So now we come to Oscars Best Actor nominees for 2014. Again I will list them in alphabetical order, Leading and Supporting: and a lusty, lustrous list it is, with a couple of surprising omissions. Still
that is the business and if you focus on what awards you might win, or be nominated for, you will probably fail your career.
Barkhad Abdi, nominated for Best Supporting Actor in the terrific CAPTAIN PHILLIPS as the pirate Abduwali Muse, who leads the pirate taking of the ship the Maersk Alabama. He does an excellent job in his first film role, after arriving in the US with his family from war torn Somalia and with, I feel sure, a good understanding of the country’s issues.
Christian Bale, nominated for Best Actor in AMERICAN HUSTLE, playing the Con Man, recruited to go after the Mafia, in the ’70’s. He is a versatile, interesting actor who was born in the UK and came to the US as a boy where he started his career. I will always remember him in THE EMPIRE OF THE SUN as the boy separated from his parents during the Japanese occupation of Shangai, magical film and performance.
Leonardo DiCaprio, a real actor’s actor, who clearly loves his craft and immerses himself completely in everything he takes on. This year he gets nominated fot Best Actor for THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, he gives a funny, daring performance as the unattractive ‘hero’ of this story of greed and hustle.
Bradley Cooper, funny, devious, seductive in AMERICAN HUSTLE, garners a Best Supporting Acting nomination. Here is another actor dedicated to his work, paying his dues in Television, Stage and Film until he hit it really big last year in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, in a wonderful complex performance.
Bruce Dern..nominated for Best Actor for NEBRASKA, a gritty and rather depressing film. Everything comes to he who waits and Mr Dern has waited a long time for this, giving one excellent performance after the other, remember him as Jane Fonda’s husband in the film COMING HOME, another great film of the seventies, about the Vietnam War, see it if you can for all the performances.
Chiwetel Ejiofer plays Soloman in 12 YEARS A SLAVE and gets a well deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actor in a moving performance in a very sad film. I read an article recently by a UK journalist questioning the veracity of Soloman Northup‘s story and whether a black free man in those days could have achieved the kind of economic freedom that Soloman and his family enjoyed. Wel I suppose this journalist had to write something, but this kind of comment is so petty and small minded, it does make my blood boil.
Michael Fassbender, magical Michael, whose performances I will always go to see. He is nominated for Best Supporting Actor as the sadistic slave owner Ebbs in 12 YEARS A SLAVE, a no holds barred performance as a despicable and completely believable man.
Jonah Hill is nominated for Best Supporting Actor in THE WOLF OF WALL STREET and if rumours are to be believed, was paid scale for his work, because he wanted to work with Martin Scorcese, I dont blame him, many of us would do the same. If you want to know a little more: Variety!
Jared Leto, looking much younger than his 40 years, is nominated as Best Supporting Actor in the terrific THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, which has been in the picture, but not on always the screen, since the nineties. Jared Leto has had a long and distingusished career and has many strings to his bow.
Matthew McConaughey …Best Actor Nomination for THE DALLAS BUYERS CLUB…he gives an amazing performance as the Aids afflicted rodeo rider, who suddenly finds himself the victim of the terrible disease, at this point only associated with the gay community. Matthew was always a star, now we know he is a an actor of significance as well.
Couple of people missing, in my humble opinion:
Wonderful Tom Hanks for the wonderful CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Excellent Robert Redford for ALL IS LOST…although he think he would have been better served by his script, if we had been given more about the Man, why he was there? who he was?
Always outstanding Chris Cooper for AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY