To continue my look at the major categories of the Academy Awards this year I examine two races that are possibly the least tight amongst the major six. The leading actor and actress awards seem to be a little more clear cut.
The most decisive of all the races is the best actor award. I fully believe and have fully believed that this award will go to Daniel Day-Lewis for his incredibly brilliant portrayal of the beloved president in Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis is without question the most talented and greatest actor currently working in Hollywood. His track record is second to none and amongst the most respected. However his fellow nominees pull out performances that in any other year would be runaway winners most likely. Joaquin Phoenix makes his triumphant comeback in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master as a lost veteran who is drawn in by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s group of followers.
The other fantastic performance that stands out is Bradley Cooper in Davis O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook as a released bi-polar patient with a history of criminal issues directly resulted from his condition. His performance and the film is maybe one of the most important this year due to its subject matter with a sensitive subject in the mental health category. His nomination is without question an award to him and all who benefit from this excellent film.
The lead actress category has a slightly tighter case but this years award season has shown quite a bit of separation. Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook plays almost perfectly opposite Bradley Cooper. Lawrence has clearly been on the rise the last couple years and this is not her first nomination. She came to the forefront with her role in the haunting Winter’s Bone. She looks to go head to head against Jessica Chastain from the years political triumph Zero Dark Thirty. Despite both being phenomenal performances it’s clearly Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose. She is without a doubt Hollywood’s future and her ability to play a wide variety of roles is the reason she is such a hot commodity.
It’s a breath of fresh air that this will most likely be Silver Linings Playbook only award of the night that is a great thing because of what the film represents not only form a movie making aspect but how it may help others understand people suffering from mental illness despite how serious it may be.
One thing will be for sure look for two wonderful acceptance speeches from both of them who have delivered some of the best of award season so far.