Home Celebrity Oscar Race For Best Actor Already Has Too Many Players

Even as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences considers speeding up the Oscar race–a January or early February show for 2012–this year’s Oscar race for Best Actor is hot in October.

Why don’t we just give the awards out as the movies are released? I mean, really: the whole thing is going to be over before it’s over!

Anyway, the new race for Best Actor is tight in October! That’s because so many films were ready early, and too many bloggers have already decided to wear out the process before its begun.

But here goes: consider the gazillions the studios will have to spend to make it to the finish line this time around. Already in the mix are Leonardo DiCaprio for either “Inception” or “Shutter Island”; Ewan MacGregor for “Ghost Writer”; Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network” and my long shot favorite, Michael Douglas for “Solitary Man.” (This is a performance that if seen by Academy voters could be the upset of the year.)

Add to this list who’s coming: James Franco in “127 Hours.” Colin Firth in “The Kings Speech.” Ryan Gosling’s nuanced work in “Blue Valentine.”  And don’t forget Matt Damon for “True Grit” or “Hereafter,” Jeff Bridges for “True Grit,” Mark Wahlberg for “The Fighter,” and even Kevin Spacey in “Casino Jack.”

There are so many movies that only critics or press have seen, and that Academy voters have to sift through to make decisions. It takes weeks and weeks to get there. And for most the process won’t begin until well after Thanksgiving. Imagine if next year they had just three weeks to make those choices. Yikes!

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
9 replies to this post
  1. How can you leave out Robert Duvall, whose widely-acclaimed performance in GET LOW is a LOCK for a nomination.

    Frankly, Roger, the only real lock on your list is Colin Firth.

  2. From the looks of the “True Grit” trailer, it looks like Jeff Bridges was awarded too early.
    I firmly agree with you about “Solitary Man”. I think the Academy owes it to Michael Douglas after famously overlooking his work in “Wonder Boys”, his best performance.

    That being said, if Oscar history has shown us anything…
    Colin Firth will win this year since he should’ve won it last year.

  3. I am sorry. NOBODY, no matter how in vogue they currently are with THE ACADEMY, should get even a tenth of an ounce of notice for remaking TRUE GRIT. Remakes as a whole need to be left out of the AWARD PROCESS. Particularly those starring such SCREEN LEGENDS as JOHN WAYNE. What next folks? THE ALL NEW UPDATED OUTLAW JOSEY WALES or ANGEL HEART UPDATE starring a that guy who played the retard in GILBERT GRAPE and has never quite lived up to it again. Or the kid who ran around the Japanese Prison Camp in EMPIRE OF THE SON and would rather spend his days wearing cheap rubber suits and beating up on his Mum and Sister while screaming at D.P.s with utter disrespect????? Or perhaps stuck up UCLA grads, hated by everyone in their class, even before they arrived due to the attitude that they already had. Sadly another Italian surname…and on and on . Although I do truly love Matt Damon, not only as an actor, but as a friend and have always thought Jeff Bridges was the shit even before Hollywood decided to come to the party….WE DON’T DO REMAKES!!!!!!!!!! NO NO NO NO NO!!!

  4. Actually, you forgot the very deserving Ben Mendelsohn for his terrifying work in ANIMAL KINGDOM – he should definately be in the mix, and the fact that screeners for the film have already reached Academy members should boost his chances a little bit…And MacGregor is definately a real long shot, as is Eisenburg, though I think they’re both deserving of consideration – I think TSN’s best shot for acting is Justin Timberlake for Supporting Actor.

  5. Roger, please stop, Leonardo DiCaprio , Ewan MacGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Matt Damon (Hereafter) will not win Oscar nominations- very wishful thanking. Good call, on Michael Douglass , he is battling cancer , he received good reviews for ” Solitary Man” , and he is beloved by his peers. The Best Actress category is probably the most competitive and the most fascinating.

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