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My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Oscar Predictions Part 2: Best Actor

by Tony Johnson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

A continuation of the series that takes a look at this year’s Academy Award contenders. In this entry, we break down this year’s best in leading men.

Colin Firth, The King’s Speech– This English actor hit it big last year with his Oscar- nominated performance in A Single Man, but last-minute nominee Jeff Bridges took it home instead for his work in Crazy Heart. However, things may change this year for Firth. His performance as stutter-inflicted King George VI has earned rave reviews and praise at festivals, and makes him a certain contender. Though he faces stiff competition from equally competent leading men, Firth may have the best bet since he hasn’t been taken an Oscar home yet, and holds seniority over James Franco, who will most likely earn more nominations in the future.

James Franco, 127 Hours– Firth’s biggest competition comes in the form of James Franco’s heart-breaking, refreshing performance in Danny Boyle’s magnificent new film and possible Best Picture contender, 127 Hours. His performance has been hailed as a “tour de fource” and “one of the best performances of all time,” and he’s been labeled as the actor of his generation for it. Franco is more than worthy of all of these praises and deserves a bounty of nominations and awards, but Colin Firth’s seniority may tower over his chances.

Javier Bardem, Biutiful- The movie itself doesn’t come out in limited release until late December, but critics and festival attendees who have seen it have already emphasized how Bardem shines in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s (director of Babel) new foreign drama, Biutiful, which centers on a terminally ill father (Javier Bardem) trying to keep his relationship with his children alive amidst the underworld crime of Barcelona. Though he gives an “amazing” performance, Bardem has already earned his trophy back in 2008 for his piercing work in No Country For Old Men, and foreign films tend to be deprived of awards when it comes to the acting category.

Jeff Bridges, True Grit– Hardly anyone has seen the the Coen brother’s version of the classic 1969 western, but the cast itself destines it for a plethora of nominations. Particularly Jeff Bridges. He makes the role of the rugged old marshall (the character that won John Wayne his only Oscar) his own. However, remakes have a hard time getting nominated for best picture, let alone taking home acting accolades. If Bridges is nominated, he would be the first actor nominated for a performance of a character that has already been played.

Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network– Though the competition seems to be tight this year in the leading actor category, Jesse Eisenberg seems to have a significant shot at earning a nomination for his performance as the fast-talking founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, in David Fincher’s celebrated film The Social Network. The movie’s entire cast does a spectacular job at playing their real-world counterparts, while at the same time placing their own touch and feel into them. Eisenberg’s performance in particular is one of the more memorable, and is the best of his career so far, marking a highlight in his already-successful career. However, if someone is going to win for playing a real-life figure, it will be Colin Firth for The King’s Speech.

Other potential nominees include:

Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter– Wahlberg reportedly trained for 5 years to play boxer Micky Ward and gives physically demanding performance that seems natural in David O. Russell’s critically acclaimed drama, but unfortunately, his devotion and passion for the role may be overshadowed by the weight of other possible contenders.

Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine– The movie itself has recently won an appeal to change its initially placed NC-17 rating to an R, so its chances for getting a nomination in each category have increased. Ryan Gosling gives an emotionally strenuous but inviting performance in Derek Cianfrance’s dark indie film, but even with an R-rating, it may be too raw and depressing to acquire Oscar nominations, even if the actors have given their all.

Aaron Eckhart, Rabbit Hole– Even though he wasn’t widely known by frequent movie-goers before his turn as Harvey Dent/Two-Face in The Dark Knight, Eckhart has proven to be  a great actor over the years; John Cameron Mitchell’s screen adaptation of the Tony award-winning play, Rabbit Hole, is no exception. He embodies a father mourning the deaf of his young child, but powerhouse effort from Nicole Kidman as his wife may cause his work to be overlooked.

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    maddogDec 12, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    Tony, this prediction is awesome! I’m going to see 127 hours now because of this and your other review! Keep being a CHAMP

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Oscar Predictions Part 2: Best Actor