Having previously covered some of the possible award-worthy movies that could have an Academy Award hoisted by the director while he or she shouts “I’m the king of the world!,” (thank you, James Cameron), let’s move into the always dignified and ego-free world of actors. As usual, there are clearly more possible candidates than available nominee slots.
Of course, that means every year there are examples of actors getting nominated that make you scratch your head, while other potential nominees are left out in the cold. (Well, as cold as winter in southern California can get.)
The following is an analysis of the two lead acting categories and some of the possible nominees heading into Oscar night, March 6, 2006. Keep in mind, unpredictability often reigns in these categories, whether it’s with an out of left field nominee or possibly an unexpected winner. Hence, the reason I’m staying away from the supporting acting races – just too many possibilities right now.
• Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) - For those of you not familiar with this great actor, he is no relation to Dustin Hoffman. Usually, any movie featuring him is better for his presence and with Capote, he has his first high-profile starring role. Portraying the eccentric author Truman Capote, early word is that it would be a major surprise if Hoffman doesn’t garner a nomination.
• Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line) - Another near sure thing to be nominated, Phoenix is getting a lot of great publicity for his performance as music icon Johnny Cash. Academy Award voters loves strong performances featuring real-life musicians (Jamie Foxx won portraying Ray Charles and Gary Busey was nominated for his role as Buddy Holly), so Phoenix (himself a previous nominee for Gladiator) has an excellent shot.
• David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck) - Strathairn has been in countless movies over the years, including a number directed by Walter Sayles, but hasn’t ever really broken out of the good “character actor” category. That is, until now. The George Clooney-directed movie stars Strathairn as respected broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, as he decides to take on Senator Joseph McCartney during his obsession with uncovering Communists in America. While the film has been fairly low-profile, it remains to be seen if that will hinder Strathairn’s chances.
• Johnny Depp (The Libertine) - Having been nominated two years in a row, Depp is quickly becoming an Oscar favorite, yet is still waiting to get his first award. A nomination is possible with this role as famed 17th century poet, the Earl of Rochester, as its supposedly a meaty role. However, his character is also supposed to be quite unlikable and notorious, having died from syphilis at a fairly young age.