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Entries in Best Actor (225)

Friday
Nov102017

YNMS: "Hostiles"

Chris here. The dry desert of the arid Best Actor race is about to get a bit of a transplant into the actual desert. Scott Cooper's Hostiles had one of the quieter debuts on the festival season, landing quiet praise and a tribute for Christian Bale when it went to Telluride. It got even quieter as it waited for a distributor while majors were already fully booked - but now it will be a last-minute arrival from a new mini-distrib with hopes for recognition for Bale. The film will open in limited release on December 22.

The director hasn't had Oscar success since winning Jeff Bridges a long-awaiting prize for Crazy Heart, but the film might just benefit from starring a beloved player in a less competitive year. Does it also help that the film will stand out from the pack by genre alone? Hold onto your spurs, we've got a western in the Oscar race! Take a look at the trailer before we break down the Yes No Maybe So...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct272017

Calling "The Disaster Artist"

Chris here. We don't spend much time celebrating movie turkeys here at The Film Experience, but the upcoming release of The Disaster Artist provides a unique opportunity of sorts. The film (which I reviewed at TIFF) recounts the making of "worst movie of all time" The Room with James Franco directing and starring as the film's eccentric creator Tommy Wiseau. And it's looking like the film is drumming up an equally idiosyncratic Oscar campaign before its early December release.

What looks like an homage billboard has something a little more special. Take note of Artist's posted phone number - because James Franco has been taking calls.

 

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Friday
Oct062017

C O N S I D E R - Favorite Actors of 2017, 3rd Qtr

With only three months of the year to go - eep! -- it's time to look back on the past three months for movies we saw from July through September (excluding films with firm release dates in the next three months). Herewith Nathaniel's 17 favorite male performances from the year's third quarter (plus first week of October to keep us up-to-date), divvied up into three categories.  (Movies with asterisks have not yet been released.)

Did these men speak to you with their turns? 

7 LEADING ACTORS

Daniel Gimenez Cacho as "Don Diego de Zama" in Zama*
One of my favorite Mexican actors. Though I found the film impenetrable, he's always strong.

Harris Dickinson as "Frankie" in Beach Rats
Here's to debuts that reveal both fully-formed star charisma and film-carrying craft

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Thursday
Oct052017

Denzel Back in the Oscar Race?

Chris here.

After it was such a surprise late addition to the TIFF lineup, it wasn't much of a shock that Roman J Israel, Esq. got one of the more muted responses of the festival's big premieres. But the film is coming right around the corner and we can expect a much more attentive response for its release now that we have more time to actually get excited for it. And from the looks of the new trailer, it looks like we'll be getting more of peak Denzel Washington after a near miss with Oscar in Fences.

So can this film build on the momentum that Washington had last year? The Best Actor race is on the thin side, aside from incoming behemoth Gary Oldman, so some movie star goodwill can't hurt. Writer/director Dan Gilroy certainly gave us a complex sociopolitical male vehicle with Nightcrawler and this looks like another layered morality tale, even with significantly less scabrousness than that debut. But if there's any actor today who can mine the full depth of a character's compromise and regret, it's Washington.

As for the film itself, it will have to overcome some already tepid reviews to register beyond the megastar. There is certainly some promise here in the trailer, even if I'm bracing myself to be enraged by yet another film sidelining the fabulous Carmen Ejogo and giving us Colin Farrell sans beard. Roman J Israel, Esq. opens on November 3.

Friday
Sep222017

Review: Jake Gyllenhaal gets "Stronger"

by Eric Blume

Have patience watching director David Gordon Green’s film Stronger, which captures real-life Boston native Jeff Bauman (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) as he’s caught in the 2013 Marathon bombing.  After a rickety start, Green relaxes into a nice rhythm and delivers an almost extinct creature: a true adult movie drama.

The first few scenes of Stronger come on a little, ahem, strong.  They’re written to show what a great guy Bauman is (he cuts out from work so he and his lucky beer can help the Red Sox win, he stands up for his gay boss), and Green has all the actors pushing too hard.  The initial scene where we meet Bauman’s family (including mom Miranda Richardson and girlfriend Tatiana Maslany) in a bar reeks of Boston cliché.  It’s a very tricky thing, honestly capturing that lower-middle-class Beantown language and attitude, and Green overplays his hand in this and several other early scenes.  The energy is overly commercial, and the movie gets off to an uneasy start.


But once the big sequence begins, where Bauman loses his legs in the terrible terrorist attack, Green begins observing smaller details, and starts scoring...

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Friday
Sep222017

Oscar Chart Updates: Actor & Supp Actor

All sorts of things could yet throw the Best Supporting and Best Lead Actor races into confusion. In a  somewhat uncommon development the former is much more crowded than the latter. The shallow pool of viable Lead Actors is very good news for candidates like Timothée Chalamet (someone Oscar might normally resist due to his age) and Jake Gyllenhaal (someone Oscar has resisted for reasons inexplicable to us).

What do you make of the Supporting Actor race in particular? They way it looks now it could be made up almost entirely of character actors with worthy careers who have never won an Oscar and that's a very exciting thing. More exciting if you happen to be a fan of either Michael Stuhlbarg, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins, or Willem Dafoe. I doubt that all four of them will make it all the way to the shortlist but the buzz is currently in their favor.

UPDATED CHARTS
Picture | Director | Lead Actress | Lead Actor | Supporting Actress | Supporting Actor | Animated Feature | Original and Adapted Screenplays