Thursday, February 12, 2015

Countdown to Oscar Night: Best Actor

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Best Actor
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything

In an otherwise lackluster year for movies, 2014 certainly had its share of "once-in-a-lifetime" leading roles. Save for Bradley Cooper, it is quite likely that each nominated actor displayed their career-defining performances this year. Michael Keaton will most likely win for a few reasons: he has been nailing acceptance speeches at every awards show this season (and the Academy loves that); he is the single veteran actor in a field of young whippersnappers (even Carell is relatively new to big-time acting); and his was the only performance that was more than an impression of a real-life person. Not taking anything away from those "impressions" (Redmayne and Cumberbatch's were jaw-dropping), but Keaton's performance was transformative in a way that sucked the viewer into the otherwise confusing and meandering prose of Birdman. Finally, it is a travesty that David Oyelowo's performance as Dr. Martin Luther King in Selma didn't make the cut. It isn't like their wasn't room either, Carell's performance was impressive but boring, and Bradley Cooper simply bulked up and talked like a Texan.

My Ballot:
Eddie Redmayne - The Theory of Everything
Michael Keaton - Birdman
Benedict Cumberbatch - The Imitation Game
Steve Carell - Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper - American Sniper

My Pick to Win:
Michael Keaton - Birdman

Shamefully Snubbed:
David Oyelowo - Selma

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