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Thursday, February 3, 2011

OSCAR WATCH: Best Supporting Actor Front-Runners

The King's Speech & The Fighter
This year's Oscar race for Best Supporting Actor has two prime winners: Geoffrey Rush and Christian Bale. Of course, only one can win, but who? After watching the two, evaluating their performances and potential for the prestigious honor, I have come up with my own verdict. And my winner is...Geoffrey Rush.
The Fighter - This mega-hit is also in the run for Best Picture this year, as well as rounded up Best Supporting Actress nominations for Melissa Leo and Amy Adams. I just watched this movie last night, and found it extremely watchable and, actually, pretty great. When the movie began, all I could see was documentary-style filmmaking, from cinematography (camera movement) to acting. Everyone talked at once, making it realistic yet difficult to comprehend, which may be artistic to some but to me it was just irritating. However, as the movie progressed and the actors, as well as the story, was really showing its greatness. Guessing all the boring intro was just to get the viewer filled in with Micky Ward's living situation. In the end, the movie was somewhat fantastic.
Christian Bale, portraying Micky's troubled half-brother Dicky Eklund, gave an excellent performance. He was extremely believable as a drug-addict, with his ghostly appearance to his degenerate actions. He played the role so disgustingly and vile, yet the point where Mickey fires him as his trainer, you feel sorry for him. At least I do, anyway. Christian Bale's performance was great, however, he is no match for his main competitor's talent....

The King's Speech - A magnificent movie with three marvelous performances, all nominated for an Oscar, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Colin Firth), Best Supporting Actress (Helena Bonham Carter), Best Director (Tom Hooper), and Best Supporting Actor (Geoffrey Rush). From beginning to end, this was a wonderful film, full of heartwarming moments, light humor, and an interesting plot. Taking place in the World Wars' era, the stuttering Duke of York, later becoming King George VI, must seek help for his terrible speech impediment. Enter Australian speech therapist, Lionel Logue. With his eccentric yet increasingly effective speech exercises and the support of his adoring wife, King George overcomes his struggle. This victory is realized at the end, when he makes the declaration of war with nearly stutter. Queen Mum, his wife, and Lionel are immensely proud with such progress. Colin Firth is a shoo-in for the Oscar, to my delight. Unfortunately, Helena Bonham Carter has no such luck, most likely to lose against Melissa Leo.
Geoffrey Rush, as always, gives an outstanding performance as the devoted speech therapist. His clever techniques and teasing way of making progress with his patient are such an enjoyment to watch. Unlike most nominees this year, his performance was relaxed and, thankfully, lacked major outbursts of passion/rage. Also, the friendship he and George develop is so heartwarming and sweet, and most importantly believable! Such an amazing performance should not be ignored, however it most likely will. With all the buzz around Christian Bale, and him snagging every award so far, I doubt Geoffrey Rush will win this year. A huge upset, but that's the Oscars for you.

The King's Speech > The Fighter