Sunday, January 24, 2016

Oscars 2016: The Acting Nominees And Their Best Unnominated Performances

Hello, Bloggers. Since the Oscar nominations have been announced, I figured I'd gear my attention towards the 20 acting nominees and some of their best work that went unnoticed by the Academy. Let's take a look:

Best Actor:

Bryan Cranston: I haven't seen a whole lot of his film work. But along with John Goodman, I think that he was an unsung hero of Argo. 

Matt Damon: This one is tough because he's been nominated for some of his best work. But I'm going to go with his work as Colin Sullivan in The Departed that is both charismatic and duplicitous.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Django Unchained. Before I saw the film, I never thought he could play someone so villainous. Boy, did this guy prove me wrong! Not only should've been nominated, but he should've taken the trophy.

Michael Fassbender: Another easy one. Shame. The performance that put him on the map in the first place and on people's radars, his flawless work as a sex addict is one of many diverse and complex characterizations that remains his best to date.

Eddie Redmayne: I'll go with Les Miserables. Interestingly, he had more screentime than Anne Hathaway who took home a trophy for the film and nominated the film practically everywhere else. Yet he couldn't ride the Les Mis train. Shame because he's better here than in his two nominated performances.

Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett: Agh, a tough one. If I had to choose one of her best unnominated performances, I'll go with her luminous turn as Daisy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Very underrated and understated turn from her.

Brie Larson: I'm going with Short Term 12. While this may be a pretty motherly role like in Room, what makes her work as Grace in Short Term 12 a complete 180 is how she builds invisible walls between herself and those around her.

Jennifer Lawrence: The performance that truly made her a superstar, The Girl on Fire Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. I would argue she's better there than she was in Silver Linings Playbook which won her the Oscar that year. I mean, whenever I think about the scene where she volunteers as tribute, I get a small lump in my throat.

Charlotte Rampling: This one is tough because I haven't seen much of her work outside of 45 Years. The only other performance of hers that I've seen is her one scene wonder in Melancholia. Only one scene, but boy, does she makes the most of it!

Saoirse Ronan: Her leading turn as a teenage assassin in Hanna. Very underrated film and performance, but it's a performance that blends tough physicality and an emotional awareness of the world itself.

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale: Easy, American Psycho. "Try getting a reservation at Dorsia now, you f**kin stupid bastard!"

Tom Hardy: A performance that I thought was robbed of a Best Actor nomination last year, his one man in show in Locke. If anyone can make a film about a guy driving on a highway intriguing, it's this guy.

Mark Ruffalo: Probably his work as Bruce Banner in The Avengers. He plays the role of a shy scientist worried that he'll "lose it" perfectly. He really made you sense his fear that he would turn green.

Mark Rylance: I'm not familiar with his other work in film or even his television and theater work. So, I can't really say.

Sylvester Stallone: Another tough one because Rocky is the role that has defined his career and I haven't really seen his work outside of it.

Best Supporting Actress:

Jennifer Jason Leigh: Other than her turn as the animalistic Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight, I've seen her revelatory voice work in Anomalisa. So, I'll go with that.

Rooney Mara: Her brief yet significant turn as the bitter ex-girlfriend Erica Albright in The Social Network. She only had two scenes, but I still think she deserved a place among the Best Supporting Actress lineup. That's how great she is.

Rachel McAdams: Easy. Mean Girls. I've always enjoyed her work after, but she'll always be Regina George to me. McAdams' performance as the sugary yet sinister Queen Bee is fetch!

Alicia Vikander: I'm going with her analytical Ava in Ex Machina. It's also the cherry on top of an amazing year for this breakthrough of a talent.

Kate Winslet: Another tough one because while I think she is a tremendous talent, I've seen only a handful of her work including performances where she actually was nominated. But I'm going to do a bit of a cheat and go with her appearance on TV's Extras where she plays a fictional version of herself trying to win an Oscar. Not necessarily her BEST work, but still absolutely hilarious and hey, she did get an Emmy nod for her work!