My Academy Awards Preview and Introducing the Semi-Annual Daniel Day Lewis Award for the best performance by a Daniel Day Lewis.
Since it his inherently unfair for mere mortals to compete in this category with Daniel Day Lewis, I am introducing the Semi-Annual Daniel Day Lewis Award for best performance by a Daniel Day Lewis.
Mind you this award is only giving semi-annually, as DDL usually takes years to pick projects, get into character, and coble some shoes. Also, this award is not automatically awarded. For instance, The Ballad of Jack and Rose is a pretty good flick and DDL gives a fine performance. However, the acting is not quite up to Daniel Day Lewis Award standards. Do not expect this to happen often.
This year the Daniel Day Lewis Award for best performance by a Daniel Day Lewis goes to Daniel Day Lewis for becoming more Lincoln than Abraham Lincoln in Lincoln.
Now for the terrestrial division.
Denzel Washington turns in great performance as the drug addicted alcoholic pilot in denial in Flight. His performance was much better than the movie, usually a kill shot during awards season. Of course, when he was locked in that hotel room we were all just waiting to see how he was going to jump off the wagon. I hoped it would be by jumping out of the window. Unfortunately a deus-ex-machina appeared and left the door open to the adjoining hotel room. Although the Academy loves to give Denzel awards for non-Denzel like roles, he didn’t get quite fat enough to win the body transformation points the Academy loves to award.
Who knew Bradley Cooper could act as something other than a pretty boy asshole? Well, in Silver Linings Playbook he still kinda plays a pretty boy asshole, but one with a mental illness. Now that’s showing some range. I did find his commentary on Hemmingway compelling and he does get bonus points for wearing a garbage bag for much of the movie. This was an overall solid performance that will earn Cooper some respect until he returns to star in The Hangover 3.
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance is just plain creepy. I wonder if he simply continued his weirdo routine from the faux-documentary/performance art piece I’m Still Here. His turn as Freddy is both over the top and nuanced, a feat accomplished by only the most capable, and probably totally mental, of actors. That Freddy is so revolting is likely the cause for this moving being mostly ignored by the Academy except in acting categories. Joaquin should be a perennial contender in the non-Daniel Day Lewis category for years to come.
Hugh Jackman grows a beard and sings. That’s all I have to say about that.
My Pick (Non-DDL division): Joaquin Phoenix
Oscar: Daniel Day Lewis
Part 2 coming soon.