The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Actors unlikely to win gold

By Robert Butler/Knight Ridder Newspapers

The ballots are in the mail, and early on the morning of Jan. 31 we’ll know who has been honored with a nomination by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

A year’s worth of performances will be boiled down to just 20 names of the actors officially in competition. In reality, a dozen or more of those 20 acting slots are already locked in, occupied by actors whom just about everyone agrees are a sure thing.

These are terrific performances that probably won’t get the nod because not many people saw them or they flopped at the box office or the competition was too hot. But check them out. All that glitters is not Oscar.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

I’m guessing that Oscar will nominate Scarlett Johansson for Woody Allen’s Match Point, Renee Zellweger for Cinderella Man and Michelle Williams for Brokeback Mountain. Diane Keaton (The Family Stone) and Thandie Newton (Crash) probably could fill out this category.

But I’d love to see a nomination go to Maria Bello for her astoundingly brave and daring work in A History of Violence, playing a small-town wife who gradually discovered that her sweet, churchgoing husband had a secret past as a mob killer.

Brenda Blethyn gave one of the year’s funniest performances as the busybody Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, playing matchmaker for her daughters with an utter lack of shame or subtlety.

As author Nell Harper Lee in Capote, Catherine Keener was the perfect supporting player (as she so often is), never upstaging Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Capote but providing a center for the film.

Playing a whore is a pretty thankless job, but in Hustle & Flow Taryn Manning excelled as her character gradually blossomed.

And the ever-reliable Shirley MacLaine gave us a different woman in In Her Shoes, playing an estranged grandmother who rebuilds bridges to her family.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

The likely nominees include Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man), Bob Hoskins (Mrs. Henderson Presents), Matt Dillon (Crash), George Clooney (Syriana) and perhaps William Hurt (A History of Violence).

One of those slots could very well go to Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain. It’s this young actor’s best work to date, a performance in which the things he didn’t say were as important as what he did.

Another possibility is Clifton Collins Jr. for his performance as condemned killer Perry Smith in Capote.

The much-maligned Kevin Costner gave his best performance as a washed-up, beery former pro baseballer in The Upside of Anger. Costner was funny yet real as the nervous suitor of Joan Allen’s raging abandoned wife (see best actress category). It was both touching and hilarious.

After these long shots come the real long shots, and those folks don’t have a chance at all.

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