There are a few shoe-ins for awards contention this year, and they deserve the attention. We expect to see Michael Keaton, Jake Gyllenhaal, JK Simmons, Reese Witherspoon, Ralph Feinnes, Patricia Arquette and Emma Stone, plus a slew of likelies from films we haven’t seen yet. But – premature as it may seem – we’re already worried about the magnificent performances we have seen and fear will go overlooked this awards season.
The always magnificent Gleeson lands the role of a lifetime in Calvary as the good priest who learns during a confession that an abused man intends to make a martyr of him. It is an awe inspiring performance of turmoil, skepticism, hope, struggle, faith and resignation.
Slate could not have been any better than she was in Obvious Child, a deeply different twist on the romantic comedy. Slate is so natural, awkward, hilarious and vulnerable – exactly what was needed to make the film work, and it does more than work. Thanks to her turn, it soars.
Chadwick Boseman may get some deserved attention, but Davis’s turn as James Brown’s mother in Get On Up is a masters class in acting. The always formidable Davis is raw and magnificent. We hope awards voters don’t overlook the performance the same way audiences overlooked this gem of a movie.
Her fierce and fearless turn in Wetlands may actually turn Oscar voters away in droves, but we’re hard pressed to think of a lead performance that was more impressive. We hope Oscar grows a pair and takes note.
Fassbender will be an awards favorite for the rest of his life, but since not a living soul saw his magnificent, tender, funny and heartbreaking turn inside a giant head in Frank, it’s not likely he’ll get the notice he so deeply deserves this awards season.
What a year for Swinton! She crafted fully formed, utterly different characters in four films this year. Which one deserves an award? Pick one: Snowpiercer (Be a shoe!), Only Lovers Left Alive, Zero Theorem and/or The Grand Budapest Hotel. Swinton is wonderful in every one of them.
Hardy deserves attention for two lead turns this year, the one man show Locke and the understated drama The Drop. He is truly one of the very most compelling talents working today and it is high time he get some notice.
The undeniably gorgeous A-lister finally does a nude scene in the most underseen film of her career – Jonathan Glazers hypnotically unnerving SciFi gem Under the Skin. Johansson shoulders the entire film, mesmerizing from beginning to end.