Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 2001

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Russell Crowe (A Beautiful Mind)
Sean Penn (I Am Sam)
Will Smith (Ali)
Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom)

Biggest Snub:

Ryan Gosling – The Believer

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another so-so year of nominees. The best (and most emotional) role of the year by Wilkinson unfortunately had no chance of winning, so they ended up going with the flow and rewarding an actor who playe da role completely against type quite well, even if it was a bit disturbing.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Will Smith 
4. Sean Penn
3. Denzel Washington
2. Russell Crowe
1. Tom Wilkinson


5. Ali – Nice biopic that comes across as being a bit too choppy for it’s own good. Smith is good here, but no where near great.
4. I Am SamVery good premise but I felt that the story felt too juvenile and simplistic. Penn is very good here but his character’s inflections are way too reminiscent of Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man (1988) and Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump (1994).
3.Training DayInteresting and gripping story of undercover police work and how it affects those on assignment. Washington is excellent here and was deserving of his best actor Oscar for this role. Movie isn’t perfect but still enjoyable.
2. A Beautiful MindGood movie. Not the Best movie of the year, but close. Contains many elements that Oscar voters love.
1. In the BedroomInteresting study in the human psyche and how it is affected by tragedy. Is a bit slow at certain points, but still worth waiting it out.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – yes and No!  I think that Denzel does a nice job in TD, and it is a very different type of role for him than usual, but the performances by both Crowe and Wilkinson are more powerful IMHO. Wilkinson wasn’t going to win despite his great performance and Crowe is a good actor, but after winning the previous year, there was no way that he was gonna be able to get back to back awards because he isn’t a spectacular actor.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

4 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 2001

  1. First of all not sure how you “agree” with the win by Denzel when you have him in 3rd place. Not that I necessarily disagree with that assessment. As to Crowe not winning because it would’ve been 2 years in a row… Go back and look. He was considered the front-runner to win again for A Beautiful Mind (an excellent performance), but like James Franco last year – considered a shoo-in for a nomination until the bad behavior on set stuff hit the fan – right before voting began for the Oscars in 2001 – Crowe, staying in a hotel in London – got pissed off at a hotel employee and threw a phone at his head. The news hit big time – and voila – he loses the Oscar.

    Liked by 1 person

    • so u DO understand the yes ad no. 🙂 I dont think Denzel was the most deserving this year yet understand how he could have won.

      Forgot when that phone thing happened, but I still doubt that Crowe woulda gotten back to back wins regardless because he isn’t Hanks or Tracy


      • He doesn’t have to be Hanks or Tracy to win back to back. He just needed great performances in consecutive years. Trust me, I was living and working in Hollywood (LA) that year and Crowe was the frontrunner right until he threw the phone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I trust you, I’m just looking at it from the perspective of hindsight and am glad he didn’t get back to back because he’s a very good actor, but not and iconic one like the other two


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