My mind is scattered at the moment as I contemplate the predicament I've placed myself in. With a measly week away from the Academy Awards, I've watched the majority of the nominees, and, as impressive an accomplishment that is, there is a fatal flaw in my progress. I have not analyzed individual nominees, nor have I pitted one against the other in those "versus" comparisons I so enjoy doing. Why? Is my personal life that chaotic and occupied? For the context at hand, I will say, indubitably complicated my life is. Yoda-inversion, I'm sure you are familiar. Anyway, now that we're here, I will not waste additional blank space apologizing. That's all I seem to do lately. Honestly, how can you tolerate me? The most competitive category this year, in the Oscar race, would have to be that of the supporting actors. Each nominee has won an award in the past, a fact that eliminates the possibility for the Academy to bestow its ever-popular pity Oscar. If, for instance, Leonardo DiCaprio were nominated instead of Christoph Waltz, the choice would be fairly obvious. Then again, the Academy, for some reason, does not care for him, based on its shameful decisions before. Indeed, this race has each nominee basically at one another's necks. Of course, there are those who surpass others. I, too, have my opinions on who shall most likely win and who should most certainly win. Indulge me.
Tommy Lee Jones for Lincoln - No. I would end it there, that succinct rejection of him winning, but I really should explain why. The eternally stone-faced Jones has a certain trait that transforms his unapproachable harshness into something amusingly charming. It is that very quality that makes him so likable and even funny in the Men in Black trilogy and in Hope Springs, where a touch of sweetness was added in. There was once a time when I liked Tommy Lee Jones, in the same way I care for Harrison Ford: the center of a joke yet not enough to make him pathetic or foolish. With Lincoln, however, my views have changed. As the belligerent abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens, Tommy Lee Jones became the brusque, cantankerous misanthrope he was aiming to be perceived as for all these years. Because his character was so keen on abolishing slavery, in the distasteful manner of influential patriotism, I associated him with that unlikable type of person. I am not a racist, to assure that I tremble at the thought of being confused as such. Sense the exaggeration to make the point of what our society has morphed us into. Beyond the sort of man he portrays, Tommy Lee Jones did not demonstrate anything remarkable in his efforts here. Like Alan Arkin, his performances are more or less standard: blunt, saturnine, and malevolently humorless, meaning that he makes an effort to find friendliness intolerable. Perhaps my judgment is clouded by the context and tone of the film itself, including Tommy Lee Jones and his character. Either way, my judgment is irrevocable until proven false with an additional viewing of Lincoln, in a year or two. Unfortunately, I have a foreboding feeling that Tommy Lee Jones may win his second Oscar; he has won the Screen Actors Guild award, as well as unanimous appreciation from critics and his peers-slash-voters of the Academy. I'll just hope that ominous feeling is an upset stomach and move on. D+
Philip Seymour Hoffman for The Master - Say, I just watched and reviewed this film. And the performance as well. How convenient. I must say, I truly enjoyed his performance as the charismatic, hypnotic cult leader. The mental hold he harnesses over his congregation is simply spell-binding, and his overwhelming influence is only broadened as he lures Joaquin Phoenix to the Cause. (His character, obviously.) As I've said previously, his performance was so convincing that I nearly feel victim to his preposterous doctrines, thusly justifying his phenomenal talent and success in his trade. (Thusly?) He was approached with the task of portraying the leader of a cult--one much similar to Scientology, but that is neither here nor there nor there--and Mr. Hoffman embodied such a man with the stubbornness of a fanatic and the loony eloquence of a hypnotized hypnotist. Well done. The chance of him waddling up onto the stage on Oscar night is very likely, for he has won several accolades already as well as praise among his peers and viewers. I just hope he has to clear his throat when that time comes. Along Came Polly reference? As for my own tastes of him winning, I would not have a significant issue with that, though I'd rather see one of the following two men receive the honor. B+