Monday, February 11, 2013

Oscar Picks revised.....the big 6....Supporting Actor

Due the exigencies of life, I need to "pivot" on my goals of blogging on every Oscar category and switch to what I am calling the big 6. 4 actors, dirctor and picture.

The best supporting actor field is very strong in that each of the nominees has won an Oscar.

(Research by Sasha Stone, Awards Daily Blog

Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (won 18 years ago for The Fugitive)
Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained (won 3 years ago for Inglorious Basterds)
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master (won 6 years ago for Capote)
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook (won lead 31 years ago for Raging Bull and supporting 37 years ago for Godfather II)
Alan Arkin, Argo (won 5 years ago for Little Miss Sunshine)

Betting odds from

Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln) – (+125)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) – (+160)
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) – (+350)
Alan Arkin (Argo) – (+1400)
Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook) – (+1400)

This is a rich and complicated field to assess. I saw all the movies but "The Master," but neither did many others. "The Master" or TM did about 16 million domestic and 8 million international. It didn't crack the top 100 grosses in 2013. The "Three Stooges" did 44 million and that wasn't even a full movie. It was 3 'shorts'. Farrelly Brothers. Sacha Baron Cohen's, "The Dictator" grossed 59 million. Didn't see it. Thought SBC looked good at the Golden Globes that year.

Ted did 218 million. That was about a stuffed bear that came to life and smoked dope and screwed. Ted did about 14 times better than the "Master."

So, I say no to Hoffman. Especially not at the price.

Tommy Lee Jones and his wig. Did the wig have to look like a dead, furry animal? It was distracting. I enjoyed the performance despite the beast. I like his chances, a little. He is such an iconoclast, though. Tommy and Al Gore, the college roomies. Trying to find what is meaningful.
I say no. Tommy Lee is too much of a Yalie. I think he's stuck up though I've never met the man.

Waltz is very good at what he does. He is charming while cast as a Nazi who specializes in hunting down Jews or a bounty hunter with a quick trigger finger. And, his was not a supporting role. Co-Starring, certainly, with Jamie Foxx. So, how is this a fair comparison? But we rewarded him for the act. Let's move on. The man is a character actor and let him stay a character actor. You get a guy "awarded" up...he changes. Let's leave Waltz where he is.

Alan Arkin. I am a big fan. Long time fan. "The Russians are Coming," paved the way for Perestroika. "The In-Laws" one of the best ever made. Falk and Arkin tearing through the streets of Manhattan, an unnamed Southern Hemisphere dictatorship, and a lovely home in the suburbs. And he rocked "Argo." He even had to play the goofy suspense thing, with the phone ringing. Nope...not him.

Ladies and gentlemen...the once and future king, Robert DeNiro. What a career! With Ben Stiller....he's a gangster in therapy. And in the beginning, he's the guy from "Mean Streets." Clearly a long, strange trip for Bobby D. For me his best role....'Goodfellas.' I know there were greater performances and he had to gain all that weight and lose it for "Raging Bull,' and had a Mohawk in "Taxi Driver." In Goodfellas, he had heft and a sense of right and wrong. Until wrong goes very bad and DeNiro becomes a murderous paranoid psychopath. Not even nominated for 'Goodfellas'
Joe Pesci won supporting. As he should have. And DeNiro was nominated for Actor in 'Awakenings' which I didn't see. But hated.

I see DeNiro beating the early odds and winning. The obsessive/compulsive sports fan is a large demographic and some of them are in the Academy.

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