It is already March and we've just put the 88th Academy Awards behind us. But I have already found a performance that should be remembered come awards time. That performance is by John Goodman in the sci-fi thriller 10 Cloverfield Lane.
10 Cloverfield Lane itself is a solid tension-filled thriller that even exceeds its spiritual predecessor Cloverfield. While the people sitting behind me were like "This is boring" because it is mostly about three people trapped in a bunker, it is more focused on asking the question of "If you were trapped underground with someone you didn't know, what would you do? Would you take your chances trying to survive outside or stay inside where you will be safer with strangers?"
As great as the film is, most of the reason that it works so incredibly well is John Goodman as the owner of the bunker the characters stay in named Howard. Lately, Goodman has appeared in 5 minute role after 5 minute role, nailing it every time. But here, he is given a larger role to really sink his teeth into. Goodman successfully captures different invisible layers to his character: black comedy, reclusive mystery, and forceful, brooding menace. He appears fatherly and welcoming yet may or may not be crazier than the evil outside.
While the Internet has moaned about Leonardo DiCaprio not having an Oscar, and understandably so, take a look at John Goodman. The guy has been around since the 80's and works consistently, yet no recognition for his film work. He's gotten accolades for his work on TV's Roseanne. But never for his work in film even though he recently appeared in two Best Picture winners in a row: The Artist and Argo. I think it's time he joined the Oscar club. Despite his performance in 10 Cloverfield Lane being incredibly good, he has an even bigger hurdle to overcome: it's a sci-fi movie. But if they were to play up some kind of "he's never been nominated" angle, then he could overcome that and not just the genre and early release date.