Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
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.

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