This is another category that I have seen all of the films for, I think it makes these blog posts a lot easier (won’t always be the case as I am missing some, but you will have to wait and see which ones …). Now the selections for these seemed pretty straight forward, but I guess one was quite a surprise with Robert Duvall getting a nomination for The Judge. I was really pleased with that as enjoyed that film than it seems other people did! Everyone has been talking about Simmons easily walking away with the gold statue but I think this is a very strong category and he has some brilliant competition. This is nearly always the best category as always has very strong performances!
Robert Duvall – The Judge – Review
Duvall is absolutely fantastic in this film and really helps Robert Downey Jr to pull out a top performance as well. They work very well together and the chemistry created in the film is something that you cannot help but enjoy. In the film Duvall is the small town judge who is then charged with murder and he goes through a lot of emotions as we release everything is not exactly as it seems. His strained relationship with his son is a main focus on the film and this is something that I enjoyed watching unfold. I remember being impressed with the film and very impressed with Duvall’s performance. I was thrilled to see him pick up an Oscar nomination for his efforts.
I see him being a massive outsider to actually pick up the award at the Oscars but think being nominated for this film is a big recognition. As it did not seem to be that well received at the time, pleased that it will represented by this nomination at the ceremony. I wouldn’t be massively upset to see Duvall win, but this category seems to have been already won?
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood – Review
Over the past few years I have found myself watching a lot of Ethan Hawke’s films and eventually catching up with the Before Trilogy last year (yes I don’t know why it took me so long) among his very ranged filmography. In Boyhood he took the risk of a 12 year stint. Luckily he has aged very well over those years and did not look a massive amount older. He puts in a heart-felt performance from start to finish and it’s hard to believe he managed to bring that with each different time frame, keeping his character alive over that length of time.
I love that his performance has been recognised as one of the best in 2014 film. He was a brilliant supporting role and the character was likeable when a lot of others weren’t. The children responded well to him and it was believable that he was the dad, who had been involved in a break up. It certainly made me like him even more as an actor and really pleased he will be at the Oscars for his second nomination (for acting). He doesn’t really do much wrong at all.
Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Review
Another actor who seems to do no wrong when it comes to picking his roles, this is his third nomination for an Oscar but the first time in 16 years. He throughly deserves it as his performance in Birdman is off the wall really. He works well with Keaton and they have very good on-screen chemistry of arguments and the fight scene is brilliant yet hilarious at the same time.
He has such a fantastic charisma with this character and you cannot help but actually like him. Even though he is not massively likeable to begin with but you cannot help but laugh at the awkward moments he is involved in. Delivering the lines and being totally crazy, just shows fantastic acting for me. I would love to see Norton win the Oscar but he’s not looking like the favourite by any means. He certainly does deserve a lot more plaudits for his performance in this film.
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher – Review
Now I find this to be the trickiest one to talk about in this category mainly because I didn’t get all of the hype around the film and the performances. I have seen Ruffalo better than his performance in this film and the character just came across moody for me, so I didn’t like it all honesty. Thought it was just too slow and I would probably have picked another performance from 2014 for Ruffalo’s nomination.
Yes his appearance is totally changed and he bulked up doing a lot of training to become the wrestling character he was portraying in the film. But surely it takes more than that to get a nomination? I honestly would be devastated if Ruffalo walked away with the gold statue for this performance. Overrated.
J.K. Simmons – Whiplash – Review
The most talked about and hot favourite to win the Oscar and I can totally understand why. Simmons is unreal from start to finish, he is horrible and evil at times but in the end you can understand why he is doing it. He actually wants them to succeed, he knows how tough the real world is and wants to prepare his students for just that. Watch out for that flying cymbal though! He takes no prisoners and really has put everything into the performance, to good effects as he has picked up every other award in the build up to the Oscars.
An inspired and incredible performance, you feel uncomfortable watching Whiplash because of Simmons. He has you on edge and you have no idea what he is going to do next or fly off the handle. For me that is a pretty impressive and perfect performance. I will be happy to see him with that Oscar in his hand for his first ever nomination.
Who I want to win – J.K Simmons
Who I think will win – J.K Simmons
Outside chance – Edward Norton