Saturday, November 14, 2015

FYC: Ben Mendelsohn for Best Actor in Mississippi Grind (2015)

Hello, Bloggers, here is yet another For Your Consideration post. Now this will be an FYC post/review. So, I'll delve into why the performance deserves recognition while also praising the film he's in. That performance is Ben Mendelsohn in Mississippi Grind.

Ever since his breakthrough back in 2010 with Animal Kingdom, Mendelsohn has been working consistently in the States, appearing in great films like The Dark Knight Rises, where I first noticed him, and then Place Beyond The Pines, Slow West, TV's Bloodline, and the upcoming Star Wars spinoff Rogue One. He may have become typecast as villains or schmucks, but he is always great in each role. But with Mississippi Grind, he is given a rare leading role and he knocks it out of the park. As Gerry, a down on his luck gambler on a losing streak, Mendelsohn showcases Gery's dead end despair through radiant charisma and rather childlike anxiety through the way his body shakes. He may be playing a scheming deadbeat here, but he pulls it off with more original nuances. While his Neville in Starred Up was pretty anxious as well, his Gerry is much more charismatic and cool. You want to hug Neville and tell him everything will be fine while you root for Gerry to win at the end and that's what really sets them apart. A nod for Mendelsohn here would certainly be the cherry on top of a banner year for the actor as he already scored an Emmy nod for Bloodline and also had Slow West and Black Sea. 

The film itself, though, is a fine road movie. It has smart writing from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck and Mendelsohn has solid support from Ryan Reynolds. Even if both actors share a similar amount of screen time, it's still mostly the Mendelsohn show. In the hands of a lesser actor, Mississippi Grind would've actually been just a find road movie. But thanks to the chemistry of both Mendelsohn and Reynolds, it is made even better. I'd give it a solid A-.

What do you guys think? If you've seen the film, do you agree that Ben Mendelsohn deserves Oscar recognition? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!