Saturday, February 16, 2013

Oscar 2013 - Supporting Actor

Actors are normally a category that I prefer to skip, because either I'm getting way to subjective, or I really don't feel having any pertinent comments. I'll do some exceptions this year, and one is supporting actor, the reason being that here as on makeup I have the chance to stop a bit more to a certain movie. More than this, the category is interesting this year, as opposed to the leading one where the score is pretty settled.

Alan Arkin has in "Argo" the role of a film producer, the only major character in the story who doesn't have a real corespondent. It's a pretty consistent role, and his performance is sufficiently memorable. But as Oscar chances is quite far from other three nominees present here.

Robert de Niro got his first nomination after more then 10 years for the role in "Silver Linings Playbook". I'll just say that is the one to fill the ranks this year for the category = if we compare with "Meet the Parents" (+ the sequels if needed) I guess it was more appropriate to get it there at the time if it was to be for a comedy on this type of character.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is the first serious contestant in the list, for "The Master" where he plays a cult leader from the 50's-60's. From what I've seen of him up to the moment I guess it's his best performance ever, and also the best in this category now. As a prediction is hard to say though since we have the ones below too, but I'll try to bet on a sort of surprise here to confirm what I've just said before. And since we're here I'll take the opportunity to say a couple of words about the movie, that being one of the reasons to get into this category. The movie, written & directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood"), created sufficient controversy in U.S. being accused that connects to the Scientology Church. I think that more "problematic" (with big "") is that the movie can be applied as a successful allegory for any cult, movement, up to subgroup of "followers" inside a sect, formed around a particular leader with a certain personal ideology (and since there are enough such groups from bigger to small ones is normal to upset). The movie doesn't have a well defined narrative structure, following an adept (brilliant role made by Joaquin Phoenix) through several years while being close to such a group. It's a movie that might be hard to watch at times, but which doesn't try to give you in the end an explicit "pro" or even more an absolute "anti". It lets you decide, maybe based also along your life experience that you have. I'll refrain from more comments, but I'll have to say that when I left the cinema where I've seen it I had a major feeling of content that there was somebody who had the guts to make this movie.

Tommy Lee Jones has the part of a republican in "Lincoln", a historic figure apparently quite important in the slavery abolishing. Although the role is so to speak, more supporting than the others around here (maybe with the exception of De Niro) it seems that the chances to get an Oscar are relatively high. About the role itself, I could say is theatrical enough, which probably is the factor making it more impressive.

Christoph Waltz acts as a German bounty hunter in Tarantino's wild west from "Django Unchained". Really good performance, which rightfully said by some looks more like leading than supporting in the movie. A problem though is that Waltz had an Oscar before, also for a Tarantino movie, and with a role that was even better than the one here. More, the two roles are close in playing style, even though the character is completely different. So, maybe if I wouldn't have seen already what he offered here, I would've been blown away by the performance, but like that I start thinking if the guy is not by chance extremely good only on a specific type of role.

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