The Best Actor race is a tight one this year. You have fan favorites like A Star is Born. Crowd-pleasers like Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book. Transformative performances in Christian Bale and Rami Malek. And Willem Dafoe is in there, too. Because why not?
Like with Best Actress, the Oscar race for Best Actor comes in three tiers. There are the clear front-runners, sure-fire nominees. There are two or three likely nominees. And then there’s the rest, a handful of actors in the mix that could slip in last minute.
The hardest spot to predict is the last one. The fifth spot could be filled by a number of quality performances.
There were so many well-directed films in 2018. That the Academy only picks five requires the snubbing of plenty of quality films. While the Best Director category logically follows from the Best Picture race, the expansion of Best Picture to a possible 10 films makes it harder to narrow down the Best Director race.
Any director whose film nabs a Best Picture nomination is in the hunt for a Best Director nod. Beyond those nominees, there is not much else in contention. And the Directors Guild Award nominations will clear up any confusion over the frontrunners. Aside from the weird year of 2012, the 2010s DGA and Academy Award nominations were almost the same. Each year, just one slot was different.
About 10 minutes into A Star is Born—that is to say, the 2018 Bradley Cooper-directed A Star is Born—country rock superstar Jackson Maine (Cooper) explains to his love-at-first-sight (and soon to be muse) date Ally (Lady Gaga) something very important. Drunk, but conjuring up a moment of lucidity, he points around at the patrons of the bar. “Everyone in this bar is talented at one thing or another,” he says. But Ally. Ally has something to say. And that means something. That’s bigger than just being talented.
With this line, Cooper both encapsulates the entire film and reveals its biggest flaw. A Star is Born is certainly talented at one thing or another. But I don’t know if Continue reading A Star is Born (2018) Movie Review
On a planetary system called The Sovereign, the Guardians of the Galaxy defend some golden batteries from a large squid monster. Upon success of this task, the golden inhabitants of the planet that houses these golden batteries pay the Guardians. They then chase them down violently when it becomes evident that one member of this indelible crew, Rocket Raccoon (voiced by Bradley Cooper), stole some of these batteries for his own gain.
This long diversion about batteries aside (and, yes, batteries take up a large portion of this film’s narrative), Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is about Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017) Movie Review
David Packouz (Miles Teller) is in his 20s and tired of getting pushed around: by retirement home owners who reject his fine linen get rich quick scheme and by naked massage clients that give him money in the meantime. Enter his junior high best friend Efraim Diveroli (Jonah Hill), a budding international arms dealer. Efraim plucks David from his mundane existence, and, as they work dirty arms dealing with governments, they quickly find themselves over their heads. And…movie.
War Dogs is a dark comedy from the director of The Hangover trilogy. It is, perhaps, a tale too dark for Continue reading War Dogs (2016) Movie Review
Note: I have covered the four acting categories in depth here.
- Steve Carrell — Foxcatcher
- Bradley Cooper — American Sniper
- Benedict Cumberbatch –The Imitation Game
- Michael Keaton — Birdman
- Eddie Redmayne — The Theory of Everything
American Sniper is a movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, which has been getting a lot of attention. Way more attention than I expected it to get, at that. And I don’t quite know what to make of that. I mean, a major blockbuster in January? Continue reading American Sniper (2014) Movie Review