Emile Hirsch – Into the Wild
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a pretty mediocre year for nominees and Day-Lewis is the one standout because he was spectacular in his role which shows once again how great an actor he is.
5. Johnny Depp
4. Tommy Lee Jones
3. Viggo Mortensen
2. George Clooney
1. Daniel Day-Lewis
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street – Not interesting at all. Depp feels miscast in the lead and can’t sing for his life. The story’s idea has some potential but it gets too dark along the way to really make it worthwhile. The rest of the cast is quite talented but the biggest standout is Sacha Baron Cohen who proves he can truly act (and sing) with this very eccentric role. Not sure if Depp really deserved an Oscar Nomination for this role and am quite surprised that he got a Golden Globe for Best Actor for this performance.
4. In the Valley of Elah – Jones is superb here and this can be counted among his best performances but the story that starts off so well, loses it’s momentum halfway through and turns into a typical procedural drama. The impact of some of the ideas and issues recalled here could be quite far reaching if heeded. The fact that this film was made a decade ago and not much has changed with regard to the attitude towards veterans and their difficulty re-acclimating to society makes this film still feel relevant today.
3. Michael Clayton – Great acting by Clooney, Wilkinson and Swinton which carries this thriller. Not sure if it really should have been nominated for Best Picture tho.
2. Eastern Promises – Great film that does an interesting job showing us the internal working of the modern mob in a very modern city. The story comes across as being quite realistic and the twists and turns along the way are great even upon a rewatch. The cast is excellent and Mortensen, Watts and Mueller-Stahl all give superb performances. The level of tension in the story constantly is raised and they do a very thorough job making the story work so well. I’m not sure why Mortensen was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for this film even though he does do a great job; I’m just not convinced that it was worthy of an Oscar nomination.
1. There Will Be Blood – Such an amazing film mostly due to the superb performance by Daniel Day-Lewis in the lead role. We are given such a unique perspective of the oil business and we get to see how things haven’t changed much over the last century when it comes to money and power. The pacing is quite slow, but so much happens that it doesn’t matter because there is so much to absorb as it moves along. The way that this film juggles issues of family, religion, the oil business, success and of course power is so gripping to watch. It unfortunately only managed to win 2 of its 8 Oscar nominations (Actor and Cinematography) despite being perhaps the best of the lot of films in the competition for Best Picture. Anderson proves once again how great a director he can be.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! No other performance this year comes close to the one by Lewis. Very deserving of his second Gold statue!
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!