Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Look Ahead to Best Supporting Actor.

The nominees are: -
The Dark Knight - Heath Ledger
Doubt - Philip Seymour Hoffman
Milk - Josh Brolin
Revolutionary Road - Michael Shannon
Tropic Thunder - Robert Downey Jr.

Crude character summaries -

How I did: 80%. I predicted Dev Patel ahead of Michael Shannon.

My ranks:
01. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
In the 2006 Oscars, Ledger was up against Hoffman, and he lost. Despite me loving Brokeback Mountain to pieces, I agreed with the loss; Hoffman as Truman Capote gave a better performance. The battle between the two men has reared its head again, and this time, it is Ledger that comes out trumps. And before you ask, yes, I will continue bringing up Brokeback Mountain up at any possible opportunity. It's what I do, aside from saying "bung" and making mischief. A performance so deranged, so terrifying that my brother Tom dared not watch, Heath Ledger gives a whole new dimension to the character that was so camped up by Jack Nicholson. The ends of his mouth peeling like dry paint and that sad-yet-horrifying clown face filling our screens, the "Why-so-serious" delivery, the "Wanna know how I got these scars?" anecdotes and the knifeplay has meant that his character, as with Ennis del Mar and his plentiful mumblings from BBM, has often involuntarily descented into farce (the sheer multitude of half-arsed lolcats that emerged as a result of The Dark Knight says it all) But you just need to watch the performance to realise that the giggles you're having are from pure nerves. And the nerves are from the shock of witnessing this performance on screen; a whirlwind of horror, menace and infectious evil.

02. Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
As Father Flynn, the hoo-ha around Hoffman's character revolves around whether he did or didn't abuse a young black boy at the parish. Oozing charisma is something Phil could do in his sleep, and has been done better quite a few times in the past (Charlie Wilson's War, Almost Famous, Mission Impossible III) But that doesn't mean it's a joy to witness it again. The face-offs between Hoffman and Streep is like watching my friends Ben and Stoy play table tennis; somewhat lol-inducing, a bit of a mess, but nothing short of compelling. But my personal favourites are the scenes he shares with the sweet character of Amy Adams, who trustingly believes in his innocence. When he's around Streep, I found his character dangerous and creepy. When he was around Adams, Father Flynn seemed warm and kind-hearted. That's acting for you.

03. Robert Downey Jr, Tropic Thunder
Depending on how you interpret the five films, Downey Jr is the only one that's not a total turd. As method actor Kirk Lazarus, a man so serious about his craft that he goes through a skin pigmentation process so he can really be black, Downey Jr gives the most (intentionally) hilarious performance of the five nominated, and also one of the funniest performances of the year. It's a quiet onion performance in that it is secretly rather layered- he is playing a man in character in a film. Up against Jack Black, who does his usual fart-humour thing, and Ben Stiller's buck-teethed "Simple Jack" stint, he is the most intellectual of the primadonnas on the set of the "war" movie, and delivers some knockout lines with a very straight face.

04. Josh Brolin, Milk
As Dan White, Brolin is the wannabe politician that finds himself in under his head and fighting a losing battle when he tries to counter Milk's policies. In the scenes against Penn, Brolin really shines good light onto Harvey Milk, whilst simultaneously evoking displeasure and a small amount of pity from the audience. That said, Milk is a film that contains a lot of strong performances, and I could list a good five that I preferred: Penn, Franco, Hirsch, Pill, and the one off the High School Musical movies.

05. Michael Shannon, Revolutionary Road
He played a guy with mental problems who told Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio some home truths and shouted a bit. Good, attention-grabbing stuff, but hardly awards-worthy. Especially when his depiction of someone who "wasn't well" made me larf an awful lot, which surely wasn't the point of the performance...

Who will win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Who deserves to win: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Who deserved to get nominated: James Franco, Milk/ Haaz Sleiman, The Visitor/ Jack O Connell, Eden Lake


J.D. said...

Awwww, Emma, your handwriting is so cuuute. Bung. <3

Emma said...


Besty said...

Um, Emz? "Downer" and "nutter" are both kind of un-PC. I'm surprised you didn't brand Hoffman a nonce.

anahita said...

ooh cute handwriting. and viciously perceptive character summaries as usual. um, basically, my two cents worth is that if they don't give it to heath ledger, the entire film indutry will go on a year long strike. so I think heath's getting it and rightly so. I watched rachel getting married, I agree it was a bit too, well, it dragged sometimes and some parts of it were a bit boring, but I loved loved loved anne hathaway. can you believe how far she's come? and parts of it were really sweet and profound. and thank you for getting it for me :) xxxx

Emma said...

"Paedo priest" has a better ring to it than "Nonce priest", no? And yeah, I never use those words in real-life. Not much, anyway. (what can I say? I'm a bad person! :D) Anyway, everyone calls me a nutter, so I should be able to say it too!

@ Anahita: I too, really enjoyed Hathaway's performance. She's so versatile, from her bubblegum Princess Diaries image, now to this. And no problem! Any other film you want to see, I'll try my best to find you a link for it. :)

Besty said...

Your mates call you a nutter cos the things you do are "nutty" to say the least! Shannon, on the other hand, played a psychiatric patient. Not the same thing.

Also, you'd nominate Jack O'Connell? *eyeroll* Your Skins-bias is unreal, I'm surprised you haven't nominated Wooden Patel.

Emma said...

Go bung yourself.

Luke said...

Liking the Ben/Stoy reference. :P

But how was "the one off the High School Musical movies" better than Brolin, please???

Ben Button tomorrow. Yay!

Anonymous said...

Awwww, Emma, your handwriting is so cuuute. Bung. <3

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