The Nominees are:
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
David Oyelowo, Selma
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
What a year! So many strong performances. Nightcrawler is the best performance of Gyllenhaal’s career so far, but he’s not going to get an award for it. Neither is Carrell likely to, although I think he really pushed himself and we saw him at a whole new level. Sorry Steve, it’s not your year.
The next 3 are super, super tough to call and I wish we could just shake everyone’s hands, call a 3-way-tie, maybe watch Eddie Redmayne blush through his freckles and call it a day. But awards hardly ever work like that (although we did see a tie at the Oscars two years ago). There isn’t always going to be a clear winner, because there aren’t clear qualifications. Art is subjective. These 3 are all portraying real men (and so was Steve Carrell) so maybe in this case we do have a bit of a yardstick against which to measure. But other than that, all you can do is follow your gut reaction, and vote for what spoke to you the most.
For that reason, I’m eliminating Benedict Cumberbatch. I know he’s fairly heavily favoured but as I said before, I think he’s a really great and nuanced actor who did as good a job as I believe was possible with that role. I also believe that the writer did not provide as fleshed-out a character as possible, and that’s where Cumberbatch loses out to Redmayne. Redmayne became Hawking, and the writers allowed us to see both the good and the bad in the man. The audience got to see him grow and change as a man whereas the Turing character seemed much more static.
Eddie Redmayne was the first of these performances I saw, and I immediately declared it the one to beat. But last night I finally saw Selma and wasn’t prepared for just how much I would enjoy it, and enjoy Oyelowo’s portrayal of Dr. King. He’s able to show us this historical figure so revered, so hallowed that we forget he was a real man, and at the same time show us a flawed man who was barely holding it together. It’s got to be daunting to play Dr. King, especially in this kind of movie, but he never faltered. So I’m giving it Oyelowo.
Do I think the Globes will agree? I think they would if they all had the chance to see it, but this one’s been in very limited release until this weekend and apparently Paramount’s been having a hard time getting out screeners. I’d hate to see such a stupid reason lose Oyelowo the race, but I wouldn’t be surprised.
Score two Selma