look dumb. He acts as if he didn't care about Truman and then, when he's alone, he shows the opposite. This is a contrast and a twist from his previous behavior, but Harris handles is very well.
At the end I will only sum it all up. Harris didn't have an easy job playing this character. But he handled it with such an ease, that it could seem extremely easy to play it, which is not true...
The chances of winning an Oscar: I won't dare to guess. I think he wasn't a contender for a win, he was the third, maybe the fourth...

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Next Year: Best Supporting Actor 1998

The Nominees:
Billy Bob Thornton - A Simple Plan
Ed Harris - The Truman Show
Geoffrey Rush - Shakespeare in Love
James Coburn - Affliction
Robert Duvall - A Civil Action

What are your predictions for my ranking? What are your nominees? What is your ranking? Write in comments... 

Musical Project: Best Supporting Actress 2012

5. Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook
Weaver is effective enough as a mother of mentally ill Pat, but the truth is that it's not actually very showy part. Her screen-time is not only very short, but she even doesn't have many things to do. It's a performance that would never be noticed, if the campaign wasn't so strong. But still it's very fine and decent performance...

4. Sally Field - Lincoln
This is a very inconsistent performance that mostly suffers from a very bad screenplay and not very good direction. Many of her scenes are overacted, her madness was either too lackluster, or too much over the top and her chemistry with Lewis is not very good (but that's mostly Lewis's fault), but on the other hand there are many moments that show the fact that Field is a natural. Her emotional scenes are really perfect and she tries to build her character as well, as she's able to.

3. Amy Adams - The Master
This is a case very similar to the Weaver's. Adams spends the third share of her performance in the background, but the difference from Weaver is that Adams has much more acting opportunities in the rest of the performance. And, as we know, Adams is a great actress who uses them excellently.

2. Helen Hunt - The Sessions
This is a very subtle, but really great performance given by Hunt. Her chemistry with Hawkes is wonderful and she uses every scene she has. In the hands of a less capable actress this would be a completely forgettable performance and we would absolutely not care about her character. But in Hunt's hands it fortunately didn't happen. 

1. Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables
Though this might not be the best female supporting performance of the year, it's definitely the best from this lineup. Her performance has got many technical mistakes. She's overacting sometimes and her acting is very obvious at some moments. But it's so much pleasure to watch her acting...

Louis, your prediction was right, so you can choose another year that you want me to do. I'll do my best to do it as soon, as possible.
My next year is not going to be best leading actress 1968, as I have planned before. I'll will finish the musical project, but right now I just don't have spirits for watching some of those films (yes, Rachel Rachel would be a huge Affliction). Therefore I'm rather going to watch Affliction while doing best supporting actor 1998...

My Nominees:
1. Nicole Kidman - The Paperboy
2. Judi Dench - Skyfall
3. Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables
4. Helen Hunt - The Sessions
5. Shirley MacLaine - Bernie

Musical Project: Best Supporting Actress 2012: Anne Hathaway - Les Misérables

If you haven't seen Les Misérables, you should do your best to watch it as soon, as possible. If there's no other reason, then because of the performances.
Anne Hathaway plays the role of Fantine, that appears in the film for less than twenty minutes. Even this short screen-time was enough for her to win an Oscar, thousands of other awards and the appreciation of the audience. It is all deserving?
Absolutely. Watching Hathaway acting is something breathtaking and it's a real pleasure. The first scene she's in, is the one in the fabric. Her colleges take her the letter and she tries to get it back. In this scene it is revealed that Fantine's got a daughter. Most of her performance in this scene is wonderful and realistic.
When I say 'the most' I mean the most. Some of her reactions are a bit over the top. And her entire performance is accompanied by this overacting.
Though it's obvious that Hathaway is acting, I still loved to watch her acting. I don't know why is that so, but somehow I loved Hathaway's overacting. It's her charm, or something that made me love her performance even though it has got some objective mistakes.
If you take or instance her big 'I Dreamed a Dream' scene. Would you expect anyone to handle it this way? The live singing is one thing, but handling it really realisticly with breaths and crying is another. Hathaway did so much with this character.
Her best scene though would not be 'I Dreamed a Dream' in my opinion. I think her best part is the song 'Lovely Ladies', especially the end of it. Her depression, sadness, desperation and hate is perfect in her gestures, but mostly in her eyes.
In thirty years this will be extremely worshiped performance, trust me...

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Musical Project: Best Supporting Actress 2012: Sally Field - Lincoln

It's not a secret that I didn't enjoy Lincoln very much. I have seen it four times yet and I hope I won't have to watch it again.
The fourth time I've been watching it was because of this review and something strange happened to me. The three times before made me sure I have a resistant opinion about Field's performance, which was not very good to her. But I don't know how, I realized it's not actually as bad, as it seemed to me. 
The biggest problem I had (and still have) with this performance is the overacting. Field's portrayal of Molly Lincoln is actually full of inconsistence. On the first hand we have perfectly acted scenes, on the other hand there are scenes so overacted, that they can hardly be believable. 
If you take for instance her subtle scenes, they are the the proof of Field's ability to be a wonderful actress. The scene, in which she cries about her dead son and the following scene at the Grand Reception are really great. In bot of them she superbly builds her character and shows off the emotions.
She also has some brief moments at the councils. She handles them well enough, but the truth is that she doesn't have a lot to do in them. She only delivers one, or two lines at the most, but mostly it's about her look.
On the other side we have scenes, where she is completely unrealistic. For example the scene of her emotional outburst, which ridiculously became her Oscar clip, is extremely overacted. I didn't believe a single line she said. Or there is a scene at the opera, in which she moves and acts as she was told to, but it never seemed natural to me.
When I think about these mistakes, I used to blame Field for her. But the last time I've watched the film I realize that it's the screenplay and the direction who's to blame here. I don't absolutely understand the praises given to the screenplay. The lines are extremely unnatural and the direction failed to help it. But it's even the failure of Field, so why I blame Spielberg so much? Because he not only fails to help the factitiousness, he seems to support it at some moments. But that's another story.
The best scene of Field's performance would be the above-mentioned scene of the crying.
The chances of winning an Oscar: The fight was down to her and Hathaway. But we all knew Field's not going to happen... 

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Musical Project: Best Supporting Actress 2012: Jacki Weaver - Silver Linings Playbook

The mother roles have always been very likable to the best supporting actress Oscar category, so it shouldn't be such a surprise when Jacki Weaver was announced to be nominated for this role. But I almost swallowed my spoon, while watching the announcement.
The reason for that was very simple. She really doesn't have a lot to do in Silver Linings Playbook. Her nomination is probably the logging of Harvey Weinstein, but let's look at her performance a bit deeply. Is it really as deficient, as many people say?
I gave a question that is really difficult to answer. The first time we see Weaver's character is in a medical institution when she comes to let his son off and she handles this scene really very well. The scene in the car in which she takes him home are almost perfect.
But the truth is that later in the film she mostly just stands in the corner and says one or two lines, at the most. But she delivers them very well.
I believe in one thing: I (or the Oscar-performances bloggers in general) should care about the quality of the performance, not the quantity of the scenes. Of course, I also have to take the length of it into the consideration, but it's not the main thing I should care about. Therefore I don't hate, or dislike Weaver's performance. Her pity is that she really doesn't have much screen-time, but her tries to do everything she is able to in such a short time.
Her best scene would probably be the one in which De Niro's and Lawrence's characters persuade Weaver's character to lie to Pat (Cooper's character). In this scene she really shows how much her character cares about his son and she's afraid to disappoint him. There is a great amount of emotions shown in this single scene.
The chances of winning an Oscar: Don't make me laugh...